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Grants Office Newsletter December 2023

Dear Researchers of the University of Basel,

As 2023 comes to an end, many of you can look back on a successful year with regards to third-party funding. In October almost 40 research groups received the good news that their SNSF project had been successfully evaluated and in November we were able to congratulate six new SNSF Starting Grantees.

Last Friday the Swiss Federal Council published a draft negotiation mandate for the future relationship with the European Union (EU) and there were some positive announcements regarding Horizon Europe.

On a more personal note, we would like to congratulate our Vice President, Prof Torsten Schwede, for his appointment as President of the SNSF Research Council as of 2025. The SNSF took important decisions about the overall governance in its GO24 restructuring project this year and now enters the implementation stage. Nominating a new president is an important step towards ensuring a smooth transition to the next phase. Read more about these developments and an outlook for 2024, in our interview with Torsten.

We wish you and your families an enjoyable and relaxing winter break, and look forward to a successful and and most importantly peaceful 2024.

The Grants Office Team

Eve Silfverberg, Gillianne Bowman, Caroline Peneff, Luca Wacker & Julia Wyss

Ray of Light on the Horizon

Worms eye view of tree covered with snow
(c) Wil Stewart

On Friday,  the Swiss Federal Council published a draft negotiation mandate for the future relationship with the European Union (EU).  National consultations will begin with the Swiss parliament and Cantons but if all goes well on the Swiss side and the EU adopts its own mandate, official negotiations regarding the “package approach” can begin, hopefully in March or April of 2024. In parallel, the European Commission has invited Switzerland to begin exploratory talks on Switzerland's association to EU programmes in the fields of education, research and innovation including Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. At present, there are no changes to the status of Switzerland in Horizon Europe but on Friday a transitional arrangement for Swiss participation in the ERC 2024 Advanced Grant Call was announced. Although this is under the condition that official negotiations on the overall “package” and association to Horizon Europe begin before the Advanced Grant deadline in August, this is an extremely positive sign.  In the meantime, the Swiss government continues to provide financial support for research projects, via direct funding for collaborative projects and the transitional measures. In addition to the open Calls under the transitional measures, the Swiss Federal Council has also approved funds for a SNSF Consolidator Call in 2024, further information on that is expected in the new year.

Explore the UNIverse


The Vice President for Research recently announced the launch of the new research portal UNIverse. This replaces the former research databases, and allows researchers and departments to organize and collate information related to their research activities such as scientific publications, research projects and grants. The UNIverse team have created a website with an overview of the features and helpful “how to” videos as well as a help page with detailed instructions and dates of training events. Until the end of the year, the UNIverse Team host an informal zoom session every Thursday, where you can drop by and ask questions. As with the Research Database all successful third-party Grants will be transferred from the Grants Tool to UNIverse, where you can check and update any data before publishing it in the online database. The Public interface of UNIverse will be launched in 2024, in the meantime it’s important to continue to record all third-party funded projects in the Grants Tool, not only for the internal approval and financial management but also the automatic transfer to UNIverse.

Torsten Schwede new President of SNSF Research Council

Torsten Schwede, Vice President for Research

As announced in the UniNews, our Vice President, Prof Torsten Schwede has been nominated as President of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Research Council from 2025.

We asked him about the significance of the recent and upcoming changes to the SNSF and what this means for us here in Basel.


Last but not least

Canvas of a Cell Population
(c) Maria Kotini, University of Basel

The SNSF Scientific Image Competition encourages researchers working in Switzerland to present their works to the public and the media. Photographs, images and videos will be rated in terms of their aesthetic quality and their ability to inspire and amaze, to convey or illustrate knowledge, to tell a human story or to let us discover a new universe.

With a little bit of luck, your picture will be the header of a Grants Office Newsletter.

Submissions are accepted until 31 January.

More successes!

The Grants Office would like to congratulate:


Innovation Event

For researchers at the University of Basel, organized by the Grants Office and the Innovation Office. Learn more about entrepreneurship, propelling grant, Innosuisse, BRIDGE and Unitectra.

Save the date: 6 February, 14.00-17.00

Register here.


Branco Weiss Fellowship

For junior researchers with a record of outstanding scientific achievement and a passion for venturing into new territory.

Deadline: 15 January

Call Website.

Leading House South Asia and Iran

Research Partnership Grants for researchers in Switzerland with a partner in one of nine Asian countries.

Deadline: 15 January

Call Website.


The Horizon Europe "Fostering a European Research Area for Health" partnership calls for proposals on the "Modulation of brain ageing through nutrition: NutriBrain 2024".

Deadline for pre-proposal: 15 January

Call Website.

Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowships

For early and mid-career researchers dedicated to improving the learning and development of children and youth worldwide.

Submission deadline: 21 January

Call Website.

Swiss Network for International Studies

Call for project grants for pluri-disciplinary teams working on international studies for social sciences and projects combining natural and social science. The theme 2024 is "Pathways to inclusive and participatory multilateralism".

Deadline for pre-proposal: 25 January

Call Document.

Horizon Europe Transitional Measures

SNSF Advance Grant 2024: Deadline: 31 January

SNSF Starting Grant 2024: Deadline: 1 February

Swiss Quantum Call on the topics quantum communication, computation, simulation, sensing and metrology. Deadline: 1 February

Krebsforschung Schweiz

Research projects by independent scientists working at Swiss research institutions.

Deadline: 31 January


Proof of concept: Next submission deadline: 4 March

Discovery: Next submission deadline for Letter of intent: 28 February

NRP Calls 2023

NRP 81 "Baukultur. For an ecological and social transition of the build environment" and NRP 82 "Promoting biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem services for Switzerland"

Submission deadline for preproposals: 29 February

NRP 83 "Gender Medicine and Health" and NRP 84 "Plant Breeding Innovation".

Submission deadline for preproposals: 14 March


European call for R&D and innovation projects in collaboration with SMEs.

Next submission deadline: 14 March

Call Website.

Smart Networks Call 2024

R&I Work Programme 2024 on next generation technologies promoting an open strategic autonomy and climate-neutral and sustainable economy.

Call will open in January

Call Website.

Innovative Health Initiative

IHI Call 6 (two-stage) and IHI Call 7 (single-stage) work programme drafts available. Deadlines are expected in autumn 2024 (C6) and beginning of 2025 (C7).

Check out Research Professional for more national and international Calls.

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