The call for proposals for NRP 81 “Baukultur” is now open.

NRP 81 examines how to deal with both the built and unbuilt environment. The current situation calls at the same time for radical change and the preservation of this collective cultural asset.
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Interested project teams are now invited to submit their pre-proposals until 29 February 2024.

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has launched a call for the National Research Programme "Baukultur. For an Ecological and Social Transition of the Built Environment" (NRP 81) based on its mandate from the Federal Council.

The programme aims at understanding and identifying the processes that are required to plan, establish and maintain a high-quality built environment. It will equally investigate the processes that are required for such an environment to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society, to promoting social equity and cohesion, and to improving quality of life. The programme will bring together divergent perspectives, scattered disciplines and separate professions with a clear and pertinent objective: to improve the quality of the built environment with a view to sustainability. It therefore also promotes partnerships with actors from practice and directly supports these collaborations with proportionate financial support.

The programme comprises two research modules and a compulsory tandem module for implementation:

  • Research module A: Material, technical and ecological dimensions of Baukultur in relation to social and cultural aspects
    Module A addresses material, technical and ecological aspects, touching on environmental sciences, engineering, urban planning and architectural expertise, as well as energy transition, sustainable development and biodiversity.
  • Research module B: Social and cultural dimensions of Baukultur in relation to material, technical and ecological aspects
    Module B embraces social and cultural contexts, with extensions to policymaking, planning, social history and sociology in relation to urban development, construction and housing/living.
  • Tandem module C for implementation: Comprehending Baukultur
    Module C refers to the materialisation of the vision outlined in modules A and B by establishing a process of engagement between the actors involved. This module allows project teams to set up partnerships with practitioners and non-academic organisations or institutions. The field is left open for different implementation scenarios and collaboration schemes, such as living labs, demonstrators (simulated or in the field), platforms, etc.

While each project should target research that can address at least one of the research modules A or B, or preferably a combination of them, addressing tandem module C is mandatory for all projects.

NRP 81 will operate with a total budget of CHF 10.6 million for a research duration of 5 years. Projects will be selected in a two-stage process. Interested researchers can submit pre-proposals until 29 February 2024. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal by 2 September 2024. The research phase will start in early 2025.

Detailed information on the participation requirements as well as the submission and selection procedures are available in the call document.