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Grants Office Newsletter February 2022

Horizon Europe Logo

Dear Researchers of the University of Basel,

We hope you had a good start to 2022. While we can finally be optimistic about the development of the pandemic, there is unfortunately no positive news about Switzerland's association with Horizon Europe. The European Commission has put any talks on hold and expects Switzerland to present a concrete plan for resolving certain trade-related political and institutional issues as a pre-requisite to re-opening discussions. The fact that the EC insists on linking Horizon Europe with the Institutional Framework Agreement, along with the political constellations in Switzerland, unfortunately leaves little hope for an association in 2022.

It is therefore all the more important that Swiss-based researchers participate in the parts of the programme that are still open to them, namely the vast majority of collaborative projects. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) has set up unbureaucratic processes for funding Swiss project partners and the Grants Office will support you with all your questions.

Kind regards,
The Grants Office Team

SNSF Consolidator Grant

The SNSF has received the mandate to implement transitional measures for the ERC Consolidator Grant and will launch a “SNSF Consolidator Call” in March. Interested researchers will need to pre-register by 1 May 2022 and submit their proposals until 1 June 2022. Earliest project start will be 1 February 2023. More information will follow in the next weeks. To ensure that you receive all information please let us know when you intend to apply.

If Switzerland’s status for Horizon Europe has not changed by the end of April, similar measures for the 2022 Advanced Grant Call will be considered. Such measure are foreseen for the second-half of 2022.

The aim of the federal council remains, full association to Horizon Europe and therefore full participation in the ERC programme.

VALISE: A Research Project on Value Development Among Primary School Children in Switzerland and the United Kingdom

The formation of children’s values is at the core of educational frameworks in Europe. The model of competences for democratic culture proposed by the Council of Europe (2016) defines values as “general beliefs that individuals hold about the desirable goals that should be striven for in life. They motivate action and they also serve as guiding principles for deciding how to act” (p. 36). Consequently, schools are expected to develop children’s understanding of their own and others’ values, children’s ability to express their own values and pursue behaviours that help achieving them.
Despite the high societal and educational interest on values, there is a lack of empirical evidence of how children’s values are formed in school. The SNSF funded project “The Formation of Children’s Values in School (VALISE)”, led by Prof. Elena Makarova from the Institute for Educational Sciences, aims to close this gap. The first results have already shown a great potential for the theoretical advancement on human value development and for application of an evidence-based value education.

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Research where it is needed most: Call for thematic proposals for National Research Programmes

With the National Research Programmes (NRP), the Swiss Government funds projects that develop knowledge useful for decision-making on current societal challenges. NRPs typically run for four to five years and have a budget of 10 to 20 million Swiss francs. Shorter periods are possible.
In preparation for the launch of two to three new NRPs in 2023, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is seeking thematic proposals for new NRPs. The deadline for proposal submission is 23 March 2022. Further information and the submission form can be found on the SERI website.

Innosuisse Flagship project “Spearhead” to fight Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

The project “Spearhead”, led by University of Basel, is one of 15 Innosuisse Flagship projects funded at the end of 2021. The new Flagship instrument aims to stimulate innovation and transdisciplinary collaboration to address current and future societal challenges.
AMR is the ability of microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses and some parasites) to prevent antimicrobial agents (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working. It is estimated that by 2050 AMR could claim up to 10 million lives per year.
Spearhead”, a consortium of 8 public and 4 industry partners, aims to mitigate the economic and societal impacts of AMR by building a first-in-class, globally scalable, modular digital platform to improve antibiotic stewardship, with advanced patient stratification techniques and direct access to results from faster diagnostics.
The project is led by the Innovation Office of the University of Basel together with the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Prof. Christoph R. Meier) and the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine (Prof. Matthias Schwenkglenks).
More information can be found on www.spearhead-project.ch

More Successes!

The Grants Office would like to congratulate:

  • Anissa Kempf for her ERC Starting Grant
  • 5 new Eccellenza Fellowships: Bence György, Ulf Hahnel, Moniek Kuijpers, Johannes Schubert, Friedemann Zenke
  • Innosuisse Flagship SHIFT with Michael Simon
  • Innosuisse project RVX-13 with Thomas Klimkait
  • 3 ERA-NET projects with Henner Hanssen, Patrick Maletinsky and Oliver Wenger
  • Christian Cajochen for his grant from the VELUX Foundation
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