The projects are evaluated in a two-step procedure. The first step is to submit a brief pre-proposal. This proposal is then assessed by a Scientific Committee according to the usual criteria for evaluating research proposals. Successful applicants will then be asked to present their projects in a full-proposal. The full-proposals are also evaluated by the Committee. If necessary, external experts are consulted. Successful applicants are requested to sign a contract Contract Sample. Appeals against decisions made by the Scientific Committee have to be addressed to the President of the Foundation Board within 1 month.
Pre-proposals can be submitted by September 1st. Information about the outcome of the assessment of the pre-proposal will be made available by mid October. Full-proposals should then be submitted by end of November. Final decisions about which projects will receive support will be made by mid December.
The FSM will generally cover the costs of personnel and special expenses for fieldwork (equipment, consumable material, expenses, etc.). Standard equipment (office equipment, laboratory apparatus) and conference trips will not be financed. Salaries for doctoral students must be budgeted at the normal institutional rate. In case of sensible experiments, applicants have to follow official procedures and apply for the necessary permissions.The average amount for project funding is roughly 100,000 Swiss Francs. The projects are not subject to VAT. In case of funding requirements that exceed considerably the average sum it is recommended to provide third party contributions.
The FSM has considered 187 project applications with an estimated total cost of CHF 24.4 million since it began its research sponsorship activities in the year 2000. From this total, 46 projects have been funded until now to the value of CHF 5.1 million.