Practicalities for the USI community

SNSF Projects: applicants’ eligibility

The SNSF Project funding scheme enables researchers to independently conduct research projects with topics and goals of their own choice. Researchers can apply for funding to cover the costs of research work, staff salaries, scientific collaboration, networking and communication; but their own salary is not covered.


Applicants’ eligibility

Project funding applicants are experienced researchers in the position to carry out research projects under their own responsibility and employed at least 50% for the whole duration of the project at a research institution in Switzerland. The main substantive criterion is scientific independence that is usually looked at from the list of publications.

They must have obtained a doctorate at least four years before the submission date.

Ambizione grant holders are excluded from submitting grants to project funding, while SNSF professors (Eccellenza fellowship grant holders) are excluded for the first two years of their professorship.

Contract teachers are also excluded from submissions.

For Postdocs and emeritus the following rules apply at USI:

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  • Postdocs

    Post-docs are generally not eligible to act as (co-)applicants as they do not fulfil the SNF criteria except USI guarantees their scientific independence and contract during the whole project duration.

    This will be possible only in exceptional and duly motivated cases that fulfil the criteria below:

    • The post-doc is already scientifically independent (for example having publications with other people than their group leader at USI).
    • There is a clear institutional interest to extend the employment at USI.
    • The funding of the position (minimum 50%) can be secured for the whole period, through available funds, teaching activities, etc.

    In order to clarify these issues, requests must be submitted to the Research and Transfer Service at least six weeks before the call deadline accompanied by a motivation letter and by a support letter from the institute director (or group leader). Decisions will be taken by the rectorate.

  • Over 65 and Emeritus

    The retirement age for professors at USI is 70. Before retirement, professors can apply for SNSF funding provided they have an employment contract valid until the planned end of the project.

    In the project proposal applicants are requested to write a short self-declaration confirming that they will continue to be employed until 70 and correspondingly until the end of the project. They are asked to contact the Research and Transfer Service for clarifying any problems.

    On the contrary, the status as emeritus professor is not enough to qualify as an eligible SNSF grant holder.

    According to USI statutes, an extension of employment beyond the 70 years can be granted only in very exceptional cases and requires a decision by the University Council. We then suggest to find other solutions (e.g. having another applicant and you as research partner).




Updated on: 30 June 2021