University of Lucerne - Research Promotion
  Info – 3rd December 2020

Dear researchers,
We would like to make you aware of the following points (please scroll down). Please take a look at the updated information and pass it on – thank you very much.

Best regards,
Bruno Z'Graggen, Research Promotion Unit Director

Focus: Changes in Research Funding

On the initiative of the Vice Rector for Research, Prof. Alexander Trechsel, some key changes in research funding, which are introducing funding options at faculty and department level and will increase the effectiveness of the support given by FoKo to the work of researchers, are coming into force in 2021. In addition to this, the Graduate Academy of the University of Lucerne (GA-UniLu) is offering new support to the mobility of doctoral students from 2021 in the form of so-called mobility contributions, which are replacing the previous SNSF mobility grants (Doc.Mobility). The first call of the GA-UniLu is published now.

Strengthening research funding in the faculties

From 2021, every faculty and the Department of Health Sciences and Medicine will receive CHF 20,000 of earmarked research funding, the distribution of which they can define themselves, be this amongst many smaller projects or focussed on larger ones. This change is cost-neutral. The FoKo budget is being reduced by CHF 100,000.

Changes in FoKo research funding from 2021

  • Removal of the subsidiarity principle
    FoKo applications for all funding instruments can now be submitted without proof of third-party funding or of attempts to acquire this.
  • Increase in the maximum amount: CHF 30,000
    The new maximum amount for applications for complete and partial projects is CHF 30,000 (previously: CHF 20,000).
  • Setting of a minimum amount: CHF 1,000
    There is a new minimum amount of CHF 1,000.
  • Maximum amount in urgent circulation procedures: CHF 12,000
    The new maximum amount is CHF 12,000 (previously: CHF 8,000). The valid justification of the urgency remains important.
  • Increase in the SpeedUp (sabbatical for postdocs): CHF 25,000
    The new amount for the replacement position is CHF 25,000 (previously: CHF 20,000).

More information: Regulations and Guideline Sheet, valid from 1st January 2021

FoKo submission deadlines 2021

In future, there will be just two FoKo submission deadlines and FoKo meetings for the evaluation of normal FoKo applications per year (previously: three deadlines): one in spring and one in autumn. In addition to this timetable, urgent applications of up to CHF 12,000 can be made, which will be evaluated by FoKo via a circular procedure. The validity of this urgency must still be justified.

  • Spring deadline 2021
    - Submission: 22 March 2021
    - FoKo meeting: 15 April 2021
  • Autumn deadline 2021
    - Submission: 27 September 2021
    - FoKo meeting: 14 October 2021

More information

Submission of FoKo applications via myFoKo from 2021

From 2021, the FoKo application must be submitted via myFoKo. The myFoKo platform with the corresponding templates for all FoKo funding instruments can be found in the Research Information System (FIS). myFoKo will be online from 15th January 2021 at the latest.

More information

Graduate Academy (GA-UniLu): First call for mobility contributions for doctoral students from 2021

The SNSF ceases awarding mobility grants for doctoral students (Doc.Mobility) at the end of 2020. The successor solution for the mobility of doctoral students will be provided by Swiss Universities with the support of swissuniversities from 2021. At the University of Lucerne, the GA-UniLu will finance at least four mobility contributions (overseas stays of between six and a maximum of 12 months) for doctoral students every year. A maximum of around CHF 50,000 is available for a mobility contribution of 12 months. There will be two submission deadlines every year: one in spring (March) and one in autumn (September).The first call for applications is out now with a submission deadline at 22 March 2021.

