Successful start: PRIMA funds 22 projects of women researchers

Launched in 2017, the PRIMA funding scheme of the SNSF has attracted great interest. By the deadline in November 2017, 189 researchers had submitted an application. 22 of them will now receive a grant.

"Both the quantity and the quality of applications was impressive," says Professor Fritz Schlunegger, president of the Specialised Committee Careers of the SNSF Research Council. For this reason, the SNSF has approved not only 14 grants as initially planned but 22. The successful projects prevailed in a two-stage selection process.

Funding for five years

On average, the researchers will receive a grant of 1.3 million francs. The grant will cover their own salaries and the salaries of their team as well as the remaining project costs. The SNSF will award grants worth 28.6 million francs in total.

Aiming for a professorship

Women are still underrepresented among professors at Swiss higher education institutions. To address this shortcoming, the SNSF has launched PRIMA (Promoting Women in Academia), which promotes outstanding women researchers who have professorial potential. They will be able to lead a research project with a team of their own at a Swiss higher education institution. In so doing, they can enhance their scientific profile before taking the next step in their academic careers and obtaining a professorship. "A PRIMA grant also stands for excellence, which further boosts their chances of becoming professors," says Fritz Schlunegger. Another advantage of PRIMA is that it allows grantees to take the funding with them should they obtain a professorship at a Swiss higher education institution during the funding period.

The second call for proposals was launched on 1 August 2018. The deadline to submit proposals is 1 November 2018.