Guy Parmelin visits the Swiss National Science Foundation

The Federal Councillor was given an insight into the work of the SNSF and discussed current and future challenges for the Foundation and its research funding with SNSF decision-makers.

Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), was welcomed to the SNSF Administrative Offices by Jürg Stahl, President of the Foundation Council, Matthias Egger, President of the Research Council, as well as SNSF Director Angelika Kalt and Thomas Werder, member of the Executive Management. Federal Councillor Parmelin and SNSF decision-makers exchanged views on current topics related to Swiss research and its funding. Further discussion topics were Switzerland's exclusion from important parts of the world's largest research programme, Horizon Europe, as well as the enhancement of international networks and competitiveness.

Forest ecosystems and viticulture

Afterwards, two researchers presented their SNSF-funded projects. All employees of the Administrative Offices were invited to attend. Ecophysiologist Charlotte Grossiord informed the gathering about forest ecosystems and how climate change is affecting them. The presentation by Markus Rienth, a researcher in the field of viticulture, dealt among other things with how vines react to abiotic stress.

Discussion about evaluation

Based on these two examples, the SNSF representatives, the EAER delegation and the researchers discussed the challenges involved in evaluating research projects submitted to the SNSF. Evaluation is one of the SNSF's main tasks. Its evaluation process ensures fair, efficient and transparent selection of the best projects and researchers. In 2022, it selected 2700 projects for funding from a total of 7500 submitted proposals.