Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF, German: Schweizerische Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, SNF; French: Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique, FNS) is a science research support organisation mandated by the Swiss Federal Government. The Swiss National Science Foundation was established under private law by physicist and medical doctor Alexander von Muralt in 1952.
The SNSF consists of three main bodies: Foundation Council, National Research Council and Administrative Offices. The Foundation Council is the highest authority and makes strategic decisions. The National Research Council is composed of distinguished researchers who mostly work at Swiss institutions of higher education. They assess research proposals submitted to the SNSF and make funding decisions. The National Research Council comprises up to 100 members and is subdivided into four divisions:
- Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences
- Division II: Mathematics, Natural sciences and Engineering Sciences
- Division III: Biology and Medicine
- Division IV: Programmes (National Research Programmes / National Centres of Competence in Research)
The divisions work together with local Research Commissions, which are based at institutions of higher education. These commissions act as a link to the SNSF and they offer a local perspective on applications emanating from their institution.
The administrative offices support and coordinate the activities of the Foundation Council, the Research Council and the Research Commissions. Their tasks include financial controlling of research funding, requesting and evaluating external reviews of proposed projects, maintaining national and international contacts in the area of research policy, representing the SNSF in relevant bodies and communicating with the public. The Administrative Offices are located in Bern.