One of the missions of EPFL is to perform world-class research. Many of the discoveries that have changed the world have involved the collaboration of scientists working in different areas of research. One of the strengths of EPFL is that its open organization and culture bring scientists from its different disciplines, across EPFL’s various Schools and Institutes, to easily meet, discuss – and at times come up with new ideas at the crossroads of their disciplines and research activities.
Current funding schemes make it more of a challenge to secure third-party funding for research projects that are based on interdisciplinary approaches. Often, preliminary proof-of-concept results are required if one is to convince the scientific community of a new approach that goes beyond the state of the art in more than a single discipline.
In order to overcome this barrier and promote the seeding of interdisciplinary approaches of research at EPFL, the EPFL Presidency decided in 2019 to create an Interdisciplinary Science Seed Fund.
The application deadline for the first call is now closed. A second call for proposals will open in September 2021, with a deadline at the end of November 2021.
Six projects were selected from the 22 proposals submitted to the first call for applications with a deadline on December 16, 2019.
The EPFL Interdisciplinary Seed Fund supports projects that explicitly need an interdisciplinary approach and that are high-risk/high-gain in nature. This fund is thus devoted to seeding new collaborative research efforts and demonstrating new concepts cross-fertilizing different areas of research.
The funding must be used for the launch of new activities.
Only research entities of EPFL are eligible to apply.
This includes research units, platforms and centres.
The proposal must involve at least two investigators from two different disciplines.
Each applicant cannot submit more than one proposal as main applicant or as co-applicant.
The total requested grant must not exceed CHF 200’000.- per project for a period of maximum two years. The applicants must jointly provide an additional 50% of the total requested funds as own resources.
The application deadline for the first call for proposals is now closed. A second call for proposals will open in September 2021, with a deadline at the end of November 2021.
The application toolkit for the second call for proposals will be available in September 2021.