454 applications for SNSF Starting Grants 2023

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Researchers submitted 454 proposals as part of the transitional measure SNSF Starting Grants 2023.

Switzerland continues to be regarded as a non-associated third country in Horizon Europe. Therefore, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) has mandated the SNSF to launch a call for the SNSF Starting Grants 2023 as a transitional measure. It is aimed at researchers who wish to conduct their own project in Switzerland with their own team. New this year: the PRIMA funding scheme, tailored to excellent female researchers, has also been integrated into the SNSF Starting Grants. The PRIMA budget will be used to support outstanding women scientists under the SNSF Starting Grants. The SNSF Starting Grants 2023 will thus cover not only the Eccellenza Fellowships but also the PRIMA funding scheme.

The 454 applications are distributed across the research areas as follows: 155 are in mathematics, natural and engineering sciences, 155 in biology and medicine, and 144 in the social sciences and humanities. Researchers have requested an average budget of CHF 1.7 million per project.

The applicants are 36.5 years old on average. Almost half of them are women (48.5%). Last year, the share of applications submitted by women was 39.7%. Most applicants plan to conduct their research at a university (73%), followed by the ETH Domain (21%) and universities of applied sciences (3%).

Last year, the SNSF received 446 applications for the SNSF Starting Grants 2022. Researchers can apply for an SNSF Starting Grant no more than twice, regardless of how their project was ranked in the SNSF Starting Grants 2022 call.

Evaluation of proposals

Evaluation panels will assess the projects in a two-stage process. They are composed of national and international experts. The proposals are evaluated on the basis of reviews by external experts and interviews.

In November 2023, applicants will be informed whether their project has been approved for funding by the SNSF. The grants are worth up to 1.8 million Swiss francs.

As in last year's call, a scientific Steering Committee will oversee the evaluation and make the funding decisions. It will also ensure good scientific practice and compliance with SNSF rules on conflicts of interest. The same Steering Committee is also responsible for other transitional measures of the SNSF.