Digital Lives - The effects of digital transformation

Digitalisation is one of the most important drivers of innovation in the 21st century, and it will foreseeably have a lasting effect on all areas of our lives. It will radically change our society, politics and economy, and also the sciences.

Digitalisation and disruptive technologies are changing more and more areas of our private and professional lives at increasing speed. Fuelled by public analyses and debates - for instance on the sharing economy, the rise of robots and the impact of social media - the public is becoming more aware of the reach and pace of these changes. Research in the humanities and social sciences has much to contribute to understanding these developments, which are often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

The researchers will address questions such as: How is digitalisation changing politics and the economy? How is it changing our relationships with people and our subjective experience? And also: How is it changing research in the humanities and social sciences? What are the psychological, cultural and social consequences of our digital age?

The SNSF will support pilot projects with a maximum duration of 18 months

In the scope of a call for proposals, the Swiss National Sciences Foundation (SNSF) will provide researchers in the humanities and social sciences who are tackling these questions. The aim is to stimulate innovation and make it easier for researchers in the humanities and social sciences to form national and international networks that address these subject areas and aid our understanding of the "digital turn". Applicants at Swiss higher education institutions may propose pilot projects with a duration of up to 18 months. The grants awarded to successful applicants will range from 50,000 to a maximum of 250,000 Swiss francs. The SNSF will allocate a total amount of up to 6 million Swiss francs. Exploratory studies, investigations based on new methods and research aimed at tapping new data sources will be supported.

The call for proposals is aligned with the National Research Programmes on “digital change in the economy and society”, whose implementation is to be decided by the end of 2018, with a view to launching the relevant calls in summer 2019. At the same time, the Digital Lives call can be used for preparatory research work prior to submitting a proposal in other SNSF funding schemes (e.g. project funding, Sinergia).

Applicants will be able to submit research proposals electronically on the mySNF platform between 1 March and 1 May 2018.