The project coordinator has to be a professor or a post-doc in a qualified Swiss institution. The SNIS considers only ordinary professors with full-time contracts to fulfil the criteria of being a professor.
If the project coordinator is not an ordinary professor with a full-time contract, the co-coordinator has to be from the same institution as the coordinator.
• What is the role of a project coordinator?
The project coordinator is the main person of contact between the SNIS and the research project. Their institution is also responsible for the administration of the grant money. They are responsible for the successful conclusion of the project.
• Can there be more than one co-coordinator?
Yes. There has to be at least one however.
• Who can be project co-coordinator?
We have to distinguish two situations here:
If the coordinator is an ordinary professor at a Swiss institution, any professor or post-doc of a Swiss institution (with a contract of at least 40%) can be co-coordinator.
If the coordinator is a post-doc at a Swiss institution, at least one co-coordinator has to be from the same hosting institution and be a professor with a full-time contract. This requirement exists to assure a certain stability of the project within the main institution.
• Who can be a principal member of the research project?
Any researcher, be it PhD students, post-doc researchers, IO members or any other, can be principal members.
• What is the role of a principal member?
The principal members are the primary researchers for the project.
• Can someone be employed by the institution specifically to work on the SNIS project as a principal member?
Yes, a principal member doesn’t need to have a long-term contract with the employing institution.
• Who can be an associated member of the research project?
Any researcher working on the project, but funded through external funding (e.g. members of IOs, NGOs, Professors of partnering institutions, etc.).
• Which roles can foreign research members take?
Foreign research members can be principal and associated members, as well as co-coordinators, in case there’s a second co-coordinator from a Swiss institution.
• Can the salary of the coordinator be (partially) funded by the SNIS?
If the coordinator has a full-time contract with their institution, the SNIS will not fund their salaries. However, their contribution can be counted as an “in kind” contribution by the employing institution.
If the coordinator does not have a full-time contract with their institution, the SNIS can fund up to 60% of their salary.
Please be advised that a coordinator needs to have at least a 40% contract in their institution.
• Can the salary of the co-coordinator be (partially) funded by the SNIS?
If the co-coordinator has a full-time contract with their institution, the SNIS will not fund their salaries. However, their contribution can be counted as an “in kind” contribution by the employing institution.
If the co-coordinator does not have a full-time contract with their institution, the SNIS can fund up to 60% of their salary.
Please be advised that a co-coordinator needs to have at least a 40% contract in their institution.
• Can the salary of a principal member be (partially) funded by the SNIS?
Yes, their salary can be funded by the SNIS in accordance to FNS rules (for PhD students) or rules of the employing institution.
• Who pays the principal member's salary?
The SNIS transmits the grant money to the hosting institution. If the principal member is from a partnering institution, the hosting institution is responsible to conclude a contract with the principal member’s institution to regulate payments of salaries.
• Can an associated member's salary be (partially) funded by the SNIS?
No, the funding for associated members are accounted for by their institution.
• What we mean by 60% of the salary
In the cases in which the SNIS funds the salaries, we fund up to 60% of a full-time contract (no matter whether they actually have a full-time contract with their institutions). We fund maximum the actual time spent on the project.
If a researcher has a 50% contract with the hosting institution and will spend the entire 50% on the research project, the SNIS will pay the entire (50%) salary. If a researcher has an 80% contract which he spends entirely on the research project, the SNIS will pay up to 60% the salary.
• What employment status does a member of the research team have?
Members of a research team are employed by their institutions and not by the SNIS. The SNIS is not responsible for the management of human resources, the hosting institution will have to make contracts with each partnering institution to regulate the payment of salaries.
• How detailed does the pre-proposal have to be?
The most important thing about the pre-proposal is to give our evaluators an idea what the project is going to be about and who you are going to work with. Be advised that, while detail is good, you only have space for 10’000 characters on our online form for the actual proposal. If you get invited to submit your full proposal for the second round, you will have to go into much more detail.
• How long can the pre-proposal be? Can it include pictures or graphs?
The pre-proposal is text only. No pictures or graphs can be included. It’s limited to 10’000 characters, plus 4’000 for the abstract. Information about research members or partners are separate on the form.
• What information does the pre-proposal need to include?
• Literature review
• Demonstration of the research gap
• Research question / hypothesis
• Research tasks, milestones
• Expected results and their relevance to scientific and practical advancements
• Do I need written confirmation (letters of support) by my partners?
We will only require written confirmation in the second round. However, be advised that you do need to have contacted everyone you list and asked them for their approval and willingness to participate in advance. No bigger changes to the research team presented in the pre-proposal will be accepted for the full proposal.
• Does the research question need to be international AND pluridisciplinary?
Yes. It is very important you understand that a SNIS project has to be international and pluridisciplinary, and not just one or the other.
• What is the SNIS definition of international?
The SNIS considers that international studies deal not only with the analysis of international relations, but also with political, economic, social, environmental, legal, and health issues that extend beyond national boundaries. It welcomes proposals from a wide range of academic disciplines, such as political science, economics, sociology, social and cultural anthropology, law, history, geography, environmental sciences, and related areas.
• What is the SNIS definition of pluridisciplinarity?
Ideally, a pluridisciplinary approach includes research members with different disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. economics and anthropology) and/or a research question that goes beyond the grasp of a single discipline.
Why is there a special theme for the call for projects?
The special theme is decided each year by the International Geneva Committee, made up of our IO partners. It reflects what our IO partners are most interested. You can submit either for the general theme or the special theme, and neither give you an advantage over the other in terms of chances of being funded.
Use of funds and other
• If my project is chosen, how can I spend the grant money?
The grant money can only be spent according to the agreed upon budget. If any changes in this budget should occur or become necessary, this has to be done so with agreement of the SNIS. Any changes other than budgetary also have to be approved by the SNIS. Any budget left over after completion of the research project goes back to the SNIS fund.
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