Applications open for SNSF special Call for research into Coronavirus

© 2020 SNSF

© 2020 SNSF

Rapid support for research into coronaviruses and their impact. Researchers from all disciplines are invited to apply. Deadline: 25 March 2020.

Following the serious SARS and MERS epidemics of the past, another coronavirus has led to the Covid-19 epidemic, a public health emergency of global proportions. An intensification of research efforts is therefore urgently needed. For this reason, the SNSF is supporting projects involving research into coronaviruses - to tackle the current crisis and prepare for likely future epidemics. The SNSF is convinced that Swiss research can make a difference and has therefore launched a special call. A budget of five million Swiss francs has provisionally been earkmarked for the call.

The call covers the following priority areas:

  • Virological, immunological, and immunopathological aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection that may be relevant for understanding pathogenesis, for the development of vaccines and ad-vancement into clinical testing of therapeutics (including repurposing) and diagnostic tools;
  • Animal and environmental research on the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2, and research on control measures at the human-animal interface;
  • The natural history, clinical characterisation and management of COVID-19 disease;
  • Epidemiological studies, for example studies on key parameters determining transmission, risks of severe adverse outcomes, forecasting spread of the outbreak and estimating the effect of public health measures (clinical and economical benefits);
  • Infection prevention and control, including best practice to protect health care workers; and prevent (or if not prevented, at least rapidly recognise and halt) hospital-acquired infections;
  • The societal impact at large, including developing strategies to understand and combat misinformation, stigma, and fear;
  • Impact of official and social media communications on understanding and behaviour of policy makers, health care workers, patients and populations;
  • The social and political history, including for instance public communication, legal aspects, border controls, mobility restrictions by States of COVID-19 disease;
  • International relations, global coordination, response systems and crisis management, in-cluding measuring/mitigating economical and political effects;
  • Ethical considerations for research, including the design of clinical, epidemiological, anthro-pological, and public health studies.

On completion of the project, research data must be made available for researchers, authorities and the general public worldwide and without delay.

Who can apply: (all must apply)

  • 1 or more researchers from all disciplines who are able to contribute to a better understanding of the virus, its spread, the resulting illness as well as diagnosis and treatment, or who can help the health system and society as a whole deal more effectively with the epidemic.
  • Applicants must have an independent research position that enables them to independently conduct a research project, make a substantial personal contribution to the project and lead staff members (same eligibility criteria as for SNSF Project Funding – see EPFL Instructions for SNSF Project Funding).
  • One applicant may be based outside Switzerland if his/her expertise is essential.
  • Grantees may not at the same time be employed as staff members in any other SNSF-funded project.

Funding and duration: CHF 50’000 – 300’000 for up to 24 months.

For the eligible costs, see the EPFL Instructions for SNSF Project Funding. Do not include overheads in your budget. Note: Doctoral students salaries may be charged to Coronavirus Special Call projects if progress with their PhD is not jeopardised and full funding of their PhD beyond the grant is guaranteed.

Deadline: 25 March 2020, 17:00 Swiss local time.

Decision: mid-May 2020.

Start of the project: within 3 months from the earliest starting date defined in the Decision.

For further information, have a look at the call webpage and call document. Register this call on your calendar with the EPFL Memento.