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Urs Lauffer, executive member of the Foundation Board

Our Foundation, set up in spring 2007, aims to fund talented young scholars in Switzerland, Austria and other European countries, on an exclusively non-profit basis. This is done in close co-operation with the universities in Zurich, Basel and Salzburg.

In the tenth year of our operations, we have granted the University of Zurich funding to the tune of CHF 200 000 for doctoral training in the key research area, "Asia and Europe". This sum was used to fund four doctoral candidates. In 2016, the University of Salzburg received a sum of EUR 210 000. With this support, during the year under review, six candidates have continued their doctoral work at the post-graduate teaching centre in Salzburg. And finally, the Foundation has once again supported the University of Basel with a grant of CHF 200 000 for the key research topic "Africa".

We deeply value the intensive collaboration with the relevant staff at the three universities. This is the best way to ensure the quality of the individual research projects, which is regularly monitored by the professors involved. The Humer Foundation therefore still does not consider applications sent directly to it by doctoral candidates.

During the year under review, the Foundation Board met in two sessions, in Salzburg and Arlesheim. The main focus was the evaluation and approval of requests for financial support for doctoral candidates, which was undertaken on the basis of thorough, balanced assessments made by the three universities. In addition, the Foundation’s statutory business (annual accounts, yearly review, auditor’s report, elections) was dealt with.

Furthermore, the Foundation Board periodically reviews the success of funding activities, in the presence of professors and individual doctoral candidates. In doing so, we assess both the effectiveness and efficiency of our work, thus measuring the usefulness and the economic efficiency of the allocation of our Foundation’s resources. Based on this, and using specific individual cases as templates, we then define our Foundation’s goals for the new financial year. And finally, we also deal with all financial issues and risks (including investment principles, which are regularly reviewed and adjusted), and oversee the work of our office.

Given the challenging conditions in the financial markets, the Foundation had to fund its activities during the financial year largely through transfers from capital reserves. At the end of 2016, the organisation’s capital totalled around CHF 2.9 million. Our Foundation will have to reduce the extent of its support in the next three to four years, and in doing so accepts that its capital will be largely depleted.

The office is managed by Lauffer & Frischknecht, a communication management consultancy, on a consultative basis. Stéphanie Ramel takes care of the administration, and Fritz Frischknecht, MA Econ., is responsible for the accounts department. Swiss GAAP FER 21 is used for the annual financial statements.



in CHF

  2016 2015 2014
Financial support 629 000 579 000 891 000
Annual result -548 000 -690 000 628 000
Organisational capital 2 929 000 3 521 000 4 152 000

Since it was established in 2007 the Foundation has provided financial support totalling CHF 6 300 000.

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