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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.

Archive 2016


16 December 2016

Switzerland ratifies Croatia protocol

Switzerland has ratified the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. This also means the precondition has been met for Switzerland to participate fully in the Horizon 2020 research programme.

Learn more about this topic at


Media reports on clinical research in Switzerland

The media interest in clinical research is growing, both in Switzerland and abroad. The SCTO feels the effects of this trend, too. In the course of 2016, the SCTO as umbrella organisation commented on current themes and issues in the field of clinical research. The respective media releases and articles are available under Publications.

As the central cooperation platform for patient-oriented clinical research in Switzerland, the SCTO is committed to high-quality and independent information concerning clinical research issues and promotes a factual exchange on its risks and benefits.


18 November 2016

Roadmap for developing the next generation of clinical researchers

In order to ensure high quality in clinical research, targeted and systematic support to research-oriented clinicians is necessary. This is the conclusion of a report produced by the platform "Future of Medical Education" on behalf of the Federal Council in 2014.

As part of the master plan to boost biomedical research and technology adopted by the Federal Council in December 2013, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) therefore created together with the SCTO and other partners from clinical research the 2016-2021 roadmap for developing the next generation of clinical researchers. Responsibility for implementing the roadmap is shared by the local MD-PhD graduate schools, the SCTO with its network of Clinical Trial Units, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), the FOPH and unimedsuisse.

You can find further information at


1 November 2016

swissethics publish new templates for research projects involving humans

The Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans (swissethics) recently published two new templates for researchers. The Serious Event Report serves as template for the notification of serious events (SE) for research projects not involving clinical trials (in accordance with HRO). This template supplements the Serious Adverse Event (SAE) Form in accordance with the Ordinance on Clinical Trials (ClinO). In addition, swissethics now also provides a template for drafting an annual safety report for investigator initiated trials (IITs) in accordance with ClinO.

The templates were developed in close collaboration with the SCTO and its CTU network and should serve as a practical support for researchers. They are available at


20 October 2016

Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials are generating a great deal of interest: evaluation of the first IICT call of the SNSF

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has published the evaluation results of the 2015 IICT call, listing the successful projects as well as the main reasons why the other proposals were rejected.

With the special programme Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials (IICT), the SNSF is promoting clinical studies in under-researched areas that do not attract industry interest. Researchers can now submit their project proposals for the second IICT call, provided they pre-announced their participation in a letter of intent.

More information and the report on results of the first IICT call are available at


4 October 2016

SCTO/SwissPedNet receives funding from “H2020” for PedCRIN project

Conducting clinical trials in children requires specific competences and infrastructure. ECRIN-ERIC is a generic infrastructure for multinational trial management, for any disease area.

ECRIN now receives funding from the EU's research and innovation funding scheme “H2020” for the paediatric network "PedCRIN", which is an upgrade of ECRIN to develop a common infrastructure for paediatric trial management through cooperation with the European Paediatric Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure (EPCTRI).

The SCTO respectively SwissPedNet, the Swiss research network of clinical paediatric hubs, is the Swiss partner of PedCRIN.

For more information see


22 September 2016

UN calls for global action on clinical trial transparency and USA introduce stricter transparency rules

The United Nations called on governments worldwide to pass legislation requiring clinical trials to be registered, and their methods and results to be fully reported.

See detailed information under section 4.3.5 Clinical Trials in the United Nations’ report.

At the same time, the FDA and NIH introduce stricter transparency rules for the publication of clinical trials and their results. This final rule is intended to make it clear to sponsors, investigators, and the public which trials must be submitted, when they must be submitted, and whether compliance has been achieved.

Read more about the requirements and the new transparency rules.


12 August 2016

Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials (IICT)

For the second time, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is launching a call for clinical studies on topics outside the industry focus. The deadline for the submission of applications is 1 November 2016, 5 p.m. Swiss local time. Researchers wishing to participate need to submit a letter of intent to the SNSF by 1 September 2016, 5 p.m. Swiss local time.

For more information see


July 2016

The SCTO has a new look!

Hello and welcome to the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation’s new website!

Since its beginning, the SCTO has been undergoing constant change. We have grown, we have increased our activities and we have developed a more extensive network. These developments are reflected in our new website, which is designed to reach out to even more people who are interested in clinical research.

We focused particularly on structure and links when redesigning the website. The improved layout should help you to navigate through our website more easily. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview not only of our services and activities, but also of clinical research in Switzerland as a whole.

We value your feedback: please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about our organisation or our services, or if you have comments about our website. Enjoy exploring the new SCTO website!


1 July 2016

Successful SCTO Symposium 2016

The 7th symposium of the SCTO was held on 16 June 2016 in Lausanne. This year’s event was dedicated to the promotion of young talents in the field of clinical research and was jointly organised with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

Besides selected success stories from Switzerland in the field of clinical research and keynote lectures by leading experts from abroad, the FOPH presented in a first public consultation the «Roadmap for Building up the Future Generation of Clinical Researchers». With the roadmap the authorities are aiming to fill the existing gaps in the promotion programme for young researchers by systematically supporting clinical research-oriented physicians and scientists at each stage of their career path.

A detailed report and a draft of the roadmap are available under SCTO Symposium 2016.


16 June 2016

Nine "Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials" approved

The first call for the Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials (IICTs) has attracted great interest. With the IICT programme, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) promotes clinical studies in areas that are not in the industry focus and therefore under-researched. A total of 75 applications were submitted. The SNSF has now approved nine of them. The local Clinical Trial Units of the SCTO will support the projects. A second call will follow in August 2016.

