Information for Researchers

Status: 26 May 2020

Safety Concept for UZH

To ensure a careful return to on-site operations, the Executive Board of the University has approved a new safety concept. This safety concept aims to protect all people entering UZH premises (staff, external service providers, visitors, patients, etc.) against coronavirus infection as best as possible. All general information about the safety concept is available under the basic info pages for staff. Information that is specific to researchers (only) is listed below.
All Information for Staff
Safety Concept for the University of Zurich

Research Operations with Reduced Presence

From 27 April onwards, research activities on the premises of UZH are possible if they comply with the rules on hygiene and social distancing issued by the FOPH and if they cannot be carried out from home. Research units need to submit a specific safety concept to the relevant faculty dean for approval. Further provisions are detailed below.

1. Research from home

In principle, all research activities that can be carried out remotely must be done from home.

2. Research on UZH premises

  • Research work that requires on-site presence is permitted if it meets the following conditions:
  1. The FOPH directives to prevent the spread of coronavirus;
  2. The provisions of the Safety Concept for the University of Zurich:
    Safety Concept for the University of Zurich
  • The professors or group leaders responsible for the resumed research projects must have developed a specific safety concept that demonstrates how conditions a) and b) listed above can be met and that has been approved by faculty leadership.
  • UZH will provide a reservation system for temporary room management for research groups. You can find further information and registration in the document "Instruction booking system room occupancy":
    Instruction booking system room occupancy (PDF, 498 KB)
  • Resumed research activities will be kept on a reasonable scale. There is no general entitlement on the part of third parties to services within UZH (e.g. LASC, technology platforms, operating services, cafeterias, etc.; see clarifications below). All activities can be cut back again at any time (e.g. in the event of another closure of UZH premises or a cluster of infections on the site).

3. Access to UZH buildings

UZH staff may only enter their workplace with the approval of faculty leadership and if they have taken note of the specific safety concept and comply with the provisions therein.

4. Research conducted in Switzerland outside of UZH

The same regulations apply as for research on UZH premises.

5. Research conducted outside Switzerland

Business and research trips are generally prohibited. Exceptions may be approved by faculty managements or the responsible member of the University Executive Board.

6. 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 involving the on-site presence of subjects from high-risk groups or who live with relatives from high-risk groups is generally prohibited. Exceptions are possible in a clinical setting.

7. 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.

8. Resources from support organizations

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

9. Operation of support organizations

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.

Additional Funding for UZH Junior Researchers

The Executive Board of the University decided on 19 May to introduce a hardship regulation in order to support young UZH researchers whose research has been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since the beginning of March. For affected researchers in junior academic positions that are financed by central UZH research funding (e.g. Research Fund, URPP) or by third-party funds (public research funding organizations, foundations, fellowships, etc.) and for which the third-party funding providers do not give additional contributions, a funding extension of a maximum of two months can be applied for from the Office of the Vice President Research, provided the hardship case criteria are met. Please refer to the following application form and the information sheet contained therein:
Application Form Hardship Cases and Information Sheet (DOCX, 66 KB)

Further information

  • Submitting applications: Applications can be submitted at the earliest four months before the end of an employment or funding period. It is therefore important that affected junior researchers and their supervisors document the pandemic-related limitations in detail, so that they can still provide evidence of these disruptions at the time of the application.
  • Extension of employment: Employment can be extended even beyond the maximum employment period of six or nine years applicable to junior academic positions according to the UZH employment ordinance. In this case, please contact your HR manager.