SNIS - The Swiss Network for International Studies

9 January 2012

SNIS – The Swiss Network for International Studies, created in 2008 by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and the University of Geneva, aims to promote academic research in the field of international studies in Switzerland, while strengthening the cooperation between academic institutions, international organizations and NGOs.

In doing so, the SNIS takes special interest in phenomena that transcend the traditional boundaries of nation states in fields such as health, development, human rights or the environment.

Specifically, the SNIS focuses its work around the following four activities:

• Funding for research projects;

• Organization of conferences and workshops;

• Support for international conferences organized by Swiss academic institutions;

• Development of an interdisciplinary network bringing together Swiss academic institutions, researchers, international organizations and NGOs.

Every year since 2008, the SNIS allocates 1.6 million Swiss francs to interdisciplinary research projects. Of international scale, these projects are carried out by Swiss academic institutions. Most of them are conducted in collaboration with international organizations and NGOs represented in Geneva. In this regard, the SNIS established the Academic Council of International Geneva, which comprises representatives of international organizations based in Geneva and proposes research topics responding to the needs of international organizations.

By bringing together practitioners of international organizations, academics and NGOs around specific projects, the SNIS supports independent and reliable research that brings solutions and insights to increasingly complex issues such as poverty, climate change, responses to international and civil conflicts, or migration.

For example, a project funded by the SNIS has enabled the development of guidelines for the investigation and prevention of death in custody. These guidelines propose specific measures to allow humanitarian workers to investigate deaths in custody. The project, coordinated by the University Centre of Legal Medicine (CURML), was conducted in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (ADH). The ICRC, confronted with numerous cases of deaths while in custody in the field, was behind this initiative.

The SNIS is funded by the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) of the Federal Department of the Interior (DFI) and the Department of Public Instruction, Culture and Sport (DIP) of the Republic and State of Geneva.

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