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Call for proposals Translational Medical Research

The Leenaards Foundation supports Translational Medical Research at the university hospitals in the Lake Geneva region carried out in collaboration with other academic institutions. The aim is to strengthen structural links between clinical and basic research.

The amount at disposal is 1,5 million Swiss Francs (CHF) to be distributed between 2–3 major and innovative project(s). Supported research team(s) will be free to plan the use of the funds over the duration of the projects (maximum 3 years).

You will find all the information to submit your project below or in the booklet Call for proposals 2020 (pdf)


The project will investigate a clinical problem from an original and innovative angle, linking it to a component of advanced basic research, be it experimental research, bioinformatics or epidemiological analyses.

The project must include a human research component. The proposal must stand on its own; however, it may be embedded in the context of an existing study.

Preference will be given to projects attesting a new collaboration between 2–3 groups in the Lake Geneva region, with at least one of the two academic hospitals, as well as with UNIL, UNIGE and/or EPFL. Two groups from institutions of the Lake Geneva region may seek the collaboration of a third group belonging to an institution of another region/country.

The Prize is not renewable.

By submitting your project, you agree – if supported by the Leenaards Foundation – to actively participate in promoting the launch and results of your project.

This implies:

  • write a summary in French of your research project for the general public
  • actively participate in the production of a video on your research project and make yourself available for media, if required
  • include the Leenaards logo and/or the mention « project supported by the Leenaards Foundation » on communication and publications related to the research project (press releases, articles, presentations, etc.)
  • participate in the Leenaards awards event.


The primary applicant will be a clinical scientist (MD, MD-PhD, or PhD, below age of 45), with a strong academic career track, who has demonstrated her or his capacity as an independent investigator to lead original clinical research.

The project’s co-applicants (max. 2), preferably also at a relatively early stage in their careers, will have shown their skills in their respective fields. Their roles in the project must be clearly specifed.

All applicants must hold a «stable position» for the entire duration of the project.

Applicants who have been granted the «Leenaards Prize for Translational Medical Research» during the last 3 years (2016–2018) are not eligible, and the project cannot be an extension of a previous Leenaards project.

Online applications

For the first evaluation round, applicants need to submit the following documents (in English and pdf format):

  • * letter of intent (max. 4 pages)
    layout: arial font, size 11, single-spaced, margins 1.5 cm on all sides;
  • budget (and other sources of funding, if any) ;
  • short curricula vitae (CV) of the primary investigator and co-investigator.

Deadline, selection & timetable

Projects to be submitted by 11th March 2019 (deadline exceeded)

The evaluation of projects will take place in two stages:

  • An initial selection (based on letters of intent) will be made by the Jury in March 2019. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by 15th April 2019;
  • The applicants of the selected projects will be invited to prepare a full proposal by 27th May 2019 for evaluation by the Jury and external experts (specific instructions will be given at this stage). An official support by the directions of the involved institutions will be required at this stage. The final decision will be communicated by end of September 2019, and the project could start earliest in January 2020.