National MD-PhD programme: 10 scholarships awarded

The national MD-PhD programme – a joint initiative of the SAMS and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) – supports this year ten young doctors interested in research who wish to complete a doctorate in a discipline close to medicine.

MD-PhD scholarships enable a doctorate in natural sciences, public health sciences, clinical research or biomedical ethics at a Swiss university. This year, the scholarships will be financed by the SNSF, the SAMS, and Swiss Cancer Research. An overview of the grants is available in the synopsis and more information on the programme can be found on our website. The next call for proposals will take place in autumn 2018 with a submission deadline of 15 December 2018.

Synopsis of grantees PDF

Link to the programme



Dominik Bach is the laureate of the Robert Bing Prize 2018 in neurosciences

Every two years the SAMS awards the Robert Bing Prize to researchers up to 45 years of age for outstanding achievements in the field of neurological sciences. This year, the Prize of 50'000.– Swiss francs goes to Dominik Bach, neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of Zurich.

The Prize originates from a generous bequest of Basel neurologist Robert Bing (1878 – 1956). In accordance with the donor’s will, the Prize is awarded for outstanding work contributing to the recognition, treatment and cure of nervous diseases. Dominik Bach's pioneering work on the neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety and fear memory is internationally recognized and paves the way to an innovative treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further information can be found in the media release of 3 July 2018.

Media release: Robert Bing Prize 2018 PDF

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Medical-ethical guidelines «Management of dying and death»

Since the publication of the SAMS «End-of-life care» guidelines in 2004, the topics of dying and death have been subject to increasing professional and public debate. Therefore, the Central Ethics Committee (CEC) decided to revise the 2004 guidelines. As of today, the new guidelines become effective.

The medical-ethical guidelines «Management of dying and death» aim to link different points of view and moral concepts, and to ensure that the right to self-determination of everyone involved – patients, relatives and medical practitioners – is respected and safeguarded. Further information about the goals and the development of the guidelines can be found on our website.

Guidelines: Management of dying and death (2018) PDF

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Prof. Annalisa Berzigotti is awarded the Stern-Gattiker Prize

With the Stern-Gattiker Prize, the SAMS recognizes a female physician who acts as a role model for early-career female scientists. The first laureate is Prof. Annalisa Berzigotti, senior physician in hepatology at the Inselspital Bern.

The first call generated great interest in the medical world: more than 40 nominations were submitted to the SAMS. Prof. Annalisa Berzigotti convinced the jury with her excellent clinical, academic, and scientific achievements. In several nominations, she has been recognized as a highly appreciated supervisor who coaches and supports numerous younger colleagues. More information can be found in the media release published today (in German) and on our website.

Medienmitteilung: Stern-Gattiker-Preis 2018 PDF

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The annual report 2017 is published online

The SAMS keeps up with the times and publishes its annual report for the first time online. We hope you enjoy discovering and rediscovering the 2017 milestones.

With the digital annual report we use the possibilities of the internet to make the review more attractive and to link the contents directly with further information. Our report 2017 is available in German or French.

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KZS Fund call for proposals: «Coercion in medical practice»

The SAMS is providing a total of CHF 250'000.– from the Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund to support research projects on the subject of «Coercion in medical practice». The submission deadline is 15 August 2018.

In 2018, support is to be provided for empirical or theoretical research projects investigating the topic of «Coercion in medical practice» from an ethical, philosophical, social scientific or medical perspective. Details on the format and procedure for submission can be found on our website.


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Call for proposals «Young Talents in Clinical Research»: submission deadline is 30 June 2018

With the «Young Talents in Clinical Research» program, the SAMS and the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation aim at encouraging young medical doctors to venture into clinical research. Young physicians working in Switzerland can be supported with «protected time for research» and «project grants».

The funding program supports young physicians with protected time for research and a consecutive project grant. For the period 2017 – 2020, CHF 1 million per year is made available by the Bangerter Foundation to this end. Applications must be written in English and registered online. The second call for proposals is open until 30 June 2018.

Flyer «Young talents in clinical research» PDF

Link to the programme



Swiss Personalized Health Network: Second call for proposals

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is launching its second call for proposals with a submission deadline on 30 June 2018. A total amount of max. 9 million Swiss francs is available.

