Discover the new website of the Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), a national initiative led by the SAMS in collaboration with the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, has launched its new website. The new website combines previous contents with the activities of the SIB Personalized Health Informatics Group. All information and documents related to the initiative can now be found in one place.

The website is currently available in English. Translation of selected pages into German and French will follow shortly. Would you like to get a brief overview of the initiative? Download the SPHN Fact-Sheet.

SPHN Fact-Sheet 2019 (PDF)

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New study on the obstacles and driving forces of interprofessional collaboration

Today, well-functioning interprofessional teams are considered an important component of a sustainable healthcare system. However, practical implementation is lagging behind. This discrepancy requires some explanation, which a new SAMS publication is attempting to address.

The new study draws a parallel with the theory of complex systems. According to this model, systems tend towards a state of equilibrium, that corresponds to the professional «normal case». Interprofessional collaboration, on the other hand, means a «deviation». Therefore, not only the basic model changes, but also a new equilibrium must be achieved. On the basis of semi-directive interviews with various health professionals, the authors identify the forces of liaison and opposition in these situations. You can download the electronic version or order a printed brochure free of charge.

Download the study (German, with a summary in French) (PDF)

Other publications



Robert Bing Prize in neurosciences 2020: call for applications

Every two years, the SAMS awards the Robert Bing Prize for outstanding achievements in neurosciences from the fund established by the Basel neurologist Robert Bing. The call for proposals is open until 31 March 2020.

Scientists and physicians (up to 45 years) doing research in basic, translational or clinical neurosciences are eligible for the Prize. Candidates should be Swiss or have been working in Switzerland for a significant amount of time. The prize amounts to CHF 50'000.–, the next submission deadline is 31 March 2020. For detailed information about the application procedure, please visit the Bing Prize website.

Synopsis of past laureates (PDF)

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Study on Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners

The SAMS publishes a study on Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners MSc, a new professional profile in our country. Based on scientific literature and numerous expert interviews, Prof. Iren Bischofberger and her colleagues have drawn several recommendations for practice, education and policy.

Until sufficiently experienced peers are available, it is the physicians who provide clinical preceptorship. The study commissioned by the SAMS shows, among other things, how this mentoring goes hand in hand with new educational tasks for physicians and how it transforms interprofessional collaboration. The study is published in German with a summary in French. You can download the electronic version or order a printed brochure free of charge.

Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners MSc (in German) (PDF)

Other publications



Stern-Gattiker Prize 2020 for female role models in academic medicine

For the second time, the SAMS is launching a call for nominations for the Stern-Gattiker Prize to acknowledge the role of women in academic medicine and to motivate early-career female scientists. The Prize carries an award of CHF 15,000, the deadline for submission is 3 March 2020.

With the Stern-Gattiker Prize, the SAMS rewards every two years a female medical scientist who has obtained her postdoctoral qualification within the past ten years, holds a permanent position as a senior hospital physician, and who, in her own way, is considered as a role model. The proximity to the next generation of doctors and the commitment to gender equality are a plus. Detailed information on the nomination process can be found on our website.

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Prof. Henri Bounameaux will be the new president of the SAMS

The year 2020 will be a year of change for the SAMS. On 1 May, Daniel Scheidegger will hand over the presidency to his successor Henri Bounameaux, who was unanimously elected to this position by the Senate. Daniel Scheidegger will remain with the Academy as Vice-President.

Henri Bounameaux knows the SAMS very well. An individual member of the Senate since 2015, he joined the Executive Committee one year later and became Vice-President in 2019. He has participated in several SAMS working groups and represents the institution in external bodies. In his speech to the Senate, Henri Bounameaux emphasized that his programme would be that of the Academy, because: «Presidents pass, the Academy lasts». Get to know the new president better by reading his interview in Bulletin 1/2020 which will be published in March 2020. The current composition of the Executive Board can be found on our website.

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The SAMS is looking for a new Head, Ethics Department

The position of Head of the Ethics Department in the SAMS General Secretariat is vacant. Together with research funding, ethics is one of the two pillars of the SAMS and contributes to its national influence, particularly in the form of medical-ethical guidelines.

If you have a university degree, are trained in medical ethics, think strategically and conceptually, this position may be the right one for you. For details and contact information, please refer to the full text of the advertisement. The deadline for applications is Friday, 7 February 2020.

Download the advertisement (German) (PDF)



A Greta for the healthcare system – a wish for 2020?

In the last newsletter for 2019, the SAMS looks back on the year of the climate movement, draws parallels to the health care system and combines it with a wish for the New Year: to raise public awareness about the challenges of a sustainable healthcare system.

The parallels between the environment and the healthcare system are obvious; like the average temperature, health costs are rising steadily. While millions of young people are taking to the streets to demonstrate for the climate, there has been no similar movement for the healthcare system to date. Perhaps one of the differences is that this topic has not yet found its Greta. A Greta for the healthcare system, a wish for 2020? For the time being, we wish everyone a happy holiday season and all the best for 2020. The SAMS General Secretariat.

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Fifteen grants for «Young Talents in Clinical Research»

In 2017, the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation and the SAMS jointly launched the «Young Talents in Clinical Research» program to support doctors venturing into clinical research. 15 grants have been awarded among the 62 proposals submitted for this third call.

The Bangerter Foundation provides 1 million francs each year until 2020 to support young doctors making their first steps in clinical research and ensure a well-trained next generation of physician scientists. You will find the list of grantees in the synopsis below. The next call is planned for 31 March 2020.

Synopsis of grantees (PDF)

Link to the programme



Retrospective of the Symposium «Research in Palliative Care»

To conclude the funding program «Research in Palliative Care» (2014 – 2018), the SAMS held a full-day symposium in November 2019. More than 120 participants gained insight into the results of the projects and discussed the future of this young discipline in Switzerland.

To establish palliative care research in Switzerland on a sustainable basis, stable structures are needed that enable constant research work with appropriate support and funding instruments as well as defined career paths. The «Manifesto for sustainable research in palliative care and end of life care in Switzerland» served as basis for the discussion. You can find the manifesto and the presentations of the symposium on our website.

Manifesto (PDF)

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KZS Fund: four Seed Grants for young researchers in biomedical ethics

The 2019 call for applications for the Käthe-Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund (KZS Fund) was thematically open and aimed at young researchers in the field of biomedical ethics. Out of the 33 submitted applications, four were retained for funding.

Four Seed Grants for a total amount of 180 000 francs will allow grantees to explore novel research ideas, to realize a small, independent pilot project and/or to prepare their own project proposal to be submitted to a larger funding agency. The synopsis below (pdf) provides an overview of all supported projects by the KZS Fund. The next call will be launched in spring 2020.

Synopsis of funded projects (PDF)

Link to the programme



The Power of Patients

The Swiss healthcare system, worth CHF 84 billion, is financed by health insurance contributions and taxes. In the latest bulletin of the SAMS, Susanne Hochuli, President of the Swiss Patient Organisation (SPO), questions whether this enormous sum is really spent for the benefit of the population.

In the article «The power of the patients» you will learn how the SPO wants to strengthen the patients and build the «fourth power» in the Swiss healthcare system. The SAMS bulletin also contains information about current activities of the Academy and the Swiss Personalized Health Network. It is available in German and French.

SAMS bulletin 4/2019 in French (PDF)

Further information



The Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation invites to dialogue

How do patients experience their participation in a clinical study? How are both participants and trial investigators protected against risks during a clinical trial? You can ask such questions on the anniversary website of the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) which will provide answers in short video clips.

The Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is taking this opportunity to foster dialogue about clinical research. The anniversary project «People. Data. Biosamples. Clinical research – at eye level» offers the opportunity to ask questions related to these topics. Researchers, physicians, patients, authorities, or data managers, will answer them in snappy video portraits starting at the end of January 2020.

