Research Funding

Grants and funding come from different sources – national and international – and are often linked to a specific use, such as individual grants or collective project funding. 

Finding the correct funding opportunities can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming. This page provides information that should help and guide researchers, from finding the right financing instrument up to submitting a proposal.

Funding Opportunities


Career Funding

Career-funding instruments are designed to support individual researchers at different levels of their professional trajectory (PhD, postdoc, faculty). They consist of mobility and project grants that allow researchers to further their academic career by strengthening their research curriculum and building networks. The document below shows major career-funding instruments classified by funding agencies and career stages.


Career Funding

Project Funding (individual and collective)

Project funding is designed to allow researchers to conduct research on specific issues individually or collectively. Project grants allow principal investigators to form teams of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and to engage in cooperative research with universities or research institutions at the national or international level. The document below  shows major project-funding instruments classified by funding agencies.


Project Funding

Conference, Workshop and Related Funding

Conference- and workshop-funding allow researchers to discuss new ideas and scientific advancements with fellow experts and to present their findings in academic or public settings. The document below lists funding instruments for organising conferences and workshops.


Conference, Collaboration, or Travel Funding

How to Submit an Application


A simple institutional procedure (see box below) is in place to ensure that the administration and the researcher, working as a team, avoid any mistakes. It also allows for a quicker and smoother process.

To submit a new proposal, each researcher must log into Converis – the database for managing  not only applications, but also projects, publications and various activities – and enter the information regarding the proposal into the “Applications” module. This will enable the Research Office and Accounting Services to follow the submission during its process and offer support. Ideally, entering this information into Converis should take place at least seven days before the submission deadline.

The aim of this process is to support the researcher – not to prevent any proposal submission.

Please note that this procedure does not replace the submission procedures and formats of any other funding institutions such as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) or the European Union (EU). Many funding institutions require electronic submission through their own portals/websites. You will need to create a username and a password to access these sites. Therefore, plan ahead.

Electronic submission:

  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF): submissions are completed online through the web platform MySNF.
  • European Union – Horizon 2020: submissions are completed online through the Participant Register.

Converis Procedure

Graduate Institute’s Seed Money Grants


➔ Graduate Institute’s full seed money grants are primarily aimed at assistant and associate professors and/or newly arrived other faculty to support the initiation of research activities, which can serve as pilot projects for subsequent grant applications from outside agencies (SNSF, ERC, SNIS, etc.). The maximum amount that may be requested is CHF 7,500. Awardees are expected to submit at least one proposal for external funding within one year of the start of the award.

➔ As a second priority, partial seed money grants can also be awarded to full professors for data preparation, archival, field or bibliographical work, or preparing a special issue of a journal or an edited volume. The maximum amount that may be requested is CHF 2,500. Awardees are expected to produce a scholarly output (e.g. submitted article, chapter, working paper) or a grant proposal within one year of the start of the award.

➔ Seed money grants are one-time and non-renewable. Their minimum amount is CHF 1,000.

➔  Submission deadlines are 1 May and 1 November.

For the full application procedure please refer to the Seed Money Grants Guidelines below.


Seed Money Grants Guidelines

Resources and Additional Information


  • APSIA – Visit the Fellowships and Scholaships database of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).
  • Euresearch – Get support and training to apply for a ERC or a Marie Sklodowska Curie funding scheme thanks to Euresearch, a Swiss network mandated by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) that provides targeted information, hands-on advice and transnational partnering related to European research and innovation programmes.
  • Johns Hopkins University's funding databases – Three searchable databases providing information on global opportunities for graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty members.
  • Online tool of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) – Find your funding tool thanks to this selection guide put in place by the SNSF to help researchers identify the best funding scheme to their career stage and/or project.
  • SwissCore – Swiss information and liaison office for European research, innovation and education in Brussels.

Support and Contact

The Research Office offers a one-stop information desk supporting researchers at the Graduate Institute that seek third party funding. Our mission is to facilitate research applications by:

  • providing information on external funding and keeping abreast of developments;
  • offering advice on which funding agency or instrument is most relevant to your project and career stage;
  • supporting researchers formulating funding proposals by offering input on formal requirements and budgets;
  • revising your research plans and any additional documents required for the project submission;
  • receiving all research proposals leaving the Institute and checking for compliance with the institution’s policies.

Contact: Dominic Eggel, phone: (41) 22 908 58 02.