The SCOPES programme (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland), which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), promotes scientific co-operation between research groups and institutions in Switzerland and Eastern Europe as well as the new independent states of the former Soviet Union (NIS).
The new programme phase, SCOPES 2013–2016, has been allocated a budget of CHF 16 million and includes the following instruments:
Joint Research Projects (JRPs)
JRPs provide funding for researchers from partner countries to carry out innovative projects with Swiss colleagues on specific problems in all areas of investigator-driven research. Research is carried out at the Eastern European and Swiss research facilities involved; however, reciprocal visits and short stays in Switzerland for researchers from Eastern Europe and the NIS are possible.
Institutional Partnerships (IPs)
IPs contribute to the development and modernisation of institutional aspects of research and teaching institutions in Eastern Europe and the NIS. They also increase the attractiveness and international competitiveness of these institutions by improving basic overall conditions. They do not directly fund research projects.
Preparatory Grants (PGs)
PGs facilitate the elaboration of proposals for JRPs and IPs. They provide scientists from the partner countries and from Switzerland with a financial contribution towards the costs of a meeting to prepare and elaborate a JRP or IP proposal.
Valorisation Grants (VGs)
VGs are designed to increase the impact and sustainability of research results generated from JRPs and IPs.
Conference Grants (CGs)
CGs cover the travel and accommodation costs incurred by researchers from partner countries who participate in international scientific conferences held in Switzerland. This instrument is not connected to a JRP or IP.
There are no specific thematic requirements. However, besides having scientific quality, the JRPs and IPs must , carry a development potential (capacity building) for the Eastern European partner(s).
There are two categories of partner countries:
- A first group (category A) featuring the West Balkan States (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia), South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) as well as Moldova and the Ukraine
- A second group (category B) featuring the Eastern European members of the EU (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) as well as Croatia and Russia.
Bilateral projects (JRPs and IPs) are only possible with partners of the first group. Tri- and multilateral partnerships can be launched with countries from both categories, whereby at least half of the Eastern partners must be from the first category.
The financial means are mainly earmarked for the Eastern European partners (equipment, research funds, individual grants). On the Swiss side, the travel and co-ordination costs will be covered. The amount of funding per project depends on the number of Eastern European partners.
Call for proposals
In the framework of SCOPES 2013–2016, there will be a call for proposals for Joint Research Projects (open from 20 March to 20 September 2013) and one for Institutional Partnerships (open from 20 March to 20 September 2014). Preparatory Grants can only be submitted during an open call in order to prepare a JRP / IP. Applications for Valorisation Grants are usually submitted towards the end of a JRP / IP.
Applications for Conference Grants can be submitted throughout the the entire duration of the programme.