Researchers are free in their research and teaching. In their scientific work, they are obliged to comply with applicable laws and guidelines (compliance). This applies to national, cantonal or university legal foundations and guidelines as well as the requirements of research funding organisations. The most important guidelines and procedures can be found here.
Ethics in research involving human beings
In many cases, research projects on and with humans must be ethically examined and approved before the start of the study. Researchers can use the Data Protection/Ethics Self-Assessment Tool (DESAT) to query specific requirements and recommendations regarding data protection and ethics.
In the case that a research project deals with personal data (i.e. data are not anonymous or anonymised by an independent body), there are obligations under the Information and Data Protection Act of the Canton of Zurich (IDG ZH) and other data protection requirements. Researchers can use the Data Protection/Ethics Self-Assessment Tool (DESAT) to query specific requirements and recommendations regarding data protection and ethics.
Research involving animals and animal welfare
Research projects involving animals must be examined by the Animal Experimentation Commission and approved by the Veterinary Office before the start of the experiment.
Conflicts of interest
Research projects must not be influenced by conflicts of interest of the researchers. Research funders such as NIH and SPHN call for a declaration of possible conflicts of interest.
NIH: For projects supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), all participating researchers self-declare whether they have financial interests.
SPHN: For projects financed by the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), the applicant declares any binding interests to SPHN.
UZH: UZH professors publish their vested interests.
Access to genetic resources – Nagoya Protocol
Research projects are subject to the Nagoya Protocol, which regulates access to genetic resources in other countries.
Inventions made as part of a research project can be protected by a patent for exploitation.
Open Access to Publications
All scientific publications of members of the UZH are listed in ZORA and, if possible, made available with the Open Access Green or Gold Standard. The SNSF and the EU require that research results from their funding are published open access. Individual scientific observations can also be published on the online platform ScienceMatters.
SNF: As part of its open access strategy, the SNSF expects recipients to publish their research results in openly accessible scientific articles or books.
The SNSF covers the publication costs for OA journals of publications resulting from its funding.
EU: All publications of EU-funded projects must be freely accessible electronically.
The EU covers publication costs for OA journals of publications resulting from its funding. These costs must be budgeted within the project.
Research Data Management
Research data should be carefully prepared, archived and, if possible, open and accessible to the public in order to achieve impact, transparency and reproducibility. The Principal Investigator describes the handling of the research data of a specific research project in the Data Management Plan.
SNF: A Data Management Plan must be submitted to the SNSF with each project application.
The SNSF supports the OA publication of research data with up to CHF 10,000 per project. The costs must be budgeted within the project.
EU: Since 2017, a Data Management Plan must be submitted as a deliverable for each approved project under Horizon 2020.
The EU covers the costs of OA publication of research data during the project period. The costs must be budgeted within the project.