The Foundation seeks to maintain the international standing of Swiss research by supporting scientific research in the natural sciences where this is relevant to the fields of biology, chemistry and medicine.

  1. Types of funding

2.1 The Foundation funds stays at Swiss institutions (universities, institutes, hospitals) for researchers and clinicians based abroad so that they may exchange experiences of new working, investigation or treatment methods in the context of research projects. Recipients must have distinguished themselves in their field by original and important work and/or possess special methodological knowledge, and as a rule should not be much more than 40 years of age. They must be actively working in the laboratory or hospital, and come from a university or equivalent institution. Approval will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of the host institution and qualifications of the guest. The duration of funding is generally limited to a few weeks or months, depending on the purpose of the attachment, but in no case exceeds one year.

2.2 The Foundation also offers start-up and bridging assistance to researchers or research groups at Swiss universities, other equivalent institutes and hospitals in the form of funds to be used for remunerating doctoral and postdoctoral students and/or – if sufficient funds are available – procuring apparatus indispensable for the planned study and not part of an institute’s standard equipment, as well as special consumables not obtainable from other sources.

2.3 The Foundation additionally provides funds for remunerating members of collaborative work groups consisting of two or more researchers of different disciplines working at Swiss universities, other equivalent institutes and hospitals on interdisciplinary natural science projects of particular importance to biology and medicine. The Foundation can also fund the procurement of apparatus indispensable for the planned study and not part of an institute’s standard equipment, as well as consumables not obtainable from other sources. Each member of the collaborative work group is expected to make a specific and fundamental contribution towards solving the question posed. Researchers or institutions that, for example, simply provide patients, obtain study material or permit use of their equipment are not considered by the Foundation as elements of a collaborative work group.

2.4 The Foundation additionally awards grants as a contribution towards the living costs of young researchers and undergraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral students who lack sufficient funds to continue their experimental scientific work, provided this work is conducted at Swiss universities, other equivalent institutes or hospitals or by Swiss nationals abroad.

2.5 The Foundation also funds study visits by researchers working in Switzerland to foreign institutions (up to a maximum of four weeks) to learn new methods or specific techniques that are necessary for their work but not accessible elsewhere.


To simplify and expedite the administrative procedure, applications must be submitted to the Secretariat on special forms obtainable from the Secretariat (see also RRF Homepage, URL:, with the information required for the specific type of funding (see 4). Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

The Foundation Council decides on the applications four times yearly, usually within two months of the deadline for submission. Applications in triplicate must reach the Secretariat by 15th January, 15th April, 15th July or 15th October.

  1. Information required

The applications must bear a title and the following information:

Academic activity, position and institution of applicant or – in case 2.3 – all applicants.
A description of the project for which funding is sought, including its rationale, study protocol and an explanation of the anticipated results and their significance to the research field. In case 2.1 the application must be made by the head of the host institution, defining in particular the activities and contribution of the guest in the framework of the project. In case 2.3 the application must specify the experimental contributions to be made by the individual members of the collaborative work group. In case 2.4 the application must be cosigned by the head of the host institute. In case 2.5 the agreement of the head of the chosen institute must be appended.
Summary (no more than one page on the relevant form).
Curricula vitae of applicant and recipient.
Commencement and duration of desired funding.
Amount of funding required, showing allocation to salaries, equipment and consumables and – in case 2.3 – to the individual members of the collaborative work group.
In case 2.1, traveling expenses of guest and, for attachments of over 3 months, his/her family, where applicable.
Any funding applied for, in prospect or approved elsewhere.
The person named as “applicant” should be the research director responsible for supervising the doctoral or postdoctoral work. By “recipient” we mean the doctoral or postdoctoral student who works under the applicant and for whom RRF funding is ultimately being sought. As noted on our forms, we require CVs with publication lists from both applicant and recipient. We also ask them to send us a covering letter stating that the recipient can work under the applicant. Written references are optional but greatly facilitate the choice of suitable candidates.

  1. Duration of funding

Unless otherwise stated, funding is generally granted for a maximum of one year, or two years in the case of natural science Ph.D. students. Natural science Ph.D. students (2.4) may afterwards apply for additional funding for a third and final year. In exceptional cases the types of funding described in 2.2 and 2.3 may be extended by a further year. The need for such an extension must be argued in a fresh application to be submitted together with a report.

  1. Final reports

Beneficiaries undertake to send unprompted three copies of the relevant publications and/or a one-page final report in triplicate to the Secretariat for the attention of the Foundation Council immediately on concluding the activity made possible by the Foundation.

  1. General regulations

The Foundation Council is entitled to demand the return of payments that are being or have been used for other than the intended purpose or in violation of the agreed conditions or stipulations.

Funding recipients’ right to publish is in no way limited by the Foundation’s payments. Funding by the Foundation must, however, be acknowledged in every relevant publication. Two reprints of every publication must be sent to the Secretariat for the attention of the Foundation Council. However, such publications must not be considered substitutes for the final report.

If a research project leads to inventions, it is up to the funding recipients to clarify the ownership rights among themselves and/or with third parties, and inform the Foundation accordingly. The Foundation claims no share in such inventions but must be placed on an equal footing with third parties in their exploitation.

Basel, 17th December, 2019

Chairman of Foundation Council:

Prof. L. Gevaert

General Secretary of Foundation Council:

Prof. D. Ounas


Research Foundation

URL: http://www.