200 fellowships for postdocs

The SNSF supports 182 postdocs who are expanding their research experience abroad. In addition, 18 fellowship holders will receive a grant for the period following their return to Switzerland.

As of January 2021, the SNSF supports postdocs who want to do research abroad with a single scheme called Postdoc.Mobility. The Early Postdoc.Mobility scheme has been integrated into Postdoc.Mobility. The fellowships enable researchers to acquire more in-depth knowledge, become more independent and enhance their research profile.

For the first call in 2021, 402 researchers submitted an application for a mobility fellowship or a return grant. The National Research Council has now approved 200 applications. This corresponds to a success rate of 49.8%. With 83 grants awarded to women (41.5%), the targeted share of 40% was exceeded.

Diversity of countries and disciplines

Young researchers funded by a mobility fellowship spend an average of 22 months at an institution abroad to continue their scientific education. Over these almost two years, they receive an average of 106,000 francs in total. This covers part of their living expenses; the fellowship also includes research funds and travel costs.

With 89 fellowship holders, the USA is the most chosen country for a stay abroad. 36 researchers will work at a host institute in the UK. Between 11 and 14 will go to Germany, France, Canada or the Netherlands. Other countries selected by individual researchers include Finland, Kyrgyzstan and New Zealand.

The fellowship holders will advance their research abroad in over 60 disciplines ranging from astronomy to geology, economics and zoology.

Facilitating return

Return grants from the SNSF enable fellowship holders to reintegrate into research in Switzerland after their SNSF-funded stay abroad. They can complete the research project they conducted abroad in Switzerland or launch a new project here. 18 researchers have received a return grant, the majority of whom (61%) are doing research in the humanities and social sciences. The grants are awarded for an average of 12 months. During this period, the grantees are employed at a Swiss university; the return grant covers their salary as well as research funds.