Leading House


In the framework of the bilateral collaboration strategy of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has played the role of “Leading House” for collaboration between Switzerland and Russia since 2008. The first funding period (2008-2012) was primarily dedicated to supporting research projects. During the second period (2013-2016), the LH played an important part in coordinating, communicating and disseminating information. For the third period (2017-2020), the mandate was enlarged to also cover Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan (roughly referred to hereinafter as “CIS Region”).

The Leading House for Russia and CIS has to date funded some 70 bilateral projects aiming to initiate scientific collaborations between Switzerland and the partner countries. The full lists and descriptions of the selected projects are available on the left-hand side.

In agreement with the University of Geneva, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) has taken the strategic decision to now focus on larger collaboration projects in this region through the funding instruments of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Thus, as of 2021, no further calls within the frame of the Leading House programme will be launched with Russia and the CIS countries. However, other funding opportunities can be found at the SNSF.

Researchers and students interested in new cooperation projects or exchanges with Russia and the CIS countries are invited to contact the SNSF. Bilateral projects accepted during the last Leading House mandate (2017-2020) will continue to receive their funding until completion.


Mandate 2017-2020

During the last mandate, four calls for projects were launched in order to encourage new and promising collaborative projects between researchers from Switzerland and the eligible countries. The projects have been carried out with success and given rise to many tangible results, including publications, conferences, summer schools and the creation of academic networks. Others are still ongoing until 2022. The projects are in a great variety of academic disciplines, ranging from psychology to international security, to social sciences, linguistics, robotics, physics, palaeontology and more.

1) Call Switzerland - Russia 2018

Two projects were funded within the Innovation Seed Grant scheme, involving two Swiss and two Russian institutions. Within the Program Starter Grant scheme, 13 projects were selected for funding.

2) Call Switzerland - CIS Region 2018

A total of 21 projects were selected for funding within the Seed Funding Grant connecting researchers in 13 Swiss institutions and 16 scientific entities in partner countries.

3) Call Switzerland - Russia 2020

Within the Research Preparation Grant scheme, 25 projects were selected for funding out of the 56 proposals received, bringing together a large number of researchers from 23 Russian and 12 Swiss institutions.

4) Call Switzerland - CIS Region 2020

Within this round of the Seed Funding Grant, 11 projects were selected for funding, involving researchers from 16 Swiss institutions in collaboration with 7 countries.