Eleven SNSF Starting Grants for researchers at the University of Bern

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Eleven award-winning research projects: of the 67 projects in this year’s call for "Starting Grants" from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), eleven are being supported from Bern. The funding amount for the Bernese researchers is around 19 million Swiss francs in total.

Due to Switzerland’s status as a non-associated third country in the Horizon Europe programme, the federal government mandated the SNSF to launch the funding scheme "SNSF Starting Grants 2024". This integrative call is a transitional measure covering the ERC Starting Grants 2024 as well as the former SNSF funding schemes Eccellenza and PRIMA. The scheme is open to all disciplines and topics; researchers of any nationality may apply. Applicants can request a budget of up to CHF 1.8 million for a period of five years.

Good conditions for cutting-edge research

More than 440 applications were submitted in this year’s call for SNSF Starting Grants, of which a total of 67 projects will be funded with around CHF 115 million in total. With an SNSF Starting Grant, grantees will lead an independent research project and direct a team of researchers in Switzerland. Of the eleven projects funded at the University of Bern, eight are by women and five by researchers who are moving to Bern from another institution. "This is a great success - not only because we were able to acquire eleven of these highly competitive grants, but also because, thanks to our good research conditions, several outstanding young researchers are coming to Bern to carry out their projects," says Hugues Abriel, Vice-Rector Research at the University of Bern. It is also pleasing that the projects cover so many different areas of research.

The eleven award-winning projects deal with the water cycle, socio-economic development in the Mediterranean region in the 2nd millennium BCE, bacteriophages and their role in the development of antibiotic resistance, border violence, the strengthening of positive memories in patients with depression, incorrect medical diagnoses, the history of algebra in the Mediterranean region, the development of cardiac arrhythmias, therapeutic approaches to dangerous adhesions in the abdomen, the study of the ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa, and the immunological "memory" to intestinal bacteria.

Detailed descriptions of the projects and short biographies of the researchers: