New and forward-looking organisational structure for the SNSF

© © SNF/Adrian Moser

To fulfil its tasks efficiently and professionally also in the future, the SNSF has devised a new organisational structure for itself. The revised Statutes, effective at the start of 2024, have been approved by the Federal Council.

The organisational structure of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) no longer meets today's requirements. The Statutes date back to 2007, and parts of the basic structure were established in the 1960s and 70s. With this revision, the SNSF has taken account of developments in research and research funding and devised a more contemporary and adaptable structure for itself. This will enable us to continue to fulfil our purpose as a foundation effectively and professionally and to meet future challenges flexibly and competently.

Clearly defined competencies

With the fully revised Statutes, which come into force on 1 January 2024, the SNSF is laying the foundations for its new organisation and meeting the requirements of modern organisational management. This means that tasks and competencies will be clearly defined and processes transparent.

The Statutes set out competencies in strategic matters for the future: the Foundation Council will continue to be responsible for the overall management of the SNSF, while the Research Council will have even greater responsibility for shaping funding schemes and measures. It is already supported in this endeavour by scientific expert panels. Over 100 evaluation panels comprising around 1200 honorary members in total assess grant applications and lay the groundwork for the Research Council’s decisions.

With 7-11 members (previously 42), the Foundation Council will have a size that is suitable for its overall strategic management tasks. A composition of 30-80 members (previously 100) has been defined for the Research Council. This range takes account of the different organisational models that are conceivable for the Research Council. The SNSF will decide in the coming months which internal organisation to implement. The new structure will strengthen the councils in their leadership functions.

New body: the Delegates Assembly

In future, the higher education institutions and scientific organisations will be able to represent their interests in the new Delegates Assembly. This advisory body will help shape the development of the SNSF. The Delegates Assembly will comprise a maximum of 40 members.

The revised Statutes only set out the key features of the organisation. They will be fleshed out in two new implementation regulations (the Foundation Regulations and the Research Council Regulations). These regulations will define the structure, interaction and tasks of the bodies in detail and are due to be completed by the end of 2023, or by the end of March 2024.