  • Submission deadline spring 2021: 22 March 2021
  • Submission deadline autumn 2021: 20 September 2021

More information refering the call by the GA-UniLu (at the moment only in German)

SNSF-Funding Scheme and Priorities for 2021-2024

SNSF & Innosuisse funding scheme events in November and December 2020

In November and December 2020, the SNSF and Innosuisse will organise three information events for researchers. The SNSF and Innosuisse will inform on all funding schemes (project and careers) with the opportunity on Q&A. Please use the excellent opporunity to inform yourself directly. The events will take place online using Webex on the following dates:

  • 5 November 09:00 – 12:30h
  • 11 November 13:30 – 17:00h
  • 11 December 09:00 – 12:30h

More information and registration

Bridge: Basic Research - Innovation

The BRIDGE programme by the SNSF and Innosuisse supports the transition from basic research to science-based innovation. For the funding period 2021 to 2024, the BRIDGE budget is increasing by 50 per cent. A total of 105 million francs will be available. The entire programme will be open to all disciplines.

BRIDGE consists of two funding schemes:

  • Proof of Concept is aimed at young researchers who wish to develop an application or service based on their research results.
  • Discovery is aimed at experienced researchers who want to explore and implement the innovation potential of research results. 

More information

Vietnamese-Swiss Joint Research Programme

Under the bilateral cooperation programmes of the Swiss government, the SNSF is launching a call for Joint Research Projects (JRPs) together with the National Foundation for Science & Technology Development (NAFOSTED) in Vietnam.

  • Target group: Postdocs and professorships
  • Disciplines: all
  • Project duration: 2-3 years
  • Project sum: CHF 250'000
  • Number of projects: 10 projects
  • Project start: September 2021
  • Call date: 1 October 2020
  • Pre-registration: 23 November 2020
  • Submission deadline: 15 January 2021

More information

SNSF Scientific Image Competition

The SNSF Scientific Image Competition encourages researchers working in Switzerland to present their works to the public and the media. The award-winning works are displayed at the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography.

  • Target group: Researchers
  • Deadline: 31 January 2021

More information

Lead Agency Procedure: new with Croation, the Brazilian federal state of São Paulo and South Africa

The Lead Agency process is part of the project funding scheme and is aimed at researchers in Switzerland who wish to conduct a cross-border research project. It simplifies the submission and evaluation of transnational applications. ​A Lead Agency application can be submitted by researchers in Switzerland together with researchers in a country that has signed an agreement with the SNSF. Lead Agency agreements exist with:

  • Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, South Tyrol and new with Croation, the Brazilian federal state of São Paulo and South Africa
  • Deadlines: 1st October and 1st April

More information

Covid-19: Extension of SNSF-Projects ending before 31 December 2020

Researchers whose project ends before 31 December 2020 will get a cost-neutral extension of a maximum of six months. If there isn’t enough money left for the extension period, you may apply for an extension grant.

More information

Covid-19: Information and flexible solutions for researchers by the SNSF

The Covid-19 pandemic causes comprises and questions in research supported by the SNSF. The SNSF does inform constantly and decides measures to support the researchers as well as possible. Pls. do follow the communications by the SNSF by newsletter and in the news room where you find answers responding the FAQs.

More information and FAQs by the SNSF in times of Covid-19

SPIRIT – Programme for International Research by Scientific Investigation Teams - low number of submissions

The SNSF launched 1st February 2019 a new programme named SPIRIT. Against all expectations, the number of submissions is low. Please have another look on the options of the programme. Above all, it supports research projects and collaborations within the context of the global South and the next generation of scientists.

  • Goals: Support of international research projects within the context of the global South and the next generation of scientists
  • Number of partners: 2-4 partners
  • Eligibility: Postdocs (equal to SNSF projects) and professorships with connection to Swiss universities
  • Disciplins: all
  • Project duration: 2-4 years
  • Sum: CHF 50'000 up to CHF 500'000
  • Number of supported project and year: 12 projects
  • No submission deadline: all over the year possible
  • Evaluation: within two steps (pre-proposal, full proposal)

