In 2013, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) invested CHF 819 million in basic research, the highest amount to date. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 8%.
As stated in the latest annual report, the SNSF approved more than 3400 research proposals to the tune of CHF 819 million. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of CHF 64 million or 8% (2012: CHF 755 million). The additional funds were mainly invested in long-term medical studies, research infrastructures and the promotion of young scientists.
As in the previous years, biology and medicine received the largest share of the approved funding, namely 40%. Mathematics, natural and engineering sciences received 33% and the humanities and social sciences 27%.
Stable number of applications
In 2013, the SNSF invested more than half of its funds – CHF 416 million – in project funding, its main funding scheme. This money will enable scores of researchers to realise their projects. Between 2005 and 2011, the number of applications in project funding increased continually, namely by 37% in total. In the past two years, the numbers have remained high but stable.
Commitment to young Researchers
In 2013, the SNSF funded a total of 4500 doctoral students and 2500 postdocs via projects and programmes. In addition, it made available CHF 180 million for career funding schemes, thus supporting 1100 young researchers who aim to pursue an academic career.
"We must persuade young talents to become researchers and ensure that the conditions for them are right," says Martin Vetterli, President of the National Research Council. In 2013, the SNSF implemented various measures aimed at improving conditions for young researchers in Switzerland. These included return grants in the case of fellowships abroad, family support measures and a 7% increase in the salaries of doctoral students.
"The SNSF can look back on a very successful year, but a lot remains to be done, particularly with regard to the promotion of young researchers," Vetterli sums up. The SNSF will therefore give great weight to the promotion of young researchers in its forthcoming multi-year programme, which is currently in preparation.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Every year, the SNSF supports over 3,400 projects involving approximately 14,000 researchers. It is thus Switzerland’s foremost institution in the promotion of scientific research. Its core task is the evaluation of research proposals. By awarding public research money based on a competitive system, the SNSF contributes to the high quality of Swiss research. Mandated by the federal authorities, the SNSF supports all academic disciplines, from history via medicine through to the engineering sciences.
Swiss National Science Foundation
Phone +41 (0)31 308 23 87
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