The Swiss Programme for International Research by Scientific Investigation Teams (SPIRIT) promotes team-oriented cross-border research. The SNSF has chosen to support 12 new SPIRIT projects from a range of different fields with 6 million francs. They involve research in countries including Colombia, Malawi, Madagascar and Thailand.
The 12 newly approved SPIRIT projects bring together researchers from Switzerland and from selected countries that receive development aid. 56% of the grantees in Switzerland are researchers at cantonal universities, 31% are doing research at universities of applied sciences, and 13% are at Federal Institutes of Technology. The 12 projects will each receive between 250,000 and 500,000 francs and be carried out by teams of 2 to 4 researchers. The share of women is 56%.
Indigenous identities and better weather forecasts
One SPIRIT project is a collaboration between the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in Laz Paz, Bolivia, the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Bern. The researchers explore the intersections between indigenous, gender and sexual identities, through the analysis of quotidian expressions of non-cis and non-heteronormative indigenous identities in Bolivia.
Another newly funded project brings together researchers from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and the University of Zurich with the goal of better predicting flash floods, strong surface winds, hail and even tornadoes. New interactive analysis techniques and tools are to be developed for this purpose.
Improving quality of life with micronutrients and eliminating rabies
Another study plans to examine factors such as menstrual blood volume loss and quality of life in young women from Malawi when iron-containing micronutrients and ibuprofen are administered. This project is being conducted by researchers at the Training and Research Unit of Excellence (TR) in Blantyre, Malawi and at ETH Zurich.
Also based in East Africa, a SPIRIT project is researching how to eliminate rabies in Uganda using an electronic rabies surveillance system. Here, researchers from Uganda are working together with colleagues from the Universities of Bern and Zurich.
Other projects are in a range of fields, including pharmacology, sociology, palaeontology, social geography and engineering.