The KFPE is the information hub for global research partnerships in Switzerland. It promotes efficient, effective, and equitable research cooperation with low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, the KFPE contributes to sustainable development and to solving local and global problems.more

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Funding Possibilities

This website provides an overview of funding opportunities for global research partnerships with low- and middle-income countries. It shows funding opportunities of Swiss funding programmes, international funding opportunities and provides an overview of additional websites with funding opportunities. Information on Scholarships for students and researchers coming to Switzerland or going to low- and middle-income countries can be found at this website.

SOR4D - Solution-oriented Research for Development

SOR4D Logo

The Solution-oriented Research for Development (SOR4D) programme is a joint funding instrument between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) that builds on experiences and lessons learnt in previous joint programmes.

Application deadline: currently no open call


SPIRIT – Swiss Programme for International Research by Scientific Investigation Teams

SPIRIT

The SPIRIT programme facilitates knowledge exchange between Swiss researchers and researchers in selected countries that are receiving development assistance. With SPIRIT, the SNSF is giving Swiss researchers more opportunities to collaborate with partners in many countries around the world.

Next submission deadline: 2 November 2022


Federal bilateral cooperation programmes

The Federal Council launched the bilateral programmes in 2008 to foster cooperation with non-European partners in the ERI sector. Based on the principles of mutual interest, joint funding and scientific excellence, they are designed to facilitate long-term and sustainable partnerships. The bilateral programmes consist of two complementary instruments: joint research projects with the BRICS countries as well as with Argentina, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, and Leading House pilot activities with promising regions.

Joint research projects (JRPs) are conducted on behalf of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in cooperation with funding agencies in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam. A JRP usually lasts between three and four years and enables Swiss researchers to address specific questions together with researchers from the partner countries. From 2017 to 2020, more than 100 JRPs received funding. As they have proved to be so successful, the bilateral programmes will be continued in the years 2021–2024. In consultation with its partner organisations, the SNSF regularly launches calls for proposals for larger bilateral research projects.

In the Leading House model, selected Swiss institutes of higher education are commissioned by SERI to set up cooperation instruments for start-up funding and innovative pilot projects under the framework of the bilateral programmes. This has proved to be a useful and efficient format for establishing privileged contacts and testing new instruments of research and innovation cooperation. Between 2017 and 2020, more than 500 pilot research and innovation activities with these new countries and regions received funding.

The following Leading Houses have been commissioned to run smaller pilot projects regionally in 2021 to 2024:

Leading Houses
Leading Houses

Open calls:

  • Consolidation Grants LH Latin America: 31.7.2022

SUDAC

Partners of the swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC) can apply for collaborative projects within one of the five Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC):

SUDAC
SUDAC

FDFA Mandates

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) awards mandates to contractors with subject-matter expertise, such as aid agencies, research institutions and private companies, for the implementation of specific projects and programmes, including those in the area of international cooperation (development cooperation, cooperation with Eastern Europe and humanitarian aid).


Scientific Exchanges

Scientific Exchanges is aimed at researchers who want to host their own scientific event in Switzerland, invite colleagues from abroad for a research visit to Switzerland, or visit their colleagues in another country.

Running call: apply at least 4 months before the event or visit.


Postdoc.Mobility by SNSF

Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowships are designed for postdocs at the beginning of their career who wish to enhance their scientific profile by working at a research institution abroad.
The fellowships include a grant towards living costs, a flat-rate for travel expenses and, if justified, a contribution towards research and conference costs as well as matriculation fees. In principle, these fellowships are awarded for 18 months, in justified cases for at least 12 months.

Next submission deadline: 1 August 2022


Further SNSF Funding

SNSF has different funding instruments that are not explicitly designed for but can be used for research collaborations.

Projectfunding

Under the project funding scheme, researchers define their research themes and objectives themselves and conduct their project under their own responsibility. The researchers can apply for funding of research costs and staff salaries, as well as of scientific cooperation, networking and communication; however, they may not apply for their own salaries.

Sinergia

Sinergia promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration of two to four research groups that propose breakthrough research.

