Research - 03.06.2011 - 00:00 

SNSF presented itself at the HSG

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) presented itself at the HSG. On this occasion, a great deal could be learnt about the SNSF research funding activities and how important they are for the HSG.


1 June 2011. The Research Day started with an information market about the SNSF’s funding possibilities before the lectures, the panel discussion and the workshops took over. Prof. Dr. Torsten Tomczak, the HSG’s Vice-President Research, emphasised the “importance of the SNSF for research at the HSG” in his welcoming address.

7700 researchers funded

The SNSF funds the equivalent of approx. 100 full-time research jobs at the University of St.Gallen, as Prof. Dr. Dieter Imboden said. Imboden is President of the National Research Council of the SNSF. All in all, the National Fund supported more than 3,000 research projects and about 7,700 researchers at home and abroad with CHF 726m in 2010. SNSF Director and HSG alumnus Dr. Daniel Höchli pointed out that about a quarter of the SNSF funding contributions are allocated to social sciences and humanities, which is of particular interest to the HSG. In an international comparison, this proportion was relatively high, he said.

Opportunities for young and old

In the panel discussion with Imboden, Höchli and the HSG’s two SNSF Research Councillors, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Landfester und Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann, chairman Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann (President of the HSG’s Research Committee) asked questions such as why the HSG’s success rate with regard to applications to the SNSF was relatively low. Daniel Höchli pointed out that assessment criteria could vary a great deal with reference to subjects and countries, and that as a rule, experts tend to be critical with respect to the economic sciences. Andreas Herrmann stressed that younger applicants are not disadvantaged, that longer academic careers do not automatically constitute better preconditions for applicants and that academic records are carefully balanced against each other.

The disciplines of the future

Oliver Gassmann also asked what the odds for interdisciplinary applications were, sincealthough the latterwere a desideratum of research policy, they often presented a different picture in reality. Dieter Imboden described interdisciplinarity as a “permanent building site” in a positive sense of the term, on which the SNSF was continuing to work. Ulrike Landfester referred to the rapid changes with regard to academic disciplines. “The disciplines of the future will be the interfaces between today’s disciplines,” she said.

After the workshops on issues related to how SNSF applications can be drawn up successfully, the Research Day concluded with a presentation of the HSG research services (Research Committee, Euresearch).

Discover our special topics