Pre-announcement: NCCR call in autumn 2017

In the autumn of 2017, the SNSF will launch the call for the 5th series of National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR). The submission deadline for outline proposals will be in February/March 2018, with research expected to start in early 2020.

​NCCR fund long-term, high-quality research projects of national significance while promoting the sustainable development of centres of competence and structural capacities at higher education institutions. In addition to federal funds, NCCRs receive funding from higher education institutions and from third parties.

In October/November 2017, the SNSF will launch the call for the 5th series of NCCRs, which will be open to all disciplines. The submission deadline for outline proposals will be in the first quarter of 2018. Five to six new NCCRs are expected to get under way at the beginning of 2020.

Compared to the 2011 call, the SNSF has introduced a few changes to the evaluation procedures. However, all legally regulated aspects remain unchanged, such as the two-stage selection procedure, the evaluation criteria, the role of home institutions and the division of tasks between the SNSF, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). In the first stage of the evaluation procedure, two important changes will be introduced:

  • Outline proposals will be significantly shorter than in the last call. They will describe the scientific and structural vision and potential of the proposed NCCR.
  • Applicants will have to submit a letter of intent, approximately two months before the submission deadline. In addition to the title and the summary of the planned project, the letter of intent needs to include a list of participating researchers.

The SNSF will publish details of the procedure in time for the call.

The Swiss government included the NCCR call in its "Aktionsplan Digitalisierung". The call is expected to yield initiatives that strengthen basic research in the area of digitalisation and that advance new ICT approaches in various fields. Consequently, in the final selection among the applications that have been judged as scientifically and structurally excellent by the SNSF, the Swiss Federation (EAER/SERI) will attach a high priority to applications in line with the goals formulated in the "Aktionsplan Digitalisierung".

NCCRs offer long-term perspectives

On behalf of the Swiss Confederation, the SNSF created a wide-reaching funding scheme known as the "National Centres of Competence in Research" (NCCRs) in 2001. They are the SNSF's main scheme for promoting long-term collaborative research at the highest level. Their reputation has attracted a host of talented scientists from all over the world. NCCRs are always based at one or more Swiss universities, but they conduct their research as part of a network. Besides supporting researchers in building networks, NCCRs help to promote young scientists, transfer knowledge and pursue structural goals over the course of up to twelve years. The long-term perspectives they offer are highly appreciated by researchers.

National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR)