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Universität Basel

Grants Office Newsletter May 2020

Karte mit der Modellierung der weltweiten Ausbreitung des Coronavirus

Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 has turned the world upside down in just a few months - we hope you and your families are all healthy and well. Besides the consequences for our daily lives, the crisis also had a massive impact on research. Research operations have been (and still are) significantly affected and, at the same time, millions are being invested in research on SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19, the EU has just published another call today (see below).  Over 70 proposals from various disciplines have been submitted by researchers of the University of Basel in response to the coronavirus calls launched by the SNSF, the EU and private foundations and more than 120 researchers are involved in related consortia.

But also in other areas the crisis has not prevented researchers from planning future projects. Despite the difficulties, the number of proposals submitted in the spring deadline of SNSF project funding is about average. With this newsletter, as always, we inform you about upcoming calls and trainings but would like to draw your special attention to the European “Green Deal” Call to be launched in September. 

PS. The header of our newsletter is a screenshot of the open-source project Nextstrain, showing the global spread of different mutation types of SARS-COV-2. Nextstrain has been developed by Richard Neher from the Biozentrum and his colleague Trevor Bedford from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


Results of SNSF and BRCCH Coronavirus Calls

The results of the coronavirus calls of the SNSF and the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health (BRCCH) have been published. The SNSF supports the following projects at the University of Basel (call success rate 13%):

  • Heiner C. Bucher (DKF): Immunocompromised Collaborative Host Swiss Cohorts Based Trial Platform Initiative
  • Lars Hemkens (DKF): COVID-evidence: a living database of trials on interventions on COVID-19

The BRCCH fast track call (call success rate 15%) supports:

  • Thomas Erb (UKBB)
  • Christoph Hess (DBM)
  • Daniel Paris (Swiss TPH)
  • Melissa Penny (Swiss TPH)
  • Klaus Reither (Swiss TPH)
  • Alexandar Tzankov (USB)

another 11 PI’s from the University of Basel are involved in consortia led by other Universities


Announcement: Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call with a budget of € 1 billion to be published in September 2020

The “European Green Deal” is a set of policy initiatives brought forward by the European Commission on December 11th 2019 as the EU’s roadmap towards a climate-neutral Europe in 2050. Further information on the key actions of the European Green Deal roadmap can be found here. The European Research and Innovation Framework Programmes play a pivotal role in shaping and supporting the European Green Deal. At least 35% of the budget of Horizon Europe will be dedicated to Climate Actions. Already under Horizon 2020, a Climate Action Call in support of the Green Deal will be launched. Call publication is expected in September this year. Preliminary topics include:

Increasing Climate Ambition: Cross sectorial challenges

  • Clean affordable and secure energy
  • Industry for a clean and circular economy
  • Energy and resource efficient buildings
  • Sustainable and smart mobility 
  • Farm to Fork
  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • Zero-pollution, toxic free environment
  • Strengthening our knowledge in support of the European Green Deal
  • Empowering citizens for the transition towards a climate neutral, sustainable Europe

We ask researchers who are interested in this call to contact the Grants Office so that we can provide you with targeted information: grants@unibas.ch.


Second Horizon 2020 Coronavirus Call Launched

A second call (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2) for Coronavirus related Expressions of Interest within Horizon 2020 has been launched. Deadline 11th June. Proposals covering one of 5 topics are requested:

  • Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), link
  • Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response, link
  • Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts, link
  • Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19, link
  • Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment, link

Updated guidelines concerning contract flow

Note that the University’s “Guidelines concerning contract flow” have been updated. As a new requirement, contracts/projects with data-protection-relevant content must be evaluated by the University’s Data Protection Officer. Research contracts worth CHF 50’000 or more need to be co-signed by the Vice Rector Research and for contracts worth CHF 250’000 and more, an additional signature by the Executive Director (Verwaltungsdirektor) is required. We would also like to remind you to enter your third party funding applications to the Grants Tool www.grants.unibas.ch.


SNSF Ambizione, PRIMA and Eccellenza Applicant’s Training on August 18th and 19th

The announcement of our new training format for Ambizione, PRIMA and Eccellenza applicants in our last newsletter has met with great interest. The course for the Humanities and Social Sciences on August 18th is already fully booked. However, for the training for applicants from the Life Sciences and Natural Sciences on August 19th we are looking for a few more Eccellenza candidates. Please inform candidates who would like to apply with Basel and ask them to contact us: grants@unibas.ch.


ERC Advanced Grant: Final deadline under Horizon 2020 on August 26th

The European Research Council (ERC) invites proposals for its last advanced grant call under the current research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020. While Switzerland’s association to the successor programme - Horizon Europe - is still unclear, the Grants Office has strengthened its support in this area. Our applicant’s training with Yellowresearch last November has received very good feedback and we will certainly repeat it as soon as the situation becomes clearer. Please contact the Grants Office if you are planning to apply, we can organize meetings with experts and pre-reviews of applications on relatively short notice.


Welcome to the Grants Office, Christoph!

We are pleased to introduce our new colleague Christoph Moor to you. Christoph has a PhD in Musicology and eight years of experience in research and grants management at the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). At the University of Basel, Christoph will advise and support researchers from the humanities and social sciences in their grant applications. We welcome you to our team and look forward to working with you, Christoph!


More Successes!

The Grants Office would like to congratulate:

  • 25 PI’s of the October deadline of SNSF project funding
  • Flurina Ciorba and the consortium for the Horizon 2020 RIA Project “DAPHNE”
  • Martino Poggio and the consortium for the Horizon 2020 FET-OPEN Project “FIBsuperProbes” coordinated at the University of Basel
  • Anatole von Lilienfeld and the respective consortia for the infrastructure project "TREX" and the Horizon 2020 RIA project "BIG MAP"
  • Steffen Kandler (Biozentrum, Flavio Donato's group) for his Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (Career Restart panel)
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