Special call for research into coronaviruses

The SNSF is launching a special call for coronavirus research. Scope: gaining an understanding of the virus and improving the clinical and public health response.

​On 30 January 2020, the WHO declared the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a “public health emergency of international concern”. There is an immediate need for research to gain a better understanding of the newly identified virus and its possible future evolution, as well as to contain the spread, develop diagnostics and improve the public health response and patient care.

The SNSF has therefore decided to allocate several million Swiss francs of dedicated funding to research on coronaviruses. On 6 March 2020 the SNSF will launch an emergency call for proposals, with a submission deadline in the second half of March 2020. Research proposals should have the potential to contribute to the understanding of the virus or to improve the clinical or public health response within a timeframe of two years. The call will be based on the research agenda defined by the World Health Organization, the priorities of the Federal Office of Public Health and the SNSF’s own assessment of research potential in Switzerland. Researchers from all disciplines that may be able to make a contribution are invited to apply.

This is the first time that the SNSF is launching an urgent call for proposals in response to current events. Based on the experience gained in this call, the SNSF will develop criteria to define when and how to react to similar situations.