ERC and SNSF Independent Researcher Calls

The School of Engineering (STI) of EPFL is composed of four Institutes, grouping the laboratories working in specific fields of Engineering, as follows:

Institute of Bioengineering

Institute of Electrical and Micro Engineering

Institute of Materials

Institute of Mechanical Engineering

The STI and its Institutes applies an internal review process of the potential applications to the following programs:

  • SNSF Ambizione;
  • SNSF Eccellenza;
  • ERC Starting Grant (StG) – Due to the recent development of the negotiation between the Swiss government and the European Union, Switzerland is now considered as Third country by the European Commission. This means that STI and its Institutes are no longer eligible to host ERC Starting Grants.

Grantees of the PRIMA, Ambizione and ERC StG programs are hosted in a laboratory. Grantees of the Eccellenza program are hosted in an Institute. Applications hosted by a laboratory or Institute of the STI need to get the support of all corresponding parties, up to the Dean of the STI.

Particularly, if you would like to join the STI by applying to one of these grants, you must:

  • Step 1: contact your potential host laboratory (for PRIMA, Ambizione, ERC StG)/ Institute (for Eccellenza) in STI and get the support of the head of the laboratory/Institute for your application. You must contact your hosts (both lab and institute) as soon as possible to inquire about their internal deadline and requirements.
  • Step 2: pre-register your application according to the EPFL Research Office (ReO) instructions, which can be found in the EPFL toolkit for each grant here. Please contact the EPFL Research Office (ReO) at in case of questions. The STI deadline to pre-register your application with the ReO is:
    • 1 September 2021 for PRIMA and Ambizione;
    • 1 October 2021 for Eccellenza.
      Applications pre-registered with the ReO after the above-mentioned deadlines will not be considered by the STI.
  • Step 3: wait for the STI to review, jointly with the respective host laboratory and Institute, your pre-application. The STI will notify you whether your application is supported or not, at latest by:
    • 1 October 2021 for PRIMA and Ambizione;
    • 30 November 2021 for Eccellenza.

If your application is supported, you will be re-directed to the ReO to obtain the General Confirmation Letter that you need to include in your application to the funding body.

Overall, the following calendar applies to this process*:

Call Call Opens Call Closes STI deadline to pre-register your application with the ReO Latest date at which the STI communicates you whether your application is supported or not
SNSF Ambizione 1 Aug. 2021 1 Nov. 2021 1 Sep. 2021 1 Oct. 2021
SNSF PRIMA 1 Aug. 2021 1 Nov. 2021 1 Sep. 2021 1 Oct. 2021
SNSF Eccellenza 1 Nov. 2021 1 Feb. 2022 1 Oct. 2021 30 Nov. 2021


* Please note that some Institutes might have deadlines for the preliminary process described at Step 1. Please check with your host whether this is the case. For the Institute of Bioengineering, the information can be found here.

In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact