SNSF Starting Grants 2022: 62 projects approved

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Under the “SNSF Starting Grants 2022” transitional measure, the SNSF has awarded funding of around 104 million francs for research projects.

Due to Switzerland's current non-association to Horizon Europe, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, the SNSF launched the SNSF Starting Grants 2022 as a transitional measure on behalf of the federal government. The scheme benefits researchers who conduct innovative, high-risk research in Switzerland. An SNSF Starting Grant enables them to carry out their own research project with a dedicated team in Switzerland.

A total of 446 applications were submitted for the SNSF Starting Grants 2022. After a two-phase evaluation process, the SNSF selected 62 applications for funding. 104 million francs are available for these projects over a period of five years.

Near-identical success rates for women and men

The overall success rate is 14%. Analysis of the success rates by gender reveals no significant differences. However, women submitted notably fewer applications (177 applications, as opposed to 269 applications from men).

71% of all grantees will conduct their research at a university, 26% in the ETH domain and 3% in other institutions. 6% of grantees will come from abroad to conduct their SNSF Starting Grant project in Switzerland.

Examples of funded projects

Life sciences

Emma Hodcroft (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute) will use the knowledge she gained during the SARS-COV-2 pandemic to investigate endemic respiratory viruses. In particular, she will examine how these viruses spread and change and how ongoing interaction with the human immune system affects their evolution.

Mathematics, natural and engineering sciences

Due to the increased use of artificial intelligence in our daily lives, the demand for energy and storage is constantly growing. In her search for solutions to this problem, Melika Payvand (University of Zurich) is drawing inspiration from 'naturally intelligent systems', i.e. the brains that have developed over millions of years of evolution.

Humanities and social sciences

In his research project, Michael Grätz (University of Lausanne) is studying a topic of great social relevance: equal opportunities. He is exploring different approaches to conceptualising equal opportunities in modern societies, and how equal or unequal opportunities develop empirically among comparison groups, e.g. pairs of siblings.