Horizon Europe: SNSF transitional measures starting October

Switzerland is currently a non-associated third country in relation to the EU's Horizon research and innovation programme. Based on a government mandate, the SNSF has set up transitional measures to support researchers.

On behalf of the federal government, the SNSF has introduced a transitional measure – the SNSF Advanced Grants – for those who intended to apply for an ERC Advanced Grant in 2021. The grants are aimed at leading researchers who wish to conduct innovative, high-risk research in Switzerland. Interested parties need to register by 1 November 2021 and submit their proposals by 1 December 2021.

Proposals will be evaluated in two stages by panels of international experts, similar to the panels established for the ERC Advanced Grants.

The call for proposals will be opened on 1 October 2021 on the SNSF website. The call document is already available (see below).

Transitional measure for postdocs

The SNSF is also offering, on behalf of the government, a transitional measure for researchers who had planned to apply for a fellowship under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships Actions (MSCA). Interested researchers can apply to the SNSF for a postdoctoral fellowship at a Swiss research institution. The new funding scheme SNSF Swiss Postdoctoral Fellowships addresses early-career researchers who have eight or less years of postdoctoral experience. They can register for the scheme by 15 November 2021 and submit their proposals by 15 December 2021.

Proposals that meet the participation requirements will be evaluated by two experts in the relevant discipline. Each will write an evaluation report.

The call will be opened on 15 October 2021 on the SNSF website. The call document is already available (see below).

Possible transitional measures for 2022

Transitional solutions will also apply to ERC Starting Grants and ERC Consolidator Grants for 2022 in the event that Swiss researchers are not eligible to submit project proposals for these calls. These measures will be based as far as possible on the European calls, but will have their own deadlines for project submission. The SERI will publish further information regarding measures in relation to the 2022 calls in due course.

Securing Switzerland's leading position

Switzerland is a frontrunner in international research thanks not least to its strong international network, which we must make every effort to protect. The SNSF is committed to promoting these transitional measures to maintain Switzerland's attractiveness and support international research and young scientists.

However, measures at national level cannot entirely replace the various elements of the EU's Framework Programme. The SNSF therefore strongly supports Switzerland's rapid and full association to the Programme.