The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is Switzerland’s foremost research funder. From physics to medicine to sociology, the SNSF has promoted scientific excellence since its beginnings in 1952.
It invests in researchers and their ideas in order to generate knowledge that is valuable to society, the economy and politics. The SNSF pays particular attention to the promotion of early career researchers. Working with its partners, it plays a major role in shaping research in Switzerland.
If there was ever a time to prove the importance of international scientific collaboration, it is now. Funding and research institutions need to share, without barriers, all their information and findings to fight the current global threat and those yet to come. Working together within the GloPID-R network, across continents and with a holistic approach, will help everyone.
Prof. Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council of the SNSF
As the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in Europe in early 2020, the SNSF responded swiftly with initiatives aimed at fighting the global health crisis.
In a special call for projects on coronavirus research, 45 projects submitted by researchers were awarded a total of CHF 12.5M, with the aim of adding new findings to our existing knowledge about the SARS-CoV2 virus and its health, social and economic impacts.
With an overall budget of CHF 20M, NRP 78 funded research projects to develop innovative solutions and public health recommendations to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the SNSF has invested substantially in research on the medical and life sciences aspects of the global pandemic, it is aware of the importance of the social, economic and other scientific dimensions. Launched in autumn 2021, NRP 80 was designed to generate knowledge to help manage the current pandemic as well as future pandemics by analysing social processes during the pandemic from a social science perspective. NRP 80 thus complements NRP 78 “COVID-19”, which focuses primarily on the biomedical and clinical aspects. The programme has a budget of CHF 14M and will run for three years.
In addition to the above-mentioned initiatives, the SNSF supported SNSF grant holders by providing additional resources to bridge any gaps in funding. These projects, as well as those funded by Innosuisse and the European framework programme Horizon 2020, are listed in the SNSF’s COVID-19 project registry. More information on funded projects can be found in the “News room” section of the SNSF’s website.
The SNSF’s immediate responses to the pandemic were focused on national issues and challenges facing researchers in Switzerland. However, having recently joined the GloPID-R network, the SNSF was committed to communicating and aligning its COVID-19 activities with the other members from the beginning of the pandemic. It aimed to join forces, avoid duplication of effort and share initial data in workshops with supported scientists across Europe.
The initiatives outlined above were open to international researchers as co-applicants, thus allowing leading experts to develop projects together. The SNSF also promotes early and open access to data and publications for all COVID-19-related research projects. In addition, we have financially supported the World Health Organization’s global Solidarity Trial, which produced conclusive evidence in record time of the efficacy of repurposed drugs against COVID-19.
In 2020, the SNSF awarded CHF 937M to more than 6,000 projects involving 20,000 researchers.
The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874667.