Scientific Exchanges / Scholars at Risk
Link up with scientists from abroad!
Scientific Exchanges is aimed at researchers who want to host their own scientific event in Switzerland, invite colleagues from abroad for a research visit to Switzerland, or visit their colleagues in another country.
Scientific conferences and workshops are the two types of event covered by the scheme. Research visits by Swiss researchers to other countries or by researchers from abroad to Switzerland are funded for a period of 1 to 6 months. For scientific events, the travel expenses and food and board costs of participants from abroad are covered, for research visits those of travelling guests.
The Scientific Exchanges funding scheme also supports the organisation of events that allow research communities to exchange best practices on how to develop a Data Management Plan, preparing research data and making it publicly available.
Scholars at Risk support for scientists under threat
In collaboration with Scholars at Risk Switzerland, the SNSF is supporting placements of researchers under threat in Switzerland.
Terms and conditions for taking part
Applicants for scientific exchanges must be employed in Switzerland and must meet the personal requirements set out in the Funding Regulations and the General implementation regulations for the Funding Regulations. Their work-time percentage may lie under 50 percent, but should not be lower than 20 percent. Applications for scientific events may also be submitted by persons without a doctorate.
The applications must be submitted via the mySNF platform at least four months before the event or the visit.
Applications are assessed according to the following criteria:
- Quality, originality and relevance of the event/visit
- Scientific expertise of the person to be funded and their contribution
- Complementarity and additional benefits of the exchange
- Feasibility of the event/visit
For events, another criterion is the participation of women speakers and young researchers.
Who can submit a proposal for a research visit: the Swiss partner or the partner abroad?
Proposals can only be submitted by eligible persons employed by a Swiss research institution. Partners abroad cannot submit proposals.
Can applicants submit a proposal for a scientific event as well as one for a research visit at the same time?
Yes, if all the criteria are fulfilled. However, it is not possible to submit a joint proposal for an event and a visit; an individual application has to be submitted for each type.
Can a PhD student submit a proposal for a research visit?
No, PhD students are not eligible for research visits, though they can submit proposals for scientific events.
Can co-applicants be listed somewhere in the proposal?
When submitting an application for a research visit, the person employed in Switzerland is the only applicant. For a scientific event, co-applicants are allowed, but they must fulfill the same criteria as the main applicant. Co-applicants must also submit all due documents (CV, list of recent publications, self-declaration).
Which costs are covered by a scientific exchanges grant?
Travel, room and board expenses of researchers from abroad who are taking part in the scientific event. For research visits, the travel costs and food and board expenses of guests in Switzerland and abroad are covered.
Can the Scientific Exchanges grant also provide financial support to researchers who wish to take part in conferences or other events outside Switzerland?
No, this option is not included in the funding instrument. In the case of scientific events, the funding instrument can only support participants from outside Switzerland. The scientific events themselves must take place in Switzerland. An exception may be possible if there are scientific reasons that an event is not possible in Switzerland (e.g. if a workshop includes field work). However, such cases always have to be discussed in advance with the SNSF.
Monthly rate of CHF 3500 for countries in the list of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC): Can this be used for research visits to as well as from the countries in question?
The monthly rates relate to the country the visitor is from. For instance, a Swiss researcher visiting Cambodia cannot use the higher monthly rate of CHF 3500, whereas a visitor from Cambodia to Switzerland can.
Do Scientific Exchanges grants also cover travel by car?
If an applicant or a participant of a scientific event travels by car, the SNSF will cover up to CHF 0.6/km, though only up to the allotted amount.
How long does it take before the evaluation results are communicated to applicants?
The evaluation process usually takes 2 – 2½ months; however, there is no guarantee that any particular evaluation is completed in less than 4 months.
Who does the SNSF transfer the grant to?
The grant is always transferred to the applicant's university or institution. Applicants should therefore contact their employer's finance department before requesting the release of funds.
What are the financial responsibilities after a research visit?
A financial report has to be submitted. Travel costs have to be documented (e.g. tickets listing the actual charge). Living costs can be documented with the confirmation form provided by the SNSF; this provides sufficient documentation and no actual bills or receipts have to be submitted.
After a research visit, can I calculate the entire grant as a lump sum?
No, expenses for travel and living costs must be kept separate.
Costs can be calculated as follows:
- Travel costs: actuals
- Living costs: planned flat rate according to the submitted budget