Submission deadline: 16.5.2022

Grants for researchers who want to lead an independent research project and direct a team of researchers in Switzerland. With an SNSF Starting Grant, grantees will lead an independent research project and direct a team of researchers in Switzerland. An SNSF Starting Grant comes after several years of research after the PhD, qualification equivalent to a PhD, or medical degree during which grantees have already achieved scientific independence and contributed to impactful research in their field.

The scheme is open to all disciplines and topics; researchers of any nationality may apply.

Submission deadline: currently no open call

Following Switzerland's non-association to Horizon Europe as of 2021, the SNSF has on the government's behalf launched the scheme 'SNSF Ad-vanced Grants'. It is aimed at researchers who intended to apply for an ERC Advanced Grant in 2021.

Submission deadline: closed

The aim of Spark is to fund the rapid testing or development of new scientific approaches, methods, theories, standards, ideas for application, etc. It is designed for projects that show unconventional thinking and introduce a unique approach. The focus is on promising ideas of high originality, with minimal reliance on preliminary data. Taking risks is very welcome, but not a requirement in itself. The focus is on projects or ideas that are unlikely to be funded under other funding schemes.

Currently no open call

BRIDGE is a joint programme conducted by the SNSF and Innosuisse. It offers new funding opportunities at the intersection of basic research and science-based innovation, thereby supplementing the funding activities of the two organisations.

BRIDGE consists of two funding opportunities:

  • Proof of Concept is aimed at young researchers who wish to develop an application or service based on their research results. These projects may target innovations of all kinds from all research areas. Next submission deadline: 13 June 2022.
  • Discovery is aimed at experienced researchers who aim to explore and implement the innovation potential of research results. Only innovations that have a societal and economic impact will be funded. Next submission: currently no open call.

The Agora scheme aims to foster dialogue between scientists and society.

The Agora scheme aims to foster dialogue between scientists and society. It encourages researchers to communicate their current research to an audience of lay people. Agora projects have to initiate a dialogue between researchers and the public in which they interact and listen to each other.

Submission deadline:

  • running call for projects up to CHF 50'000
  • 15 October each year for projects up to CHF 200'000

Doc.CH is aimed at promising researchers who wish to write a doctoral thesis on a topic of their own choice in the humanities and social sciences in Switzerland. Part of the doctoral thesis may be conducted at a host institution abroad if a corresponding request giving reasons is submitted.

Besides the salary of the doctoral student, the grant may include a contribution towards costs directly related to project implementation.

Submission deadline: 15 March and 15 September

The SNSF provides grants to finance scientific publications that are made available immediately, without restriction and free of charge (gold open access). There are three types of processing charges:

  • for articles in open access journals (article processing charges APCs)
  • for open access book publications (book processing charges BPCs)
  • for book chapters (book chapter processing charges BCPCs)

U Change 2021-2024

The funding scheme «U Change – Studentische Initiativen zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung» supports the implementation of project ideas through students from Swiss Higher Education Institutions (Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts, Universities of Teacher Education, Universities). These initiatives can also be implemented in collaboration with students from LMIC.

Next Submission Deadline: 31 October 2022


Innosuisse

Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency. Its role is to promote science-based innovation in the interest of the economy and society in Switzerland. Innosuisse supports science-based innovation in the interest of the economy and society through innovation projects, support for start-ups, internationalisation and networking support. International tenders include collaboration within European and selected partner countries.

Next Submission Deadline for international projects with Brazil: 15 June 2022

Next submission Deadline for Bridge Proof of Concept: 13 June 2022

Innosuisse and the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa e Inovação Industrial (EMBRAPII) work together to support international innovation projects implemented by partners from Switzerland and Brazil. Research institutions and companies have the opportunity to submit funding applications in regular calls for proposals. This partnership boosts knowledge and technology transfer and makes both countries more competitive.

Submission deadline Pre-proposal: 15 June 2022

BRIDGE is a joint programme conducted by the SNSF and Innosuisse. It offers new funding opportunities at the intersection of basic research and science-based innovation, thereby supplementing the funding activities of the two organisations.

