Projects are evaluated in a two-stage process. First, applicants submit a short pre-proposal. These outlines are reviewed by the Scientific Committee according to the usual criteria for research projects. Successful applicants will be invited to develop their project into a full-proposal. The full-proposals are again evaluated by the Scientific Committee. If necessary, external reviewers will be consulted. The applicants of the approved projects receive a contract. Appeals against decisions of the Scientific Committee can be addressed to the President of the Foundation Board within one month.
The FSM's funds are awarded completely independently of the foundation's sponsors, based solely on scientific criteria. Neither sponsors nor supporters of the FSM are represented on the Scientific Committee or have any insight into its work, nor can they challenge the decisions.
Pre-proposals can normally be submitted annually on September 1. Decisions on submitted outlines (pre-proposals) are communicated by mid-October. Full proposals must be submitted by the end of November. Final decisions on project support are made by mid-December. Deviations from these deadlines will be communicated.
The FSM generally covers personnel costs and extraordinary expenses for field investigations (equipment, consumables, expenses, etc.). Standard equipment (office equipment, laboratory apparatus) and congress travel expenses are not financed. Doctoral salaries must be budgeted at the institution's standard rates. All approvals (e.g., from ethics committees) necessary to conduct the research must be obtained by the project proposers. The average funding volume of a project is CHF 100’000 – 200’000. Projects are exempt from VAT. It is recommended - especially for project proposals that significantly exceed the average funding amount - to contribute partial funding.