Promotion of Research Uni Internal Grants

sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF)

2021: Third call of sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF)

Please note that there are some changes compared to the first call (revised regulations).

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.


Launch of call: 12 May 2021

Please complete the application form and send it as one PDF document by e-mail to the Vice-Rectorate Research.

The application may be completed in German or English.

Deadline for submission of application: Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Next calls will be expected in spring 2022 (4th call) and in spring 2023 (5th call).

Framework conditions for sitem-insel Support Funds SISF

(Extract from the regulations, in some cases supplementary explanations)

This website was translated from the German version. In case of any discrepancy between the German and this English version, the German print version shall prevail.

  • Full terms and conditions can be found in the regulations (document in German).

  • Goal: the sitem-insel Support Funds (SISF) were established for the purpose of extending the group of users in defined and approved sitem-insel research platforms within the University of Bern. To that end, the University of Bern provides a limited amount of funding which should support the recipients in their efforts to develop activities and launch projects in approved sitem-insel research platforms. (Regulations, art. 1)

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

  • The program is structured as a matching fund program (co-financing). Matching funds can consist of both cash and in-kind contributions. Other intra-university funding obtained elsewhere may not be part of matching funds.

  • The applicants' own finances must account for at least 40% of the total project costs (all faculties without the Faculty of Medicine). Within the Faculty of Medicine, a distinction is made between units that belong to the system "Lehre und Forschung" ("Teaching and Research") of the Insel Hospital (at least 60% matching funds, as they have additional funding options there) and units that do not belong to this system (at least 40% matching funds). (art. 2) The first group, which has to provide a higher amount of matching funds, corresponds to the group of University clinics. Further explanations (in particular a final list of all university units that are affiliated to the "Teaching and Research" system) can be found here (document in German).

  • Scope and duration of financing: the Executive Board of the University of Bern is making a total of 4 million francs available for a limited period from 2019 to 2022 for SISF contributions to be funded from the operational regular funds (Grundmittel). The maximum amount per application is 150,000 francs for a project duration of 12 months and a maximum of 300,000 for a maximum project duration of 24 months. (art. 3) - Addendum Dec. 2021: By resolution of the Executive Board of the University of Bern on Dec. 7, 2021, the duration will be extended by one year. There will be a fourth call in 2022 and a fifth call in 2023.

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

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

  • All professors employed at the University of Bern or the Insel Hospital with an employment level of at least 50%, as well as (in German): "assoziierten Professorinnen und Professoren (einschliesslich der assoziierten Professorinnen und Professoren, Assistenzprofessorinnen und -professoren) und Dozentinnen und Dozenten, Chefärztinnen und Chefärzte, Leitende Ärztinnen / Ärzte, Spitalfachärztinnen und Spitalfachärzte sowie Oberärztinnen und Oberärzte") are eligible to apply. Applicants must be employed at the University of Bern or at the Insel Hospital for the duration of the project. (art. 4)

  • Proof of own funding: the applicant has the means necessary to cover their own funding (operational regular funds (Grundmittel) or third party funding). (art. 4.5)

  • The SISF has to be used to purchase services in approved sitem-island research platforms. The funds from the SISF contribution can only be used for services and material costs. Personnel and administration costs are not covered. (art. 5) Personnel costs within sitem-insel and invoiced to the applicants by the relevant platform (i.e. being part of the purchased service) are considered as service costs and can be paid from the SISF amounts.

  • The basic prerequisite for approving an application is the feasibility of the project in sitem-insel (within an approved interdisciplinary sitem-insel research platform) and the written confirmation of the platform manager 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 (in particular on the five main topics, p. 18f.). (art. 9.3)

  • There is no legal entitlement to receive an SISF contribution. No legal avenues are open to anyone wanting to appeal against rejected applications. (Art. 2.3 und 2.4)

Application as approved interdisciplinary SISF research platform

Sitem-island 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).