Funding Resources for Researchers



A large part of research funding relies on resources supplementary to the ordinary budget of the University of Geneva (UNIGE). UNIGE’s researchers annually obtain more than 130 million Swiss Francs, earmarked for research, from sources such as: the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the European Research Programmes (H2020,..), national and international programmes, private and public foundations, etc.


In the framework of the «Coordinated Swiss Energy Research Action Plan Measures for the Years 2013-2016» the federal government made available additional resources for research and innovation in the energy sector. The SNSF will fund the next generation of energy researchers, in particular through SNSF professorships and Ambizione Energy grants, and the CTI will promote R&D projects in the field of energy. In principle, these new resources finance energy research conducted at institutions involved in Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER). UNIGE is involved in 5 SCCERs : SCCER EIP, SCCER FEEB&D, SCCER Hae, SCCER CREST and SCCER SoE.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 (H2020) is the world’s largest international public research funding instrument. With a budget of 80 billion euros over seven years (2014-2020), H2020 supports fundamental to applied research in all scientific domains. It is open to academic and private partners from all over Europe and the world and it introduces significant administrative simplification measures for easier participation and optimised collaboration.

H2020 consists of 3 main pillars: 1) Excellent Science supporting fundamental and bottom-up research in all scientific areas through ERC, FET, Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Research Infrastructures schemes, 2) Industrial Leadership focusing on key enabling technologies such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Nanotechnologies, Biotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Manufacturing and Space Technologies, and 3) Societal Challenges addressing major European and global concerns in the domains of Health, Food, Energy, Transport, Climate, Inclusive Societies and Security. Cross-cutting actions include - among others - social sciences and humanities, international cooperation and gender issues.

Switzerland participates in H2020 with the status of “partial association”, meaning that Swiss universities and researchers participate with full access but under the following double regime: 1) as “associated country” with EC funding to all projects in the H2020 pillar 1 (Excellent Science) and the sub-programme Spreading Excellence, and 2) as “third country” with Swiss funding in the other parts of the programme (Industrial Leadership, Societal challenges).