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As a Senior Advisor

For PIs who retire during one of the remaining two Phases of the NCCR Evolving Language (2nd Phase: 06/2024–05/2028, 3rd Phase: 06/2028–05/2032), there is the possibility to remain officially affiliated with the NCCR with the status as “Senior Advisor”. The status should be attributed at the beginning of the phase during which the PI retires.

Conditions of Employment

Senior Advisors status may be awarded for one year. Before retirement, one can simply apply every year for the status. Upon retirement, the status may be awarded under the condition of a renewable part-time contract at their respective home institution. Furthermore, the NCCR may provide the financial means for a 15% position (including social contributions) upon acceptance of their application. It is possible for PIs to be employed at a higher workload. If they wish to remain employed at a higher workload, they will need to organize the necessary funding themselves.

Rights and Duties

Senior Advisors remain involved in the research activities of the NCCR, including contributing to WPs and supervising research staff (whether or not PIs can remain main supervisors of their PhD students is a question that they have to clarify with their relevant home institutions). They are also expected to attend events organized by the NCCR Evolving Language (i.e. annual retreat, project meetings, workshops etc.).

It is not possible for Senior Advisors to retain the administrative rights of a PI. Most notably, Senior Advisors are not allowed to appoint internal collaborators, and to remain financially responsible for their respective WPs (they to have to cede this role to a different PI upon retirement).

Application Procedures

  • Application procedure at the NCCR
    Senior Advisor status is reviewed annually and granted by the Steering Committee upon application. The application consists in a brief letter (max. 1 page) explaining (i) the motivation for remaining affiliated with the NCCR as well as (ii) the added value for the NCCR.
  • Application procedure at home institution 
    After having been granted Senior Advisor status by the Steering Committee, PIs are themselves responsible for initiating and organizing the reemployment process at their relevant home institution. Please note that reemployment processes of retired professors are complex and time-consuming. We therefore strongly recommend interested PIs to initiate the relevant process at least two years before their official date of retirement. Below, we summarize the process for the Universities of Zurich and Geneva, which act as the home institutions of our NCCR and where most NCCR PIs are employed.

    • UZH:
      1. Apply to the Dean’s Office of your faculty with a letter of support and confirmation of funding by the NCCR.

      2. Dean forwards the application to the rectorate

      3. Rectorate makes a decision on the application

    • UNIGE:
      1. Fill out the form “Formulaire de demande d’activités post-retraite” and send it to the Dean’s Office

      2. Dean’s office examines the application and forwards it to the rectorate

      3. Rectorate examines and requests the approval of the Conseil d’Etat

PIs interested in applying for the Senior Advisor status, please send your application to by May 15 2024.


Any Questions?