Individual or collaborative, disciplinary or interdisciplinary – realise your ideas with the SNSF. We can finance your research project for one to four years.
Project funding is the SNSF’s largest funding scheme by far. Every year, we invest more than half a billion Swiss francs in new projects. Under this scheme, you can conduct independent research on topics of your own choice. This enables research that is relevant, creative and diverse – the perfect framework for gaining new insights or resolving practice-related questions.
For experienced researchers
Applications can be submitted by experienced researchers working at a university or another institution in Switzerland that is eligible to receive funding. Of course, you have the opportunity to carry out interdisciplinary or collaborative projects. Many research questions can only be adequately addressed in this way.
In collaborative projects with three or more applicants, one applicant may work at a research institute abroad if their expertise is necessary for the project.
Up to 1 million francs per year
The SNSF grant covers your staff's salaries, research costs and funding for scientific collaboration. Your own salary is financed by your institution.
The SNSF awards a maximum of 250,000 francs annually per applicant per project and a maximum of 1 million francs annually for the project as a whole. Applicants can freely divide the grant among themselves. The minimum grant for a project is 100,000 francs; the minimum duration is 1 year.
Further opportunities under project funding
Please also note the following funding options: The SNSF has concluded agreements with partner organisations in many countries to facilitate collaborative projects with foreign researchers. These funds are also provided under project funding.
Eligibility requirements - applicants
In SNSF project funding, you can submit an application as an individual or together with other researchers. All applicants must meet the personal requirements and have the necessary scientific qualifications.
As an applicant, you must actively do scientific work for at least 50% (0.5 FTE) of your time at an eligible research institution in Switzerland. Exceptions are possible for persons conducting clinical research, for employees of museums or archives, and for self-employed researchers. In collaborative projects with three or more applicants, one applicant may work at a research institution abroad, provided that their expertise is necessary for the project and the collaboration demonstrably adds value.
After obtaining your doctorate (PhD), you have conducted scientific research for at least four years. If you do not have a doctorate, the four-year period normally starts after at least three years of full-time research work. This also applies to doctors without a PhD. As an applicant, you are in a position to carry out a research project on your own responsibility and to manage the staff involved in it.
Two or more applicants
If two or more researchers submit a proposal together, they are jointly responsible for the project. Each applicant makes a substantial contribution that is described in the application. As a rule, hierarchical dependencies between applicants are not permitted.
In addition to other applicants, project partners can also work on your project. These researchers do part of the research work, but bear no responsibility. They may not describe the funding from the SNSF as funding received individually.
Project partners do not have to meet the eligibility requirements for applicants and can therefore also work abroad.
Eligibility requirements - application
Submit your application in full and by the given deadline. The application must comply with the SNSF regulations in all respects.
In mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, biology, medicine, psychology, economics and political science, the application must be written in English. In other fields, it is also permissible to submit applications in an official Swiss language.
The SNSF Research Council encourages applicants to submit their proposals (i.e., the research plan and, if applicable, revision notes) for project funding in English. The use of English as a submission language bolsters the external peer review process, a key step in the evaluation procedure. It assists in broadening the scope of potential reviewers, thereby benefiting applicants by increasing the pool of appropriate reviewers. In doing so, the Research Council strengthens its commitment to the underlying goal of this procedure, namely the competent and fair evaluation of proposals.
Budget size and project duration
For each applicant in a project, the SNSF awards, on average, a maximum of 250,000 francs per year over the duration of the grant, and a maximum of 1 million francs per year for the project as a whole. Applicants can freely divide the contribution among themselves. A project can last a maximum of four years, resulting in a grant of up to 4 million francs. The minimum grant for a project is 100,000 francs; the minimum duration is one year.
Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects
With its project funding, the SNSF also explicitly aims to fund collaborative and interdisciplinary projects.
Collaborative projects require the expertise and scientific contribution of several researchers, who jointly submit an application. Their collaboration is essential for achieving the research objectives and creates added value.
Are elements from two or more disciplines necessary to achieve the research objectives? And is the combination of these elements, for example theories, methods and concepts, not yet commonplace? Designate this type of project as "interdisciplinary" in your application. It will be assessed by a dedicated evaluation panel that takes into account the specific characteristics of interdisciplinary projects.
Two or more grants at the same time
You can only participate as an applicant in one project funding application per call. However, you may receive up to three project funding grants that overlap in time. This is permissible if at least one of them is approved for a Lead Agency/Weave project, for the International Co-Investigator Scheme or for a European consortium project (for example ERA-Net).
Any SNSF career funding grant you have received in parallel will count as a project funding grant. This also applies to awarded and ongoing Sinergia grants.
The topics of the overlapping research projects must be clearly differentiated from each other. Please provide the corresponding information when submitting the application. In addition, you must show that you will make a substantial personal contribution to all projects.
As an applicant, you are obliged to inform the SNSF about other ongoing submitted applications to the SNSF or to third parties and about ongoing grants you have received from the SNSF or from third parties. We do not consider proposals for research projects that are already fully funded by third parties.
