SNSF Advanced Grants
Grants for leading researchers
Pre-registration deadline : 15.12.2023
Due to Switerland's status as a non-associated third country in the Horizon Europe programme, the federal government mandated the SNSF to launch the SNSF Advanced Grants 2023 funding scheme. It is aimed at researchers who intended to apply for an ERC Advanced Grant.
The scheme is open to all research disciplines and topics.
Scientists of any nationality who want to pursue innovative, high-risk research in Switzerland can apply for an SNSF Advanced Grant.
SNSF Advanced Grants are awarded up to a maximum of CHF 1.9 million for a period of up to 5 years.
Applicants whose project was rejected in the first or second stage of the evaluation for SNSF Advanced Grants 2022 can submit an application for the SNSF Advanced Grants 2023 call. However, recently submitted and evaluated proposals will not be treated as resubmissions but as new applications. In addition, a researcher participating as principal investigator in an ongoing ERC frontier research grant project may not submit a proposal to the present SNSF Advanced Grants 2023 call, unless the ongoing project ends before the end of December 2025. An SNSF Advanced Grant can only start once the previous ERC frontier research grant agreement has ended.
You must have a track record of outstanding research over the past ten years and be recognised as a leader in your field. These benchmarks should be matched by at least one of the following indicators:
- Several significant peer-reviewed publications in a responsible role that had a major impact in the research field(s).
- Major research monographs (for research fields where monographs are the norm).
- A substantial record of invited presentation at well-established international conferences, organisation of international conferences, granted patents, outreach activities, general contributions to science, other artefacts with documented use.
Any documented career break during the last ten years should be clearly explained in the CV.
- Research plan (Art. 5.1 Call Document) (PDF)
- Resources (Art. 5.2. Call Document) (PDF)
- CV (Art. 5.3 Call Document) (PDF)
- Major scientific achievements (Art. 5.3 Call Document) (PDF)
- Commitment of the host institution (Art. 5.4 Call Document) (PDF)
- Open access (Art. 2.4 Call Document) (PDF)
For more information about the documents for upload, refer to section 5 of the Call document. (PDF)
A scientific steering committee, set up by the Presiding Board of the National Research Council, oversees the evaluation and funding activities related to the SNSF Advanced Grants call. It also ensures application of the SNSF’s best practices and compliance regarding conflicts of interest. The evaluation of the submitted proposals is based on the principle of competition. Discipline-specific panels will evaluate the proposals.
The applications are assessed taking into account the expert reviews and the rebuttal letters, and ranked comparatively to the other applications.
- Evaluation panels and external reviewers (Art. 7.1 Call document) (PDF)
- Evaluation procedure (Art. 7.2 Call document) (PDF)
- Evaluation criteria (Art. 7.3 Call document) (PDF)
- Evaluation form – SNSF Advanced Grants (PDF)
- Outcome and communication of decisions (Art. 7.4 Call document) (PDF)
- Scientific steering committee
Guidelines and regulations
Ethics and integrity:
Research activities and methods that have ethical implications or may raise questions requiring sound ethical assessment must be declared in mySNF. Hence, please take note of the Swiss laws and ethical standards. Furthermore, the rules of scientific integrity must be respected.
Can I apply for SNSF AdG 2023 if I previously applied for SNSF AdG 2022?
Applicants whose project was rejected in the first or second stage of the evaluation for SNSF Advanced Grants 2022 can submit an application for the SNSF Advanced Grants 2023 call. However, recently submitted and evaluated proposals will not be treated as resubmissions but as new applications.
Can researchers with less than ten years of research experience apply for SNSF AdG 2023?
Researchers can apply for SNSF AdG 2023 even if they do not yet have ten years of research experience, regardless of the date of their PhD or PhD equivalent. All applicants should be active, established researchers and team leaders with an outstanding track record, which must be detailed in the application. For more information on the expected profile of applicants under SNSF AdG 2023, please refer to the call document.
Are only PhD holders eligible to apply for SNSF AdG 2023?
Yes, in principle an applicant should hold a PhD. Applicants without a PhD must generally have completed 3 years of research work (as their main job) since obtaining their higher education degree. Such research work will be regarded as equivalent to a PhD.
Can researchers from abroad also apply for SNSF AdG 2023?
Researchers from abroad can apply for SNSF AdG 2023. However, they must provide confirmation from their host institution stating that they will have a job of at least 50% (0.5 FTE) for the entire duration of the project, if the project is funded.
Can researchers submit an application if they plan to retire during the project period?
According to section 1.4 of the Funding Regulations (PDF), eligibility to submit applications ends with the conferral of emeritus status or with retirement. Retired persons or persons with emeritus status continue to be eligible to submit applications if employment of at least 50% (0.5 FTE) at the Swiss research institution is guaranteed. The employment must cover the entire duration of the project, irrespective of the project start date.
Can several researchers submit a joint application?
SNSF AdGs 2023 are limited to one applicant.
How does pre-registration work and can applicants still make changes afterwards?
Information from pre-registration is used to search for suitable members of the international evaluation panel. The following information is required: applicant details, host laboratory/institution, basic data I (incl. project title and disciplines), basic data II (summary and keywords). Changes can be made to the information up to the time of final submission. Applicants must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming completion of their pre-registration.
