The Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) supports excellent scientific research that contributes to the solution of global problems. It aims at reducing poverty and global risks and at making public goods available in developing countries. The research is organised in five thematic modules and a thematically open module.

photo collage r4d programme 


The r4d programme is embeded in the sustainable development discourse. It has the following objectives:

  • to generate scientific knowledge and research-based solutions for reducing poverty and global risks in least developed, low- and middle income countries;
  • to offer national and international stakeholders methods and options for finding integrated, holistic approaches to solving problems;
  • to enhance scientific skills and know-how in dealing with the complexity of global problems for the benefit of societies in developing and emerging countries.

Research foci

Research within the r4d programme is either thematically open or focuses on the following five themes:

The selection of themes reflects the strategic priorities of the SDC (2013-2016). The formulation of calls in the five thematic modules was jointly elaborated by the members of the respective Review Panel, the SDC and the SNSF.  

Development relevance and impact

The criteria of scientific quality and development relevance are of equal importance for the selection and evaluation of projects.

All projects are carried out within transnational research partnerships. The r4d programme strongly supports the adherence to the KFPE Principles (A Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships - 11 Principles). The elaboration of a results framework and a pathway to impact are requirements for all projects. 10% to 15% of the funds must be used for communication and application. A share of 50% of the academic personnel (person months) must be employed in the partner countries and a minimum of 40% of the total project budget must go to the partners in least developed, low and lower middle income countries.

Synthesis work

The r4d programme and the thematic modules conclude with synthesis products targeted at various communities in science, policy, practice and civil society.

The Steering Committee mandates the programme synthesis work.
The respective Review Panels mandate the module syntheses work.

For more information please visit the r4d synthesis page.


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