National Centres of Competence in Research

What is a NCCR?

National Centers of Competence in Research are academic networks on topics of strategic importance for Swiss science, business, and society. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) provides long-term support for interdisciplinary research teams to perform excellent science in the service of society and to improve Swiss competitiveness.

Key characteristics of a NCCR

NCCRs are characterized by their collaborative nature within and beyond academia. They aim to address societal issues from an academic perspective by:

  • Improving the Swiss and international integration of research efforts on a topic of strategic relevance;
  • Establishing networks and partnerships between academic and non-academic public and private sectors;
  • Promoting knowledge and technology transfer with end-users of research outcomes;
  • Training and advancing young researchers and women in science.

Who hosts a NCCR?

NCCRs are embedded in a Swiss higher education institution or renowned research institute. In addition to the research groups at the home institute, NCCRs consist of a Swiss-wide network of research teams. This places NCCRs in a unique position to structurally improve research fields in Switzerland and beyond.

Who finances a NCCR and how are they selected?

The overall budget for NCCRs is allocated by Swiss parliament. In addition to federal funding, NCCRs receive financial support from higher education institutions and third parties.

Proposals are extensively evaluated on their scientific quality by external reviewers. The SNSF makes a further selection based on the external assessments, and interviews with the applicant teams and their host institutions. The ultimate decision on which NCCR proposals are funded is made by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation.

Information about previous and ongoing NCCRs can be found on the SNSF website.

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