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NCCR North-South - Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Thank you for visiting the website of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. The NCCR North-South programme formally ended in June 2014.

Please note that the content of this website will no longer be updated.

About the NCCR North-South


Programme Overview

The NCCR North-South is an innovative research programme in the fields of global change and sustainable development.

Headquartered in Switzerland and encompassing a robust network of over 350 researchers active in more than 40 countries worldwide, it is dedicated to finding sustainable, practicable solutions to specific challenges of global change. Central to all NCCR North-South activities is a commitment to partnership between institutions and individuals in the northern and southern hemispheres. Research is collaboratively conducted with a special emphasis on the needs of developing and transition countries, since they are arguably under the most pressure due to accelerated global processes of environmental, economic, and sociopolitical change.

Originally launched in 2001, the NCCR North-South is one of twenty National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) established by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to promote scientific advancement in vital research areas. It was founded in the belief that increasing our understanding of global change and identifying means of sustainable development are crucially important to Switzerland’s future and that of the world. The programme is jointly funded by SNSF, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the participating research institutions.

Research Topics

Now in its third four-year phase, the research activities of the NCCR North-South programme are currently organised between three Thematic Nodes grouped around an Integrative Node that bridges them all together.

The Thematic Nodes combine advanced research on

  • Institutions, Livelihoods, Conflicts 
  • Health, Services, Planning 
  • Natural Resources, Economy, Governance

    Each Thematic Node is supported by at least two Swiss Partner Institutions, together with their partners abroad, and comprises four to six Research Projects. The individual projects are co-led by post-doctoral researchers from the South and the North who jointly oversee an international team of post-doctoral and senior researchers, PhD and master’s students. The teams conduct their research in at least two out of nine established Partnership Regions spread across four continents.

    Download diagramme of research setup (PDF 83 KB)
  • Brochure


    in the world:

    The NCCR North-South is hosted by the University of Bern
    and funded jointly by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation