29 June 2016

Online petition, sign here!

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We, the researchers of the Swiss academic institutions, wish to express our worry concerning the recent developments in the field of research: frantic competition, the deterioration of working conditions, career hindrances, the publication race, the devaluation of teaching, discriminations towards women…

In order to address these problems, we ask members of all decision-making levels to implement the following 10 measures as soon as possible :

Click on a measure to see the details

Good working conditions are essential to sustain the quality of research. Nowadays in Switzerland, many researchers are hired on part-time contracts, or are propped up by scholarships or precarious contracts - when they are not working for their institution pro bono. This situation forces many of them to eventually give up on an academic career.


    • All researchers must receive a salary befitting their responsibilities and their title.

    • Lectureships, minimal work percentages and other precarious positions must be discontinued.

    • Time devoted to personal research (such as a thesis) must be acknowledged and paid accordingly.

    • The work of doctoral students must be recognised as a profession, and thus entitle them to a salary and a certificate of employment.

    • Scholarships or research grants must be converted into salaries, adjusting the current amounts in order to take social security contributions into account.
The majority of researchers in Switzerland are hired on fixed-term, part-time contracts. Forcing these researchers into such precarious positions comes at the expense of independent and innovative research. In order to guarantee the material conditions of a research that is conceived of and carried out over several years, it is imperative to favour long-term appointments, with permanent or renewable contracts.


    • Where they exist, the proportion of renewable or permanent contracts must be significantly increased, from the very first post-doctoral years.

    • We must fight against the spread of fixed-term, externally financed research projects.
It is too often the case that the person who oversees a research project is also in a position of authority when it comes to supervising work relationships, especially when it comes to doctoral students. In the event of a disagreement, or intellectual differences, researchers stand to lose their positions. In more serious situations, such as harassment or conflict, they are unable to defend themselves by appealing to a third party.


    • The hiring authority and the scientific supervision must be two different entities (for example: an institution and not a professor).

    • In the event of a conflict, concerning the scientific supervision as much as the working relationship, a representative of the concerned body (assistants, doctoral students etc) must always take part in meetings.

    • At the beginning of the appointment, a precise job specification must delineate the roles and attributions of the researcher, and of the scientific supervisor.

    • In the event of a conflict, a change of supervision must be guaranteed and instituted in order to allow doctoral students to finish their thesis.

    • The thesis committee system, in which the thesis supervision becomes a collective responsibility, must be encouraged.
Nowadays, the number of publications is the criterion most used for evaluating research. This race towards publication is detrimental; essential criteria such as originality, the maturation of thought, the right to error and the dialogue between disciplines are being relegated to the back seat.


    • The assessment of candidates for a position or a publication must focus on the examination of a limited number of texts, selected by the candidate.

    • The calculation of impact factors and the ranking of journals must be firmly opposed.

    • The diversity of means in conveying research results must be acknowledged and promoted, according to each field and to the nature of the research carried out (books, scientific articles, digital broadcasting, vulgarisation, etc).

    • Ongoing or future research must always be taken into account.
All too often, an uninterrupted academic career path is taken as a standard when evaluating an application. This perception is harmful to the career of individuals who have devoted time to their families, or have had a professional activity outside of academic institutions; this situation concerns women in particular. Life choices should no longer be impediments to an academic career.


    • The imposition of a “standardised” career path for researchers must be resisted.

    • The speed at which a career unfolds (duration of the thesis, number of years before obtaining a stable position, etc) is not a token of the quality of the research undertaken.

    • Taking maternity leave, or a reduction in working hours, should not be detrimental to a career.
Even though women represent the majority of students in Swiss academic institutions, they are in a minority when it comes to research positions. Although certain institutions have agreed to make efforts to improve this situation, there are still too many obstacles impeding women’s careers, and discriminations are still too widespread.


    • An ambitious policy of female promotion must be instated.

    • Parity between men and women in all decision-making bodies must be promoted.

    • An extensive range of public services for children must be put into place, particularly by creating a sufficient amount of places in day care.

    • All mothers, regardless of their status - and especially when it comes to precarious and fixed-term contracts - must be able to benefit from the minimum legal duration of maternity leave, at the very least.
The active participation of members of an academic institution in its functioning is a principle which must become widespread. Democratic institutions contribute to the reduction of inequalities and discriminations.


    • All members of the academic community (researchers, lecturers, administrative and technical personnel, students) must be able to participate, directly and indirectly, in the decisions that will affect them.

    • Participation must also be effective at the level of the units of research.
Assistants make up the greatest number of researchers in academic institutions, and as such they contribute to research in a decisive manner. However, they endure the most precarious working conditions. It is essential that these be improved.


