ESTHER Switzerland Call for Proposals 2019

At the moment, ESTHER Switzerland has no open Call for Proposals.

We plan to open a new Call by Autumn 2019. More information will be online on this page and usually new calls are published through the network of Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

For more information, you can also adress the Secretariat of ESTHER Switzerland.

ESTHER Switzerland do not considered requests for founding outside a Call and for topics not focused on the core health issues defined within our Calls.

Calls: In order to apply, the first partner should be a Swiss institution. Proposal with no Swiss institution mentioned will not be considered. The idea of a Start-up fund is to support the definition and discussion of a new partnership or a new project. A proposal aiming at financing an existing project, even partially, will not be considered.

Selection of the proposals: the Grants are decided by the ESTHER Steering Committee. In order to ensure a fair process of selection, whenever a member of the Steering Committee is involved with the institution submitting a proposal (even if he or she is not directly involved with the proposal itself), the members do not take part in the selection process and do not vote on the project.


Since 2011, Switzerland is member of the European ESTHER Alliance that promotes institutional health partnerships worldwide. The Alliance defines institutional health partnerships as “collaborative relationships between at least two institutions based on trust, equality and mutual interest to work as peers towards common objectives. They contribute to the improvement of health services through reciprocal institutional strengthening, capacity building and health workforce development”. ESTHER partners work mostly in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) to tackle priority issues for health and help achieve the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

ESTHER Switzerland uses the model of institutional health partnerships to foster effective north-south and south-south partnerships that can build capacity of the health workforce and health institutions and finally contribute to strengthen health systems and health outcomes. The Secretariat of ESTHER Switzerland is located at the ISPM in Bern.

ESTHER Switzerland Grants Programme

The Switzerland ESTHER programme is currently a collaborative initiative between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern, which will contribute to SDC’s objectives for health and development. It is based on a spirit of partnership and equality that is a fundamental principle of SDC policy. The SDC has established a grant program for the period 2016-2018 managed by ESTHER Switzerland.

The grants support two types of partnership, ESTHER project grants and ESTHER start-up grants. Both types of grants are available to institutional health partnerships that include at least one health institution in Switzerland (preference is given to hospitals, universities and research institutions) and one health institution in a low or middle-income country.

  1. Partnerships Project Grant: Projects should be focused primarily on sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS. The maximum amount for a Project grant is CHF 100’000.
  2. Start-up Grant: this fund support initiatives to asses new partnership projects that could lead to new projects within the scope of the ESTHER programme. The maximum amount for a Start-up grant is CHF 10’000.

Typical projects focus on service deliver and could aim at the training of health care staff (medical staff, nurses, management positions, etc.). Research projects (e.g., cohort studies) are outside the scope of the present call. For more information on the two funds kindly consult the grant documents which are available on this page.




If you want to be informed about the new call next year, please contact the ESTHER Secretariat.