Annual report 2020

3300 new research projects for 937 million Swiss francs

Thousands of SNSF-funded teams explore nature, technology and society. This generates knowledge that is a key driver of progress. In 2020, the SNSF invested 937 million francs in 3300 new projects, selected from 8200 applications. 37% of the funding was awarded in biology and medicine, 33% in the humanities and social sciences and 30% in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. At short notice we funded 73 projects on COVID-19 with around 30 million francs.

Find out more about our activities in 2020:

  • Message from the SNSF Board

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    The year that shook academic research

    "Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky." When Albert Camus wrote The Plague in the 1940s, he left many things open to interpretation. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us revisit his text, not least because of its message to resist and take action. The virus shook the science world in 2020 and the SNSF found itself facing many unexpected challenges, but it also took action.

    We rapidly launched a special call for projects aimed at boosting our understanding of the virus and its impact. This was swiftly followed by a new National Research Programme (NRP 78). At the same time, the benefit of the SNSF's long-term investment in science and researchers in the relevant fields was undeniable: a wealth of expert knowledge, established in the course of many years and through thousands of projects, was readily available.

    Another challenge consisted in offering adequate support to researchers whose lives and work were affected by the pandemic. Many found themselves in a situation where they needed to dedicate more time to their loved ones, to the detriment of their projects. The SNSF listened to their concerns and offered flexible measures, doing what it could to maintain scientific quality while also helping researchers get through these difficult and uncertain times.

    Beyond the immediate measures, the crisis also reinforced the mission and strategy of the SNSF in several ways. One was our commitment to support research in all disciplines: the impacts of the pandemic have been so wide-ranging that knowledge in all areas has been called upon, from biomedicine via law and sociology through to chemistry.

    Another was the emphasis on open science and the free availability of research results: when human lives are at stake, tolerance towards paywalls and other knowledge barriers diminishes rapidly. In 2020, the SNSF strengthened its support for open access to publications and data. It also promoted Internationality and collaboration, which are further key factors in facilitating high-quality research to the benefit of all.

    Lastly, the crisis has also shown just how important it is to fund basic research in all disciplines in the long term. It is not enough to focus on applied research in order to find quick solutions to today's problems - although there probably is room for improvement in that area. We also need to work on solutions to problems that have not yet manifested themselves but might crash down on our heads next year, in twenty years or in the next century. There will be other pestilences; and knowledge and innovation remain our most effective weapons in fighting them.

    Jürg Stahl
    President of the Foundation Council

    Matthias Egger
      
    President of the National Research Council

    Angelika Kalt
      
    Chief Executive Officier

  • Research funding – key figures

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    ​Funding approved in 2020

    In the first three years of the 2017-2020 funding period, a large number of new projects were awarded funding by the SNSF. Most of these projects will run for several years and require a commensurate financial commitment. Because of these carried-over costs, we had less money at our disposal for new grants in 2020 compared to the previous years. This mainly affected project funding.

    In 2020, we evaluated 8200 applications, out of which we selected 3300 for funding. In all, we approved 937 million francs in funding (2019: 1000 million). This was complemented by 26 million for supplementary grants and measures - of which just under half was used to finance project extensions necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis. The year under review also saw the start of the fifth series of National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs).

    37 per cent of the newly approved funding was allocated in biology and medicine, 33 per cent in the humanities and social sciences and 30 per cent in mathematics, natural and engineering sciences. We invested approximately half of our financial resources - 433 million francs - in project funding, followed by career funding (241 million), programmes (167 million), infrastructure (84 million) and science communication (12 million). However, as mentioned above, the project funding budget was substantially smaller than in the previous years. At the same time, the demand for grants continued to rise, and the success rate in this funding category consequently dropped to 37 per cent (2019: 49 per cent).

    Ongoing projects 2020

    At the end of 2020, over 6000 SNSF-funded projects were ongoing. Nearly 20,000 researchers were involved in them, 38 per cent thereof were women. The number of women leading a project was even lower, in spite of all the efforts made to date. In pursuing its strategic priority "Diversity in research", the SNSF aims to increase the share of women competing for research funding.

    Detailed interactive key figures for 2020 are available in our data portal at

  • Insight into our activities

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    ​Besides evaluating research proposals and funding projects, the SNSF also undertook a whole host of other tasks in 2020. We are developing our research funding processes, incentivising research and increasing public awareness about scientific research and innovation.

  • Administrative Offices

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    Research funding

    In 2020, the Administrative Offices conducted evaluation processes for 8205 grant applications (2019: 6852). It obtained 13,164 reviews from external experts. We organised 121 meetings of the National Research Council and evaluation bodies. Moreover, we received 2357 scientific and 4634 financial reports as well as 11,258 administrative messages.

    Unsurprisingly, the COVID pandemic also affected our research funding activities. Together with the National Research Council, the Administrative Offices devised, announced and launched the special call for coronavirus research projects in March, and NRP 78 "COVID-19" in April. At very short notice, we also organised and coordinated the evaluation of the submitted proposals. This was only possible thanks to a concerted effort from everyone involved. What is more, the Administrative Offices coordinated the changes to grant conditions and deadlines necessitated by the COVID crisis. We also informed the researchers and gave them advice on specific topics.

    Human Resources

    At the end of 2020, 303 people were employed at the Administrative Offices (267.5 full-time equivalents), 60 per cent women and 40 per cent men. Staff turnover during the year was 6.6 per cent. Four apprentices finished their vocational training in commerce and IT in summer 2020. At year-end, 12 apprentices and 3 academic interns were working for the SNSF. Tragically, one of our colleagues passed away in March. Our thoughts are with his family – we share their pain and we will keep him alive in our memories.

    For more than half the year, our colleagues at the Administrative Offices worked from home because of the pandemic. Most meetings were held as video conferences. Our pandemic team had the lead in coordinating our response to the pandemic, deciding new measures and informing staff. The organisation as a whole worked very successfully from home. Many of us had been telecommuting one day a week already before corona, so the technology required was in place and fully functional. It was a major achievement on the part of our motivated staff, who acted responsibly throughout despite the drawbacks of working exclusively from home – not least at a time when social and public life were heavily curtailed. We will carefully analyse this protracted experience of working from home with a view to visualising future ways of working.

    Communication

    Last year, our public research database P3 was queried more than 100,000 times. It contains detailed information on SNSF-funded projects since 1975. The Administrative Offices published 105 messages and 31 calls for proposals and dispatched 21 newsletters to over 25,000 recipients. Over 33,000 people followed the SNSF on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. In all, the SNSF's social media contributions were viewed four million times. As of June, the research magazine Horizons appeared in a new design and with a new table of contents.

    Development

    Besides its core research funding tasks, the Administrative Offices worked intensively to develop structures and processes. As of 1 April 2020, Angelika Kalt, Rosemarie Pécaut, Thomas Werder Schläpfer and Pierre Willa formed an interim Executive Management team. This gave the executive arm greater agency by spreading the workload across more shoulders. In October, Vice Director Rosemarie Pécaut began her retirement as planned. The Foundation Council and the Executive Management would like to thank her for the important work she has accomplished at the SNSF and for her exemplary commitment. She played a key role in developing essential services such as finance, IT, infrastructure and HR and in equipping them to meet changing requirements. The considerable expansion of our research funding activities would not have been possible without her efforts. Rosemarie Pécaut's tasks were assigned to two new members of the Executive Management: Sébastien Stampfli has been responsible for IT systems since 1 November 2020 and Céline Liechti for finance, infrastructure and services – including our building project – since 1 January 2021.

    Five teams of planners submitted proposals for construction of the new SNSF office building in Bern Wankdorf. At the end of October, the evaluating body unanimously selected the project submitted by Penzel Valier, Lohrenengel Landschaft and Grünig & Partner. Its great flexibility and sustainability were the decisive factors. Both the building's architectural expression towards the outside and its interior spaces match our self-image as a promoter of excellence and creative ideas. In 2021, Penzel Valier will develop the project with the aim of applying for a building permit towards the end of the year.

    In summer 2019, we initiated the AARE programme to simplify the IT systems through which all our research funding processes flow. Much was accomplished already in 2020. We successfully developed the process vision, the business architecture and the envisaged corporate architecture. A central aim of AARE – paperless processes – has already been achieved.

