Promotion of Research Uni Internal Grants

sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF)

2022: Fourth call of sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF)

Various technology-intensive research platforms in the sitem-insel offer services for researchers. The sitem-insel Support Fund (SISF) co-finances translational projects of researchers from UniBE and Inselspital for the use of these platforms.

The 4th SISF call is open until January 15, 2023.

An info event for the 4th sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF) call will be held on October 13, 2022.

More information.

The Swiss lnstitute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine (sitem-insel AG, hereinafter referred to as sitem-insel) intends to establish, operate and develop a national center of translational medicine and entrepreneurship in Bern. Sitem-insel is a strategic initiative aimed at strengthening Bern's position as a center of medicine in the form of a public-private partnership. The University of Bern and the lnselspital are important partners of sitem-insel AG. In its capacity as shareholder, the University of Bern supports sitem-insel with seed money and project funding.

Under the umbrella of sitem-insel, various organisations and units (university, Insel Hospital, private organisations, public-private partnerships) operate several infrastructure-based research platforms that offer services for researchers. These technology-intensive research platforms are cost-intensive, which means that researchers often cannot pay full-cost prices for services. It is important to the University that all researchers with interesting and competitive projects have access to these research platforms and that these services can be purchased within a reasonable financial framework. The circle of users of sitem-insel is also to be extended beyond the circle of Insel clinics (which are financed with funds from "Lehre und Forschung" of the Insel Hospital) and be open to all faculties and researchers of the University of Bern.

To that end and within the framework of the provisions of these regulations, translational projects and the use of infrastructure, equipment and services should be co-financed in sitem-insel.

This funding is called "sitem-insel Support Funds" (SISF).

The SISF contribution is used to help purchase services in certified sitem-insel research platforms (services and material costs). It cannot be used to cover personnel or administration costs.

The 4th SISF call will open on September 30, 2022, with a submission deadline of January 15, 2023.

General conditions of the sitem-insel Support Funds SISF

(Excerpt from the regulations, partly supplementary explanations)

  • You can find the exact terms in the regulations.

  • Goal: The establishment of the sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF) aims to expand the user base for defined and approved research platforms in sitem-insel within the University of Bern. For this purpose, the University of Bern provides temporary financial resources to support the recipients in their efforts to develop activities and initiate projects on the approved platforms in sitem-insel. (Regulations, Art. 1)

  • Sitem-insel platforms can apply to the Vice Rectorate Research as "approved interdisciplinary SISF research platform" at any time (documents see below). Criteria and procedures are regulated in Art. 6. The SISF platforms approved so far within sitem-insel are:

  • The program is built on the principle of matching funds (co-financing). Matching funds can consist of both cash and in-kind contributions. Funding raised elsewhere within the university may not be specified as matching funds.

  • The financial contribution of the applicants is at least 40% of the project costs (applies to all faculties except the Faculty of Medicine). In the Faculty of Medicine, a distinction is made between units that belong to the "Teaching and Research" system of the Inselspital (at least 60% matching funds, as they have additional support options there) and those that do not (at least 40% matching funds) (Art. 2). The first group, which has to provide a higher contribution, corresponds to the group of university hospitals. Further explanations (in particular a final list of all university-owned units that are affiliated to the system "Teaching and Research") can be found here.

  • Scope and duration of funding: The university management will provide a total of 4 million Swiss francs for SISF contributions from the operating credit (Grundmittel) for a limited period in the years 2019-2022. The amount per proposal is a maximum of 150,000 Swiss francs for a project duration of 12 months or a maximum of 300,000 Swiss francs for a maximal project duration of 24 months. (Art. 3) - Addendum Dec. 2021: By resolution of the University Executive Board on December 7, 2021, the deadline will be extended by one year. There will be a fourth call for proposals in 2022 and a fifth call for proposals in 2023.

  • The application is submitted by one person (= applicant). (Art. 4.1)

  • Resubmission of previously rejected applications (without substantial revision) is not allowed.

  • In principle, all professors (including associate professors, assistant professors) and lecturers, chief physicians, senior physicians, hospital specialists and senior physicians employed by the University of Bern or the Inselspital with a degree of employment of at least 50% are eligible to apply. Applicants must be employed by the University of Bern or the Inselspital for the duration of the project. (Art. 4)

  • Proof of financing own contribution: The applicant has the necessary means to cover the financial own contribution (basic funds or third-party funds). (Art. 4.5)

  • The SISF contribution supports purchases of services in approved sitem-insel research platforms. The funds from the SISF contribution can be used exclusively for services and material costs. Personnel costs and administrative costs are not covered. (Art. 5) Personnel costs incurred within sitem-insel and charged by the respective platform to the applicants (i.e. are part of the purchased service) are considered service costs and can be paid from the SISF contributions.

  • The basic prerequisite for the approval of an application is the feasibility of the project with the help of an approved interdisciplinary research platform in sitem-insel AG and the written confirmation of the platform managers that the project can be carried out within the proposed framework. (Art. 9.2)

  • In addition to the feasibility of the project in sitem-insel, the applications are assessed according to the following criteria: Scientific quality, innovativeness of the project, translational potential of the project, contribution to the Strategy of the University of Bern. (Art. 9.3)

  • There is no legal claim to the payment of a SISF contribution. There is no legal recourse for rejected applications. (Art. 2.3 and 2.4)

Sitem-insel platforms can apply to the Vice Rectorate Research as "approved interdisciplinary SISF research platform" at any time. Please use the application form and note the explanations in the letter from the Vice-Rector for Research regarding the initial call for applications (see below).