232 applications for SNSF Advanced Grants 2021

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The call for SNSF Advanced Grants 2021 has been a success, with researchers submitting a total of 232 proposals. International expert panels will now evaluate the proposals in a two-stage procedure.

The SNSF launched the call for researchers who planned to apply for an ERC Advanced Grant in 2021. Due to Switzerland's current status of non-associated third country in Horizon Europe, the SERI mandated the SNSF to launch this transitional measure. The call targeted leading researchers who have more than ten years' experience and who wish to conduct groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain research in Switzerland.

"We have received many more applications than the ERC previously received from researchers in Switzerland," says Thomas Werder Schläpfer, member of the Executive Management. "However, in order for Switzerland to maintain its strong position in the research domain, the SNSF's objective continues to be the rapid and full association of our country to Horizon Europe."

The 232 projects are distributed across the research areas as follows: 103 in mathematics, natural and engineering sciences, 90 in biology and medicine, and 39 in the humanities and social sciences. The researchers requested grants averaging just over two million francs per project.

On average, the applicants are 55 years old. About 50 women researchers submitted an application, corresponding to 22% of the proposed projects. The highest number of applications by women were submitted in the humanities and social sciences.

More than half of the applicants are based at a university (61%), while the remainder are mostly from the ETH Domain (31%).


Expert panels will evaluate the projects in a two-stage procedure. The panels are composed of international experts and are comparable to the ERC panels. Applications will be assessed and rated based on external peer reviews and interviews, and ranked in comparison to the other applications.

"In order to mirror the European call as closely as possible, the SNSF will only support strong applications that also meet the ERC quality standards," stresses Thomas Werder Schläpfer.

In May 2022, the SNSF will let applicants know whether their application has been selected for funding. The maximum grant per project will not exceed 2.5 million francs, plus a maximum of 1 million francs for additional costs (including overhead of 15%, paid directly to the host institution).

Scientific Steering Committee

A scientific Steering Committee will supervise the evaluation work and funding activities in relation to the SNSF Advanced Grants call as well as other transitional measures of the SNSF. It will also ensure the application of best practices and compliance with SNSF rules regarding conflicts of interest. This Steering Committee is composed of the Presiding Board of the National Research Council as well as other high-level researchers, including members of the Specialised Committee Careers of the Research Council.