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University of Basel

International Grants

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s research funding program, runs from 2014 to 2020 and has a budget of EUR 70.2 billion. The funding opportunities include topic-specific collaborations as well as funds for an open range of topics such as the highly respected ERC grants or collaborations in the area of future and emerging technologies (FET). Horizon 2020 includes funding opportunities for companies.

Joint Technology Initiatives

Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are public-private partnerships that aim to improve cooperation between the public and private sector. The European Commission covers the costs of the participating universities and public institutions; the industry partners are self-funded.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)

COST is an intergovernmental framework for European collaboration in science and technology and facilitates the coordination of nationally funded research on the European level. COST funds networks between scientists and researchers in all fields of research. These networks are pan-European and open to a wide range of topical focuses. These networks (COST Actions) aid in the international coordination of nationally funded research.


The aim of ERA-NET is to develop and coordinate national and regional research programs through two specific processes:

  • ERA-NET actions offer positions for developing public research programs to create a framework for coordinating their activities, for example, by developing common activities or supporting common calls for transnational applications.
  • ERA-NET Plus actions provide additional EU financial aid for a limited number of applications that promise a surplus value for Europe. The purpose is to simplify the submission process between the national and/or regional programs.
  • European Commission: ERA-NET
Interreg / NRP

Interreg / NRP is a regional program co-sponsored by the European Union (EU) and the Swiss Confederation to promote cross-border cooperation (e.g. of the Alpine Rhine-Lake Constance-Upper Rhine region).
The focal areas of the Interreg / NRP program are:

EUREKA / Eurostars

The Eurostars program is a collaborative program between EUREKA and the European Commission and is the first European funding and support program specifically aimed at small and medium-sized companies. Eurostars encourages small and medium-sized companies to lead international collaboration and innovation projects by making it easier to access support and funding. Funding in Switzerland is managed by the SBFI.


Many US federal funding programmes are open to researchers and research groups in Switzerland. The University of Basel is registered in the us web portal Grants.gov and thus allows its researchers to apply for these grants (incl. NIH).

Human Frontier Science Program

HFSP supports new, innovative and interdisciplinary basic research and concentrates on the complex mechanisms of living organisms. Topics range from molecular and cellular systems to cognitive neurosciences and interactions between organisms. A clear focus is on new collaborations that bring biologists together with researchers from other scientific disciplines (physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and engineering), as well as research focusing on the frontiers of the life sciences.


The Swiss programme for research on global development issues is implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The programme supports relevant research in the development of solutions to global problems in poor countries. It consists of five thematic modules (causes and solutions of social conflicts in the context of weak public institutions; employment in the context of sustainable development; innovation in agriculture and the food sector for food security; sustainable ecosystem management for the provision of ecosystem services; supply systems and financing mechanisms in the health sector).

SPIRIT – Swiss Programme for International Research by Scientific Investigation Teams

The SPIRIT programme facilitates knowledge exchange between Swiss researchers and researchers in selected countries that are receiving development assistance. With SPIRIT, the SNSF is giving Swiss researchers more opportunities to collaborate with partners in many countries around the world. Funding is awarded to research projects with clearly defined goals that are submitted by excellent research consortia from two to four countries. Researchers from all disciplines can apply for a SPIRIT grant; the topics are chosen by the researchers themselves. The evaluation process comprises two phases: pre-proposals can be submitted all year round, full proposals only by invitation after approval of the pre-proposal. We recommend considering the principles of the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) when designing the proposal. A highly competitive selection process is in place, with twelve projects being funded per year. (KFPE) when designing the proposal. A highly competitive selection process is in place, with twelve projects being funded per year.

Joint Research Programmes

The bilateral programmes of the Swiss Confederation aim to promote and strengthen scientific cooperation with non-European countries with high or promising research potential. These Joint Research Programmes enable researchers in Switzerland to work together with researchers from partner countries on specific research issues. The projects usually last three years. Funding is provided for similar categories as in SNF project funding (equipment, consumables and travel expenses as well as salaries). The SNSF organises the calls for proposals jointly with one or two partner organisations in the country concerned. The successful projects are funded jointly by both countries, with each organisation funding the researchers in its own country. Most calls for proposals are limited in terms of topics and have been selected for their relevance to the two countries involved.

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