Information for Researchers

Status: 14 April 2021

On 14 April 2021 the Federal Council decided that face-to-face teaching will be permitted at universities to a greater extent. UZH will inform everyone about the next steps in the course of next week.

Maintaining Research Operations under Additional Pandemic Restrictions

From Monday, 18 January 2020, employees of UZH will be working from home. All research activities that do not require a physical presence must therefore be carried out from home. Research activities requiring a physical presence on the premises of UZH are possible to a limited extent. The corresponding provisions are specified below. 

1. Research on UZH premises

Research activities requiring a physical presence are allowed to a limited extent if the FOPH guidelines on containing the spread of coronavirus as well as the UZH safety concept can be adhered to.
Safety Concept for the University of Zurich

The occupancy of laboratories up to biosafety level 2 may not exceed half of the normal capacity. Furthermore, operations must be organized in such a way that subgroups do not mix.

The occupancy of laboratories where work is carried out with protective clothing or in animal husbandry facilities can be higher. The occupancy in these premises is determined by the responsible supervisors and ensures the prevention of virus transmission.

The professors or group leaders responsible for the research project organize operations in their allocated research facilities in their own responsibility. They must, however, follow the provisions specified for university staff.
Information for Staff

2. Animal husbandry and animal testing

The LASC management, in consultation with the LASC task force, takes appropriate measures to adequately reduce the number of animals in trials and in breeding.

3. Research involving human beings

Research involving humans should be conducted virtually where possible (e.g. surveys, interviews). Research that requires physical contact with subjects may only be carried out in strict accordance with the FOPH protective measures (rules on hygiene and distancing, as well as compulsory mask wearing in direct contact situations). Research requiring the physical presence of subjects belonging to the group of particularly vulnerable persons are generally not permitted. Exceptions are possible in a clinical setting.
Federal Office of Public Health: Who is at particularly high risk and needs special protection? (in German)

4. Operation of and resources from support organizations

Research that relies on resources from support organizations (such as technology and research platforms, LASC, laboratories, etc.) may only resume if the research project leader has obtained assurance from the relevant service units that the required services can be provided.

Support organizations will provide researchers with their services as best they can and taking into account the work restrictions. There is no general right to the services provided by support organizations.

5. Access to UZH buildings for research projects, animal husbandry or the maintenance of research infrastructures

UZH employees may enter their workplace in accordance with their superiors if they are familiar with and adhere to the specific safety concept applicable to their research unit and if they follow the provisions regarding mask-wearing at UZH.
Information for Staff

6. Research at the university hospitals

UZH research at university hospitals is subject to the same regulations as research on UZH premises. Hospital management boards may, however, prohibit certain research activities for reasons of human and animal welfare.

7. Research conducted in Switzerland outside of UZH

The same regulations apply as for research on UZH premises.

8. Research conducted outside Switzerland

Business and research trips on behalf of UZH are possible if the necessary safety measures are respected and the trip is approved by the relevant dean or head of Central Services unit.
Approval form for work-related travel abroad (PDF, 124 KB)