SCNAT and its network are committed to a sustainable science and society. They support policy-making, administration and business with expert knowledge and actively participate in public discourse. They strengthen the exchange across scientific disciplines and promote early career academics.

Image: Sebastian,

Dr Joachim de Giacomi legacy

In 1921, the Bernese medical doctor and private lecturer Dr. Joachim de Giacomi bequeathed a legacy worth CHF 200,000 to SCNAT in a testamentary disposition. The administration of the legacy was entrusted to a special committee appointed by the Executive Board.

According to the wishes of the founder, the revenues of the legacy are to be used for the support of research work or publications of voluntary members of the cantonal and regional societies as well as the specialist societies, which are not carried by state-funded institutions.

The requirements and procedure for submitting applications are explained in the following guidelines.

Guidelines for applicants

I. Funding requirements

1. The applicant must be a member (volunteer) of a cantonal or regional natural history society, or any specialist society of the SCNAT.

2. The funding can be used to support scientific research and publications. The content of the project must have a link and/or be of benefit to the society the applicant belongs to.

3. The funds can be used for material, travel and publication (both in print and electronic) costs.

The funds cannot be used for:

a) Personnel costs;

b) Travel expenses between Switzerland and research localities abroad (as a general rule);

c) Projects with an obvious economic interest;

d) Proposals from established research institutions in which the research is covered by internal funding, via Swiss National Funds, or other research institutions.

II. Procedure

1. Proposals must be received by the president of the de Giacomi Commission by December 31st. The application should include the signed application form, Curriculum Vitae, documented or budgeted expenses, and a full list of received or requested financial support from other sources, including personal contributions. The proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the president or another member of the board of the society to which the applicant belongs.

2. Requests for printing cost expenses must also include the manuscript or the publication concept.

3. By submitting an application, the applicant agrees to commit with the requirements and use the funds for the stated purpose.

III. Modalities

1. The applications will be fully evaluated once the submission period is over. The decision of the de Giacomi Commission will be sent to the applicants by the end of April of the following year.

2. Funding is usually paid out after the completion of the project. The appropriate use of the funds must be proven with receipts. A short progress report that includes also an outlook of work that may stretch for a few years, is to be submitted in mid January to the president of the de Giacomi Commission. In justified cases, it is possible to provide 2/3 of the awarded funds in advance. Awarded funds expire three years after the decision has been communicated.

3. The applicant must acknowledge the support of the Dr. Joachim de Giacomi Legacy funds of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) in any partially or completely funded publication.

4. The de Giacomi Commission decides on the subsequent use of any instruments bought through the use of these funds.

5. The authors are asked to provide to the SCNAT a copy of any books or other publications that resulted through these funds. When doing so, please provide a letter in which you acknowledge the publication was supported by the Dr. Joachim de Giacomi legacy funds. Please also send a copy of this letter to the president of the de Giacomi Commission along with any PDF copies of publications and any other type of works that were awarded through these funds.


Michael Schaad
Schweizerische Vogelwarte
Seerose 1
6204 Sempach