STI Engineering Discovery Initiative

EPFL 2021 – Alain Herzog

STI Engineering Discovery Initiative

The School of Engineering (STI) of EPFL is launching a new unique initiative, called the STI Engineering Discovery Initiative, which aims at supporting a high-impact interdisciplinary collaborative research project that explicitly addresses one or more of STI’s key research themes and whose impact is expected to result in a large scale project in the foreseeable future.

The call for proposals has been open on 15 February 2022 with a deadline set on 10 April 2022 (23:59 CEST).

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The STI Engineering Discovery Initiative is intended to support a high-impact interdisciplinary collaborative research project that explicitly addresses one or more of STI’s key research themes:

  • Engineering in the Life and Health Sciences
  • Engineering for a Sustainable & Secure Society
  • Engineering for Data-Enabled & Networked Society
  • Science of Intelligent and Complex Systems
  • Innovation in Engineering Education
  • Entrepreneurship, Ethics, and Societal Impact.

The impact of the proposed research is expected to result in a large scale project in the foreseeable future.

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Eligibility criteria
  • Applications must involve at least two investigators from two different STI research groups.
  • The consortium can include participation of partners from other groups or institutions (but the Engineering Discovery funding will only be provided to the STI units).
  • All applicants requesting funding, must be employed as professors or senior scientists (MERs) at EPFL for the full duration of the project, and commit to spend research time on the project.
  • Applicants may only submit one application as either responsible applicants or co-applicants.
  • A research project that is currently under evaluation or has been already funded by other initiatives, e.g., EPFL-wide calls (eSeed, Science Funds, etc), national or international research initiatives, cannot be submitted to the initiative.
research funding opportunities
Funding model
  • Applicants may request up to CHF 400’000.- for a one-year project. An additional year of funding can be requested, which may eventually be allocated at latest two months before the end of the first year, after a short progress review of the project.
  • Eligible costs are limited to: personnel costs for personnel working mostly on the project, dedicated equipment and consumables, other dedicated research costs.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to offer matching funds and potential partners participation. Matching funds are defined in a general sense, e.g., other lab researchers working on the project, complement of salary for personnel hired on the project, direct funds, etc. A project is expected to reach a total involvement of approximately 800k CHF – 1 MCHF for one year.
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How to apply

Please read carefully the application guidelines.

Applications must include:

  • a project proposal in PDF format, based on this template (maximum 6 pages, plus references);
  • a budget proposal in PDF format, based on this template;
  • any relevant supplementary material and support letters, in a single PDF file.

Applications must be submitted via the online application platform.

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Application deadline

The application deadline is set to 10 April 2022 (23:59 CEST) .

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Selection process

The selection of the successful project will be based on a two-steps process. First, the project proposal will be evaluated by a selection committee made of external experts. Short-listed applicants will be invited for a presentation in front of the selection committee. Each proposal will be evaluated based on criteria of excellence, novelty, impact, and feasibility.

Granted applicants are expected to start their project soon after the announcement, possibly within three months of the notice of the grant.


Questions and comments can be sent to: [email protected]