Leading House for Africa

The Swiss TPH, supported by the University of Basel, is the Leading House for bilateral research collaboration with partner institutions in the sub-Saharan African region. Mandated by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in 2017, the Leading House Basel promotes and fosters scientific cooperation with key institutions in sub-Saharan Africa for the funding period 2017–2020. Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda have been designated the key countries to strengthen cooperation during this phase, in addition to intensifying the ties with Côte d’Ivoire South Africa and Tanzania.

The funding instruments within the programme are open to researchers of all Swiss universities, universities of applied sciences and public research institutes.

Main Priorities

  • To improve mutual knowledge and make Switzerland better known as a prime location for education, research and innovation, by improving circulation of talents and direct cooperation between institutions.
  • To strengthen the collaboration between the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and similar partner agencies in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF). 
  • To increase collaboration in the field of innovation through new or existing instruments, as a way to foster entrepreneurship.


  • Call for advanced PHD students and early postdoctoral researchers with matching funds and in-kind contributions coming directly from the partners (SARECO).
  • Swiss-African Business and Innovation Initiative (SABII) including academia–industry training camps, with strong institutional support from both academia and industry. 
  • Swiss-South Africa bilateral research chairs in the fields of (i) environmental and global health; and (ii) migration.
  • Seed funding or grant writing workshops for fellows offered according to emerging opportunities with matching funds and in-kind contributions coming directly from the partners.

Leading House Region Africa – Seed Funding 2020

Deadline: 5 June 2020

Grant sum: maximum 25 kCHF per project

Third party funding: strongly encouraged

Project duration: 3 to 12 months

Eligibility and geographical area
Lead applicants must be senior researchers from Swiss academic institutions. The project lead applicant should involve at least one institutional partner from South Africa.

Research areas
Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those pertaining to health (SDG 3), gender (SDG 5), WASH (SDG 6) and climate (SDG 13).

Deadline for submission: 5 June 2020

Communication of funding decision: 30 June 2020

Earliest start of the project: 15 July 2020

Contact person for partners in South Africa

Glaudina Loots
Director Health Innovation
Department of Science and Innovation
Tel : +27 21 469 5020
Fax : +27 86 681 0052
Website: www.dst.gov.za
E-mail : Glaudina.Loots@dst.gov.za