New funding scheme: SNSF Starting Grants 2022

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The SNSF Starting Grants 2022 target researchers who wanted to apply for a 2022 ERC Starting Grant or for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship. Consequently, there will be no Eccellenza call 2022.

Based on a mandate from the Swiss government, the SNSF is launching a call for its SNSF Starting Grants 2022 on 1 December 2021. Grantees will have the opportunity of leading an independent research project and directing a team of researchers in Switzerland. An SNSF Starting Grant comes after several years of research after the PhD, qualification equivalent to a PhD, or medical degree during which grantees have already achieved scientific independence and contributed to impactful research in their field. Interested researchers have time to submit their proposal until 1 February 2022. The call document is available at the link below.

Proposals will be evaluated in two stages by international expert panels similar to those established for the ERC Starting Grants.

The transitional measures put in place by the SNSF are financed with money that Switzerland had set aside for the Horizon Europe programme and that Parliament had already approved in 2020. No additional funds will be used.

The planned transitional measures will be submitted to Parliament in the winter session in the form of an addendum to the 2022 budget. Implementation is subject to the requisite parliamentary approval.

Eccellenza replaced by SNSF Starting Grants in 2022

The SNSF Starting Grants are targeted not only at researchers who wanted to apply for an ERC Starting Grant, but also at those interested in an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship. Thus, the conditions of employment of the SNSF Starting Grants 2022 are similar to those for researchers who intended to apply to Eccellenza.

For this reason, there will be no Eccellenza call 2022. Instead, interested researchers can apply for an SNSF Starting Grant. The Eccellenza budget has been transferred to the new funding scheme.

International and Swiss-based applicants who intended to apply for an ERC Starting Grant or an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship to work in Switzerland are welcome to submit an SNSF Starting Grant proposal to the SNSF.

Further measures possible in 2022

In October 2021, the SNSF already launched calls for SNSF Advanced Grants 2021 and SNSF Swiss Postdoctoral Fellowships. A transitional solution for the ERC Consolidator Grants 2022 is also envisaged if researchers are not authorised to submit proposals to the corresponding call. As is the case for the transitional measures already put in place, the SNSF call would correspond as closely as possible to the European call, but would have its own submission deadline. The SERI will provide more information in due course.

In spite of the various measures taken by the SNSF based on government mandates, the SNSF is still hoping for Switzerland's rapid and full association to the Horizon Europe programme.