Questions & Answers

ABOUT THE NOMIS FOUNDATION
What are the NOMIS Foundation’s vision and mission?
What are the foundation’s long-term goals?
Where does the NOMIS Foundation get its funding?
How does the foundation operate?
ABOUT THE PROJECTS NOMIS SUPPORTS
What are the foundation’s areas of interest?
How are research projects selected?
What does NOMIS not fund?
Does NOMIS accept unsolicited research proposals?
Why does NOMIS place such a strong emphasis on people?
Does the foundation take a proprietary interest in the results of its research projects?
What conditions are attached to NOMIS funding?
How does NOMIS measure success?
NOMIS PARTNERS, RESEARCHERS, SCIENTISTS & SCHOLARS
What kinds of partners and institutions does NOMIS work with?
What qualities characterize NOMIS researchers, scientists and scholars?
How does the NOMIS Foundation foster collaboration?
CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Where is the NOMIS Foundation located?
Where can I learn more about the results of NOMIS’ research projects?
How can I inform NOMIS about unique, innovative, worthy projects or programs?
How can I help?

ABOUT THE NOMIS FOUNDATION
What are the NOMIS Foundation’s vision and mission?
NOMIS is a private Swiss foundation supporting insight-driven scientific endeavors across all disciplines, with a unique emphasis on researchers, their openness to new ideas, their pioneering spirit and their potential to inspire the world around them.
NOMIS’ vision is to “create a spark” in the world of science by funding highly innovative, groundbreaking research in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. NOMIS funds basic research projects led by dedicated pioneers who use radically different approaches, apply new expertise or engage novel perspectives. Beyond their scientific excellence these researchers show intrinsic motivation and the ability to inspire and collaborate with others not only within but also outside their own fields of expertise; they combine their passion for scientific discovery with their dynamic, engaging and influential leadership talent. It is these qualities and values that contribute to the foundation’s mission of fostering role models who have the potential to multiply the impact of NOMIS’ research funding.
What are the foundation’s long-term goals?
NOMIS’ primary objective is to fill funding gaps in basic research across disciplines and to enable outstanding researchers to take the next step(s) in their research projects. NOMIS does not strive for funding exclusivity, but rather expects its grant recipients to identify additional funding sources for the continuation of their research. In addition, NOMIS seeks to develop an innovation and collaboration network consisting of a global community of dedicated researchers, scientists and partners through interdisciplinary research activities and other initiatives.
Where does the NOMIS Foundation get its funding?
NOMIS is a private, not-for-profit Swiss foundation. Its funding is based on a private endowment in excess of CHF 100,000,000 as well as on additional annual private contributions.
How does the foundation operate?
NOMIS is governed by its board of directors, which consists of world-renowned scientists and scholars who are experts in their respective fields. The board defines the vision and strategy of NOMIS, reviews grant nominations and works to ensure that all NOMIS-funded projects meet the highest possible standards of professional and scientific excellence. The foundation’s small management team represents and leads NOMIS in all its activities and engagements and communicates with NOMIS grant recipients and researchers. Due to its holistic and interdisciplinary approach, NOMIS does not have scientific subcommittees or specialized advisory boards. This lean and unbureaucratic approach is critical to NOMIS’ goal of fostering collaboration across all disciplines, accelerating the development of new fields of exploration and enabling transformational insights and discoveries that address yet unanswered questions.