The aim of the SPHN initiative is to establish a national interoperable data infrastructure at University Hospitals and other research institutions, in order to promote developments in the field of Personalized Health. For further information see the «SPHN Call for Proposals 2018» or visit the SPHN-Website.

SPHN Call for Proposals 2018 PDF

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Stern-Gattiker Prize: Recognising female role models in academic medicine

The SAMS is launching a new prize to recognise women in academic medicine and to motivate early-career female scientists. The prize is named after two women with distinguished medical careers: Lina Stern, who was the first woman to hold a professorship at the Faculty of Medicine in Geneva, and Ruth Gattiker, who was among the first female professors appointed at the Faculty of Medicine in Zurich.

The Stern-Gattiker Prize is to be awarded each year to 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 is suitable to act as a role model. The Prize carries an award of CHF 15,000. Information on the nomination process can be found in the call for nominations (pdf) and on our website. The deadline for submissions is 15 April 2018.

Call for Nominations: Stern-Gattiker Prize 2018 PDF

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SPHN: Collaboration agreements with all five University Hospitals

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative led by SAMS. It contributes to the development, implementation and validation of a coordinated data infrastructure in order to make health-relevant data usable in Switzerland for research. Collaboration agreements have been concluded recently with all five University Hospitals.

The overarching goal of the SPHN initiative is to promote personalized health and health research by making health-related data shareable and exchangeable in order to better prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Patient data plays a key role in this endeavor. With their common collaboration agreements all five University Hospitals have sent a strong signal to support the SPHN initiative. More information on the framework conditions, goals and instruments of the SPHN can be found online.

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Research in neurological sciences: call for proposals

After a few years’ interruption due to the unfavourable stock market situation, returns from the Théodore Ott Fund are again sufficient to launch a call for proposals. In 2018, a total of CHF 200’000.– is available to support research in neurological sciences. Submission deadline is 1 April 2018.

In accordance with the wishes of the donor, grants supported by the Théodore Ott Fund are primarily intended for young scientists or research groups who want to carry out a research project at a Swiss higher education institution. Applications must be written in English and registered online. Details regarding the application format and submission procedure can be found on the registration page.

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Our work relies on the time and commitment of a large network of volunteers

This is no news for anyone, 2017 is about to come to an end. It is time for SAMS to thank all those who have graciously put their time and knowledge to its disposal.

Throughout the year we have informed you through our website about activities which could not have been possible without close collaboration with many partners in the fields of medicine, science and politics and without the voluntary commitment of the members of the Executive Board, the Senate, the Central Ethics Committee and the numerous groups of experts who make the Academy a respected and recognized institution in the Swiss health system. SAMS is counting on their commitment and that of all its partners to continue fulfilling its missions in 2018.



Robert Bing Prize in neurosciences 2018 : 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 March 2018.

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 1 March 2018.

Synopsis of past laureates PDF

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National MD-PhD program: revised regulations

SAMS and SNSF have revised the regulations of their joint funding program. The aim of the national MD-PhD program is to equip young physicians interested in research with the skills necessary for a career as clinician and scientist.

The revised regulations are more transparent regarding the evaluation procedure and clarify the roles of the program partners. Details about the aims of the MD-PhD program and the evaluation procedure can be found on our website. The next submission deadline is 15 December 2017.

National MD-PhD program regulations PDF

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network supports 15 projects with CHF 15.7 million

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) coordinates the development,  implementation and validation of the data infrastructure necessary to make health-related data interoperable and shareable across Switzerland. In June 2017, SPHN has launched the first call for proposals to support research projects contributing to this objective.

For this first call for proposals, a total of 38 applications were received. Based on the recommendation of its International Advisory Board, SPHN decided to support 15 projects for a total amount of CHF 15.66 million. An overview of the funded projects is published on the SPHN website, a second call for proposals is foreseen in 2018.

Factsheet: SPHN at a Glance PDF

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Valérie Clerc is the new Secretary General of SAMS

In June 2017, the Executive Board appointed Valérie Clerc General Secretary of SAMS. On 1 November, she is taking over from Hermann Amstad, who will leave SAMS at the end of the month after 18 years of cooperation.

