DIZH Infrastructure & Lab Call

Introduction

The research program of the "Digitalisierungsinitiative der Zürcher Hochschulen (DIZH)" envisions the creation or promotion of infrastructures and labs. The terms "infrastructure" and "lab" are deliberately broadly defined. The focus is on the establishment of jointly usable infrastructures or structural vessels to promote collaborative settings for research that touches upon the idea of digital transformation. The bundling of existing competencies and persons should enable synergies and new forms of cooperation. Examples include regular, purpose-oriented meetings of researchers to jointly develop solutions and the combination of existing infrastructures or the development of new ones that are conducive to interdisciplinary cooperation. However, the call for DIZH infrastructures and labs is not aimed solely at supporting individuals or projects.

The call for applications for DIZH infrastructures and labs is expected to be issued twice per year, beginning in 2020. Applications will be submitted in a competitive procedure by a commission2 that includes representatives of all University of Zurich faculties and a representative from the office for Strategic Research Platforms of the University of Zurich. The decision of the commission is final. Further information can be found in the Process section below. Future adjustments to the call procedure are possible.

Applications for DIZH infrastructures and labs can be submitted by members of the Digital Society Initiative (DSI) at the University of Zurich (i.e., regular DSI members). Projects with persons from other DIZH institutions (PHZH, ZHAW, ZHdK) are welcome, but this is not a mandatory criterion for an award. DIZH funds of CHF 240,000 per year are available for infrastructures and labs. Applicants must be able to provide (at least) the same amount of co-financing to match the funds applied for in the application. The financing period for applications with DIZH funds is usually 1-2 years, with the possibility of extension. However, long-term financing of infrastructures and labs with DIZH funds is excluded.

Call

Applicants: Full members of the Digital Society Initiative (DSI) are formally eligible to apply. Full members of the DSI can be all members of the UZH who are actively involved in issues related to the digitalization of society.

Structure of the submission: An application for the creation of a DIZH infrastructure or a DIZH lab comprises a maximum of 5 pages and must address the following points (a Word template (DOCX, 324 KB) for the submission is available on the DSI website: 

  • Content: The application should outline the goal and purpose of the proposed infrastructure or lab. Those should be related to the applicants' previous or future research projects and to the roadmap of the University of Zurich’s Digital Society Initiative (DSI).
  • Interdisciplinarity: The application should provide a detailed outline of the interdisciplinary character of the proposed DIZH infrastructure or lab. The added value for the interdisciplinary and inter-faculty cooperation created by the infrastructure or the lab must be explicitly pointed out.
  • Budget and matching funds: DIZH’s share of the financing must be matched by at least an equal share. Applicants must indicate this co-financing according to the budget in the application template. The Commission for DIZH infrastructures and labs expects the requested funds to range between CHF 40,000 and 100,000 (without possible prolongation applications), but lower or higher contributions are not excluded.
  • Partners: The application should make clear which partners (researchers or institutions) are responsible for the DIZH infrastructure or the DIZH lab. The inclusion of partners from DIZH universities is desirable but not mandatory. The person responsible for the applicant must be a person or institution affiliated with the University of Zurich.
  • Criteria for achieving goals: The application should make clear which criteria are to be used to measure the success of the planned DIZH infrastructure or lab.
  • Duration: Applications should explain whether or not a long-term perspective is envisioned for the infrastructure or lab, and if so provide details on how this can be secured. Applications have a maximum duration of 2 years. An annual extension is possible if the defined objectives are met, but this is also subject to a competitive procedure.

In addition to the application document, applicants must enclose their CV and research output in accordance with the SNSF guidelines. Depending on the application, other documents (e.g. commitments to use certain infrastructures) may also be enclosed.

Process

Submissions for a DIZH infrastructure or a DIZH lab will be processed in 2021 as follows:

  1. Applications are submitted by e-mail (dizh-labs@dsi.uzh.ch) to the Commission for DIZH infrastructure/labs by April 1 and October 1. These applications will be formally reviewed by the DSI office and, if necessary, the applicants will be contacted.   
  2. On June 1 and December 1, the Commission for DIZH infrastructures/labs will award the grants. The Commission will make the final decision on the award. In case of outstanding applications that cannot be financed due to the annual budget, applicants can transfer their application to the next call for proposals and be evaluated again.
  3. Approved projects must begin no later than six months after approval.

A new call for applications will be published each year.