    • In all fields, comparison with the customs of other academic institutions should enable the identification of best current practices, and thus their application elsewhere.

    • This comparison must extend, among other things, to salaries, working hours, protection of employees, duration of contracts, internal democracy and participation of concerned persons in decision-making processes.
Good thesis conditions are essential to conducting quality research. For now, these conditions are not being met for each doctoral student, and differ from one institution to the next. The amount of time necessary for a thesis is often underestimated, and the official length of time for finishing a thesis is often exceeded, without any solutions being offered to doctoral students after the end of their contract.


    • Assistant contracts should devote at least 60% of working hours to the thesis.

    • As for the contracts of SNSF researchers - lasting four years -, they must devote 100% of working hours to the thesis.

    • The duration of part-time contracts must be extended to take into account the work percentage.

    • Each instance of maternity justifies the extension, by one year, of all fixed-term contracts.
Research is not an individual matter; it is necessarily a collective endeavour. Assessments rarely take into account this collective dimension of a research project. The level of investment from people who participate in research should therefore be acknowledged.


    • The work of the administrative and technical personnel must be recognised and given value in all instances of research.

    • The assessment of work must also be carried out on a collective level.

    • It must be ensured that the results of research remain an asset which is collective and public - and when possible, free.

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Esther Linder PhD Space Physics Universität Bern
Julia Venturini Postdoc Astrophysics Universität Zürich
Lorenzo Pino Doctorant Astronomy Université de Genève
Jonas Haldemann PhD Student Astrophysics Universität Bern
Caroline Dorn Astrophysics Universität Zürich
Silvin Lito MD/PhD Medicine/PATIM Université de Genève
Javier Castro PhD student Biology Université de Genève
Elsa Martins PhD Student Faculty of Medicine – CMU Université de Genève
Fiammetta Longo Doktorandin Italianistik Universität Basel
Eliane Fitzé Slavistique Université de Fribourg
Anne Thimonier WSL other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Anita Nussbaumer scientific assistent / PhD student Forest research, Switzerland other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Pannatier Dr Forest, Snow and Landscape other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Claude Herzog biology Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich ETHZ
Christian Gehringer MD/Postdoc Medicine Universität Basel
Ricardo Righetto PhD Student Biozentrum Universität Basel
Kumar Rishabh Assisant Business and Economics Universität Basel
Jelena Rajkov Zoological Institute Universität Basel
Natalie Physics Universität Basel
Anthonyheica Easy And Effective Ways To Lose Weight Anthonyheica Universite de Lausanne
sara Microbiology Universität Bern
Loreno Heer Mathematics Universität Zürich
Eva Caspari ISTE Université de Lausanne
Andrew Greenwood Premier Assistant Institute of Earth Sciences Université de Lausanne
Svenja Groeneveld PhD student EPFL-SV-ISREC Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Radek jankele PhD Student Life Sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Csaba Laszlo Postdoc Biochemistry-Molecular Biology Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Evangelia Vogiatzaki Doctoral student DBMV Université de Lausanne
Walger Olivier Professeur chargé d’enseignement Santé Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-SO)
Chiara Lecturer Communication media and Culture other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Edgar Marc Petter Senior Lecturer Department of Applied Linguistics Zürcher Fachhochschule (ZFH)
Alice PhD Sciences Université de Neuchâtel
Alice 2a57a888c2cc9851be5f328be8c3bec http://for-research.ch/contactez-nous/ Contact us
Alice 8434ef706c5845384db3ef60d5e1708 http://for-research.ch/contactez-nous/ Contact us
Guillaume PIROT Postdoc FGSE Université de Lausanne
Audrey Loetscher Assistante diplômée Lettres Université de Lausanne
Cayron Scientific collaborator Materials Science Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Samantha Cayron Collaboratrice scientifique FTI Université de Genève
JAGGIE Candoc FPSE Université de Genève
Driss Ehirchiou Ex responsable de recherche faculte of medecine Université de Lausanne
Croci MSc Biology Université de Lausanne
Severine Vuilleumier Research associate SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Nicole Grieve Studied there Lettres Université de Genève
Johann Dupuis Chercheur FNS senior / Chargé de cours Droit Université de Lausanne
MICHAIL SYMEONIDIS DUTH SOCIAL POLICY other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Cohen Marjolaine PhD student FPSE Université de Genève
Béguin Céline Assistante Doctorante FPSE Université de Genève
Nathalie Post-doc Biologie et mèdecine Université de Lausanne
Stephan Wullschleger Dr SV ISREC/Cancer research Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Grazvydas Lukinavicius Postdoc Institute of chemical sciences and engineering Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Ruta Gerasimaite post doc Department of Biochemistry Université de Lausanne
schuepbach post-Doc/PhD Biologie Université de Lausanne
Rivals PhD Biology and Medicine Université de Lausanne
