Guidelines for Applicants

1 General

The Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research funds Research Projects, young Investigators and Research Fellowships in the area of medical-biological research.

The Foundation accepts applications for funding over one year up to a maximum amount of CHF 80’000.00 for:

A)    Research Projects to be conducted in Switzerland by members of a Swiss university or research institution. Applicants must be senior researchers responsible for the research project (PI).

B)    A limited number of Research Fellowships at universities / research institutions outside of Switzerland (e.g. postdocs) for advancing the scientific careers of young researchers (PhD / MD) from Swiss universities. The Foundation supports costs of living, housing etc. up to CHF 80’000.00. Research projects at the host university / institution should be funded locally. The Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research only funds a period up to one year of an over one year research stay abroad - which is also third party funded. This also applies to extensions of running projects.

C)    Young Investigators starting or continuing their first independent research project at a Swiss Institute and researchers applying for an Eccelenza grant at the SNF. Applicants for this grant should have an academic age below 8 years, meaning that they should have worked in academia for less than 8 years after receiving a PhD/MD. Periods where the applicant wasn't working (parental leave, taking care of sick persons, clinical training etc.) are not counted.

We do not sponsor projects that include any Novartis products.

Applicants for grants must not have received a grant of the same kind (A, B or C; see above) from our Foundation within the last five years (example: if you received a grant in December 2016 (third submission deadline in 2015), you can apply again starting from the third submission date in 2021). However if you received a Fellowship Grant from us, you are free to apply for a Young Investigator Grant or a Research Project Grant within the next five years.

The annual deadlines for submission are as follows:

First submission: February 1st (Fellowships and Research Projects)

Second submission: May 15th (Young Investigator Grant)

Third submission: October 1st (Fellowships and Research Projects)

2 Applications

2.1 Research projects

2.1.1 Financials

Our Foundation funds research projects  up to a maximum amount of CHF 80’000.00 including charged social costs for salaries. Please ensure that you include – if applicable – these costs in your budget / total amount.

  1. Salaries for research staff (i.e. PhD students, Postdocs or other staff needed), however, our contribution to research projects does not include the applicants own salary.
  2. Instruments or Intrument fees
  3. Miscellaneous (consumables, animal costs, publication fees etc.)

2.1.2 Documents

2.1.2.1 Application Form

You can download the application form here. Please fill it in and attach it to your application.

2.1.2.2 Scientific Part

Grant applications should be submitted electronically in English language according to the following guidelines:

They should not exceed 10 pages, single-spaced, font size 12.

Proposals should not be a copy-paste of the SNF grant proposal, but a self-standing outline of the planned research to be performed, in general over a one-year period. If your project exceeds a one-year period, please enclose information about the funding for the remaining / elapsed time frame.

Your application should include the following:

  1. Summary / Abstract summarizing the research project to be funded (max. 1 page)
  2. Background (max. 2 pages)
  3. Hypothesis and specific aims (max. 2 pages)
  4. Experiments to be performed, protocols, methods (max. 2 pages)
  5. Significance (max. 1 page)
  6. Budget and budget justifications (max.1 page) (If the grant application involves salaries, the applicable social costs should be provided)
  7. References (max. 1 page)
2.1.2.3 CVs and Publication Lists

Please include your CV and a publication list of the last five years in your application. Also do the same for involved postdocs if the grant is meant to cover their salaries.

Research Fellowships: We support costs of living, housing etc.; the research project should be funded locally (host university / institution).

2.1.3 Submission

Your application consists of three different parts:

  1. Application Form in Microsoft Excel format (.xlsx)
  2. Your application (see above instructions, pdf format, max. 10 pages) collated with all appendices 1) (PDF) in a single document
  3. Your CV (max. 2 pages) and a list of publications (limited to the last 5 years) plus the CVs of your PhD student, Postdocs or other staff

1) appendices
a.    SNF funding letter if pertinent
b.    SNF grant summary if pertinent
c.    Letters and summaries for other funding agencies
d.    Offers from vendors (for laboratory equipment)
e.    Approval letters for animal studies if pertinent
f.    Positive opinion of the responsible Ethics Committee if the study involves human subjects or identifiable human material or personal data
g.    Other relevant documents as applicable

Send your application with all the documents mentioned above to the email address med_biol.foundation@novartis.com. Please mention what kind of grant you are applying for in the subject line (A, B, or C; see above).

2.2 Young Investigator Grants

2.2.1 Financials

Our max. grant is CHF 80’000.00 including charged social costs for salaries. Please ensure that you include – if applicable – these costs in your budget / total amount.

  1. Salaries for research staff (i.e. PhD students, Postdocs, or other staff needed - in exceptional cases the applicants own salary as well)
  2. Instruments or Instrument fees
  3. Miscellaneous (consumables, animal costs, publication fees etc.)

2.2.2 Documents

2.2.2.1 Application Form

You can download the application form here. Please fill it and attach it in to your application.

2.2.2.2 Scientific Part

Grant applications should be submitted electronically in English language according to the following guidelines:

They should not exceed 10 pages, single-spaced, font size 12.

Proposals should not be a copy-paste of the SNF grant proposal, but a self-standing outline of the planned research to be performed, in general over a one-year period. If your project exceeds a one-year period, please enclose information about the funding for the remaining / elapsed time frame.

