About Us


The SNIS promotes academic research in the interdisciplinary area of international studies with an interest in phenomena that transcend traditional nation-state boundaries.

It supports different perspectives by valuing contributions from a diverse group of academic researchers including political scientists, economists, legal scholars, social and cultural anthropologists, historians, sociologists, geographers, environmental and public health scientists, as well as other academics. 

Thematic areas of interest include environment, development, health, human rights, and education, among others, as well as topics such as international and civil wars, sustainable development, public health, migration and refugees, gender issues, globalisation, trade and financial markets, human and cultural rights, and European politics.


The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) was founded in 2008 as the successor institution of the former Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN).

While the former GIAN was mostly active in Geneva due to the mandatory research collaboration with international organisations, the SNIS was set up by joint decision by the Canton of Geneva and the Swiss Confederation (State Secretariat of Research and Education) with the mandate to extend its activities and funding activities to academic institutions and researchers all over Switzerland.

The SNIS has been set up according to a contract concluded between the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, which are the founding institutions. Its legal statute is a “société simple”. Partner institutions involved in the activities and decision-making process are:

– Center for Comparative and International Studies, Zürich
– World Trade Institute, Bern
– Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
– School of Management, Economics, Law, Social Sciences and International Affairs, St. Gallen

The SNIS has succeeded in its mission to promote international studies in Switzerland. The past calls for proposals showed a fairly balanced breakdown of pre-proposals received from a wide range of academic institutions in Switzerland. In 2016, 40% project proposals emanated from German speaking cantons, followed by Geneva with 29%, 27.5% of other French speaking cantons and finally Ticino with a rate of 3.5%.

Our Structure
Governing Committee

The Governing Committee heads the Swiss Network for International Studies and the bodies created within. It validates the selection of projects qualified for funding made by the Scientific Committee and approves the evaluations made by the juries of the SNIS awards.

The Governing Committee defines the long term strategy of the SNIS.
It includes representatives of SNIS founding institutions as well as of SNIS founding partners.


Philippe Burrin
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Chief of the Strategic Planning and Membership Department
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

James W. Davis
Dean, School of Economics & Political Science
University of St. Gallen

Manfred Elsig
Deputy Managing Director
World Trade Institute – University of Berne

Dominik Hangartner
ETH Zurich

Jürg Utzinger
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Stéphane Berthet
University of Geneva


The Secretariat is the executive body of the Swiss Network for International Studies. It implements the decisions taken by the Governing Committee.

The Secretariat organises the annual call for projects and supports the Scientific Committee. It involves the Academic Council of International Geneva in its activities with the objective to create a network between IOs and researchers in Switzerland.

Staff Members:

Bernhard Fuhrer
+41 22 525 31 77

Damien Marti
Program Manager
+41 22 525 21 88

Anne Witteveen
Communication & Events
+41 22 525 37 55

Marta Zaragoza Navarro
+41 22 525 73 43

Robin Kuiten
+41 22 525 37 55

General number
+41 22 525 05 47

SNIS Award Committee

The Jury for the “SNIS Award for the best thesis in international studies” is composed of 6 scholars from the domain of international studies and practice.

They come from various disciplinary backgrounds and from a variety of different Swiss and international institutions. The jury is independent in its decisions and convenes annually to determine the winner of the Award by consensus.


Mira Burri
Senior Lecturer and Managing Director for Internationalization
University of Lucerne

Anki Sjoeberg (PhD)
Head of Operations
Fight for Humanity

Siegfried Weichlein
University of Fribourg

Peter Larsen
University of Geneva

Vally Koubi
Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich and University of Bern

International Geneva Committee

The  International Geneva Committee is composed of high-level representatives of international organisations (IOs) in order to establish a link between Swiss scientists and IO’s headquartered in Geneva.

The main function of the International Geneva Committee is to define the yearly thematic issue for the SNIS call for projects. It furthermore acts as a Jury of the International Geneva Award. Finally, it contributes to a series of round-table debates taking place at various universities in Switzerland.


Téa Garcia-Huidobro
Special Advisor to the Acting Director General
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Marcelo Di Pietro Peralta
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

Paul Ladd
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

Francesco Pisano
UN Library – UNOG

Bernard Kuiten
Head of External Relations
World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Richard Lukacs
Project Specialist, Global Risks Report
World Economic Forum

Marie McAuliffe
Head, Migration Research Division
International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Samir Yeddes
First Secretary, Global Affairs Team
Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN

Maria Luisa Silva
UNDP Office Geneva

Charlotte Warakaulle
Director for International Relations
European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Petru Dumitriu
UN Joint Inspection Unit

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee selects research projects submitted in the annual call for projects. It evaluates the funded projects in their intermediary phase and their final version.

The Scientific Committee, that acts as an independent body, unites established scholars, all of them recog- nised experts in their respective field of competence.


Jan Klabbers
Professor of International Conflict Management and Peace Research
Academy of Finland

Marion Jansen
Director of the Division for Market Development and ITC’s Chief Economist
International Trade Center

Christophe Muller
Professor of Economics
University of Aix-Marseille

Andrea Sylvia Winkler
Director of Centre for Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine
University of Oslo

Jonas Tallberg
Professor of Political Science
Stockholm University

Peter Egger
Professor of Applied Economics
ETH Zurich

Dennis Rodgers
Professor of International Development Studies
University of Amsterdam

Ulrike Müller-Böker
Professor of Geography
University of Zurich

Corinne Pernet
SNF Research Professor
University of Basel