Organisational Chart

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for defining the SPI’s strategy, supervising the SPI’s budget and overseeing the SPI activities.

The SPI Board of Directors is composed of one leading representative of each founding member. Additionally, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Swiss Commission for Polar and High Altitude Research as well as the chair of the STAB and the SPI Directorate are present at SPI Board meetings.

Science and Technology Advisory Board (STAB)

The STAB issues recommendations to the SPI Secretariat and Board regarding educational, scientific and technological activities as well as supports the SPI in the setting up of programmes, international collaborations and evaluations of funding activities.

The STAB is composed of 7 to 9 independent experts with varied scientific profiles and backgrounds.

Current STAB Members

Gabriela Schaepman-Strub (Chair) University of Zurich
Björn Dahlbäck (Vice Chair)
Jane Francis British Antarctic Survey
Philippe Gillet EPFL
Frédéric Herman University of Lausanne
Christian de Marliave Editions Paulsen
Heini Wernli ETHZ
Hubertus Fischer (SKPH delegate) University of Bern
Patricia Holm (SKPH delegate) University of Basel

SPI Secretariat

After the tragic loss of our Scientific Director, Koni Steffen, the continuity of the scientific leadership at SPI is ensured by the current Chair and Vice Chair of the SPI’s Science and Technology Advisory Board (STAB). Prof. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub and Dr. Björn Dahlbäck are working closely with the SPI Executive Director and SPI team until a new SPI Scientific Director is appointed.

The SPI Secretariat is in charge of the implementation of the SPI activities and tasks. The Secretariat is currently located on the premises of the EPFL in Lausanne.

SPI Resources

The Swiss Polar Institute currently has an annual budget of about 1’100’000.- CHF which is made available by its members.  Where relevant, SPI also applies for support from competitive calls for proposals (for example Horizon 2020 or thematic Swiss initiatives) in order to increase its level of resources or activities.

In 2019, SPI has spent approximately 450’000.- CHF towards science support funding made available to the community through open calls. Additionally, 115’000.- CHF have been spent on outreach activities/conferences and data management.

Extraordinary activities such as ACE, GLACE or other expeditions are not funded from the SPI‘s core budget but made possible through third party funding, available solely for the purpose of the activity. Such funding thus enables additional opportunities to be seized without compromising on SPI’s core portfolio of activities.