Your application should include the following:

  1. Application Form, Microsoft Excelformat
  2. Summary / Abstract summarizing the research project to be funded (max. 1 page)
  3. Background (max. 2 pages)
  4. Hypothesis and specific aims (max. 2 pages)
  5. Experiments to be performed, protocols,methods (max. 2 pages)
  6. Significance (max. 1 page)
  7. Budget and budget justifications (max.1 page) (If the grant application involves salaries, the applicable social costs should be provided)
  8. References (max.1 page)
2.2.2.3 CV and Publication list

Please include your CV and a publication list of the last five years in your application. Also do the same for involved postdocs if the grant is meant to cover their salaries.

2.2.2.4 Confirmation letters / Support letters

This kind of application needs a written confirmation that the applicant will be corresponding author on any papers that will be published based on the submitted project should it be funded by the Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research. In case you are an associate of a research group in Switzerland, please do include a signed confirmation letter by the group leader stating your independency as a researcher.

In case you hold an independent research position at the a Swiss Institute, please include a Support Letter by your last group leader.

In case you hold currently or going to hold an independent research position at a Swiss Institute, please provide a document confirming this employment.

2.2.2.5 Motivation Letter

Please also include a letter explaining your future career plans and motivation.

2.2.3 Submission

Your application consists of four different parts:

  1. Application Form in Microsoft Excel format (.xlsx)
  2. Your application (see above instructions, pdf format, max. 10 pages) collated with all appendices 1) (PDF) in a single document
  3. Your CV (max. 2 pages) and a list of your publications (limited to the last 5years) plus the CVs of your PhD student, Postdoc or other staff
  4. Confirmation letter / Support letter by the current or last group leader

1) appendices
a.    SNF funding letter if pertinent
b.    SNF grant summary if pertinent
c.    Letters and summaries for other funding agencies
d.    Offers from vendors (for laboratory equipment)
e.    Approval letters for animal studies if pertinent
f.    Positive opinion of the responsible Ethics Committee if the study involves human subjects or identifiable human material or personal data
g.    Other relevant documents as applicable

Send your application with all the documents attached to the email address med_biol.foundation@novartis.com. Please mention what kind of grant you are applying for in the subject line (A, B, or C; see above).

2.3 Fellowships

2.3.1 Financials

Our Foundation grants Fellowship Grants up to a max. amount of CHF 80'000.00. We maximally fund a one-year period research stays abroad that will last more than one year. This also accounts for extensions to already running fellowships. There has to be third party funding for the additional time of the fellowship.

We support costs of living, housing etc.; the research project should be funded locally (host university / institution).

2.3.2 Documents

2.3.2.1 Application Form

You can download the application form here. Please fill it and attach it to your application.

2.1.2.2 Scientific Part

Grant applications should be submitted electronically in English language according to the following guidelines:

They should not exceed 10 pages, single-spaced, font size 12.

Proposals should not be a copy-paste of the SNF grant proposal, but a self-standing outline of the planned research to be performed, in general over a one-year period. If your project exceeds a one-year period, please enclose information about the funding for the remaining / elapsed time frame.

Your application should include the following:

  1. Application Form, Microsoft Excelformat
  2. Summary / Abstract summarizing the research project to be funded (max. 1 page)
  3. Background (max. 2 pages)
  4. Hypothesis and specific aims (max. 2 pages)
  5. Experiments to be performed, protocols, methods (max. 2 pages)
  6. Significance (max. 1 page)
  7. Budget and budget justifications (max.1 page) (If the grant application involves salaries, the applicable social costs should be provided)
  8. References (max.1 page)
2.1.2.3 CVs and Publication Lists

Please include your CV and a list of publications from the last five years in your application.

2.1.2.4 Confirmation Letter of host Institute

Please include a letter confirming your fellowship position at the host Institute abroad.

2.3.3 Submission

Your application consists of four different parts:

  1. Application Form in Microsoft Excel format (.xlsx)
  2. Your application (see above instructions, pdf format, max. 10 pages) collated with all appendices 1) (PDF) in a single document
  3. Your CV (max. 2 pages) and a list of your publications (limited to the last 5years)
  4. Confirmation letter / Support letter by the host University / Institute

1) appendices
a.    SNF funding letter if pertinent
b.    SNF grant summary if pertinent
c.    Letters and summaries for other funding agencies
d.    Approval letters for animal studies if pertinent
g.    Other relevant documents as applicable

Send your application with all the documents mentioned above attached to the email address med_biol.foundation@novartis.com. Please mention what kind of grant you are applying for in the subject line (A, B, or C; see above).

3 Decisions

After submitting their application, applicants are given a unique ApplicationID which should be mentioned in any further correspondence. We will communicate our decisions via email around 14 weeks after the submission deadline. We will use the email which is provided on the application form.

In case you do receive a grant from us, please send in an invoice genereted by the finance department of your institution. (In case of Fellowship Grants we can also transfer the grant to your private account - no invoice needed)

Please note that we do not comment negative decisions.

4 Resubmission

You are always welcome to reapply in case your application was not approved. In order to resubmit your application, send in a revised version and explain any changes made to the original in a seperate document.