ABOUT THE PROJECTS NOMIS SUPPORTS
What are the foundation’s areas of interest?
Consistent with NOMIS’ mission to promote scientific talent with the potential to create a spark, and with its vision of funding innovative groundbreaking research, NOMIS supports projects involving pioneering, inspiring, team-spirited researchers from any scientific field, who embrace and share NOMIS’ vision and values. The focus is on potential insight, shared knowledge, new questions and exploring new possibilities.
How are research projects selected?
NOMIS identifies candidates exclusively through its own global network and through dedicated nominators. These nominators are high-level senior scientists at renowned research institutes covering a range of disciplines. Following a nomination, an evaluation protocol is used to combine select criteria regarding scientific excellence with an assessment of the personality, behavior and leadership style of the candidate. This process, which generally spans over several months, includes personal interviews and site visits. Final funding decisions are made by means of an extended panel review.
What does NOMIS not fund?
NOMIS does not support translational, developmental or applied research projects, nor does it support any form of non-research-related programs or projects (social welfare, charity, culture and art, community work, education, etc.). The NOMIS Foundation does not support any form of political, ideological or religious engagement, activism, proselytizing or any similar activities. NOMIS does not support research projects whose primary goal is commercialization, monetary profit or patent protection.
Does NOMIS accept unsolicited research proposals?
NOMIS does not accept unsolicited applications. The foundation identifies candidates exclusively through its own global network.
Why does NOMIS place such a strong emphasis on people?
The excellence and potential of researchers and scientists are crucial factors in NOMIS’ partnering and funding decisions. Beyond their scientific excellence these researchers show intrinsic motivation and the ability to inspire and collaborate with others not only within but also outside their own fields of expertise; they combine their passion for scientific discovery with their dynamic, engaging and influential leadership talent. NOMIS considers these qualities just as important as the scientific quality and approach of the research projects themselves.
Does the foundation take a proprietary interest in the results of its research projects?
No. In fact, on the basis of NOMIS’ vision and values, all results of NOMIS-funded research projects must be made publicly available, promoting knowledge sharing and igniting new research and discoveries for the benefit of all.
What conditions are attached to NOMIS funding?
NOMIS provides unrestricted funding for the selected projects. The foundation places strong emphasis on the novelty and high standards of the research projects and on the willingness of the researchers, scientists and scholars to connect, engage and collaborate with NOMIS and the NOMIS network to share insights and ideas, helping to create sparks in new fields of exploration.
How does NOMIS measure success?
Every new insight gained by a NOMIS-supported research project advances human knowledge, opens new doors and encourages new discoveries — this is what NOMIS considers success. To measure the success of the projects NOMIS supports, the foundation asks questions such as:
  • Was something unexpected discovered?
  • Did the project’s new insights change the scientific field in question?
  • Are there unintended positive consequences resulting from the research?
  • Will the research project continue after NOMIS’ initial support?
  • Did the research attract additional funding?

NOMIS PARTNERS, RESEARCHERS, SCIENTISTS & SCHOLARS
What kinds of partners and institutions does NOMIS work with?
NOMIS pursues partnerships with institutions that share a similar spirit and vision. These are institutions that provide a free research environment, which actively encourages the development of world-class, open-minded researchers who demonstrate an eagerness to look outside their own fields of specialization.
What qualities characterize NOMIS researchers, scientists and scholars?
NOMIS researchers, scientists and scholars are dedicated pioneers with outstanding scientific backgrounds and track records who use radically different approaches, apply new expertise or engage novel perspectives. They are curious and ready to undertake new high-risk research by connecting the usual with the unexpected. Beyond their scientific excellence these researchers show intrinsic motivation and the ability to inspire and collaborate with others not only within but also outside their own fields of expertise; they combine their passion for scientific discovery with their dynamic, engaging and influential leadership talent.
How does the NOMIS Foundation foster collaboration?
One of the foundation’s most important objectives is to enable transformational and interdisciplinary research and discoveries through collaboration. NOMIS aims to achieve this by becoming a platform for collaboration and developing innovation networks, which connect its community of institutions, researchers, scientists and scholars. The foundation actively encourages its researchers to collaborate on joint research projects, publications and initiatives.

CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Where is the NOMIS Foundation located?
NOMIS is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.
Where can I learn more about the results of NOMIS’ research projects?
NOMIS continually publishes research results and updates on its activities on its website.
How can I inform NOMIS about unique, innovative, worthy projects or programs?
Please write to us at: contact@nomisfoundation.ch