CROSS 2023

Theme: Crisis

Call for projects 2023 of the CROSS program (Collaborative Research on Science and Society.

iStock, credits: Bulat Silvia
iStock image, credits: Bulat Silvia

It seems that the word ‘crisis’ appears in media headlines almost daily, whether in reference to the climate and natural disasters, political conflict and humanitarian aid, digital security and privacy, finance and socioeconomics, or even our physical and mental health. When a problem is elevated to the status of a crisis, it is often due to both its extremity and its urgency, necessitating immediate decision-making and action.

Because crises often develop at the convergence of several different factors, an interdisciplinary approach is essential to better understanding why crises occur, and developing potential solutions.

The 2023 edition of the CROSS program therefore calls upon researchers at EPFL and the University of Lausanne to submit proposals for joint projects that bring the natural sciences and engineering together with the social sciences and humanities to address some of society’s most urgent challenges.

For example, how can different technologies be used for crisis management, and what are their limits? Do emerging technologies have the potential to create their own crises, and if so, how can we identify and avoid them? How have societies historically resolved crises, and how does this knowledge impact the crises that we are living – and creating – today?
A multi-disciplinary perspective is also key to perceiving the nature of crisis itself: how does a phenomenon go from being a problem to a crisis? How can the incremental nature of scientific research and innovation be reconciled with the urgency of a crisis? How are data and information – or disinformation – about crises produced and disseminated?


Proposals must come from joint UNIL-EPFL teams, which bring together specialists in the human and social sciences on the one hand, with specialists from life sciences, natural sciences or engineering on the other.

Up to six projects will be selected, with a maximum of CHF 60,000 awarded per project.

  • Deadline for submission: Thursday 25 August 2022
  • Selected projects will be notified no later than October 15, 2022
  • Project start date: January 1, 2023
  • Presentation of results: November 2023

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Further information: [email protected]