National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs)

The national research priorities were created in 2001 with the intention of giving the Swiss research environment more robust structures. Aim of the realignment: Research projects backed by long-term funding on issues of strategic significance for the future of Switzerland are to be encouraged. The NCCR function in networks, in which dozens of scientists from throughout Switzerland work together in various higher education institutions and research institutions. In each case the entity leading these networks is an individual institution, such as the University of Bern, from where the program management coordinates the different research groups.

NFS PlanetS

The discovery in 1995 of the first giant planet outside our solar system by Swiss astronomers spawned a unique revolution in modern astronomy. Since then, the progress has been such that the field is now shifting from an era of discovery to one of physical and chemical characterisation. The NCCR PlanetS allows responding to this shift by providing an interdisciplinary research programme dedicated to the study of the origin, evolution, and characterisation of planets.


The NCCR MUST (Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology) is an interdisciplinary research program launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2010. It brings together 26 Swiss research groups working in Ultrafast Science across the fields of physics, chemistry, material science and biology. Our themes are: - Watching atoms and electrons in molecules and solids at work - Observing the fastest processes in nature - Controlling atomic and electronic motion

NFS RNA & Disease

The NCCR “RNA & Disease – The Role of RNA Biology in Disease Mechanisms” studies a class of molecules that has long been neglected: RNA (ribonucleic acid) is pivotal for many vital processes and much more complex than initially assumed. For instance, RNA defines the conditions, in a given cell, under which a given gene is or is not activated. If any part of this process of genetic regulation breaks down or does not run smoothly, this can cause heart disease, cancer, brain disease and metabolic disorders.

NFS TransCure

The NCCR "TransCure – From Transport Physiology to Identification of Therapeutic Targets" seeks to integrate the disciplines of physiology, structural biology and chemistry and to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating the most important diseases.