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The recommendations for health-related registries have been updated

Registries that provide reliable data are becoming increasingly important in the health care system and their number is growing. In order to guarantee their quality, the SAMS has joined forces with the ANQ, the FMH, H+ and unimedsuisse to publish recommendations on the development and operation of health-related registers. Recently, the recommendations issued in 2016 were submitted to a practical test and updated.

A group of ten experts mandated by the SAMS under the supervision of Prof. Anne Lübbeke-Wolff (Geneva) looked into ten Swiss registers. Overall, their evaluation showed that the existing recommendations and the checklist are well applicable in practice. Based on the experts' conclusions, the minimum requirements for data quality assurance and data use needed to be adapted. In addition, several criteria in the checklist were clarified. The updated tools are now available in English, French, German and Italian on the ANQ website.

SAMS Expert report in French (PDF)

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Personalized medicine: fundamentals for the training of health professionals

Convinced that health professionals should have a common base knowledge of personalized medicine, the SAMS has developed a guide for pregraduate, postgraduate and continuing interprofessional education. The publication was conceived as a reference document presenting the current state of knowledge.

In order to successfully implement the concept of personalized medicine, health professionals need to acquire new skills. With that in mind, the SAMS has set up an interprofessional working group with the aim to compile fundamental knowledge in this area. The online publication is available in French or German and can be downloaded in either full version or as individual chapters.

Full version in French (PDF)

Further information



smarter medicine: first recommendations for caregivers

The association «smarter medicine – Choosing Wisely Switzerland» aims to prevent unnecessary medical treatments. The Academic Society for Gerontological Nursing is the first non-medical organization to participate in this initiative. It has published a «Top 5 List» on the care of elderly people.

Unlike the «Top 5 Lists» published so far, these recently published recommendations for gerontological care do not focus on inadequate treatments or over-treatment, but on possible insufficient medical care for patients. A discussion of the five recommendations is desirable wherever elderly people need care. The list is available in French or German.

Top 5 List in French (PDF)

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We have restructured the «Ethics» menu

The Central Ethics Committee (CEC) of the SAMS identifies and discusses ethical challenges arising in medicine. The diversity of themes ranges from A for Animal experiments to T for transplantation. They can now be found on our website in alphabetical order.

The pages of the «Ethics» menu are no longer grouped thematically by domain, but classified from A to Z in a list of keywords. We hope you will enjoy discovering or rediscovering the variety of topics covered by the SAMS. Is something missing or are the links not working as they should? Your comments are very welcome:

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Cochrane Library: Free Access to Scientific Knowledge

Current scientific findings are decisive for good medical practice. For this reason, the SAMS co-finances free access to the Cochrane Library for everyone living in Switzerland. The online library offers systematic reviews on a wide range of issues and allows one to quickly find out about a topic without knowing all the relevant studies.

To promote the Cochrane Library as a high-quality source of information on medical issues, the FMH and the SAMS are launching a joint campaign in the «Bulletin des médecines suisses». Over the coming weeks, the journal will publish a number of ads and articles on how the Cochrane Library works and where its benefits, opportunities and limits lie.

Further information



New factsheet about the Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative aiming to lay the foundations required to make health-related data accessible for research across the country. The ultimate goal is to promote the development of personalized medicine and health in Switzerland. A newly published SPHN factsheet provides an overview of the vision, the mandate, its key actors and the governance structure.

Since the launch of SPHN in 2017, infrastructures have been analyzed, expanded and coordinated to efficiently manage health data and make them nationally accessible for research, by developing common standards. The initiative has adopted a federative approach by building upon existing data sources and infrastructures. To learn more about the initiative, download the factsheet or visit the SPHN website.

SPHN Fact-Sheet (PDF)

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Eleven MD-PhD grants awarded

The national MD-PhD program has awarded eleven grants to young physicians engaged in research to complete a doctorate in natural sciences, public health sciences and clinical research at a Swiss university. The synopsis of grantees gives an overview of the supported projects.

