The SPI Flagship Initiatives will be a unique opportunity and there will be only one call for proposal for the period 2021-2024.


About SPI Flagship Initiatives

SPI Flagship Initiatives will be multi-annual programmes combining science and technology projects from different disciplines and different groups / institutions in Switzerland around a polar focus region. The funding will be focused on field campaigns (logistics, safety, etc.), data management, outreach, and programme coordination, thus providing temporary infrastructure for a Swiss-led polar research programme.

Please contact with any question.

Timeline & Multi-stage Proposal Process

SPI Flagship Initiatives will be tailored to the specific research needs of the Swiss polar science community and the process of their definition is designed to be bottom-up, driven by scientists and supported by the SPI. In order to enable such a process the call for proposals will consist of several stages.

The call for pre-proposal is now open. Pre-proposals have to be submitted using the online application platform:

The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is 23 April 2021.

Based on the assessment of pre-proposals by an international expert panel, applicants may be invited to submit a full proposal. The deadline for the full proposal will be 22 October 2021 and results of the review process will be announced in mid-December 2021.

Information events

The SPI will hold two identical online information events on 19 February 2021 (10am - 11am) and 26 February 2021 (2pm - 3 pm). If you are interested in participating in one of these online events, we kindly ask you to register using our events page.

The recording of the first information event is available here.

Questions asked during the first information event are summarized in the SPI Flagship Initiatives FAQ.


All researchers affiliated to a Swiss public research institution with an interest in polar or remote high-altitude regions will be invited to submit proposals. Multi-disciplinary collaboration will be a central element of SPI Flagship Initiatives. The SPI Flagship Initiatives should not be approached as single research projects but as programmes bringing together and coordinating different groups and research questions with a similar regional focus.

Geographic Focus

SPI Flagship Initiatives are expected to be organised around a strong regional focus in order to maximise scientific (multi-disciplinary) synergies and optimise logistics as well as international collaboration. However, comparative studies targeting different field sites over the course of a programme are also possible.

The call for proposals will be open to proposals in any polar or remote high-altitude region.


Two SPI Flagship Initiatives are expected to be funded with up to CHF 1′500’000 each. Eligible costs are focused on logistics, field access and other enabling measures.