Switzerland strengthens cooperation with the United States in mobility of young researchers

Bern, 25.01.2013 - On 25 January State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio and Dr. Subra Suresh, Director of the American National Science Foundation NSF, signed a Letter of Intent in which Switzerland expressed its desire to become involved in the NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide programme. Federal Council Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was present at the signing in Davos.

Launched in December 2012 by the National Science Foundation NSF (equivalent of the Swiss National Scientific Foundation NSF), the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) programme aims to promote international collaboration in the field of academic research. At the invitation of the NSF, Switzerland will become the ninth member of this network of academic excellence. Switzerland has accepted this invitation, as the partnership will strengthen ties between leading academic institutions in the two countries. The aim is to enable the NSF's best doctoral students to do a research internship of six months to a year at a Swiss university.

This agreement is part of the Federal Council's international strategy in education, research and innovation, which aims in particular to support Swiss universities in their drive towards greater internationalisation and scientific excellence. It complements and strengthens the existing partnership in the form of scholarships provided by the Swiss Confederation and the Fulbright Program. Since the 1980s, the latter has enabled more than four hundred young people to undertake research at an academic institution in the US or Switzerland.

Scientific relations between Switzerland and the United States are excellent and intensive. The US is Switzerland's most important non-European research partner. This is demonstrated by the fact that Swiss researchers most frequently publish in conjunction with US colleagues. Between 2007 and 2012 the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF provided over CHF 700 million in support of 3000 or more Swiss research projects that in some way involved cooperation with the United States.

This important partnership received political recognition in 2009 when a bilateral framework agreement on science and technology was signed. This letter of intent is a further step towards strengthening cooperation in these fields.

Address for enquiries

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
Olivier Brighenti, Head of International grants Unit
Effingerstrasse 27
3003 Bern
T +41 31 323 26 75


State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation