Switzerland's international cooperation in research in the field of interdisciplinary life sciences in the context of the Human Frontier Science Program Organization
An initiative by Japan led to the establishment of the Human Frontier Science Program Organization HFSP in 1989. Since then it has been promoting innovative basic research around the world with a focus on the complex mechanisms of living organisms with topics that range from molecular and cellular approaches to systems and cognitive neuroscience.
A major interest of the HFSP Organization is the advancement of interdisciplinary research projects. These projects are initiated mostly within related sciences, but links between completely different disciplines such as chemistry, physics and informatics are particularly fostered. Another important area is the promotion of international and intercontinental cooperation.
The members of the organization are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the USA and the European Union.
The HFSP is responsible for awarding research grants for projects as well as long-term fellowships and short-term fellowships. The HFSP website provides the relevant application forms and information about submission deadlines. With the so-called Young Investigators Grants special importance is placed on the advancement of scientists who are just starting out on their careers. At the same time, the HFSP is constantly on the lookout for particularly outstanding research projects to finance.
Swiss researchers take a leading role in the areas promoted by the HFSP and thanks to this interdisciplinary program are able to strengthen their international and intercontinental relations.
The annual Swiss financial contribution to the HFSP is around SFr. 900,000 (2020–2022: 610,000 SFr. p.a.). The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI supervises the Swiss participation.