Do applicants need to submit additional documents (such as degree or birth certificate)?
It is sufficient to store the corresponding information in the appropriate data containers on mySNF.
When must the host institution commitment letter be submitted and who should sign it?
The host institution commitment letter must be submitted at the time of the final submission of the application, and not at the time of pre-registration. The document must be signed by a person who can legally represent the institution and thus authoritatively confirm the information in the host institution commitment letter (PDF).
What is the page limit of the research plan?
Under the SNSF AdG 2023 call, the research plan should not exceed 14 pages (not including the bibliography).
Who can be considered as an external reviewer?
The SNSF makes every effort to ensure the high quality and international recognition of reviewers.
The SNSF currently pursues a policy of prioritising reviewers who are based outside Switzerland in order to reduce the risk of conflicts of interest in undertaking evaluations.
Should the applicant include a budget table and justification of resources in a separate document?
Under the SNSF AdG 2023 call, the requested budget needs to be entered in the data container “Requested budget” in mySNF (no specific budget table is required).
The justification of resources must be provided in a separate document (see Section 3.1 of the SNSF AdG call document (PDF)) and uploaded to the mySNF data container “Research plan and resources”. All eligible costs must be in line with the aims of the project for its entire duration and fully justified. Project costs should be estimated as accurately as possible. The evaluation panels assess the estimated costs carefully and are entitled to reduce unjustified budgets items. The applicant should not include any description of resources or budget details in the scientific part of the application.
How is overhead calculated?
SNSF AdGs are awarded up to a maximum of CHF 1,900,000. Overhead is calculated separately and paid directly to the host institution in keeping with SNSF practices (see Section 3. of the SNSF AdG call document (PDF)).
How are additional costs handled?
Applicants may request funding of up to CHF 870,000 over and above the maximum budget of CHF 1,900,000 as additional costs:
- for costs in connection with the move to Switzerland
- for the acquisition or use of scientific infrastructure/major equipment (these costs must be project-specific and not usable for other research groups); standard infrastructure and equipment are partially financed with overhead
- other major experimental and fieldwork costs, excluding personnel costs.
Additional costs may be requested regardless of whether the maximum budget has been reached.
Can applicants finance their own salary through the SNSF AdG?
Yes, this is possible.
Are there regulations on how much time applicants must spend working on the project?
Applicants are expected to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their working time to the project.
If I am awarded an SNSF AdG, will I still be able to apply for other SNSF grants?
Yes, holders of an SNSF AdG 2023 can submit proposals under other SNSF funding schemes (such as project funding or R’Equip), as long as the proposals address different topics and have different aims and methodologies.
Will evaluation of applications under SNSF AdG 2023 take place independently of ERC frontier research grants?
Evaluation of SNSF AdGs takes place independently of ERC frontier research grants.
Can applicants hold an SNSF AdG in parallel with an ERC frontier research grant?
Applicants can apply for SNSF AdG 2023 and for an ERC frontier research grant in parallel. Should both proposals be funded, the applicant would have to choose one project. Applicants have 12 months from the date of the decision letter to choose which project to pursue. In general, funding is not available for projects that have already been funded by the SNSF or third parties. Researchers who apply for SNSF AdG 2023 must inform the SNSF about any existing ERC frontier research grants and parallel applications for funding, as well as any thematic overlaps.
Researchers with an ongoing ERC frontier research grant may not submit a proposal to SNSF AdG 2023 unless the current project concludes before the end of December 2025. An SNSF AdG 2023 project can only start once the ERC frontier research grant has been completed.
How many parallel SNSF projects may applicants have?
SNSF Advanced Grants projects do NOT count towards the project funding limit, and can therefore be conducted in parallel with the other project grants. This list (PDF) shows which funding schemes are affected by the limit.
Projects running in parallel must have different subjects.
It is not possible to simultaneously receive an SNSF Advanced Grant and other grants in connection with the Horizon Europe transitional measures.
What is the success rate and the total budget allocated by the SNSF?
The funds allocated and the expected success rate are not communicated. However, the selection process will be very competitive, similar to the ERC frontier research grants.
When is the earliest and latest date a project can be started?
The earliest possible start date is 1 January 2025. The project start date can be postponed for up to 12 months after receipt of the decision.
What happens to my SNSF Advanced Grant if I am appointed to a higher education institution abroad?
Applications to transfer project funds from an SNSF Advanced Grant to move abroad (see also "Money follows Researcher" procedure) are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Salary components of the grantee are not remitted abroad. As a rule, such applications can only be submitted to the SNSF two years after the start of the grant.
Are the family allowances paid by the employer included in the maximum amount of the SNSF Advanced Grants instrument?
If you, as an employee, are entitled to family allowances paid by your employer that were granted before you submitted your application, the family allowances are not included in the maximum amount of CHF 1.9 million. Family allowances can be added to this cap.
If you become a parent during the evaluation or in the course of the grant, the SNSF will, upon written request, settle the negative balance at the end of the grant that arose due to the payment of the family allowance.