You can apply for staff salaries and research costs, as well as funds for scientific collaboration, networking and communication. Your own salary is paid by your institution. Please note: as a grant recipient, you may not be employed at the same time as a staff member in a project funded by the SNSF.
If three or more applicants are involved, they can charge the costs for coordinating the research project to the SNSF grant.
How to apply
For collaborative projects, we also evaluate how the collaboration is designed and organised in view of the common research goals. For interdisciplinary projects, we pay attention to how the different disciplines complement each other in terms of their theories, methods and concepts.
FAQ – Number of proposals and grants
Which grants from which funding schemes count as project funding grants in the sense of Article 13.1 of the Project Funding Regulations?
Grants from the following funding schemes count towards the limit of concurrent grants in project funding: Ambizione, Eccellenza, European Partnerships and other multilateral initiatives (except Belmont Forum and transatlantic platform for social sciences and humanities), Practice to Science, PRIMA, Projects on health and wellbeing, Project funding, Sinergia, SNSF Professorships and Weave / Lead Agency / International Co-Investigator Scheme.
See the list of all funding schemes here (PDF).
Can I submit 2 proposals in project funding for the same deadline?
Can I resubmit a Sinergia proposal and another project funding proposal at the same time?
No (see 1.2). Resubmitted Sinergia proposals are project funding proposals.
Can I submit a Lead Agency/WEAVE proposal at the SNSF and another project funding proposal at the same time?
No, the SNSF will only evaluate one proposal per applicant per call. But you can submit a Lead Agency/WEAVE proposal at a partner agency and an SNSF project at the same time.
I have a Sinergia grant and two project funding grants ongoing. Can I submit another proposal?
No. Approved or ongoing Sinergia grants count as project funding grants.
I have a Sinergia and a project funding and a Lead Agency grant ongoing. Can I submit another proposal?
No. Approved or ongoing Sinergia grants, Lead Agency/Weave/International Co-Investigator Scheme, and EU Consortia count as project funding grants.
I have three ongoing projects. When can I submit a new proposal?
You may apply for a project grant for the period after expiry of a support measure by the SNSF that was subject to the restrictions applicable to project funding. The evaluation of a proposal takes 6 months. You must start the project within 1 year of receiving the decision.
My project has been extended for 6 months thanks to a project completion grant. Is the extension phase affected by the SNSF restrictions with regard to multiple parallel grants?
FAQ – Applicants
In a proposal with 3 or more applicants, can one applicant be from abroad even if the SNSF does not have a bilateral agreement (such as WEAVE) with that country?
Yes, this is possible.
In a proposal with 3 or more applicants, can there be two applicants from outside Switzerland even if the SNSF does not have bilateral agreements (such as WEAVE) with the funding organisations in these countries?
No, only one applicant from abroad is allowed.
In a proposal with 3 or more applicants, can one applicant be from a country with which the SNSF has a bilateral agreement, even if it is not a WEAVE/Lead Agency/International Co-Investigator Scheme proposal?
In principle, no. Proposals with applicants from a country with which the SNSF has bilateral agreements must be submitted as WEAVE/Lead Agency/International Co-Investigator Scheme proposals. Exceptions are possible for proposals in disciplines that are excluded by specific bilateral agreements. Such exclusions exist for agreements with the US and the UK. Contact the SNSF Office for clarification.
In a WEAVE, Lead Agency (LA) or International Co-Investigator Scheme (ICIS) proposal, can a Swiss corresponding applicant and the applicant from the partner country have another foreign applicant from a Non-WEAVE/LA/ICIS country?
No. For WEAVE/LA/ICIS, the respective agreements apply. An additional applicant from a Non-WEAVE/LA/ICIS country is not allowed.
In a collaborative project proposal with 2 or more applicants, are there any additional eligibility criteria for applicants?
Yes, hierarchical dependencies between applicants are not permitted, even if all applicants involved meet all other eligibility requirements.
FAQ – Coordination costs for collaborative grants
Can I (partially) employ a collaborator who coordinates the collaborative research funded by a project funding grant?
In principle, yes. There is no limit on the amount that can be granted for such costs, but they must be reasonable.
FAQ – Budget limits
Does the 250 kCHF limit per applicant and year apply strictly to each applicant?
No, the applicants can distribute the funding amongst themselves. The total average spending level must respect the 250 kCHF per applicant and year limit.
When budgeting, can I exceed the 250 kCHF limit per applicant and year at the beginning of the grant if the average spending level respects the limit over the full duration of the grant?
Yes. The 250 kCHF limit per applicant and year must be respected as an average over the grant duration. This allows a higher spending level at the start of the grant (i.e. to purchase equipment) compensated by a lower spending level towards the end of the grant.
FAQ – What information can be submitted
Can I submit a cover letter?
No, for equality reasons. The content of a cover letter is not standardised and may be a complement to the research plan.
Can I submit a letter of support?
No. Not only the applicants, but also the project partners must create an account on the portal and enter their personal data themselves. By working directly on the proposal, they also demonstrate their commitment of actively participating in the planned project. This replaces a letter of support.