A revamped Swiss National Fund to drive innovation

The Foundation Council and the Research Council are assigned more managerial responsibilities and the Assembly of Delegates is born

Swiss National Science Foundation: headquarters at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern
Founded in 1952 as a private-law foundation commissioned by the Confederation to support all scientific disciplines and headquartered at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is the most important Swiss institution for the promotion of research

On June 16, 2023 the Federal Council approved the revision of the statute of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), which was dealt with by the Foundation Board.

This is a total overhaul that above all renews aspects concerning the organization: the Foundation Council and the Research Council are given greater managerial responsibilities, and a new body, the Assembly of Delegates, looks after the interests of university schools and grant recipients.

The new statute will enter into force on January 2024, XNUMX.

The renewed statute of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (in German and French)
The renewed and commented statute of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (in German and French)
Already seventy years of Swiss National Science Foundation

Swiss National Science Foundation: the logo in English
The logo of the Swiss National Science Foundation in English

More streamlined and dynamic organizational structures between general and scientific management

The revision gives the SNSF a statutory basis which allows it to equip itself with leaner and more dynamic organizational structures.

Responsibilities regarding strategic issues are defined more clearly: the Foundation Board maintains the general management of the SNSF, but does not issue its own research measures.

In the future, the definition of promotion tools and measures will be the exclusive competence of the Research Council.

Another novelty consists in the establishment of an Assembly of Delegates.

The SNSF and Innosuisse will strengthen the strategic partnership

Swiss National Science Foundation: headquarters at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern
Founded in 1952 as a private-law foundation commissioned by the Confederation to support all scientific disciplines and headquartered at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is the most important Swiss institution for the promotion of research

Those "thinner" organs of the SNSF: from 7 to 11 members for the CF, from 30 to 80 for the CR

According to the new statute, the Foundation Board is made up of at least 7 and a maximum of 11 members (up to now there were 42); in the case of the Research Council there are 30-80 members (currently it can be up to 100).

The Research Council is no longer directed by a Presidency, but by a Committee. Scientific panels will play an increasingly important role in evaluating applications for funding.

The Assembly of Delegates is the new body representing universities and scientific organisations. It is a consultative body and is made up of no more than 40 members.

The Management Committee is an operational body, which corresponds to the current secretariat.

The Board of Trustees appoints the auditing body.

882 million francs invested in research by the SNSF in 2021

Swiss National Fund: the 2022 poster celebrating seventy years
The 2022 poster celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation

Repealed the deed of foundation in favor of the statute, yes to the principles of good management

The Federal Council of Swiss confederation elects the president of the Foundation Board on the latter's proposal.

The Board of Trustees chooses its members on the proposal of a nomination commission.

It elects the Committee and members of the Research Council. It also has the power to revoke the members of the various organs (with the exception of the president).

The Federal Supervisory Authority for Foundations (AVF) has also proposed to merge the foundation deed and statute. The foundation deed is therefore repealed.

With the revision of the statutes, the SNSF is complying with principles of good management.

As an organization of experts, it can modify and broaden its sphere of competence by acting with broad autonomy and according to scientific criteria.

Of course, the superior managerial role of only the Swiss Confederation.

Almost 25 billion francs invested in research in Switzerland

Swiss National Science Foundation: headquarters at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern
Founded in 1952 as a private-law foundation commissioned by the Confederation to support all scientific disciplines and headquartered at Wildhainweg 3 in Bern, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is the most important Swiss institution for the promotion of research