Fondo Istituzionale per la Ricerca (FIR)

The aim of the "Fondo Istituzionale per la Ricerca (FIR)" is to promote the strategic development of research at the Università della Svizzera italiana. It supports structured projects through an annual call for proposals (currently in preparation) and specific support needs.

The service is funded by a part of the overhead on projects from the Swiss National Science Foundation and by other institutional funds.

In 2022, USI received 11 proposals for young researchers and 3 proposals for doctoral schools; taking into account the funds available, it was possible to fund the following projects:

Support to young researchers

  • Dr. Chuprikov, Safe and Modular Control Plane-aware Programming of the Network Data Plane;
  • Dr.ssa Levin, Thermal Communities in Times of Climate Crisis; Berlin as Case Study;
  • Dr. Pizzagalli, A digital biomarker for the responsiveness of the immune system to cell death;
  • Dr. Riva, Performance boost for radiative magneto-hydrodynamics simulations in astrophysics;
  • Dr.ssa Silchenko, PATHOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR DIGITAL WELLBEING: Consumer Responsibilisation in Health(ism)-Driven Hyperdigital Marketplace;
  • Dr. Zulian, Simulation of creeping flows and structure interaction on Terabyte size data.

Support of doctoral schools

  • Prof.ssa Mengis, Socio-Cultural Approaches in Business Studies: Theoretical Foundations and Theory-Building;
  • Prof.ssa Hildebrand e Prof. Roesler, The doctoral school at AAM.

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  • Funding of specific and punctual research needs

    USI provides specific and limited funding for research activities through the "Fondo Istituzionale per la Ricerca (FIR)"

    Potential beneficiaries

    Members of the professorial and intermediate bodies (MER and Group leaders) who have an employment contract with USI.

    Eligible costs: may include:

    • Acquisition of data, software, hardware for specific needs
    • Seed-money for researchers
    • Exceptional research positions not covered by institute contracts
    • Enhancement of sabbaticals

    The maximum funding is CHF 20'000 and is non-repeatable for a period of two years.

    Evaluation criteria

    • Added value of funds for the development of research activities and the acquisition of third-party funds.
    • Absence of other financing possibilities.


    A motivated request must be submitted to the SRIT, including a justification for the request, an indication of the contribution to the development of research, prospects for further funding and finally the budget.

    Applications will be evaluated by a member of the USI Research Commission; on this basis, the Research Pro-Rector will formulate a proposal of decision for the attention of the Rectorate.

  • Fondo Istituzionale per la Ricerca (FIR) - Call 2022

    Submission deadline: 1st October, 2022

    The purpose of the FIR is to support activities that enable the long-term structuring and development of research at USI.
    Funding through the FIR is limited in time and is aimed at projects whose realisation cannot be reasonably assured with current resources or external financing.

    In this context, the FIR 2022 call focuses on

    1. Supporting young researchers with doctorates with the aim of enabling them to become scientifically independent.
    2. The support of doctoral schools.

    The budget available for both areas is CHF 500,000

    1. Support to young researchers


    To support young researchers with PhD in the development of independent research and in the acquisition of competitive funding.

    Researchers who have had their PhD for at least two and at most eight years and who do not yet have a professorial position. Any extensions of these terms will
    comply with SNSF regulations.

    Both internal and external researchers invited by USI faculty members to present a specific project may participate.

    Duration and financing

    A maximum of CHF 120'000 for a duration of 24 months. The following costs are covered

    • PI's salary (maximum 50% FTE).
    • Research costs, support staff and travel.

    Position granted: Scientific collaborator or junior group leader depending on qualifications.


    1. Support of doctoral schools.


    To strengthen doctoral training in particular by offering courses and other activities to develop the skills of doctoral students.


    USI institutes and faculties possibly in cooperation with institutes of other universities.

    Duration and funding

    Maximum CHF 100'000 for 36 months.

    Eligible costs

    • Organisation of doctoral courses: fees and travel and accommodation costs.
    • Networking events for doctoral students: travel and accommodation costs.

    Coordination costs must be assumed by the institution managing the school. Participation of doctoral students from outside USI is possible, but at their own expense.

    For further information please contact b[email protected]

  • Q&A

    Is the call for projects also open for USI-affiliated institutes?

    No, as the FIR is not financed by the overhead of the affiliated institutes (but only by the overhead generated by USI). The research Group of the Professor should be at USI.

    What does it mean that a maximum of 50% of the IP's salary is covered?

    The FIR may cover a maximum of one FTE position at 50%. If the applicant wants a contract with USI for a higher percentage, he/she must cover the remaining percentage with other funds.

    How do we calculate the 8 years of PhD to be able to apply to the call for young researchers?

    The time windows will be calculated based on the date of the researcher obtained his/her PhD and the relevant submission deadline for applications.

    Can the eligibility period be extended?

    Yes, in this case the SNSF "General implementation regulations for the Funding Regulations (PDF)" apply.

    How many references are necessary? Should they be sent separately by the referees?

    Two Reference letters can be sufficent and they should be submitted together with the application form.

    Can the FIR cover publication costs?

    No, the fund does not cover expenses for publications.