The promotion of junior researchers is of great strategic importance to Swiss higher education institutions and research locations. Highly-trained junior researchers and excellent career prospects contribute to Switzerland's international competitiveness and national innovation strength.
For this reason, Switzerland is also a member of EURAXESS, a European initiative that supports researcher mobility and career development. More than 40 countries are involved in the EURAXESS network. swissuniversities coordinates the EURAXESS activities in Switzerland, which are financed by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
Researchers can find information on living and working in Switzerland on the EURAXESS website. They can also receive personalised, free advice at 14 EURAXESS Centres run by Swiss universities. Refugee researchers are specifically supported by the EURAXESS science4refugees initiative.
EURAXESS also maintains a Europe-wide job and research funding database for researchers who are looking for a position – whether at a higher education institution, a research institute, or in the private sector – or seeking project funding.
EURAXESS advocates for fair employment and career prospects. The European Commission has developed a charter for researchers and a code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers (Charter and Code). The 40 principles that these two documents contain include recommendations to employers of researchers and to researchers. They cover a wide variety of topics such as freedom of research, supervisory tasks, career development and fair systems for assessing researchers. The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) is a further tool developed by the European Commission to systematically implement these principles.
The majority of Swiss higher education institutions have appointed a contact person for the Charter and Code and some Swiss institutions have developed an action plan in line with the HRS4R. Researchers can also take advantage of a wide range of services at Swiss higher education institutions to support their career development.