SwissCollNet is issuing a first call for project proposals to make specimen data held in the Swiss natural history collections digitally available for research, education and society. Project duration is limited to a maximum of 24 months.


Projects funded by SwissCollNet will rely on and implement the recommendations published in the handbook on natural history collections management, with an emphasis on three fields:

Conditioning, determination, re-determination, revision and databasing
This field focuses on the management of collections with the aim of conditioning and integrating un-accessioned specimens into the collections. Projects may put emphasis on the integration of specimens into collections (i.e. conditioning), the determination or re-determination of specimens and/or the taxonomic revision of selected taxonomic groups (in particular for national collections).

Digitisation, best practices and quality standard implementation
This field focuses on making specimen data digitally available (data mobilisation) and interconnected, thus improving access to data for research purposes as well as for the general public. The main task is to ensure that specimens are databased (i.e. digital capture of the information from specimen labels and on the specimens themselves) and that images of the specimens, where appropriate, are obtained.

Training of taxonomic experts, collection managers and staff
This field aims at providing training opportunities for establishing the expertise needed for implementing quality standards for collection management, internal revisions and for expanding collections as well as the exchange of highly specialised taxonomic expertise.


All Swiss public and non-profit natural history collection-holding institutions are invited to submit project proposals to modernise and digitise their collections, and by doing so contribute to give access to specimens through a common online portal, the Swiss Virtual Natural History Collection.

Small institutions/collections are highly encourraged to participate either on their own or in collaboration with bigger institutions.


Call opens

September 15th 2021

Online application portal is open

Register here

November 1st 2021
Submission deadlineDecember 17th 2021 (5 pm CET)
Evaluation and selectionJanuary - March 2022
Notification to the applicantsMarch 31st 2022
Earliest start of the projectsApril 3rd 2022
Latest start of the projectsSeptember 1st 2022
Latest end of the projectsAugust 31st 2024

Submit your project now!

Main-applicants register here to get access to the application portal. Submission deadline is 17 December 2021, 5:00 p.m.

Please consult the following documents ahead of preparing and submitting a project proposal

Main and co-applicants are persons employed in a public and/or non-profit natural history collection-holding institution located in Switzerland. Joint applications between institutions are encouraged.

Handbook collections - horizontal cover
Image: Akademien Schweiz

Follow recommendations from the Handbook!

Do you have questions? You may find answers on the FAQ page.