Practicalities for the USI community

How to apply at USI for SNSF Ambizione, PRIMA and SNSF Starting Grants fellowships

SNSF Ambizione, Prima and Starting Grants fellowships are funding schemes of the Swiss National Science Foundation aimed at supporting the career development of young excellent researchers.

The SNSF Starting Grants 2022 target researchers who wanted to apply for a 2022 ERC Starting Grant or for an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship. There will be no Eccellenza call in 2022.

Interested candidates for Ambizione, PRIMA and Starting Grants fellowships, must submit their application to the SNSF and will be evaluated with regards to their personal profile and to the submitted project. In order to submit a proposal they need institutional support by the host institution. All potential candidates are subject to USI internal evaluation.

As a general rule, internal applications for such schemes are accepted only in exceptional cases, when they can demonstrate a clear scientific independence from the host. USI does not consider applications from researchers whose entire academic career (from doctorate onwards) is internal.

 

At USI the following internal evaluation process for Ambizione, Prima and Starting Grants candidates is in force:

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  • Ambizione

    Ambizione grants are aimed at young researchers who wish to conduct, manage and lead an independent project at a Swiss higher education institution. It awards four-years grants to researchers who fulfil following criteria:

    • They match the SNSF requirements for Ambizione concerning mobility and academic age:
      - At least 12 months of postdoctoral research activity;
      - Maximum 4 years from the doctorate.
    • They have an excellent academic track record, especially in terms of publications, and firm ambitions to pursue an academic career.
    • They demonstrate interest in scientific domains represented at USI.

     

    Potential candidates fulfilling these requirements should send the following documents to the Research Service (janice.casarella@usi.ch) by the 1st of October:

    • A complete CV including publication list, including the information needed to verify the formal conditions set by the SNSF or ERC;
    • A cover letter indicating their specific research interests, the project idea, how they fit into USI scientific profile, the institute in which they expect to be integrated;
    • Letters of support from USI professors interested in the application.

    Applications will be first subject to a formal verification of the criteria by the SRIT according to formal criteria setted by the funding agency, then sent for assessment to the Research Pro-Rector.
    Should a positive support decision be reached, the applicant will receive the two confirmation letters needed for the SNSF application and will benefit of administrative support for the application preparation.

     

    Application process at a glance:

    Formal check > Evaluation by the Research Pro-Rector > Support decision > SNSF Application > Evaluation by the SNSF

    We underline that this procedure aims at identifying good candidates, which deserve support from USI when submitting their application to the SNSF; USI has no influence on the selection process at the SNSF, which is solely based on the scientific quality of applicants and projects.

  • PRIMA

    Prima grants are aimed at young female researchers who wish to conduct, manage and lead an independent project at a Swiss higher education institution. It awards five-years grants to female reseachers who fulfil following criteria:

    • They match the SNSF requirements for Prima concerning academic age (mobility is not needed):
      - At least 2 years of research experience after the doctorate;
      - Maximum 10 years from the doctorate.
    • They have an excellent academic track record, especially in terms of publications, and firm ambitions to pursue an academic career.
    • They demonstrate interest in scientific domains represented at USI.

     

    Potential candidates fulfilling these requirements should send the following documents to the Research Service (benedetto.lepori@usi.ch) by the 1st of September:

    • A complete CV including publication list, including the information needed to verify the formal conditions set by the SNSF or ERC;
    • A cover letter indicating their specific research interests, the project idea, how they fit into USI scientific profile, the institute in which they expect to be integrated;
    • Letters of support from USI professors interested in the application.

    Applications will be first subject to a formal verification of the criteria by the SRIT according to the funding agency and then sent to the Research Pro-Rector for assessment of the match with USI scientific profile. In the event of a positive assessment, the candidate will be invited to have an online interview. The final support decision is taken by the USI rectorate.

     

    Should a positive support decision be reached, the applicant will receive the two confirmation letters needed for the SNSF application and will benefit of administrative support for the application preparation.

     

    Application process at a glance:

    Formal check + scientific match > Online interview > Support decision by the rectorate > SNSF Application > Evaluation by the SNSF

    We underline that this procedure aims at identifying good candidates, which deserve support from USI when submitting their application to the SNSF; USI has no influence on the selection process at the SNSF, which is solely based on the scientific quality of applicants and projects.

  • SNSF Starting Grants (replacing Eccellenza 2022 and ERC StG 2022)

    SNSF Starting Grants, which replace the Eccellenza and Starting Grant calls 2022, are aimed at highly qualified young researchers who aspire to a permanent professorship. It supports them in achieving their goal as leaders of a generously funded research project with their own team at a Swiss higher education institution. USI guarantees to recipients of Starting Grants a position equivalent to that of USI assistant professor.

    Five-year grants are awarded to researchers who fulfil following criteria:

    • They match the SNSF requirements for SNSF Starting Grant concerning relation to Switzerland, mobility and academic age:
      - no prior relationship to Switzerland is required
      - At least 3 years of research experience after the PhD and up to 8 years from the PhD;
      - Research stay of several years at an institution different from that where the doctorate was obtained, thereof at least 1 year abroad.
    • They have an excellent academic track record, especially in terms of publications, and firm ambitions to pursue an academic career.
    • They demonstrate interest in scientific domains represented at USI. Please be aware that USI strongly favours candidates coming from outside.

     

    Potential candidates fulfilling these requirements should send the following documents to the Research and Transfer Service (benedetto.lepori@usi.ch) by the 15th of December:

    • A complete CV including publication list, including the information needed to verify the formal conditions set by the SNSF or ERC;
    • A cover letter indicating their specific research interests, the project idea, how they fit into USI scientific profile, the institute in which they expect to be integrated;
    • Letters of support from USI professors interested in the application.

    Applications will be first subject to a formal verification of the criteria by the SRIT according to the funding agency and then sent to the Research Pro-Rector for assessment of the match with USI scientific profile. In the event of a positive assessment, the candidate will be invited to have an online interview. The final support decision is taken by the USI rectorate.

     

    Should a positive support decision be reached, the applicant will receive the two confirmation letters needed for the SNSF application and will benefit of administrative support for the application preparation.

     

    Application process at a glance:

    Formal check + scientific match > Online interview > Support decision by the rectorate > SNSF Application > Evaluation by the SNSF

    We underline that this procedure aims at identifying good candidates, which deserve support from USI when submitting their application to the SNSF; USI has no influence on the selection process at the SNSF, which is solely based on the scientific quality of applicants and projects.

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Updated on: 29/11/2021