The national MD-PhD expert committee retained 11 young researchers for funding out of the 22 candidates preselected by the local MD-PhD committees. The grants cover the salary of grantees for two to three years. They are sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Swiss Cancer Research (KFS) and the SAMS. The next call for proposals of the National MD-PhD program will be launched in autumn 2019 with submission deadline on 15 December 2019.

Synopsis of grantees (PDF)

Link to the programme



Common templates to facilitate data and material exchange

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) and Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP) have worked in close collaboration to deliver Data Transfer and Use Agreement and Material Transfer Agreement templates to facilitate data and material exchange in the context of academic research projects.

In order to be able to exchange data and samples for research projects between institutions, a Data Transfer and Use Agreement (DTUA) and/or Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) are required. As part of a national harmonization effort, SPHN and SBP have, together with Swiss universities, ETH-Domain institutions and University Hospitals, developed common templates for both documents. Details can be found in the newsletter published today.

Further information



The annual report 2018 is published online

The SAMS keeps up with the times and publishes its annual report online only. We use the advantages of the internet to link the review with further information and ongoing activities.

Perhaps you will find the commission in which you were involved or the title of your project selected by our experts? We hope you will enjoy discovering or rediscovering the many highlights of 2018. Our report is available in German or French.

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Young Talents in Clinical Research: Call 2019

With the «Young Talents in Clinical Research» program, the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation and the SAMS aim at encouraging young medical doctors to venture into clinical research. CHF 1 million is made available for this call with submission deadline set on 30 June 2019.

The program is conceived in two consecutive steps: Young medical doctors can start out in clinical research thanks to a «beginner grant» which guarantees them protected time for research by covering a portion of their salary. Interested grantees can then apply for a «project grant» to consolidate the acquired research skills during the next two years. More information can be found on our website.

Flyer «Young talents in clinical research» (PDF)

Link to the programme



KZS Fund call for proposals for young researchers in biomedical ethics

In 2019, the SAMS is providing a total of CHF 250’000.– from the Käthe-Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund (KZS Fund) to support junior researchers in biomedical ethics who wish to carry out an independent research project with a Seed Grant. The submission deadline is 15 June 2019.

Contributions for 2019 from the KZS Fund are provided to junior researchers aiming at an academic career in biomedical ethics. Up to CHF 50’000.– can be awarded per Seed Grant to explore novel research ideas, to realize a small, independent pilot project or to prepare a project proposal to be submitted to a larger funding agency. Details on the call and procedure for submission can be found on our website.

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Sustainable development of the health system

The SAMS has issued a new position paper on sustainable development of the health system. It describes eight general measures and contains a roadmap defining specific steps, deadlines and responsibilities.

What is needed in the health system are reforms oriented towards common goals. According to the SAMS, appropriate orientation is offered by the Triple Aim framework, the basic idea of which is to formulate goals from – at the same time – the perspectives of public health, individual medicine and sustainability.

Position paper: Sustainable development of the health system (2019) (PDF)

Further information



Recommendations to support young clinical researchers

The SAMS is committed to a good scientific culture and thereby to improving the situation of young researchers. A working group has evaluated the existing instruments for the support of young scientists at university hospitals. The report published today summarizes the recommendations to strengthen and improve the current structures and instruments.

The working group recommends, among other things, the establishment of a web portal offering a direct access to the resources available to young clinical researchers. This portal is to be developed until mid-2020. More information can be found in the recommendations (in German or in French) available on our website.

Nachwuchsförderung in der klinischen Forschung – bestehende Instrumente und Bedarf (PDF)

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New recommendations: Ethics training for health professionals

In daily clinical practice, healthcare professionals are often confronted with ethically challenging situations. The recommendations on ethics training for health professionals reflect the SAMS’ commitment to a successful collaboration when dealing with ethical issues in everyday medical practice.