    In November, the Executive Management decided to examine the structure of the research funding divisions, assess whether they are well-equipped to face future challenges and develop the said structure if necessary. The existing set-up largely dates back to 2008. A preliminary study was conducted for the envisaged "Allagi" project, scheduled for the first half of 2021. To provide maximum support to our honourary bodies now and in the future, the structure needs to be sufficiently flexible and agile.

    New interim management

    Election of two new executive managers

    Organisation

    Executive Management > Director, Chief Executive:Dr. Angelika Kalt.Vice Director: Rosemarie Pécaut (until 31.10.2020).Chief Information Officer: Sébastien Stampfli (as of 1.11.2020).Chief Operations Officer: Dr. Thomas Werder Schläpfer (as of 1.4.2020 in an interim capacity, confirmed as of 1.11.2020).Chief Development Officer: Dr. Pierre Willa (in an interim capacity as of 1.4.2020).Heads of staff divisions > Human Resources: Karim Errassas.Communication:Christophe Giovannini.Strategy:Dr. Katrin Milzow.Institutional Relations/Swisscore: Dr. Jean-Luc Barras.Executive Staff/Legal Department: Inge Blatter.Heads of finance, infrastructure & services > Finance: Markus König.Facility Management: Yves Flohimont.Heads of information divisions > IT: Mario Andenmatten.Information Systems of Research Funding: Dr. Frank Neidhöfer.Chief Operations Officers > Division I, Humanities and Social Sciences: Dr. Pierre Willa (until 31.3.2020); Brigitte Arpagaus (in an interim capacity as of 1.4.2020).Division II, Mathematics, Natural and Engineering Sciences: Dr. Thomas Werder Schläpfer (until 31.3.2020); Dr. Pascal Fischer (in an interim capacity as of 1.4.2020).Division III, Biology and Medicine: Dr. Irene Knüsel.Careers division: Dr. Marcel Kullin.InterCo: Dr. Marc Zbinden.AARE programme: Benjamin Rindlisbacher.Chief Development Officers > Division IV, Programmes: Dr. Dimitri Sudan (until 31.12.2020).Gender Equality in Research Funding: Dr. Simona Isler.

    As at  31. December 2020

  • Members of SNSF bodies

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    Foundation Councilt

    39 honourary members, 46 per cent women, 54 per cent men

    Jürg Stahl is the new President

    President/inJürg Stahl (as of 1.2.2020)

    Vice PresidentProf. Maria Schönbächler (as of 1.2.2020), representative of SCNAT

    Representatives of scientific organisations
    Cantonal universities > Basel:Prof. Torsten Schwede.Bern:Prof. Daniel Candinas.Fribourg:Prof. Katharina Fromm.Geneva:Prof. Dominique Soldati-Favre.Lausanne: Prof. Franciska Krings.Lucerne: Prof. Gisela Michel.Neuchâtel: Prof. Simona Pekarek Doehler.St. Gallen: Prof. Kuno Schedler (until 31.1.2020); Prof. Thomas Markus Zellweger (as of 1.2.2020).Ticino: Prof. Benedetto Lepori.Zurich: Prof. Stefanie Walter.Federal Institute of Technology > Lausanne:Prof. Sabine Süsstrunk (until 31.12.2020).Zurich: Prof. Sabine Werner.Universities of Applied Sciences/Universities of Teacher Education >Prof. Horst Biedermann (PH SG), Prof. Maria Caiata Zufferey (SUPSI), Prof. Markus Hodel (HSLU), Prof. Jürg Kessler (FHGR), Prof. Isabelle Mili (IUFE Genf), Prof. Jean-Marc Piveteau (ZHAW), Prof. Falko Schlottig (FHNW), Dr. Luciana Vaccaro (HES-SO).Academies > Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: Prof. Antonio Loprieno. SAGW: Prof. Claudine Burton-Jeangros. SAMS: Prof. em. Daniel Scheidegger. SATW: Prof. Konstantinos Boulochos. SCNAT: Prof. Maria Schönbächler, Prof. Marcel Tanner.

    Members appointed by the Federal CouncilCesla Amarelle (Canton of Vaud, Dept. of Education, Youth and Culture), Dr. Gregor Haefliger (SERI), Dr. René Imhof (F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG), Monika Knill (Canton of Thurgau, Dept. of Education and Culture), dipl. Phys. Ulrich Jakob Looser (BLR&Partners AG), Jürg Stahl (Swiss Olympic), Natascha Wey (VPOD).

    Coopted membersProf. Ron Appel (SIB), Prof. Denis Duboule (Geneva University and EPFL, free cooptation), Katharina Prautsch (Actionuni) (until 18.10.2020), Dr. Pascale Vonmont (Gebert-Rüf Stiftung, free cooptation); as of 1.2.2020: Dr. Thierry Strässle (ETH Domain), Prof. Michael Hengartner (ETH Council), Dr. Anne Crausaz (swissuniversities) (until 31.8.2020), Dr. Stefanie Wyssenbach (as of 4.9.2020).

    Executive Committee of the Foundation Council15 honourary members, 53 per cent women, 47 per cent men

    Jürg Stahl (President); Prof. Maria Schönbächler (Vice President); Members: Prof. Horst Biedermann, Prof. Daniel Candinas, Prof. Denis Duboule, Prof. Katharina Fromm, Dr. Gregor Haefliger, Prof. Franciska Krings, dipl. Phys. Ulrich Jakob Looser, Prof. Torsten Schwede, Prof. Dominique Soldati-Favre, Prof. Sabine Süsstrunk (until 31.12.2020), Dr. Luciana Vaccaro, Prof. Stefanie Walter, Prof. Sabine Werner.

    Internal auditT+R AG, Gümligen BE.

    Compliance-CommitteeProf. Franciska Krings (President); Prof. Howard Riezman, Prof. em. Klaus Müller, Prof. Monika Roth, Dr. Dorothea Sturn.

    National Research Council

    9292 honourary members, 36 per cent women, 64 per cent men

    Matthias Egger reelected

    PresidentProf. Matthias Egger

    Presiding Board >Prof. Matthias Egger.President Division I:Prof. Ola Söderström (until 31.12.2020).President Division II: Prof. Arjen K. Lenstra (until 30.9.2020); Dr. Bernd Gotsmann (as of 1.10.2020).President Division III: Prof. Hugues Abriel (until 31.3.2020); Prof. Matthias Peter (as of 1.4.2020).President Division IV: Prof. Dimos Poulikakos (as of 1.1.2020).President Steering Committee Careers: Prof. Fritz Schlunegger (until 30.9.2020); Prof. Gabriele Rippl (as of 1.10.2020).President Steering Committee International Cooperation: Prof. Katharina Michaelowa (until 31.12.2020).President of Steering Committee Interdisciplinary Research: Prof. Rita Franceschini, Deputy RC President as of 1.1.2020).

    Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences >Prof. Ola Söderström (President until 31.12.2020), Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch (Vice President until 31.12.2020), Prof. Peter Auer; Prof. Laura Bernardi, Prof. Roberto Caldara, Prof. Franz Caspar, Prof. Véronique Dasen, Prof. Christiana Fountoulakis, Prof. Rita Franceschini, Prof. Julia Gelshorn, Prof. Daniel Gredig, Prof. Eszter Hargittai, Prof. Ben Jann, Prof. Thomas Keil (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Katharina Maag Merki, Prof. Claudia Mareis, Prof. Ioannis Papadopoulos, Prof. Gabriele Rippl, Prof. Dominic Rohner, Prof. Konrad Schmid, Prof. Martin Spann, Prof. Danièle Tosato-Rigo, Prof. Georg von Krogh (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Markus Wild.

    DivisionII: Mathematics, Natural and Engineering Sciences >Prof. Arjen K. Lenstra (President until 30.9.2020), Dr. Bernd Gotsmann (Vice President until 30.9.2020, President as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Ulrike Lohmann (Vice President as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Rémi Abgrall, Prof. David Andrew Barry, Prof. Aude Billard, Prof. Jeffrey Bode, Dr. Marc Bohner, Prof. Joachim Buhmann, Prof. Paul Dyson, Prof. Karl Gademann, Prof. Juliane Hollender, Prof. Frédéric Merkt, Prof. Jean-François Molinari, Prof. Oscar Nierstrasz (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Daniela Rubatto, Prof. Fritz Schlunegger (until 30.9.2020), Prof. Stefan Schmalholz (as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Olivier Schneider, Prof. Thomas Südmeyer, Prof. Donna Testerman, Prof. Lothar Thiele.

