Career Development Awards (for Advanced PostDocs)
Call for Proposals 2017

Submission Deadline 31st July 2017

Synapsis Foundation - Alzheimer Research Switzerland ARS announces a Career Development Award competition. The goal of the Synapsis Foundation is to support outstanding scientists seeking to establish themselves as independent researchers in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

This mechanism supports advanced postdoctoral researchers at Swiss Universities and Research Institutions. The goal of this award is to accelerate the transition to a faculty position in Switzerland or EMBO member countries.

A Synapsis Foundation Career Award consists of 2 phases. Phase 1 is carried out as a postdoctoral fellow in a host laboratory for a period of up to 2 years. Phase 2 supports the researcher in an independent faculty position. Funding for phase 1 and 2 is CHF 100’000 per year for a period of up to 4 years. Institutions may not charge indirect or overhead costs on these awards. For more information about phase 1 and phase 2, please see second page of this Call.


  • Basic research in genetics, molecular and cell biology of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementing illnesses
  • Innovative approaches towards the pre-symptomatic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
  • We welcome high-risk proposals based on sound science and on truly original ideas


All applications must be submitted in English. The project proposal form is available here and should include:
-> Letter of support and commitment from the supervisor/ principal investigator (stating that the PostDoc will be working independently on the proposed project)
-> Scientific abstract
-> Introduction to the topic
-> Specific goals of the project and detailed research plan for Phase 1
-> Detailed budget for Phase 1
-> Disclosure of all other funding sources (confirmed and pending decisions)
-> Curriculum vitae(incl. a list of top 5 papers)
-> Short description of career plans of the main applicant for the next five years (incl. a short
outline for phase 2)

All applications must be submitted electronically to


Proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Synapsis Foundation. The central criteria for evaluation are originality, scientific quality, feasibility, experience and past performance of the main applicant, as well as relevance to the call. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Final decision for funding lies with the Board of Trustees of the foundation. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Submission deadline is 31st July 2017.
Funding decisions will be announced by December 15th, 2017.

PHASE 1 – postdoctoral research phase

Postdoctoral awardees are supported for up to two years with CHF 100’000 per year at their host lab (in a research facility in Switzerland). After the completion of year 1, awardees are expected to submit an interim report.

If an awardee plans to apply for Phase 2 of the fellowship, she/he submits a progress report and research plan 3 months before the completion of the postdoc phase. All applicants for Phase 2 will be invited for an interview with the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation.

If an awardee does not apply for Phase 2, she/ he submits a final report upon the completion of year 2.

PHASE 2 – junior faculty phase

The funding for Phase 2 is CHF 100’000 per year. Total funding of the award (phase 1 + phase 2 combined) is 4 years. For example, 2 years postdoc + 2 years faculty support; or 1 year postdoc and 3 years faculty support).

Eligibility criteria for Phase 2 of the Career Fellowship:
-> approval of the progress report and research plan by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation
-> movement to a new institution or department
-> employment as an independent faculty member (assistant professor or higher level) or group
-> funding for faculty/group leader position has to be provided by institutional funds or grants (e.g. ERC starter grant or SNSF-professorship)
-> the independent position can be at any institution in EMBO member countries
-> in case a candidate requires additional time to secure an independent faculty position after completion of the postdoc phase the start date of the independent phase can be postponed by up to one year (this is contingent on the approval of the progress report (incl. career plan) from phase one)


If you have questions regarding any aspects of the Call for Proposals 2017, please contact the deputy managing director of the Synapsis Foundation Viktorija Rion -, +41 76 496 67 69.

Career Development Awards, Call for Proposals 2017 (pdf, 260 KB)
Application Form for PostDocs (Word, 290)

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