BRIDGE consists of two funding opportunities:

  • Proof of Concept is aimed at young researchers who wish to develop an application or service based on their research results. These projects may target innovations of all kinds from all research areas. Next submission deadline: 13 June 2022.
  • Discovery is aimed at experienced researchers who aim to explore and implement the innovation potential of research results. Only innovations that have a societal and economic impact will be funded. Next submission: currently no open call.

REPIC

REPIC is the interdepartmental platform for the promotion of renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency in international cooperation. REPIC is partially financing new, sustainable and effective small-scale projects in Low- and Middle-Income Countries from Swiss institutions with high replication potential.

Next submission deadline for project outlines: 18 Mai 2022


Swiss Network for International Studies, SNIS

Researchers and scholars seeking to apply for any of the funding opportunitiesoffered by the SNIS can quickly find relevant information on current and up-coming call for projects and awards, as well as detailed information on formal requirements.


Nestlé Foundation

The Nestlé Foundation initiates and supports research in human nutrition with public health relevance in low-income and lower middle-income countries according to the World Bank classification.


Sight and Life

Sight and Life has recently instituted its new strategy and as such the grants (humanitarian, educational, conference grants) have been redesigned. The strategic focuses are micronutrient dietary improvement through supplementation and fortification; promoting partnerships and building capacity; and sharing knowledge for improved nutrition.


Botnar Fondation

Fondation Botnar provides a range of funding opportunities to enable pioneering research and innovation, and to help realise ground-breaking initiatives. Botnar Fondation is committed to harnessing emerging solutions to build a better future for children and young people. Botnar Fondation and the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health (BRCCH) have different funding instruments for research in and with low- and middle income countries.


Velux Stiftung

Velux Stiftung supports innovative research that tackles the complex challenges we face as a society with an interdisciplinary approach. Its Ophthalmolgy Programme focus on LMICs.

Next submission deadline: 30 May 2022


Project funding opportunities by different Universities and Institutes

ETH4D Research Challenges

The goal of the ETH4D Research Challenges is to enable collaborations on project-​based research between ETH researchers and non-​academic partners (i.e. private sector, NGOs, governmental organisations) and partners from the global South to identify effective solutions to poverty reduction combining technologies, policies and a profound understanding of human behaviour.

ETH4D Humanitarian Action Challenges

The goal of the ETH4D Humanitarian Action Challenges is to enable collaborations on project-​based research between ETH researchers and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or other humanitarian actors in Switzerland to develop innovative solutions to increase the impact of humanitarian action.

ETH4D Research to Action Grants

The ETH for Development (ETH4D) “Research to Action Grant” aims to ensure that research results are being used, implemented, and disseminated. It supports ETH Zurich bachelor students, master students, doctoral students, post-​docsand senior scientists to develop prototypes, explore opportunities for entrepreneurship and discuss their work with practitioners. The grant sum is up to 5 kCHF.

Tech4Dev

The Tech4Dev research activities consist of calls for collaborative research projects between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and EPFL researchers.

Science and Technology for Humanitarian Action Challenges (HAC)

The goal of the Science and Technology for Humanitarian Action Challenges is to support project-based research between EPFL researchers, ETH Zurich researchers, and the ICRC to develop effective solutions for a greater impact of humanitarian action.


International Funding Possibilities

Foundation Maps
Foundation Maps is a data visualization tool from Foundation Center that brings philanthropic data to life, making it easy to understand who is funding what and where around the world. Simple yet powerful filters zero-in on the issues and places that are most important to you, and interactive features reveal connections among organizations and highlight trends over time. - Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.

IDEA-PhD Portal
The International Association of Universities’ (IAU) portal on doctoral education IDEA-PhD stands for Innovative Approaches to Doctoral Education in Africa. Besides many funding opportunities, you can find a lot of information about what it takes to ensure successful doctoral education and research.

