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The SCTO is an independent organisation and is based on a joint initiative of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

As of 2017, the SCTO is a research infrastructure of national importance funded by the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.


The SCTO Platforms develop practical tools for the academic clinical research community in Switzerland and beyond. Visit their new website:



30 June 2022

Did we walk the talk? Our highlights in 2021

Our digital SCTO Annual Report 2021 offers you an overview of our main achievements in 2021. We cordially invite you to dive deeper into the highlights of our Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) Network, our platforms, and our Executive Office.

SCTO Annual Report 2021


21 June 2022

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in clinical research:
Presentations from the SCTO Symposium 2022 are online

How can the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) benefit clinical research? What are the challenges and risks of these new approaches? We invited leading international experts to come to Lugano on 15 June to shed some light on these current issues. In addition, key Swiss stakeholders in clinical research discussed how they address these new technological advances and how they are preparing for the future.

Attended by over 150 people, this year’s SCTO Symposium was organised in close cooperation with Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC). You can find a selection of the videos and PDFs of the presentations on the SCTO Symposium 2022 section of our website.

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Research promotion

25 May 2022

Swiss Personalized Health Network launched call for Demonstrator projects

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) has launched a call for Demonstrator projects. These projects aim to demonstrate the added value of SPHN data resources and infrastructure elements for data-driven personalized health research, clinical and public health research, and clinical use. Submission deadline for applications is 31 August 2022.

The application also includes a lay summary that explains the project proposal to the public and describes how the Demonstrator project will be of benefit to patients.

For more information, please visit
You can find useful information on the topic of patient and public involvement in academic clinical research in our dedicated section on this website.

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11 May 2022

A culture of collaboration: Symposium in honor of Peter Meier-Abt

The University of Basel, together with the Research Ethics Committee of the Canton of Zurich, the University of Zurich and swissethics, invites you to an international scientific symposium on 19 July 2022 in honour of Prof. Peter Meier-Abt. The first president of the SCTO passed away in May 2021. The event aims to bring together the numerous actors who can contribute to the value and advancement of science and medicine.




3 May 2022

SCTO Symposium on 15 June in Lugano: Artificial intelligence in clinical research

The remarkable advances in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) over the past few years have attracted considerable attention – and fuelled fears. This year’s SCTO Symposium takes a closer look at this topic from various perspectives. We have worked closely with Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC) in Lugano to put together a programme for you that is rich in variety. Join us on 15 June in Lugano!

More detailed information about our programme and the registration is available at: SCTO Symposium 2022.


13 April 2022

Federal Council would like Switzerland to join six European research infrastructures

On 13 April, the Federal Council submitted a dispatch report to Parliament on Switzerland's access to six European research infrastructure networks. Joining these networks would enable Swiss researchers to participate in them actively and on an equal footing.

In order to simplify the process for Switzerland to join these networks in the future, the Federal Council has also proposed an amendment to the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA). This would give the Federal Council powers to make the decision on joining European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) research infrastructures, as is the case with other international research infrastructures with different legal forms.

Federal Council’s press release
Provisional message on Switzerland joining ERIC research infrastructures (available in French, German, and Italian)

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11 March 2022

PPI in a Nutshell: Online course for IICT applicants

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has opened its eighth call for its Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials (IICT) programme. This programme supports clinical trials on underresearched topics that meet medical as well as social needs. In both their letter of intent (LOI) and their application, grant applicants must address how they actively involve or plan to involve patients and the public (PPI) in their research projects.

For researchers who are interested in applying to the IICT 2022 programme, the SCTO is offering an online course twice entitled PPI in a Nutshell on 12 April and 6 May. In this course, we will discuss why PPI is particularly useful when planning and developing clinical trials. We will also provide practical tips and examples for an effective and meaningful approach to PPI. This online course is free of charge and will be held in English.

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9 February 2022

SCTO Forum 2022: EU CTIS launch and ICH GCP renovation – how will they affect Switzerland?

During the SCTO’s annual forum on 26 January 2022, we discussed the new EU requirements, their relevance for Switzerland, and what needs to be considered from an academic perspective when submitting applications for clinical trials in Europe.

In addition, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – one of the founding members of the ICH – provided participants with an overview of the vision and objectives of the ongoing, comprehensive renovation of the ICH Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Guideline. During the ensuing discussion session, we considered how this renovation could affect our daily work in clinical research.

You can download videos of the presentations made at the SCTO’s digital forum on 26 January 2022 and related PDFs.

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3 February 2022

United against the initiative to ban human and animal experiments

On 13 February, Swiss voters will decide whether research on animals and humans should be forbidden in Switzerland. Both the academic clinical research community and patient organisations are advocating for a clear no vote on this radical initiative. In our newsletter of 3 February 2022 we have collected the most important happenings from the past few weeks that are connected to this topic as well as related reading and listening recommendations.

SCTO newsletter of 3 February 2022

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25 January 2022

7th call for proposals for PHRT-supported projects

In their seventh call, Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) invites applicants to collaborate with hospitals and clinics and submit project proposals for:

  1. Interdisciplinary doctoral, so-called iDoc Projects
  2. Interdisciplinary Postdoc, so-called iPostdoc Projects
  3. Technology Translation Projects (TT Projects),
  4. PH/PM Research Projects, and
  5. Imaging Projects being part of the PHRT Imaging Hub.

The submission deadline for all proposal types is 17 April 2022.

For more information about the call and about Personalized Health and Related Technologies, visit the PHRT’s website.

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20 January 2022

Ready, steady, go! The SCTO has set its sails

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

The SCTO and its Clinical Trial Unit Network are supported by the federal government as a research infrastructure of national importance. We base our strategic course on two mandates: our service level agreements with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and with the Swiss National Science Foundation. These agreements outline our main areas of activity for the upcoming four years, which we and our Steering Board use as a basis for setting our priorities for the current funding period and for defining our objectives.

Join us on our journey and learn more about where we are headed in the current funding period:

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For older news please see our news archives 20212020201920182017201620152014 and 2013.