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.
No, this is not possible. Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowships can only be used to finance a research stay at a host institution abroad. The place of research must be different from the place of education. Furthermore, the host institution should not lie in the home country of the applicant; an exception may be granted on request, generally for scientific reasons. Applicants who obtained their doctorate at an institution abroad need to go to another institution for the mobility fellowship.
Yes, this is possible – provided you have a letter of invitation from each host institute.
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).
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, there is no age limit. However, the scientific track record and the prospects of achieving a scientific career are part of the evaluation criteria and the age of the candidate can play a role in this context.
An Early Postdoc.Mobility application will be evaluated by the SNSF Research Commission of the university where you obtained or will soon obtain your doctorate. For medical researchers, the SNSF Research Commission of the university where you passed your state examination will be responsible. If you obtained or will obtain your doctorate abroad or if you gained a licence to practice medicine abroad, the SNSF Fellowship Commission will be responsible. For the electronic submission of applications in mySNF, please select the relevant SNSF Research Commission or the SNSF Fellowship Commission.
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.
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.