ACCESS4.EU projects
This web portal provides European researchers with information about Research, Technology Development and Innovation (RTDI) programmes around the world, which are open to European participation.

AuthorAID - Funding List
AuthorAID is a free pioneering global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in low and middle income countries. AuthorAID provide travel and workshop grants twice a year. On the link below you find many more funding opportunities

IDRC - International Development Research Center
IDRC offers grants, funding, and awards to researchers and institutions to find solutions for global development challenges.

SciDevNet
Link to various research grants

TWAS, the voice for science in the South
TWAS is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy, working to advance science and engineering for sustainable prosperity in the developing world.

The UK Collaborative on Development Research
The UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) is a group of government departments and research funders working in international development.

CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa)
CODESRIA offers many opportunities ranging from conferences, training workshops, research activities, job vacancies

START - grant and employment opportunities
START promotes research-driven capacity building to advance knowledge on global environmental change in Africa and Asia-Pacific - , both within and outside of START.

International Foundation for Science (IFS)
The objective of the IFS is to support developing countries in managing their natural resources in a sustainable way. It helps to reinforce the research capacity in these countries and to finance excellent research that is relevant to the mission of IFS.

Funding opportunities sourced by GDNet
Funding opportunities, grants and scholarships currently featured in the Regional Windows relevant to researchers and research institutes working on development issues in low and middle income countries.

Opportunities for Africans
A portal collecting information on research grants and fellowships.

European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
EDCTP aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines and microbicides against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting multicentre projects which combine clinical trials, capacity building and networking.

Sida Research calls and grants
In collaboration with its partners the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency regularly announces research calls and grants.

Belmont Forum – Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs)

The Belmont Forum CRAs are recurring calls that aim to support international transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change. Every proposal must include natural scientists, social scientists and stakeholders. Collaborators must be from at least three different countries.

Please note: at this stage, Switzerland is not yet a member of the Belmont Forum and Swiss researchers are not eligible to apply for funding, though they can join research teams if they bring their own funds.

ICGEB Fellowships and Grants
ICGEB include five types of long and short-term PhD and Postdoctoral awards in the fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology available to scientists who are nationals of ICGEB Member States to perform research in Trieste, New Delhi or Cape Town. The ICGEB runs additional joint fellowship programmes with India and China.

ICGEB Research Grants are a dedicated source of funding aimed at financing projects addressing original scientific problems of particular relevance for the host country and of regional interest.

Open calls

Social Media Assets GDN
Appel à manifestation d'intérêt: Évaluation des systèmes de recherche en sciences sociales du programme Doing Research

L'appel à manifestation d'intérêt du Global Development Network (GDN) auprès d'équipes de recherche multidisciplinaires basées dans des instituts de recherche de pays en développement, pour agir en tant que correspondantes

Register for our to receive information on open calls.


Further Swiss Collections of funding instruments

Research.swiss is a centralised platform showcasing scientific and technological cooperation opportunities between Switzerland and the rest of the world.

International calls published via the State Secretary for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).

The Sustainability Research Initiative provides a comprehensive overview on funding opportunities for

  • research
  • application and implementation
  • knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange and science communication
  • training and capacity building

SARECO.org is a database for information on collaborative research between Switzerland and African countries. SARECO does not offer own funding, but can help you during your search for research partners, collaborative institutions or funding instruments.

The establishment of the SARECO database underpins the idea of bringing early career scientists (PHDs and Postdoc researchers) together and to create a framework for exchange about funding instruments and project success stories, inviting peers to follow and by that to grow the Swiss – African research network.

SFIAR provides an overview on current calls in the area of agricultural research for development, relevant for researchers based in Switzerland.


How to establish fair research partnerships

  • On Research-Earth you can learn more about potantial research partners.
  • The KFPE Guidelines support you in establishing fair research partnerships.
  • Read the Guide on Conflict Sensitive Reserach if you operate in confict sensitive contexts
  • Learn more about challenges and opportunities when collaborating with the private sector or civil society
  • Conclude fair research contracts with the FRC-Tool.
  • Send us an if you have further questions.
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