Multiple pre-proposals submitted for NRP 84

The NRP 84 aims to connect innovations in plant breeding with socio-economic and political changes.
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Seventeen pre-proposals were submitted for the National Research Programme "Plant Breeding Innovation" (NRP 84). The pre-proposals are now being evaluated. By the end of June, the Steering Committee will invite selected applicant teams to submit a full proposal.

At the end of 2023, the SNSF published the calls for the four new National Research Programmes (NRP): NRP 84 Plant Breeding Innovation, NRP 81 Baukultur, NRP 82 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and NRP 83 Gender Medicine and Health. Researchers have now submitted a total of 321 project outlines. Around 900 applicants are involved in these pre-proposals.

Seventeen pre-proposals were submitted for NRP 84, applying for an overall amount of approximately CHF 13 million. Over two thirds of the projects involve several co-applicants (45 applicants in all; not counted are the proposed project partners) stemming from Swiss Universities, the Federal Institutes of Technology, and the Swiss Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Research Agroscope. The majority of applications are in the fields of biological sciences, economics and law, or a combination thereof.

Around CHF 9 million are available to finance research projects in NRP 84. Currently, each pre-proposal is being assessed independently by three members of the evaluation panel, comprising the Steering Committee and complemented by national and international experts from the relevant scientific disciplines. By the end of June, the Steering Committee will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal. Should research gaps be identified among the selected pre-proposals in relation to the objectives of the programme, the Steering Committee may also launch a second call to attract complementary projects.

The submission deadline for the full proposals is set for 2 September 2024. Following their evaluation by the Steering Committee, the formal decision of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation will be taken by the end of 2024. The research phase is scheduled to begin in early 2025.