More information

Career Funding Schemes: Instruments and Submission Deadlines

1. Postdoc

Unification of single postdoc scheme for fellowships abroad

2. Candoc

  • Doc.CH: 15 March und 15 September

End of Doc.Mobility fellowships 2020 and Doc.CH from 2021 on

SNSF multi-year programme 2021-2024: new priorities and opportunities

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has published its multi-year programme for 2021-2024. In this, the SNSF is seeking to promote four priorities:

  • Greater diversity in terms of excellence and promoting equal opportunities for women
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle research topics from multiple angles on a more regular basis
  • High-quality data infrastructures and services for use by researchers
  • Closer networking between science, business and society

More information

Seven misconceptions about SNSF research funding - and the reality behind them

In spite of detailed information and advice: some misconceptions about SNSF research funding continue to do the rounds. We’ll tell you what’s true.

More information incl. the reality

Internal assistance ref. SNSF Data Management Plan and Open Access

The Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek Luzern (ZHB) offers in cooperation with the University of Lucerne internal assistance ref. SNSF Data Management Plan (DMP) and publications in Open Access:

Overview of all upcoming SNSF calls for proposals

Would you like a brief overview of the upcoming SNSF deadlines for all funding schemes to make sure that you do not miss anything?
See: Upcoming SNSF deadlines for all funding schemes

External Calls

SWISSUbase: Information

Many institutions in Switzerland are confronted with the challenges of managing research data and ensuring long-term preservation and accessibility, but do not have the tools nor the knowledge to fulfill these requirements. It therefore makes sense to work on a national data infrastructure solution. SWISSUbase will offer such a solution by the beginning of 2021.

More information

The Laura Bassi Scholarship for Publications, Editing Press

The Laura Bassi Scholarship supports publications on master, doctoral and postdoc level:

  • Target groups: master students, doctoral students, postdocs
  • Contributions: master thesis $ 750, dissertations $ 2'500, articles $ 500
  • Deadlines:
    - 25 November 2020
    - 25 March 2021
    - 27 July 2021

More Information

Congressi Stefano Franscini (CSF), Monte Verità (Ascona): inspiring venue available

The CSF, meeting platform of ETH Zurich, provides an available and ideal meeting venue for scientific congresses on the inspiring Monte Verità nearby Ascona.

  • Deadline for events in the year 2022: 15 January 2021

More information

SNIS Project Call

The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) supports research projects ref. International Studies.

  • Disciplines: pluri-disciplinary, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Research field: International Studies
  • Special theme 2021: Covid-19: What lessons for multilateralism?
  • Target group: Professorships / Postdocs (project leadership)
  • Project duration: two years
  • Project sum: between CHF 100'000 and 300'000
  • Two steps evaluation with:
    - Deadline pre-proposal: 21 January 2021
    - Deadline full-proposal: 17 May 2021

More information

Istituto Svizzero, Recidencies: Rome, Milan & Palermo

The Istituto Svizzero in Italy (center in Rome) supports by its residency programme young artists and researcher ref. studies, projects and exchange. The actual call for 2021 / 2022 offers the following residency options for Rome, Milan and Palermo.

  • ROME
    - Place of stay: Villa Maraini, Rome (Istituto Svizzero)
    - Duration: ca. 10 months
    - Period: September 2021 until July 2022
    - Place of stay: a flat in Milan
    - Duration: ca. 6 months
    - Period: October 2021 until April 2022
    - Place of stay: Palazzo Butera
    - Duration: 3 months
    - Period: September 2021 until December 2022
  • Conditions for all
    - Target group, researcher:
    Candocs and postdocs; humanities, social and natural sciences
    - Age limit: 40 years
    - Deadline: 1 Februar 2021

More information

EU: Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe

Horizon 2020: Green Deal Call

The Green Deal Call by the European Commission is about improving the well-being of people. Making Europe climate-neutral and protecting our natural habitat will be good for people, planet and economy. No one will be left behind. The Call consists of 11 different thematical fields. Field number 10 is surely of special interest for the Humanities and the Social Sciences: Empowering citizens for transition towards a climate neutral, sustainable Europe.

