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  • The SNSF aims to facilitate early independence for researchers as it is expected to increase their chances of pursuing of a research career. To this end, the SNSF has modified its career funding schemes and, in particular, reduced the eligibility windows for Postdoc.Mobility, Ambizione and Eccellenza. When choosing between an Early Postdoc.Mobility and a Postdoc.Mobility application, applicants should consider the following points: their own interest in expediting their careers (the eligibility windows of Ambizione and Eccellenza have been reduced)), the date of the exam or viva voce and their planning for these events, their personal situation and the special features of the relevant discipline. Researchers who opt for an Early Postdoc.Mobility application and expect to continue their stay abroad at a later stage under a Postdoc.Mobility fellowship should ensure that they meet the formal requirements for the submission of Postdoc.Mobility applications, particularly with regard to the reduced time windows. An important difference between the two schemes is that only Postdoc.Mobility offers researchers the option of a return grant covering a period of research in Switzerland. The SNSF plans to apply similar success rates to the two schemes. Furthermore, the Early Postdoc.Mobility and Postdoc.Mobility fellowships rates are the same.

  • Postdoc.Mobility grants can only be requested for periods where no other funding has been awarded by the SNSF or third parties and no other career grants have been applied for. However, it is possible to apply for funding or for a return grant starting after expiry of the Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. During the evaluation process for a return grant, it is also possible to submit a parallel application for an Ambizione, PRIMA, orEccellenza.

  • Please check that you fulfill all participation requirements on the date of the submission deadline for Postdoc.Mobility. If this is the case, you need to create a new Postdoc.Mobility application in mySNF. In the container “Link to other SNSF projects”, please enter the number of your Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. Please indicate (under “type of relationship”) if the Postdoc.Mobility project is a scientific follow-up of the Early Postdoc.Mobility project or if it is a new project. Please also mention how you will be financed if there is gap between the end of the Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship and the possible start of the Postdoc.Mobility fellowship.

  • Yes, foreign candidates who are already funded by an Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship and who therefore do not hold a valid Swiss permanent residence or residence permit anymore may submit an application for a Postdoc.Mobility fellowship in order to extend their research stay abroad (min 12 months; the funding period of 36 months abroad comprising mobility fellowships for Early Postdoc.Mobility and Postdoc.Moblity may not be exceeded), as long as they fulfill the requirements according to the Postdoc.Mobility Regulations. The beginning of the Postdoc.Mobility fellowship must start directly after the end of the Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. Exceptions can be considered if the Postdoc.Mobility application is submitted while the Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship is still ongoing and the beginning of the Postdoc.Mobility fellowship starts at the latest 6 months after the end of the Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. In these cases the candidate must be financed by the host institute after the end of the Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship (the institute confirms in a letter the duration of its own financing). In other cases, the situation must be clarified before the submission of the application with the SNSF.

  • According to current practice, the funding period of 36 months comprising EPM und PM /APM fellowships may generally not be exceeded. As holder of an EPM fellowship lasting 18 months, you would therefore have the option to request a Postdoc.Mobility fellowship for at the most another 18 months.

  • Yes, candidates (Swiss nationals or foreigners) who are already funded by an Advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship may submit a follow-up application. The funding period of 36 months abroad comprising mobility fellowships for Advanced Postdoc.Mobility and Postdoc.Moblity may not be exceeded. The beginning of the Postdoc.Mobility fellowship must in principle start directly after the end of the Advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship but at the latest 6 months after the end of the Advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. However, no follow-up applications will be possible under the Postdoc.Mobility funding scheme.

  • A further stay or return at the institution of education, where the bachelor’s or master’s degree (or equivalent) or the PhD was obtained, is formally not possible. However, a research stay at the same geographic location (e.g. city) but at a different institution (other than the institution of education) is formally possible. In this context, it should nevertheless be noted that the expected extent of mobility represents an important evaluation criterion. It is a primary aim of the mobility fellowships to promote the mobility and related aspects (promotion of the scientific independence, improvement of the scientific/academic profile).

  • Concerning the return period, the regulations do not formally exclude the possibility to return to the place of education. However, such a choice could be critically evaluated with regard to the increasing independence expected from Postdoc.Mobility fellowship holders and with regard to the chances to pursue an academic career. The return period must be conducted at a Swiss higher education research center.

  • Applications for return grants must be submitted by the official deadlines while the Postdoc.Mobility or the Advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship respectively is still ongoing.

  • No, there is no age limit. However, the scientific track record and the prospects of achieving an academic career are part of the evaluation criteria and the age of the candidate can play a role in this context.

  • You should clarify as early as possible whether a stay at the host institution is subject to any conditions. For example, some host institutions ask fellowship holders to contribute a sum of money towards the institution’s overhead. The SNSF does not cover any overhead costs incurred at host institutions abroad, however. The host institution may also ask for funds to cover the research costs. The SNSF can contribute a maximum of CHF 3,000 per year towards research costs if certain requirements are met. Fellowship holders who bring their own financial contribution for covering living costs should generally receive adequate support from their host institution; this support should encompass, among other things, infrastructure as well as any consumables. In this context, please take note of the “Information set SNSF mobility fellowships“. Please also clarify your status at the host institution. Some host institutes, especially in France, demand that fellowship holders be officially employed at the institution and that the SNSF directly transfers the fellowship to the host institution. In such cases, it is possible that a large portion of the fellowship is spent on social security contributions. The amount that ought to be available to the fellowship holders to cover their living costs is therefore reduced. Another solution, which may enable to keep the fellowship’s amount unchanged, would be that the beneficiary of the fellowship considers with the host institution the possibilities of signing a “hosting agreement for volunteer researchers” (“convention d’accueil pour chercheur/chercheuse bénévole”, similar status as for Researchers Emeritus).

    Some host institutes, especially in the USA, also require minimum rates for their researchers, which may depend on the academic age after the PhD. Please clarify this with the responsible offices at the host institute as early as possible. The fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap.

  • No Data Management Plan needs to be submitted for the mobility fellowships.

  • The mobility fellowship must be started no later than twelve months after the date of the ruling. Upon request, it may be possible to postpone the beginning for a further twelve months in case of important reasons such as an illness, an accident or family duties. The grantee must submit with her/his justified request a new confirmation letter from the host institute and eventually an updated research plan. Other funds received, for example another fellowship, do not represent a valid reason to postpone the beginning for more than twelve months.

  • ​The information set “SNSF mobility fellowships” gives you detailed information on tax and insurance issues as well as on other administrative matters.

  • No, the fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap.

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