    Division III: Biology and Medicine >Prof. Hugues Abriel (President until 31.3.2020), Prof. Matthias Peter (Vice President until 31.3.2020, President as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Claudia Kühni (Vice President as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Markus Affolter, Prof. Anne Angelillo-Scherrer, Prof. Melanie Blokesch, Prof. Chris Boesch, Prof. Mirjam Christ-Crain (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Bart Deplancke, Prof. Dominique De Quervain, Prof. Michael Detmar, Prof. Olivier Devuyst, Prof. Marc Yves Donath (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Laurent Excoffier, Prof. Markus Fischer (until 30.9.2020), Prof. Michel Gilliet, Prof. Fritjof Helmchen, Prof. Christoph Hess, Prof. Anthony Holtmaat (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Petra Hüppi (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Beat Keller, Prof. Hanna Kokko, Prof. Brenda Kwak (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Kaspar Locher, Prof. Andreas Lüthi (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Oliver Mühlemann, Prof. Adrian Franz Ochsenbein, Prof. John Richard Pannell (as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Anita Rauch (until 30.9.2020), Prof. Carlo Rivolta (as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Federica Sallusto, Prof. Peter Scheiffele, Prof. Isabelle Schmitt-Opitz, Prof. Margitta Seeck (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Bernard Thorens, Prof. Rolf Zeller.

    Division IV: Programmes >Prof. Dimos Poulikakos (President as of 1.1.2020), Prof. Regina Elisabeth Aebi-Müller (Vice President), Prof. Anastasia Ailamaki, Prof. Uschi Backes-Gellner, Prof. Manfred Max Bergman, Prof. Nikola Biller-Andorno (as of 1.3.2020), Prof. Claudia Binder, Prof. Dominik Brühwiler (as of 1.1.2020), Prof. Susanna Burghartz (until 29.2.2020), Prof. Friedrich Eisenbrand (until 31.12.2020), Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Prof. Gudela Grote, Prof. Stefanie Hellweg (until 29.2.2020), Prof. Michael O. Hottiger (until 29.2.2020), Prof. Denis Jabaudon, Prof. Stuart Lane, Prof. Andreas Mayer, Prof. Katharina Michaelowa (until 31.12.2020), Prof. Bert Müller, Prof. Henning Müller (until 1.3.2020), Prof. Nicolas Rodondi, Prof. Dirk van der Marel (until 29.2.2020), Prof Rainer Wallny (until 1.3.2020).

    Specialised Committee Careers >Prof. Fritz Schlunegger (President until 30.9.2020), Prof. Gabriele Rippl (President as of 1.10.2020), Prof. Michael O. Hottiger (Vice President until 29.2.2020); Prof. Ioannis Papadopoulos (Vice President as of 1.4.2020 until 31.12.2020); Prof. Anne Angelillo-Scherrer (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Peter Auer, Prof. Susanna Burghartz (until 29.2.2020), Prof. Petra Hüppi (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Beat Keller, Prof. Stuart Lane (as of 1.1.2020), Prof. Christian Matter, Prof. Gabriele Rippl (as of 1.3.2020), Prof. Federica Sallusto (as of 1.03.2020), Prof. Jess Snedeker, Prof. Donna Testerman (as of 1.10.2020).

    Specialised Committee International Cooperation >Prof. Katharina Michaelowa (President until 31.12.2020), Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral (Vice President until 31.12.2020), Prof. Anne Angelillo-Scherrer (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Véronique Dasen, Prof. Paul Dyson, Prof. Michel Gilliet (as of 1.4.2020), Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Prof. Thomas Südmeyer, Prof. Bernard Thorens.

    Specialised Committee Interdisciplinary Research >Prof. Rita Franceschini (President), Prof. Dirk van der Marel (Vice President until 29.2.2020), Prof. David Andrew Barry (Vice President as of 1.3.2020), Prof. Laura Bernardi (until 31.12.2020), Prof. Melanie Blokesch, Prof. Juliane Hollender, Prof. Kaspar Locher (as of 1.12.2020), Prof. Andreas Lüthi (until 31.3.2020), Prof. Andreas Mayer, Prof. Rainer Wallny (as of 1.6.2020).

