Launch your own research project as an assistant professor with your team.
The last call for PRIMA projects was on 1 November 2021.
In March 2022, the SNSF announced that it would merge PRIMA and Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships under a new scheme, the SNSF Professorial Fellowships. However, as Switzerland is still not associated to the Horizon Europe framework programme, this plan was not implemented and the SNSF readjusted its funding portfolio.
For the time being, the SNSF Starting Grants are the most high-level career funding scheme. They target researchers who wanted to apply for a European ERC Starting Grant as well as those who were thinking of applying for a PRIMA grant or an Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship. The PRIMA budget will continue to be used exclusively for women also as part of the SNSF Starting Grants.
SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships are aimed at highly qualified researchers who aspire to a permanent professorship. Eccellenza supports them in achieving their goal by allowing them to lead a generously funded research project as an assistant professor with their team at a Swiss higher education institution.
Eccellenza covers the grantee's salary at the local rates applicable to assistant professorships and project funds of up to 1,000,000 Swiss francs for a five-year period.
The main participation requirements are listed below. Please consult the Eccellenza Regulations to determine your formal eligibility.
Applicants must have a proven record of at least two years' research activity at a Swiss higher education research centre, or they must be Swiss nationals or have a Swiss higher education degree. They have never held a professorship position nor is such a position foreseen.
- have a doctorate (PhD) or at least three years of research activity after obtaining their higher education degree (equivalent qualification to a doctorate).
- have acquired at least three years of research experience after their doctorate or equivalent qualification to a doctorate.
- submit their application up to eight years after their PhD defense or after the date of the equivalent qualification to a doctorate.
Researchers who do clinical work:
- have a medical exam (state examination or equivalent).
- have acquired at least three years of clinical work and at least 2 years of research activities after their medical exam.
- submit their application up to 12 years after their medical exam.
The time periods are calculated on the basis of the relevant submission deadline for Eccellenza applications.
Submission of proposals
Applications must be submitted via the mySNF platform. The mySNF platform will be opened for submission three months before the respective application deadline.
The evaluation procedure for Eccellenza comprises two stages.
- Eccellenza Regulations Regulations as of November 1, 2020 (PDF)
- Eccellenza Regulations until November 2020 (PDF)
- Guidelines for submitting an Eccellenza proposal (PDF)
- Guidelines for researchers who do clinical work (PDF)
- Written confirmation of the higher education institution (PDF)
- Documents & downloads
Members of the evaluation bodies
The list contains the names of the members of evaluation bodies. For the SNSF, interaction between applicants and members of evaluation bodies over applications is not compatible with academic best practices.
Where can I find the information needed to create a proposal?
Regulations, guidelines and other important information can be found under "Documents".
Is it possible to extend the eligibility period in special circumstances?
The time window for submission of an Eccellenza proposal can be extended if the applicant has suffered a delay due to one of the reasons stated in Clause 1.11 of the General implementation regulations for the Funding Regulations.
What is the difference between the academic age and the net academic age?
The academic age indicates how much time has passed since the doctorate. It is relevant for calculation of the time window in accordance with the personal requirements (see Article 4 of the Eccellenza Regulations). On the other hand, the net academic age indicates how much time you have been able to spend doing research since your doctorate; it is taken into account in the evaluation.
What can I enter in the forms to declare mobility and to calculate the net academic age?
Please refer to the guidelines and the instructions in the relevant forms. In the mobility statement, you should give reasons for your choice of research institution and set out your completed and planned mobility. In the form used to calculate the net academic age, you should indicate how much time you have been able to spend doing research since your doctorate.
My Ambizione grant is still ongoing. Can I apply for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship?
Ambizione grantees can apply for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship or a PRIMA grant 18 months after starting their Ambizione grant at the earliest.
How many times can I apply?
Applicants whose request for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship was rejected may submit one further application.
Are any exceptions possible for Eccellenza regarding the minimum of three years' research work required after the doctorate?
No exceptions can be granted. This requirement needs to be met by the submission deadline, with the date of the exam or thesis defence being the relevant date.
Can I submit an Eccellenza proposal in parallel with an SNSF project?
You cannot submit an Eccellenza proposal if you have an SNSF project under evaluation. However, if you already have an approved or ongoing project under the project funding scheme when you submit your Eccellenza proposal, you may continue that project if its research topic is clearly different from that of the SNSF Eccellenza proposal.
Can I apply for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship despite a past, current or promised professorial position?
Researchers who submit applications for SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships must not hold, or have held, or have been assured of a temporary or permanent position as an assistant professor or professor in Switzerland or abroad at the time of the submission deadline and for the entire duration of the evaluation. Characteristics of positions in which application is not possible: temporary or permanent member of teaching staff with independent position involving independent research and teaching duties/activities not bound by instructions, right to supervise doctoral theses. For applicants from abroad, the title of the position may differ from the titles used in Switzerland (assistant professor, professor). If in doubt, please contact the Administrative Offices of the SNSF.
Can I transfer my entire grant to a new research institution in Switzerland?
If you want to transfer your grant to another institution, including the funds covering your salary, contact the SNSF explaining the reasons for the move as well as its added value for your project or your career. A written request submitted by the grantee should include the following documents:
- Like the initial research institution, the new research institution must provide confirmation letters.
- The original research institution submits a written statement on the change.
The SNSF evaluates the request by taking into account the project’s feasibility or the relevance to pursue your career in the new institution.
What happens to my grant if I take on a new job outside of academic research?
You must inform the SNSF accordingly. The SNSF terminates the grant. The remaining amount of the grant must be refunded to the SNSF.