Interdisciplinary Seed Fund

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 has decided to dedicate funds in 2020 in the form of an Interdisciplinary Science Seed Fund.

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Call for proposals

The application deadline for the first call is now closed.

2019 Cohort

Six projects were selected from the 22 proposals submitted to the first call for applications with a deadline on December 16, 2019.

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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.

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Main eligibility criteria

Only research entities of EPFL are eligible to apply.

This includes research units, platforms and centres.

The proposal should involve at least two investigators from two different disciplines.

Maximum one project submitted per applicant.

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Available budget

The total requested grant must be in the range of at most CHF 200’000 for each project, the duration of which is maximum two years. The associated units altogether are to provide an additional 50% of the total funds requested.

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Call deadline

The application deadline for the first call for proposals is now closed.

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Please read carefully all documents available in the application toolkit to prepare your application.

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Get access to the submission platform here.


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