Increase in salary bands for project staff

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The SNSF is increasing its salary bands to allow the universities to compensate for inflation. The measure has retroactive effect as of 1 January 2024.

In the context of tight finances, the SNSF strives to maintain favourable working conditions for the researchers working on its projects. It has decided to increase the salary bands for these workers so that the universities can adjust salaries in line with the cost-of-living increases granted within their institutions.

In concrete terms, the SNSF prescribes bands within which the universities are free to set actual salaries. The upper limit of these bands now increases to 55,000 Swiss francs for doctoral students (+10%) and 110,000 francs for postdocs (+4%), with retroactive effect as of 1 January 2024. In new proposals, higher staff budgets can be requested. For ongoing projects, the salary increases will be covered by the overall budgets already allocated. As the SNSF itself is not benefiting from any rise in its federal contributions, these additional costs will have an impact on the allocation of new grants.

Straitened financial situation

The overall financial situation of the SNSF is being squeezed by rising demand for its funding schemes on the one hand and budget cuts and inflation on the other. This situation is affecting all actors in the field of education, research and innovation.

The bulk (around 77%) of the SNSF's funding is used for paying the salaries of project staff – mainly early-career researchers such as doctoral students and postdocs. Approximately 25% of all scientific assistants and collaborators at Swiss universities are funded by the SNSF.

Although the SNSF is not their direct employer, it works to promote favourable working conditions through dialogue with its partners. It submitted the salary band adjustment to its new Delegates Assembly, an advisory body representing the interests of universities and scientific organisations, which supported the proposal. It was then approved by the Presiding Board of the National Research Council.

Additional increase in doctoral students’ salaries

The SNSF recognises the importance of ensuring good working conditions for project staff and is committed to continuing its efforts in this direction. It wishes to further increase the salaries of doctoral students (rise in the lower limit of the salary band). Despite the difficult financial situation, this remains a priority measure in the SNSF's multi-year programme for 2025–2028.

Note for grant recipients

The adjustment of salaries in line with inflation also applies to the Horizon Europe transitional measures and to the recipients of career grants (Eccellenza, PRIMA, Ambizione, Practice-to-Science, Doc.CH) employed in Switzerland. It does not apply to Postdoc.Mobility scholarships abroad; the amounts for new scholarships are reviewed regularly and adjusted if necessary.