Ethics education is important in two ways: on the one hand, to ensure that ethically sensitive situations are recognized as such in the first place, and on the other hand, to develop appropriate options for action. The SAMS recommendations describe the contents of a solid ethics education and training and offer a uniform basis for all health professionals. The document can be downloaded in German, French, Italian and English and can also be ordered in printed form (d/f) free of charge.

Recommandations: Ethics training for health professionals (2019) (PDF)

Other publications



Patient, doctor, big data. Who has the power of definition?

At first glance, concepts of health and disease seem to be limited to abstract reflections. Patients and health professionals are, however, tangibly affected. During the workshop «Patient, doctor, big data. Who has the power of definition?», the exchanges were focused on three perspectives on health: health as conceived through scientific data, health as defined by the professionals and health understood as a public good.

Experts from health and science policy discussed whether there’s a need for redefining today's concepts of health and disease to better reflect the age of big data and artificial intelligence. The trilingual workshop report (German, English, French) summarizes the most important results of this day rich in discussions. The brochure can be downloaded; a printed copy can be ordered free of charge.

Patient, doctor, big data. Who has the power of definition? (PDF)

Other publications



General Consent for Research: the common model for university hospitals is online

The General Consent for Research (GCR) allows persons treated in hospitals to consent to the collection and reuse of their data and samples for future research projects. In 2017, the SAMS and the Swiss Ethics Committees (swissethics) published a first harmonized model of the GCR. In the meantime, the five university hospitals have adopted a common model that is now available online.

The harmonized model of the GCR, published today, was developed under the leadership of unimedsuisse (swiss university medicine) and approved and adopted by the five university hospitals as well as the swissethics Executive Committee. It contains understandable information for patients on the use of their data and the protection of their rights. In addition, with the harmonized model of the GCR, researchers are provided with a standard document for multicentre research projects in Switzerland. Other hospitals are encouraged to use this model. The document is available in German, French, Italian and English on the unimedsuisse website (German page).

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SPHN strengthens its international collaboration

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) contributes to the development, the implementation and the validation of the infrastructure that is required to make health-related data interoperable and shareable across Switzerland. Two years after its launch, SPHN was selected by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to join an international group of leading initiatives in the field of genomics and personalized health.

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) is an international, nonprofit alliance formed to accelerate the potential of research and medicine to advance human health. This new collaboration will allow SPHN to align with GA4GH’s global efforts, contributing to the development of international frameworks and standards. The SPHN initiative, however, remains a national initiative designed to facilitate the exchange of data in Switzerland. More information can be found in the newsletter published today.

Further information



The KZS Fund supports three projects on «Coercion in medical practice»

The 2018 KZS Fund call for proposals focused on the topic of «Coercion in medical practice». Out of the 27 submitted applications, three were retained for funding.

The SAMS supports research projects in biomedical ethics with resources from the KZS- Fund. In 2018, a total of 250'000 Swiss francs was available to support research projects investigating the topic of «Coercion in medical practice». 27 applications were submitted until the deadline of 15 August 2018. At the end of a careful evaluation process, the KZS Expert Committee selected three projects for funding. The synopsis below (pdf) offers an overview of all supported projects by the KZS Fund.

Synopsis of grantees (PDF)

Link to the programme



Cochrane Library answers your questions on health care

With the national licence for the Cochrane Library, health professionals and the Swiss population have free access to a quality and validated source of information on medical issues and health care.

For over 25 years, the Cochrane network has been producing systematic reviews to summarize research findings in the field of medical care. Each review allows you to quickly form an opinion on a specific question, without having to read all related studies. The reviews are regularly updated and reflect the current state of knowledge. Since 2016, the national licence for the Cochrane Library has been funded by the SAMS, the Federal Office of Public Health, as well as university libraries and hospitals. Take the opportunity to visit the Cochrane Library, when a next question related to health or medical care arises.

Further information


lic. phil. Franziska Egli