  • Call: 19 May 2020
  • Target group: Professors, all disziplins
  • Deadline: 26 January 2021

More information

HORIZON EUROPE, the ninth framework programme for research and innovation (2021-2027)

The eighth framework programme for research and innovation HORIZON 2020 (2014-2020), will soon be coming to an end. The next programme, entitled HORIZON EUROPE (2021-2027), is in preparation. A total of EUR 100 billion will be available for this.

More Information Horizon Europe

External Training

Media training, writing coaching, and social media workshops for researchers: courses in 2021

Presenting research projects and findings to a wider audience is an important task, and media diversity and communication requirements are high in the digital era.

The SNSF provides researchers with one-day media courses and social media workshops, and two-day writing courses. The courses are held in Olten and run by media specialists from Feedback from those who have completed the courses has been very positive. They are particularly aimed at researchers who have received SNSF funding, and who will therefore be offered cheaper rates.

Courses 2021

  • Media trainings: 15.01. / 23.01, online / 13.02. / 04.06. / 18.06. / 26.06. / 23.10. / 20.11. / 26.11., online
  • Writing: 05.11. / 13.11.
  • Text intensive courses: 29.01. / 12.06.
  • Social media workshops: 05.02. / 27.11.
  • Social video workshop: 28.05. + 29.05.

More information and registration

Internal call for proposals

SpeedUp 2021: sabbatical for lecturers/researchers and assistant professors (postdocs)

SpeedUp seeks to accelerate the process of obtaining a postdoctoral academic qualification at the University of Lucerne by providing the successful applicant with a sabbatical. This is awarded by the university’s research committee (FoKo).

  • Sabbatical duration: max. six months
  • Purpose: a period of time off to focus on your postdoctorate, with no teaching and administrative responsibilities but with ongoing payment of wages
  • Target group: postdocs, senior teaching and research assistants / assistant professors without tenure track
  • Number of sabbaticals per year: (generally) two
  • Amount for replacement staff: new CHF 25,000
  • Submission deadline: there are two standard FoKo deadlines for 2021.

SpeedUp-Regulations: FoKo-Guideline sheet, 4.2 c) and FoKo-submission deadlines

FoKo applications and frequently asked questions

FoKo submission deadlines 2021

The University of Lucerne research committee (FoKo) would be delighted to support your research project in accordance with its guidelines and looks forward to receiving applications. There are two submission deadlines per year one in spring and the other in autumn. Urgent applications from CHF 1,000 up to a maximum of CHF 12,000 (from 2021 on) may be submitted outside of these deadlines. Valid reasons must be given for the urgency.

Deadlines 2021

  • Spring deadline 2021
    - Submission: 22 March 2021
    - FoKo meeting: 15 April 2021
  • Autumn deadline 2021
    - Submission: 27 September 2021
    - FoKo meeting: 14 October 2021

More information

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about FoKo applications

Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about FoKo applications: research projects that are supported by the FoKo; eligibility; submission deadlines; applications outside of deadlines and retroactive applications; principles of subsidiarity; criteria and priorities for assessment; formalities; waiting time for FoKo decisions; reporting obligations for applicants.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Advisory services


The research promotion unit invites you to an uncomplicated CoffeeTalk+ in case you need advice.

  • present: Dr. Bruno Z'Graggen, research unit director
  • Target group: researchers
  • Dates: on Wednesdays, 14-15h (only during the semester)
  • Location: 3.A60 (coffee space, third floor)
  • without registration

Attention: At the moment due to home office, only available by e-mail / zoom

Research Promotion Unit

Do you have questions about funding your research project, submitting applications to the FoKo or third-party funding providers, or planning your academic career? Dr. Bruno Z'Graggen, Research Promotion Unit Director, would be happy to provide you with further information and advice drawn from his broad experience in this field.

Latest information for researchers

Research news

The research news section of the website provides details of current calls for proposals, funding opportunities, and other information.