Solution-oriented Research for Development (SOR4D)
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. The SOR4D programme is being implemented in the “Decade of Action” that is accelerating efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The SOR4D programme will operate from 2022 to 2026 with an overall budget of about 19 million Swiss Francs.
Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development
The Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) is being implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) from 2012-2023. The joint programme supports relevant research for development aimed at solving global problems in poor countries.
The main programme (2014-2023) consists of five thematic modules (Social Conflicts, Employment, Food Security, Ecosystems, Public Health) and a module for research without pre-defined topics.
In addition, Transformation acceleration grants (2021-2022) allow teams of r4d researchers and non-academic stakeholders to make use of the knowledge, tools and technologies developed within r4d projects through translation and implementation initiatives.
Synthesis Projects (2017-2022) foster the contextualisation and integration of research findings and procedural learnings beyond individual r4d projects into a larger body of knowledge in the science-society-policy interface.
Bilateral Research Programmes
The Confederation's international science policy focuses on cooperation with Europe and North America, and with other countries that have a significant potential for scientific and technological development. The federal government's bilateral cooperation programmes, launched in 2008, aim to intensify research and innovation cooperation with these 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.
In the Leading House model, selected Swiss institutes of higher education are commissioned by SERI to set up cooperation instruments for seed funding and innovative pilot projects under the framework of the bilateral programmes. The following Leading Houses have been commissioned to run smaller pilot projects regionally in 2021 to 2024:
- North Africa and Middle East: University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in collaboration with the University of Basel
- Latin America: University of St Gallen (HSG)
- East and Southeast Asia: ETH Zurich (ETHZ)
- South Asia and Iran: Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
SUDAC – swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network
The aim of the SUDAC Network is to strengthen collaborations between different types of Swiss academic institutions (Universities, Federal Institutes of Technologies, Universities of Applied Sciences, Schools of Education) active in research/education partnerships with the Global South. Together with institutions from the Global South they created an enabling environment for collaborative educational and research activities. The project focuses on a number of thematic areas with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030). The project was developed bottom up and KFPE had a leading role in the small writing team, including representatives of all types of higher education. The project started in 2017.
The SUDAC Network consists of 5 “Clusters of Cooperation in the Global South” (CLOCs), connecting hubs for regions with increased cooperation activity.
The Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) Knowledge to Action (K2A) in South Asia is a "public good" open to Swiss and South Asian institutions that are interested in partnering for the promotion of the SDGs in South Asia and Switzerland through research and education.
CLOC K2A South Asia aims to be a regional hub to facilitate cooperation in research and education on environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. It seeks to promote regional collaboration and interdisciplinary engagement for the SDGs in South Asia. The conversion of academic knowledge outputs into actions and tools for diverse SDG actors is the main focus.
Conéctate A+ is a research collaboration hub in the Tropical Andes and Central America region focused on climate change, ecosystems, and health in view of sustainable development. Conéctate A+ functions as a ‘network of networks,’ drawing on the existing networks coordinated and led by MRI and CONDESAN, as well as combining new partnerships.
Conéctate A+ (to be translated as: connect yourself to the Tropical Andes and Central America region) brings together a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise from Switzerland and the Tropical Andes and Central America region. In terms of research and teaching, Conéctate A+ will draw on existing thematic expertise and progressively expand the scope of topics according to bottom-up processes and interests of the respective communities in Switzerland and the Tropical Andes and Central America region.
The overarching Goal of the CLOC West Africa – “Network for Water and Life” (NEWAL) is to promote and strengthen understanding, networking and scientific exchange between Swiss and West African institutions and the interface of water and life. The NEWAL consists of education and research partners in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana and ten partners of higher education in Switzerland. NEWAL provides new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration for Swiss and West Africa research and higher education institutions through data collection and sharing, exchange events, and the facilitation and validation of e-tools in real-world settings.
The Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) Eastern Africa is a network of researchers and institutions that aims to foster North–South partnerships for research and education. It works to strengthen the capacities needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Africa’s strategic framework, Agenda 2063, by providing an adequate platform to promote knowledge generation, information exchange, and opportunities for academic collaboration between Swiss universities and key actors in Eastern Africa.
In 2020, the SDC launched a new research programme called TRANSFORM (2020–30). This programme aims to co-finance applied, inter- and trans-disciplinary research projects that have a transformative effect on society and thus accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda. From a call for proposals, the SDC selected four research projects:
These projects respond to concrete needs of development actors and have been initiated by consortiums composed of research institutes from Switzerland and the Global South as well as implementing partners (NGOs, governmental actors, private companies). At present, no call for proposals is open.
Swiss Network for International Studies
The SNIS promotes academic research in the interdisciplinary area of International Studies with an interest in phenomena that transcend traditional nation-state boundaries. It supports different perspectives by valuing contributions from a diverse group of academic researchers including political scientists, economists, legal scholars, social and cultural anthropologists, historians, sociologists, geographers, environmental and public health scientists, as well as other academics.
International Graduate School North-South (IGS-North-South)
The IGS North-South is dedicated to advancing sustainable development worldwide. It focuses on postgraduate education at the PhD level to establish a leading international research network that analyses the impacts and opportunities of global change. The IGS North-South emphasizes an integrative, partnership-based research approach, as well as innovation and application. More than 100 PhD candidates from around the world are currently enrolled in the programme.
The IGS North-South was developed within the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. It is based on an inter-university agreement between the universities of Basel, Bern, Lausanne and Zurich in Switzerland, and selected cooperation agreements with leading universities from countries in the global South and East.
Swiss Networks for Research Collaboration
Swiss Research Institutions with long experience in partnership projects
Research Projects Databases
Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE)
House of Academies
Past Swiss Research Programmes
NCCR North-South was a research programme from 2001-2013. It was one of twenty National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) established by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to promote scientific advancement in vital research areas. It was founded in the belief that increasing our understanding of global change and identifying means of sustainable development are crucially important to Switzerland’s future and that of the world. The programme was jointly funded with a total of approximately 100 Million CHF by SNSF, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the participating research institutions.
The Programme "Jeunes Chercherurs" supported fieldwork activities of young researchers from Switzerland and the Global South. Researchers from Switzerland were supported to carry out research in LMIC in collaboration with local partners. Researchers from the Global South were supported to participate in research partnerships with a Swiss institution. The programme was funded by SDC from 2001-2011.
The programme "Echanges Universitaires" supported the exchange and collaboration between Swiss universities or educational institutions and research institutions in developing and transition countries.
These exchanges and collaborations contributed to developing the educational, scientific and training capacities of the persons and institution(s) involved, as well as to strengthening the overall research capacity of the partner country. In addition, the exchange programme offered Swiss scientists the opportunity to gather first-hand experience in developing and transition countries, enabling them to more effectively contribute to finding appropriate solutions to prevalent problems. The programme was funded by SDC from 2001-2011.
Funded by SDC and SNSF from 1992-1999 with a total ammount of 15 Mio CHF.