Four researchers at the Adolphe Merkle Institute have been awarded grants as part of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s new Spark rapid testing and development program.
Doctors Dedy Septiadi, and Roman Lehner of the BioNanomaterials group, as well as Esteban Bermudez, and Matthias Saba of the Soft Matter Physics group were each awarded close to CHF 100,000. Their projects cover domains as varied as the development of a laser system for cell imaging and identification, investigating the toxicological responses of microplastics on human immune cells, creating so-called metamaterials with novel optical properties, and placing light-emitting particles inside optical structures to improve their light emission properties.
The aim of Spark program is to fund the rapid testing or development of new scientific approaches, methods, theories, standards, and ideas for applications for example. It is intended for projects that show unconventional thinking and introduce a unique approach. The focus is on promising ideas of high originality, relying on no or very little preliminary data that are unlikely to be financed by other available funding schemes. Applicants can request between CHF 50,000 and CHF 100,000 for a project duration of six to twelve months. The project must start within three months after the decision.