EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund

EPFL 2017 – Alain Herzog

EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund

One of the EPFL missions is to foster outstanding scientific research. Access to state-of-the-art and well-maintained facilities is fundamental for EPFL researchers to achieve timely progress. The EPFL platforms are essential for mutualizing investments and expertise at the highest level.

For platforms to continue to serve the EPFL community at the highest level, a regular exchange of know-how and the sharing of technical challenges is needed. In order to further foster interactions between the EPFL scientists and platforms, the EPFL Presidency has decided to dedicate funds in 2022 to a Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund. This fund is designed to support innovative, technical-oriented projects enabling the platforms to advance to a higher level of expertise in a timely area/technique for the benefit of the EPFL user community.

The call for proposals is now open, with a deadline set on Thursday 30 September 2021 (17:00 CEST).

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The EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund will support projects that explicitly need a close collaboration between a platform and a research group at EPFL and that are high risk/high gain in nature. This fund will thus be devoted to the advancement/innovation of techniques in the platforms for the benefit of the EPFL community.

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Eligibility criteria
  • Applications must involve at least one investigator from an EPFL research group and one investigator from an EPFL platform [1].
  • Applicants must provide a list of the other EPFL research groups that will benefit from their proposed platform technical advancement project.
  • Applicants must be employed as professors, senior scientists (maîtres d’enseignement et de recherche – MERs) or as platform staff members/directors at EPFL for the full duration of the project.
  • Adjunct professors (“professeurs titulaires”) and MERs who are not financially independent as well as platform staff members must include a letter of commitment from their host professor or head of unit/platform director.
  • Applicants may only submit one application as either responsible applicants or co-applicants, and they may only apply for the 2021 EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund or the 2021 EPFL Science Seed Fund.
  • The same consortium cannot submit the same idea to more than one of the following 2021 EPFL-wide calls: ECI Call for Interdisciplinary Imaging Projects and EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund.
  • Applicants may not be part of the evaluation committee of the EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund.


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Available funding

Applicants may request up to CHF 100’000.- per project for 12-, 18-, or 24-month projects. Eligible costs include and are limited to:

  • Personnel costs for personnel specifically hired to work on the project
  • Research funds: i.e., consumables, direct costs of infrastructure use, open research data costs, open access publication costs, expenses of third parties (maximum 10% of the requested amount) as well as travel, conference, and workshop costs

Applicants must jointly provide an additional 25% contribution in cash from either their own resources (preferably reserves or, if not available, annual budget) and/or the deans’ reserves. Applicants who intend to request a contribution from their dean must contact their dean’s office before 31 August 2021 in order to obtain the letter of financial commitment from the dean that is required as part of the application.

No overheads shall be paid on the direct costs of the EPFL Platform Technical Advancement Seed Fund projects.

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How to apply

Please read carefully the application guidelines.

All required documents must be submitted via the online submission platform.

All documents must be submitted in English.

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Application deadline

The application deadline is Thursday 30 September 2021 (17:00 CEST).

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Selection process

Each application will be evaluated by three external experts based on criteria of excellence, impact, and implementation. The final decision will be made by a committee chaired by Anna Fontcuberta i Morral and Ambrogio Fasoli and also comprising members of the EPFL Awards Committee.

Decisions will be announced in January 2022, and granted applicants will have to start their project within six months of the notice of the award, i.e., on 1 August 2022 at the latest.


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