SNSF Starting Grant (StG)
For talented early-career researchers with an innovative project idea
The information on this page relates to the last SNSF StG call, which is now closed. You can use the information here to familiarize yourself with this funding scheme but you should be aware that details may change if this call is offered again in the future. Please also consult the SNSF website.
The Grants Office assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information here.
Last update: 02.02.2024
|2-8 years post PhD (5-12 years post MD)
Extensions possible under certain circumstances
|Salary for PI and/or team members + project costs
max. CHF 1.8 million
|max. 5 years
|2025 (date not yet known)
|Scientific excellence of research project and qualification of applicant
CV and major achievements
In order to comply with the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) principles, the SNSF defined a new structure for the CV and requests a standardised set of information from all applicants.
Applicants will have to compile their CV according to a new template on the SNSF Portal and subsequently upload a PDF in the data container "CV and major achievements" in mySNF. This information is intended for evaluators to specifically assess the scientific quality and relevance of the research output.
For more details on the new CV format see here.
SNSF Starting Grant (SNSF StG) grantees will lead an independent research project and direct a team of researchers in Switzerland. A SNSF StG comes after at least 2 years of research after the PhD, medical degree or qualification equivalent to a PhD during which grantees have already achieved scientific independence and contributed to impactful research in their field.
The SNSF StG Call 2024 is open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research in Switzerland. Applicants have a PhD degree, a medical degree or a qualification that is equivalent to a PhD.
Applicants meet the personal requirements for this call if:
After their PhD defence:
• They have at least 2 years of research experience (full-time equivalent, FTE).
• They submit their application no more than 8 years after the date of their PhD defence.
After their medical degree (state examination or equivalent):
• They have done at least 3 years of clinical work (FTE) and have at least 2 years of research experience (FTE).
• They submit their application no more than 12 years after obtaining their medical degree.
After a qualification equivalent to a PhD, defined as 3 years of research activity (FTE) after obtaining the higher education degree:
• They have at least 2 years of research experience (FTE).
• They submit their application no more than 8 years after obtaining a qualification equivalent to a PhD.
The time periods are calculated based on the submission deadline. They may be extended if one or more of the reasons set out in Clause 1.11 of the General implementation regulations for the Funding Regulations apply. Applicants should have major achievements that are independent of their work as a PhD student and the associated PhD project. If applicants hold a medical degree, they should have several major achievements independent of their initial research work as a junior scientist. The applicant’s major achievements will be assessed, taking into account the culture and norms of her/his discipline. Applicants will normally have complemented their expertise with appropriate collaborations.
Applicants will ask for the salaries of the employees in their team, including PhD students and postdocs.
Summary of Deadlines
The deadlines of the SNSF StG 2024 call are as follows:
|Opening of the call
|1 November 2023
|1 February 2024
|Outcome phase 1
|Outcome of phase 2
|Earliest project start
|1 January 2025
The budget can be up to CHF 1.8 million for a period of up to five years excluding overhead. The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. The budget in mySNF is entered into the data container "Requested funding". Please also read Article 3 in the SNSF StG Call Document on "Budget".
Note: Indirect costs (i.e., overhead) of 15% are not included in the budget and should not be added to the data container "Requested funding" in mySNF. As an exception to the usual University of Bern overhead rules for SNSF, PIs will receive half of the overhead, i.e., 7.5% of the total direct eligible costs (excluding sub-contracting).
Please use the following budget calculator provided for University of Bern applicants to set up your budget. It includes the standard salaries of the University of Bern for 2024.
The University of Bern salary level is Gehaltsklasse 25/Gehaltsstufe 24.
The 2024 salary rates for the SNSF StG applicant are included in the Grants Office budget calculator. Please see the section on social security contributions below.
The length of employment for a PhD student funded by the SNSF is a maximum of four years.
The 2024 salary rates for doctoral candidates are included in the Grants Office budget calculator. Please overwrite the amounts calculated by mySNF by activating the corresponding checkbox. If you get an error message, please include the following sentence: "These amounts correspond to the 2024 salaries for PhD students at the University of Bern."
Please see the section on social security contributions below.
The 2024 salary rates for postdocs are included in the Grants Office budget calculator. Please budget an Early or Advanced postdoc. If the postdoc is already employed, use the real salary rate (annual gross salary excluding social security contributions, see below). If needed, please overwrite the gross salary amounts calculated by mySNF by activating the checkbox in mySNF. Please see the section on social security contributions below.
The 2024 salary rates for student assistants are included in the Grants Office budget calculator. Please see the section on social security contributions below.
The University of Bern's (employer) social security contributions are 15%. They are added on top of the salaries and included in the total maximum budget. mySNF will automatically calculate the amounts for you.
Other social security contributions: There are two kinds of further allowances in the Canton of Bern:
- Betreuungszulage / Care allowance – You need to budget this care allowance under "further social security contributions". The TOTAL allowance is CHF 250/month for one child (CHF 3'000/year), CHF 180 for two (CHF 2'160/year), CHF 110/month for three (CHF 1'320/year) and CHF 40/month for four (CHF 480/year) children. Make sure you explain your request under “general remarks” (e.g. care allowance for one child).
- Kinderzulage / Child allowance – This allowance will be paid by the "Ausgleichskasse" and therefore you do not need to request this money from the SNSF.
Confirmation of the higher education institution
A confirmation letter from the University of Bern signed by the Vice-Rector for Research must be uploaded with your application. With this letter, the University of Bern confirms that the applicant will receive at least the title of Assistant Professor without tenure-track for the duration of the SNSF StG. The letter is prepared by the Grants Office and signed by the Vice-Rector for Research.
The Grants Office will send you this letter to upload to mySNF once we have received the commitment letter from your chosen institute/department (see below).
Commitment of your institute/department
In order for the Grants Office to send you the confirmation of the higher education institution, you must provide us with a commitment letter from your chosen institute/department. With this letter, the head of the institute/department commits to supporting your project if you are successful. This letter is for internal purposes only and is NOT uploaded with your application.
You must use the template provided by the Grants Office for the commitment letter. In order to download the appropriate template, please answer the following question:
For resources, guidance and advice on open access publications and research data as well as on data management plans, your contact is the University of Bern’s Open-Science-Team.
Under the SNSF Starting Grants call, beneficiaries must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications of their results as set out in the SNSF Funding Regulations and the General Implementation Regulations.
For further information on open access to publications, please go to: www.snf.ch/oa
Guides & sample proposals
This is the ERC writing guide. However, the sections on layout, title and abstract (p.2) and state of the art, objectives and methodology (p.6) may be helpful in general.
It is also helpful to look at some examples of successful ERC proposals. However, please note that the SNSF StG only contains a research plan and not the short 5-page synopsis that the ERC proposals have.
There are a couple of things you can do to obtain a copy of a successul proposal:
- Do an internet search. There are many successful ERC proposals available online, for example here.
- Contact a successful applicant you know and/or someone at the University of Bern who has an ERC Starting Grant. A list of current projects can be found on the University's "Research" webpage.
- Contact a successful applicant you know and/or someone at the University of Bern who has an SNSF Eccellenza Grant. A list of current projects can be found on the University's "Research" webpage.