Mandated by the federal government, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) supports basic science in all academic disciplines, from history to medicine and the engineering sciences. The SNSF is Switzerland’s foremost research funding organisation and finances over 3,200 projects involving 14,800 researchers each year. In 2014, it allocated CHF 849 million to these projects.
In close collaboration with higher education institutions and other partners, the SNSF strives to create optimal conditions for the development and international integration of Swiss research. It pays particular attention to the promotion of young researchers. In addition, it accepts evaluation mandates to ensure that large Swiss research initiatives funded by third parties deliver the highest scientific quality.
The prime focus of the SNSF's international activities is to remove obstacles to international co-operation and facilitate cross-border collaboration between research groups.
At the heart of the SNSF's activities are the added value that international co-operation represents for Swiss research and the needs of researchers. The SNSF is therefore pursuing two main goals:
- raise scientific capacities in developing and transition countries to an international level and give Swiss researchers access to research groups in those countries
- support existing co-operation with emerging, industrialised and European countries, facilitate new initiatives and secure access to European Framework Programmes and other international research programmes for Swiss researchers
The SNSF has published a strategy paper on its international co-operation policies.