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.

Guidelines for Scholars at Risk applications (PDF)

  • Terms and conditions for taking part

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    ​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.

  • How To

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    The applications must be submitted via the mySNF platform at least four months before the event or the visit.

    Evaluation procedure

    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.

  • Documents

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  • FAQ

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    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.

    Exception: monthly rate of CHF 3500 for DAC countries: Can this be used for 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.

    Can I travel by car?

    If an applicant travels by car, the SNSF will cover up to CHF 0.6/km, though only up to the allotted amount.

    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 events themselves have to take place in Switzerland; exceptions are possible in certain specific cases and should be discussed with the SNSF beforehand.

    Can applicants submit a proposal for an event as well as one for a visit at the same time?

    Yes, if all the criteria are fulfilled.

    Can a PhD student submit a proposal for a research visit?

    No, PhD students are not eligible for visits, though they can submit proposals for scientific events.

    After a 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

    Which costs are covered by a scientific exchanges grant?

    The travel, room and board expenses of researchers from abroad who are taking part in the event. For research visits, the travel costs and food and board expenses of guests in Switzerland and abroad are covered.

    Who can submit a proposal for a 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.

    How long does it take before the evaluation results are communicated to applicants?

    The evaluation process usually takes 2 - 2.5 months; however, there is no guarantee that any particular evaluation is completed in less than 4 months.

    What are the financial responsibilities after a visit?

    A regular 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.

    Can co-applicants be listed somewhere in the proposal?

    The funding instrument "Scientific Exchanges" does not allow for co-applicants. Co-organisers of events can be mentioned under 2.7 ("General remarks on the project") and their CVs can be uploaded under 3.4 ("Other annexes").

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