Swiss National Science Foundation

Nine new externally funded professorships for UZH

The Swiss National Science Foundation has this year awarded 39 professorships to outstanding young researchers. Almost one in four of them are at the University of Zurich.


UZH im Schnee
The University of Zurich: Host institution for nine new SNSF professorships. (Image: Thomas Poppenwimmer)


Every year the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) awards a number of funded professorships. This year, nine researchers have been awarded SNSF professorships with UZH as the host institution, thirteen in 2017.

The nine outstanding academics will now have the opportunity to gain further experience at UZH and to launch their own projects with their own teams. The funding is provided for a period of four years. The amount of funds per professorship is 1.48 million francs on average.

UZH equal with the University of Geneva

The 39 professorships granted this year are distributed across the higher education institutions as follows: University of Zurich 9, University of Geneva 9, University of Bern 5, University of Basel 5, University of Lausanne 6, University of Fribourg 2, EPF Lausanne 2, ETH Zurich 1.

Boost for research and teaching

The new SNSF professorships provide a boost for research and teaching at the University of Zurich. Four of the nine SNSF professorships are within the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi (social and cultural anthropology), Stefan Höfler and Rico Sennrich (both with a concentration in German language and literature and English language and literature), and Jörg Löschke (philosophy).

Four SNSF professorships have been awarded in the Faculty of Science at UZH: Alexey Soluyanov (theoretical physics), Fabian Donat Natterer (condensed matter physics) Andreas Crivellin (theoretical physics), and Sylvain Bischof (molecular biology).

The Faculty of Economics also gained one professorship: Ingo Scholtes, researcher in the Department of Informatics.

Proven funding instrument

Since 2000, the SNSF has awarded professorships every year to junior researchers who stand out on account of their exceptional academic achievements and have a promising project proposal. The funding covers the salary of the professor at assistant professorship level, research costs including salaries for other team members, and a contribution towards infrastructure costs. Around 80 percent of grantees are appointed as professors after expiry of the grant, in most cases with tenure.

Since the scheme was launched, a total of 730 SNSF professorships have been granted. The University of Zurich has received the greatest share, with 138 SNSF professorships in total, followed by the University of Geneva with 99, and the universities of Bern and Basel with 95 each.

This year the professorships scheme will be replaced by the SNSF Excellenza Professorial Fellowships scheme. As previously, the scheme is aimed at researchers aspiring to a professorship. In addition, the SNSF will also award Excellenza Grants aimed at projects of researchers who already have an assistant professorship with tenure track at a higher education institution. 

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