Research in Palliative Care

Convinced that high-quality research leads to better clinical practice, the SAMS, the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation jointly supported palliative care research in Switzerland from 2014 to 2018. To this end, the two foundations have made available an envelope of around CHF 1 million per year to finance research projects in Switzerland and research stays abroad. You can find information on the supported projects and results from the symposium of November 2019 here.

Within the five calls of the funding program, 34 grants for research projects and 4 fellowships for an education and research stay abroad were awarded. The last call for proposals took place in 2018, with grants running until 2022. The synopsis provides an overview of all program grantees.


Details concerning the research areas supported, the evaluation procedure and the evaluation criteria can be found in the program regulations.



Downloads and links

Symposium 2019: Looking back and looking ahead

To conclude the program, the SAMS, in partnership with palliative ch, held a full-day symposium in Bern on Thursday, 21 November 2019. The presentations and posters reflected the diversity of the supported projects (methods, settings, etc.) as well as interdisciplinarity and interprofessionality. More than 120 participants from all over Switzerland gained insight into the results of the projects and learned which factors promote or hinder knowledge transfer from research to practice.


From the presentations and discussions, it became clear that the «National Strategy for Palliative Care» of the Confederation, the National Research Programme «End of Life» of the SNSF and the SAMS funding program were important drivers for this young discipline, but that there is still a long way to go in order to establish palliative care research in Switzerland on a sustainable basis.


What is required are stable structures which enable constant research work with appropriate support and funding instruments as well as defined career paths. At the moment, palliative care research in Switzerland is still largely project-based. When projects are completed, the structures, people and know-how threaten to disappear again. A «Manifesto for sustainable research in palliative care and end of life care in Switzerland» was therefore presented at the symposium, which summarises in eight objectives how the necessary structures could be created.


The manifesto and further information about the symposium can be found in the downloads section below. We will also publish the final report on the funding program in the first quarter of 2020. Information about this publication will be available on our website and via our newsletter.


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Program, manifesto and presentations

Manifesto for sustainable research in palliative care and end of life care in Switzerland


Dr. Myriam Tapernoux, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

The funding program «Research in Palliative Care» in numbers


Dr. Sarah Ziegler, Universität Zürich

Palliative sedation in Switzerland: Medicale routine or specialized care?


Prof. Bernice Elger, Universität Basel / Université de Genève

Respect for patient self-determination as quality indicator in palliative care


PD Dr. Mathieu Bernard, Université de Lausanne

French validation of the Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale (IPOS)


Prof. Steffen Eychmüller, Universitätsspital Bern

A national palliative care database: A tool to better define the needs of palliative care patients in Switzerland


Prof. Markus Zimmermann, Universität Freiburg

Keynote: Development of palliative care research in Switzerland. Insights from the NRP 67 «End of Life»


Dr. Manya Hendriks, Universität Zürich / Dr. Karin Zimmermann, Universitäts-Kinderspital Zürich

Getting started: Setting up a research project in paediatric palliative care


Prof. Ralf Jox, Université de Lausanne / Prof. Tanja Krones, Universität Zürich

Advance Care Planning: Lessons learned from research with vulnerable patients


Prof. Isabelle Noth, Universität Bern / Dr. Raphael Rauch, Universität Zürich

Where is spiritual care?


PD Dr. Manuel Trachsel, Universität Zürich

Palliative care for patients with severe persistent mental illness


Prof. Sophie Pautex, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève

Comparing the effectiveness of palliative care for elderly people in long term care facilities in Europe and in Switzerland


Prof. André Fringer, Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften

Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking (VSED) in Switzerland


Dr. Claudia Gamondi, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale di Ticino / Université de Lausanne

Palliative ch members' attitudes towards assisted suicide: A mixed method study


Prof. Corina Caduff, Hochschule der Künste Bern

Keynote: From a humanities' perspective – The design of dying in an era of new media in literature and in palliative care





Dr. Myriam Tapernoux
Head of Department