The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has pledged to finance nine new assistant professorships at the University of Bern within the framework of the first "Eccellenza" call for proposals. At the same time, an "Eccellenza" grant was also approved, resulting in a total of approximately 16.2 million in funding flowing to Bern.
The SNSF launched the two-part "Eccellenza" funding line this year instead of the previous professorships. It is aimed on the one hand at highly qualified young researchers seeking a professorship (SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship) and on the other hand at researchers who have recently taken up an assistant professorship with a tenure track (SNSF Eccellenza Grant).
Support for young talent
The "SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships" give young researchers great financial and scientific independence: In addition to their salaries, the fellows receive up to CHF one million for a research project of their own choice over a period of five years, one year longer than the previous professorships.
Out of a total of 37 "SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships" awarded throughout Switzerland, nine went to the University of Bern, i.e. around a quarter. “This is a visible result of how intensively we promote young researchers," says Daniel Candinas, Vice Rector for Research at the University of Bern. The Grants Office, the central point of contact for researchers at the University of Bern, also contributed to the extraordinary success rate by helping them obtain the funding. The nine researchers will start their projects next year, and some of them are already doing research at the University of Bern.
At the same time as the fellowships, the SNSF launched its first call for highly endowed project funding in the form of "Eccellenza Grants", which newly appointed assistant professors with a tenure track could apply for. The grant will enable them to build up a research team and lead a challenging scientific project. Mirko Schmidt, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Bern, is receiving approximately CHF 428,000 for his five-year project.
Wide scientific range
The award-winning scientists conduct research in the following areas: German linguistics, English linguistics, ancient history, applied psychology, astrophysics, theoretical physics, geochemistry, ecology and molecular biology. They will receive a total of around CHF 16.2 million.
Short descriptions of the projects and pictures of the "Eccellenza" recipients can be found in the download section below.