Call for Research Partnership Grants with South Asia and Iran 2021

The call is open for activities in all scientific disciplines and fields of research.



  • Launch of this call: 01 November 2021
  • Applications will be accepted until: 15 January 2022
  • Evaluation and funding decision: End of March 2022
  • Notification of applicants: End of April 2022
  • Project start date: Must be in 2022
  • Project duration: Up to 12 months


Goals and objectives

The research partnership grant has the following three main purposes:

  • To foster new partnerships: Research partnership grants are useful at an early stage in developing new partnerships
  • To allow existing partnerships to grow and develop: A research partnership grant can offer Swiss researchers who have already successfully completed a project with a partner in South Asia or Iran the possibility of continuing joint research with the objective of preparing a grant application for a full joint research project (e.g. through the Swiss National Science Foundation, EU funding or a national or regional funding body). These grants may also allow for joint teaching or curriculum development to be intensified
  • To support emerging career talent: Research partnership grants may also be tailored to support the next generation of scientists, i.e. those who have gained a Masters degree but who have not yet completed their PhD and who have no more than six years of professional research experience, in becoming integrated in international collaborations.



The maximum grant amount per project is 35,000 Swiss francs.


Eligibility criteria (all criteria must be met)

The Leading House South Asia and Iran accepts grant applications solely from applicants who are permanent residents of Switzerland and have an employment contract with a federal or cantonal university, university of applied sciences or university of teachers’ education in Switzerland. (With permanent employment at any university, university of applied sciences, university of teacher’s education or any officially recognized research institute in Switzerland in accordance with the listings under

Applicants need to have a research project with an institutional partner (i.e. a university or research institute recognized or accredited by the local government’s concerned authorities) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, or need to have a joint teaching or a joint curriculum development project with an institution partner in one of the aforementioned countries.

The applicant’s collaborator in the concerned partner country needs to be a scientist with permanent employment with the institutional partner.

Applicants must submit their grant application from their individual email account at their Swiss university, university of applied sciences or university of teachers’ education (e.g. Applications sent to us from other types of email addresses will be discarded and the senders will not be notified.


Matching funding

Both the applicant and the partner institute abroad are required to make in-kind (e.g. work hours, usage of office or laboratory equipment, field visits, etc.) contributions to the proposed research project. The Swiss applicant is required to make a financial contribution in addition to the one in-kind. It is recommended that the partner institute abroad make a financial contribution as well. Such financial contribution can be funds of that institute and/or funds raised from funding bodies in their country.


Equal treatment, evaluation and selection

The Leading House South Asia and Iran treats fundamental research and applied research, types of Swiss universities, language regions, age groups, and genders equally. An independent panel of experts from a diversity of types of Swiss universities, language regions, age groups and genders will evaluate and select which of the proposed research projects will be awarded a grant. The expert panel’s decision will be final. The Leading House South Asia and Iran anticipates receiving many grant applications. The evaluation and selection will therefore be highly competitive.


Among the evaluation criteria are:

  • Scientific relevance, merit or impact of the anticipated outcomes
  • Potential for long-term international collaboration and follow-up activities
  • Originality and feasibility of the proposed activity
  • Expertise and complementarities of the applicant and their partner institute abroad
  • The mutual commitment of the scientists in both countries will be considered as an indicator for the strength of the partnership. This includes commitment of funds and in-kind resources by the involved partners.
  • Contributions by all involved partners, including funding and in-kind contributions

This list is neither comprehensive nor in order of priority.


Disbursement of grants

Grants will be disbursed in two instalments: 80% after signing the grant contract and 20% after approval of the final report and financial statement. Prior to the disbursement of grants, grant recipients will be required to sign a grant agreement provided to them by the Leading House South Asia and Iran. Any grant money that was not spent by the grant recipient will have to be returned to the Leading House South Asia and Iran.



Applications must be submitted as follows:

Step 1: Read this call document carefully to ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria.

Step 2: Download the templates for the project description and budget from our website click on funding instruments by country, then select Research Partnership Grant and complete these forms before proceeding to the next step.

NOTE: Incomplete forms will be discarded.

Step 3: Visit Link to be input and enter all mandatory data in the online form.


Correspondence and assistance

The Leading House South Asia and Iran responds to inquiries from Swiss universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of teachers’ education only.

The Leading House South Asia and Iran will only notify Swiss applicants about the funding decisions.

The Leading House South Asia and Iran does not provide any assistance (e.g. travel arrangements, logistics, etc.; this list is not exhaustive) after the funding decisions.



The Swiss applicant is responsible for administrating the grant money in the spirit of this grant. He or she must submit a final scientific report as well as a financial statement no later than one month after the end of the Research Partnership Grant project.


Important note

The LH has the right to modify the terms of this call according to the circumstances related to e.g. pandemics, environmental issues or any decision made by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

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