EDI – Equality, diversity and inclusion in research funding

© Aurel Märki / SNF

The SNSF is committed to having diverse research teams which include people with a wide range of backgrounds and lifestyles. In this way, we foster an open, fair research culture and help generate research findings that benefit all members of society.

The more diverse the research, the more people will benefit from its findings. For this reason, collaboration between researchers from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds is central to scientific excellence.

Providing an inclusive working environment is key to enabling researchers with different backgrounds and lifestyles to work together successfully. Consequently, the SNSF seeks to promote equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) on several levels. At the level of individuals, it provides applicants with measures and instruments that help promote equality. At the institutional level, it is committed to ensuring that the working culture of the research teams it funds is becoming more inclusive. At the structural level, it encourages refining the processes through which knowledge is generated so that it is accessible to a diverse research community.

EDI vision

The EDI vision of the SNSF defines three dimensions in which equality, diversity and inclusion are fostered. They are interdependent and will be pursued in parallel:

Fair and respectful work environments: The SNSF's aim is to create fair and respectful work cultures that enable everyone to achieve their full potential and succeed in their professional environment.

Diversity of personnel: All researchers are given the same opportunities; any barriers that might obstruct underrepresented groups in academia will be removed.

Diversity of knowledge: Sex, gender and intersectional research creates knowledge that benefits all members of our society.

EDI mission

To achieve its goals, the SNSF has defined five core tasks:

  • Identifying and prioritising EDI-related themes
  • Monitoring existing data and exploiting new data on the topic of EDI
  • Removing barriers in the SNSF's evaluation procedures
  • Supporting project managers and universities with the creation of safe working environments
  • Incorporating the topic of EDI into all research funding

Gender equality remains key

Gender equality remains a key concern in the EDI vision and in the SNSF mandate. It adopted its Mission Statement on Equality between Women and Men in 2008. Since then, the SNSF has made considerable efforts to increase the proportion of women in the research projects it funds. It has also introduced a gender quota in its own committees. Regular monitoring of all evaluation procedures and funding schemes shows how gender equality is evolving.