Lerisa Govender Postdoctoral researcher CHUV Switzerland other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Christophe Cisarovsky MD-PhD candidate FBM Université de Lausanne
Beatris Gavillet Postdoc Department of Pathology and Immunology Université de Genève
Amandine Bovay Faculté de Biologie et Médecine Université de Lausanne
Giorgia Rota PhD students FBM Université de Lausanne
Markus Germann Postdoc EPFL SV ISREC Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Natacha Bodenhausen postdoc biology (agroscope, Switzerland) other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Petr Grivaz Doctoral student Life Sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
nadia rosenberg post-doc neurosciences Université de Lausanne
Rocher AB FBM Université de Lausanne
Rommelaere PostDoc SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
kathleen shah PhD student Life sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Chiara Cianciaruso PhD student Bioengineering Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Laia Simó Riudalbas Postdoctoral researcher SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Tomislav Milekovic Postdoctoral research associate Neuroscience Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Marion LELEU SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Olivier Dubey ISREC Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Marc Lauffs Doctoral Researcher Neuroscience Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Kapopoulou PhD student Sciences de la Vie Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Marjan Biocanin PhD student SV-IBI Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Marc Lauffs 7ab7c279b1747e8df080760634b1424 http://for-research.ch/contactez-nous/ Contact us
Maroun Bou Sleiman Postdoctoral researcher Life Sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Cylia Rochat PhD student SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Saba Rezakhani SV/Bioengineering Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Gabriele Galliverti Doctoral student IBI-ISREC Cancer immunotherapy Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Winifried Backhaus SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Florian Monachon Computer scientist SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Florian Monachon Computer scientist SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Alexandra Kalantzi EDBB Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Maria Litovchenko PhD student SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Mati Moyat Post-doc SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Jake Yeung SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Droin Doctorant SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Sebastian Matuszewski Life Sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Joan ROMANI AUMEDES Postdoc SV / Neuroscience Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Pierluigi Manti PostDoc SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Natalie Neubert Premier Assistante FBM Université de Lausanne
Lorrain Voisard Etudiant Lettres / Anglais Université de Lausanne
Franziska Ehrler scientific collaborator sociology Université de Lausanne
Anne Jorstad postdoc Computer Science Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
MORDASINI PhD Nephrology, Hypertonie and Clinical Pharmacology Universität Bern
Sandra Klompmaker Postdoc Department of Biochemistry Université de Lausanne
Miroslav Arambasic Postdoctoral Resercher Faculty of Biology and Medicine Université de Lausanne
Olivier Hagens PostDoc Life Sciences Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Tatyana Postdoc Biophysics Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Vinicius C. Galvao Postdoc Biology and Medicine Université de Lausanne
Nadanai Laohakunakorn School of Engineering Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
omid shahmirzadi post-doc CDM Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Vahid Esmaeili postdoctoral researcher SV Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Daniel Alpern Postdoc Life Science Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
KOmla SOBO Maître assistant Medecine Université de Genève
Tonni Andersen Postdoc Plant biology Université de Lausanne
Marco Cassano Postdoctoral fellow SV GHI Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Aswin Pyakurel Postdoc Dpt of Ophthalmology Université de Lausanne
Silvia Fuertes Marraco Responsable de recherche Centre Ludwig & Departement d’Oncologie Fondamentale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne CH other academic institution (Please indicate the country of the institution in Faculty / Field)
Sabrina Vollers Postdoc Bioengineering Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL
Isabel Valarino Chargée de recherche Social and Political sciences Université de Lausanne
Isabelle Zinn SSP Université de Lausanne
David Pichonnaz Enseignant-chercheur School of Health Sciences & Univ. of Lausanne Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-SO)
Kabre Jonathan PhD Candidate Faculty of Law Université de Lausanne
Amaranta Fontcuberta PhD student Fac. Biologie et Medecine. Université de Lausanne
Philippe Jacquet Bioinformaticien (PAT) Département de Biologie Moléculaire Végétale Université de Lausanne
Brenni Claudio Assistant Doctorant SSP/IEPHI Université de Lausanne
Stuby Amélie Doctorante FTSR/IRCM Université de Lausanne
Aeby Gaëlle chercheuse post-doc Sciences sociales Université de Lausanne
Alexandra Sousek PhD candidate MNF Universität Zürich
Golay Charlotte Etudiante Lettres, Histoire ancienne Université de Lausanne
Bruno FAUVET Post-doc Faculty of Biology and Medicine Université de Lausanne

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