    Gender Equality Commission >Prof. Nicky Le Feuvre (interim president), Prof. Michelle Cottier, Prof. Thomas Hinz, Dr. Simona Isler, Gary Loke, Prof. Ruth Müller, Prof. Anna Wahl.

    Research Integrity Commission >Prof. Nadja Capus (President), Prof. Regina Aebi-Müller (Vice President), Prof. David Andrew Barry, Dr. Sönke Bauck, Dr. Marco Bieri (until 31.8.2020), Dr. Tania Bühler, Prof. Bart Deplancke, Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral (until 31.12.2020), Milva Franceschi (as of 15.10.2020), Dr. Sarah Glaser (as of 1.9.2020), Prof. Juliane Hollender, Dr. Stephanie Hoppeler, Prof. Michael O. Hottiger (until 29.2.2020), Danielle Jeanneret (as of 15.10.2020), Prof. Stuart Lane (as of 1.6.2020), Claudia Lautenschütz (until 14.10.2020), Dr. Vanja Michel, Dr. Eva Moser (as of 1.4.2020), Dr. Claudia Rutte, Dr. Barbara Schellenberg, Prof. Danièle Tosato-Rigo, Gilles Wasser (until 31.3.2020).

    Further information

    Research Commissions

    Presidents of Research Commissions at Swiss higher education institutions > Basel:Prof. Andreas Papassotiropoulos.Bern:Prof. Marianne Johanna Lehmkuhl.Fribourg:Prof. Thierry Collaud.Geneva:Prof. Pierre Barrouillet.Lausanne:Prof. Martin Preisig.Lucerne:Prof. Alexander Trechsel.Neuchâtel:Prof. Corinne Rossari.St. Gallen:Prof. Michael Lechner.Ticino:Prof. Mauro Pezzè.Zurich:Prof. Michael Schaepman (until 31.7.2020); Prof. Beatrice Beck Schimmer (as of 1.8.2020).EPF Lausanne:Prof. Kay Severin.ETH Zurich:Prof. Uwe Sauer.

    As at 31.12.2020

  • Financial statement

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    The financial statement for 2020 shows an almost balanced result, even though expenditure was again higher. The increased expenditure incurred in research programmes was particularly striking; however, part of the restricted funds have been set aside for just such cases. The use of these funds helped cover this increase in expenditure. At the same time, federal funding grew by approximately 50 million francs. The federal government also withdrew part of the reserves, which amounted to 105 million francs in total at the end of 2020; they are intended to be used between 2021 and 2023.

  • Outlook

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    ​We are implementing the service level agreement for the period 2021-2024 between SNSF and SERI as of January 2021. It specifies the financial and substantive parameters for our activity, based on the multi-year programme and the ERI dispatch for this period. Parliament has approved a total of CHF 4,615 million for the SNSF. This is subject to any changes in the annual budget decisions made by the government. There are plans to allocate the funding as follows:

    in CHF million20212022202320242021-2024
    Projects, careers, programmes, infrastructures, science communication, service provision988,81001,81029,11058,64078,4
    Indirect costs of research institutions (overhead) and supplementary tasks119,0135,5138,4143,8536,7
    Total 1107,8 1137,3 1167,5 1202,4 4615,0

    In 2021 we are introducing a raft of new measures in relation to research funding. It has already been decided that quotas for women will be introduced in all SNSF evaluation bodies. In addition, we are improving the way in which researchers’ qualifications and performance are assessed. We are making existing schemes more flexible and creating incentives to ensure that a greater number of collaborative projects on a wide range of topics are submitted and supported. The SNSF is now financing the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS), the Data and Service Centre for the Humanities (DaSCH), the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS). Together with Innosuisse we are expanding BRIDGE to cover all disciplines; when evaluating the submitted proposals we are also taking into account the projects’ long-term effects on the economy, society and the environment. Moreover, the SNSF has of course put in place numerous measures to support open science – i.e. free access to research data and scientific publications.

    The multi-year programme 2021-2024 is informed by the four strategic priorities we have defined for the years 2021-2028: “We promote diversity in research”, “We shape the future of research”, “We convey the value of research” and “We strengthen the expertise of the SNSF”. We thus aim to continue offering optimal conditions for creative research and, together with the higher education institutions, to provide the best possible support for talented people also in the future.