The press release dated July 4, 2017 contains more information on Valérie Clerc’s career. Contact details of all SAMS employees can be found on our website under «Portrait».

Press release (German): Valérie Clerc wird Generalsekretärin der SAMW PDF

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Four research projects supported by the Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund

The KZS Fund provides funding for research projects in biomedical ethics. The 2017 call for proposals focused on the «Impact of digitalization on the patients and health professionals relationship». The Expert Committee selected 4 projects out of the 28 submitted applications.

A total of about CHF 250'000.– was available to the Expert Committee who decided to support 4 projects after a careful scientific evaluation. An overview of supported projects since 2007 can be found in the synopsis. The next call will be launched in 2018, details will be published on our website.

Synopsis of funded projects PDF

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Strengthening biomedical research for the benefit of European citizens

Europe is facing a number of major healthcare challenges, particularly as a result of an ageing population. To master these challenges, joint research activites in biomedical and clinical research across the European Union are needed. In a recent position paper, FEAM postulates five key points to overcome current gaps. As a member of FEAM, the SAMS supports these efforts.

The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) and the Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe have united to strengthen biomedical research in Europe. In their recently published position paper they call upon the EU, that the support of biomedical research has to be a key priority for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. To learn more, download the position paper or visit the FEAM website.

Strengthening biomedical research for the benefit of European citizens PDF

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Weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments

Researchers submitting an application to conduct an animal experiment in Switzerland are required to consider ethical as well as scientific aspects. The ethical evaluation takes the form of a «weighing of interests». A new guidance for applicants should help to carry out the procedure correctly.

The brochure (Englisch/French/German) explains the principle of the weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments and contains a step-by-step guide. Printed copies are available free of charge – also in bulk – from:

Weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments – Guidance for applicants PDF

Other publications



Steps #2: Getting to know the SPHN Partners

SAMS highlights specific topics concerning the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) in its newsletter «Steps». The current issue presents relevant partners and their activities.

Steps #2 is dedicated to the actors who play – besides universities and university hospitals – a central role in the research in personalized health in Switzerland. Find out who is integrated into the SPHN initiative and learn about their role. Find more publications on the SPHN website.

SPHN Newsletter «Steps #2»: SPHN Partners PDF

Other publications



Swiss Personalized Health Network: First call for proposals

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is launching its first call for proposals aimed at the development of a national interoperable research infrastructure ecosystem for competitive personalized health research. The submission deadline is on Friday, September 15, 2017.

In order to make the best use of the available resources, the SPHN call for proposals is coordinated with the ETH-Domain Strategic Focus Area in Personalized Health and Related Technologies. For further information see the «SPHN Call for Proposals 2017» or visit the SPHN-Website.

SPHN Call for Proposals 2017 PDF

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Swiss Personalized Health Network: The website is online

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative designed to promote the development of personalized medicine and personalized health in Switzerland. The SAMS heads the implementation of the Initiative on behalf of the Federal Government. Details on the initiative can be found on the newly launched website.

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SAMS Annual Report 2016 is available

Learn more about SAMS activities in the latest annual report.

The Annual Report is available in German (download below) or French. You can order a printed copy in the menu 'publications'.

SAMW Jahresbericht 2016 PDF



Factsheet on the Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative designed
to promote the development of personalized medicine and personalized health in Switzerland. SPHN will lay the foundations needed to facilitate research projects in this area such as a system for a nationwide exchange of health-related data. Download 'SPHN at a Glance' to learn more about the initiative.

The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences was mandated by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI) to develop the SPHN. All relevant documents concerning the initiative are published on our website.

Factsheet: SPHN at a Glance PDF

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Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund

The 2017 call for proposals «Impact of digitalization on the patients – health professionals relationship» is open. Ethical analyses as well as projects covering sociological and/or communicative aspects can be submitted. A total of CHF 250'000.– is available for the 2017 call.

Proposals can be submitted in English, French or German. All applications must be registered online. The submission deadline is Wednesday May 31, 2017. For more information on the submission procedure, please refer to the call paper 2017.

Call 2017 (in German) PDF

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lic. phil. Franziska Egli