Career Development Awards

Call for Proposals 2018 - Submission Deadline July 31,2018

Synapsis Foundation - Alzheimer Research Switzerland ARS announces a Career Development Award competition. This mechanism supports advanced postdoctoral researchers at Swiss Universities and Research Institutions, seeking to establish themselves as independent researchers in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. 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.

Total funding 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.


We welcome high-risk proposals based on sound science and truly original ideas related to the following Topics:

  • Research in genetics, molecular and cell biology of Alzheimer’s disease or neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Innovative clinical approaches towards the pre-symptomatic diagnosis or therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative diseases.


All applications must be submitted in English. The project proposal form is available here and should include:
-> 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
-> Curriculum vita, incl. a list of top 5 paper
-> Short description of career plans of the main applicant for the next five years, incl. a short
outline for phase 2
-> Letter of support and commitment from the supervisor/ principal investigator, stating that the PostDoc will be working independently on the proposed project

All applications must be submitted electronically to


Proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Synapsis Foundation,supported by external reviewers. 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.

Submission deadline is July 31, 2018.
Funding decisions will be announced by December 15, 2018.


PHASE 1 – postdoctoral research phase

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

For initiation of Phase 2 of the fellowship, applicants must submit a progress report and research plan at least 3 months before the completion of the postdoc phase. Applicants qualifying for Phase 2 of the award will be invited for an interview with members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation.

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 2018, please contact Heide Hess, Liaison Officer Research:, +41 44 276 40 63.

Call Papers - Career Development Award
Application Form - Career Development Award

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