Reaching people with science communication

Next submission deadline: 01.09.2024

Science concerns us all, but it only reaches part of the public. This is why Gebert Rüf Stiftung has set itself the goal of combining science with entertainment and making it accessible to a wide audience. The «Scientainment» programme supports projects that succeed in addressing people in their everyday lives with relevant topics in the most direct, attractive and scientifically sound way possible. CHF 2 million is available annually for this programme.

Objective: Promoting science communication beyond PR

From the production of new scientific findings to the implementation of new technologies: Science determines our lives today in many different ways. Developments are so rapid that communicating this new knowledge to the right target audience cannot keep pace. Although news from research and innovation is reported intensively, it is often influenced by institutional PR interests in such a way that the knowledge does not reach the people.

This is why effective science communication is needed that reaches the general public and recognises the translation work from science to society as an ongoing task. Scientainment achieves this through a low-threshold approach that combines «science» with «entertainment» and addresses topics that are relevant to people's everyday lives. The aim is to take as many people as possible along this value chain of knowledge into the future – using attractive and scalable formats that succeed in actively involving the audience and stimulating discussion.

Submission of projects

Projects may be submitted to Gebert Rüf Stiftung by one of the quarterly deadlines (1 February, 1 May, 1 September, 1 December) in accordance with the general requirements. The submission procedure has two stages.

Use our web portal to submit your project and upload all the required documents as described in the following guidelines. 

Project evaluation

The «Scientainment» area of activity is designed as an ongoing call for proposals. The selection process – from the submission of the project proposal (first stage) to the decision on the project application (second stage) – takes around six months. The Board of Trustees reaches the grant-making decision at its quarterly plenary meetings on the basis of the support criteria and the strategic objectives of the area of activity. In exceptional cases, the project proposal can be approved directly within three months of the initial submission.

There is no procedure for appeals or applications for re-examination or reconsideration; no correspondence will be entered into regarding grant-making decisions.

Approved projects can find more information on the support agreement, reporting and project communications here.

Support criteria

  • The project is innovative and conveys relevant knowledge from science and technology, economy, society and politics in an entertaining way.
  • The communication channels and media partnerships are chosen so that the project reaches as wide an audience as possible.
  • The format is scalable and triggers a high level of involvement among the target group.
  • The project team is as interdisciplinary as possible, with expertise from science and the relevant areas (e.g. education, culture, media).

Funding will not be given to events, exhibitions, isolated podcasts and projects involving marketing or institutional communication activities or research on science communication.

Innovation fund for multimedia science journalism

As a separate focus of the Scientainment programme, GRS promotes multimedia science journalism with the Innovation Fund launched in 2023. The aim is to structurally establish multimedia formats in Swiss (science) journalism. The fund is endowed with half a million francs. Swiss media professionals who deal with socially relevant topics from the fields of science and technology, economy, society and politics can apply for a grant of around CHF 20,000 during the regular quarterly submission deadlines if they form a team with in-house or external designers and programmers. Further information and the separate application form can be found here.

Picture Credits Header

Pictures kindly provided by the Scientainment projects NACHTAKTIV, Zurich; Hommage2021 © Yoshi Kusano, Berne; «Kino macht klug!», Verkehrshaus Luzern