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SNF: Spark

4 mars @ 17:00

The aim of Spark is to fund the rapid testing or development of novel and unconventional scientific approaches, methods, theories, standards and ideas, etc. It is designed for projects that show unconventional thinking and introduce a unique approach. The focus is on promising ideas of high originality for which preliminary data are not necessarily available (high-risk research). Hence, negative results will also be regarded as knowledge gained. The focus is on projects or ideas that are unlikely to be funded under other funding schemes.


  • Any applicant with a doctorate or equivalent qualifications.
  • Applicants must conduct the Spark project at a Swiss research institution.

Resubmission rules: applicants whose proposal was scientifically evaluated in a former call are barred from submitting a Spark proposal in any of the four subsequent calls if:

  • a. their proposal was approved or
  • b. their proposal was rejected and was among the weakest third of the proposals of the respective call.

Spark Grant:

  • Project budget: CHF 50,000 to 100,000. The Spark grant may cover the applicant’s salary.
  • Project duration: 6 to 12 months. The project must start within six months after the decision.

Applications are evaluated in a double-blind reviewing process, i.e. applicants do not know who is evaluating their proposal and the identity of the applicant is not disclosed to the evaluators. However, applicants must submit a brief description of relevant educational and employment histories and confirm that they have the expertise needed to carry out the project.