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Swiss funder launches schemes to boost research in EU countries

Image: Marian Weyo, via Shutterstock

Funder hopes move will strengthen EU ties and bolster science in Central and Eastern Europe

Switzerland’s national research funder has announced it is launching three new schemes to support research in, and collaboration with, specific EU member states.

The schemes are part of Switzerland’s wider commitment to spend 1.3 billion francs (€1.35bn) by 2029 to help reduce socioeconomic inequalities in the EU by supporting countries that joined the bloc since 2004—mostly in Central and Eastern Europe. Their economies typically lag those of the other EU countries.

The Swiss National Science Foundation announced on 15 August that it is launching the new schemes on behalf of the Swiss government. It said the schemes will be implemented in partnership with organisations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

“With this funding, we are strengthening science in the partner countries and our partnership with the EU in general,” said the SNSF’s head of international cooperation, Laure Ognois.

“At the same time, research in Switzerland will benefit from the considerable potential of Central and Eastern Europe.”

Tailored to partners’ needs

“The funds are earmarked for programmes and projects in various fields, which are tailored to the needs of the partner countries,” said the funder. 

“Some of the EU member states which will benefit…have decided to allocate a portion of the dedicated funding for research collaboration with Switzerland.”

The first scheme, called Promys, is aimed at funding researchers from Switzerland or any EU country to take up an assistant professorship in Bulgaria. Researchers must have worked in Switzerland for at least one year to be eligible.

The scheme offers a maximum of 625,000 francs for a five-year project and the call will open at the end of the month. The grant can cover the researcher’s salary, the salaries of project staff and other research costs.

The other two schemes include one that will support multilateral research projects with organisations in all partner countries and another for scientific collaboration between Bulgaria and Switzerland.