Read more about the approved projects at


7 June 2016

Seminar for scientific journalists 2016: diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s

You may find an article about the seminar for scientific journalists in the latest "bulletin" of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.


3 June 2016

Last call SCTO Symposium: Thursday, 16 June 2016, CHUV Lausanne

The deadline to register online is Sunday, 12 June 2016. 
The on-site registration starts at 9:00 h.

​Register online


30 May 2016

Activities of the ethics committees for research – Summary report 2014

The Coordination Office for Human Research (kofam) is legally required to inform the public about the activities of the ethics committees. To that end, each year it produces a summary report of the individual annual reports produced by the ethics committees.

The summary report for 2014 together with a factsheet containing general information on the Human Research Act and the ethics committees can be found at


20 May 2016

International Clinical Trials Day

Every year since 2005, the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) has celebrated the International Clinical Trials’ Day (ICTD) at or around 20 May to commemorate the day James Lind started his famous trial and to draw attention to the need for clinical trials. 

Learn more at and

Study nurses und study coordinators: leveraging synergies and bundling forces

On 22 April 2016, the second National Study Nurse / Study Coordinator Meeting was held at Inselspital in Bern. 113 interested and engaged participants followed the lectures and discussed vividly the potential future of a Swiss study nurses and study coordinators network. 

The SCTO supports the group of study nurses and study coordinators since the very beginning and is pleased to learn about the positive development. A working group is now going to get together to drive forward the establishment of a strong national network or association and to follow up on issues such as job descriptions, training and education and national meetings.

The programme and the presentations of the latest event are available here

DACH Symposium 2018 in Zurich

After the successful first joint three-nation congress for clinical trials in Freiburg, the second DACH Symposium will be held on 11 and 12 June 2018 in Zurich. As one of the coordination centres for clinical studies the SCTO is again co-organising the event. 

More information about the programme and the presentations of the first symposium can be downloaded here


10 May 2016

Overview of activities – SCTO Short Report 2015

The SCTO reports regularly on its activities and publishes a brief review of the year 2015.

The report is available here


1 April 2016

SCTO Symposium 2016: Building up the future generation of clinical researchers

Leading experts and stakeholders will discuss on 16 June 2016 in Lausanne the current opportunities and challenges as well as future perspectives to promote young physicians in the field of clinical research. Register online

Call for Abstracts

We invite all researchers within a Swiss institution performing or coordinating IITs to present their clinical research projects with a poster during the symposium. The three best posters will be awarded a prize at the event.


24 March 2016

DACH Symposium for clinical trials

More than 550 participants joined the 1st DACH Symposium on 7 and 8 March 2016 in Freiburg (D). Further information about the scientific programme and the presentations of the successful symposium is available here

Seminar for Scientific Journalists

The third Seminar for Scientific Journalists on 13 April 2016 offers an overview of where we stand at present with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s. This event is aimed primarily at science journalists and also at actors from the science environment.

Invitation, programme and registration


Marie Curie PhD fellowships in Methods in Research on Research

Methods in Research on Research (MiRoR) are recruiting 15 PhD students to be trained in MiRoR in the field of clinical research. Each recruited PhD student will be offered a 3-year Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship. Submission deadline is 1 May 2016.
MiRoR is an innovative and ambitious joint doctoral training programme funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, dedicated to MiRoR in the field of clinical research. "Research on Research", is an emerging new scientific discipline that aims to reduce waste in research and increase research value. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020.

Read more about the submission process.


11 March 2016

Switzerland is member of ECRIN-ERIC

Switzerland's application to become an observer country to ECRIN was approved by the ECRIN-ERIC Assembly of Members on 18 December 2015. This makes Switzerland the 8th country to join ECRIN. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) has delegated the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) as scientific partner for Switzerland.

More information about ECRIN-ERIC and its services is available here as well as in the current SCTO factsheet.

The factsheets on further activities of the SCTO are available here


12 February 2016

Preannouncement SCTO Symposium 2016: "Building up the future generation of clinical researchers"

On 16 June 2016, leading experts and stakeholders will discuss in Lausanne the current opportunities and challenges to promote young physicians in the field of clinical research. 
More information about the event and the online registration is available here

10 February 2016

EUPATI platform Switzerland launched

The national platform EUPATI Switzerland was launched on 3 February 2016. Close to 140 representatives of health and patient organisations, authorities and academy participated at the launch event.
EUPATI is a European patients’ academy for therapeutic innovation with regional platforms in different countries.

The programme (in German or French) and the press release are available here

5 February 2016

Involvement of patients and public in clinical research

Close to 90 participants attended the 6th Forum "Clinical Research" on 27 January 2016 in Bern.

A summary of the event and the presentations of the forum 2016 are availale here

Study nurses and study coordinators: Leveraging synergies and bundling forces

Study nurses and study coordinators are an indespensable link in the clinical research process chain. Yet, there is potential for improvement when it comes to synergies. In order to find concrete solutions to leverage the synergies and bundle the forces of Swiss study nurses and study coordinators, study nurses and study coordinators are cordially invited to join the 2nd national National Study Nurse / Study Coordinator Meeting on 22 April 2016 at Inselspital Bern.

Lest we forget: Why Alzheimer’s research is such a challenge

The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) and Interpharma invite scientific journalists and actors from the science community to the 3rd Seminar for Scientific Journalists. The seminar offers an overview of where we stand at present with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s, as well as current research. The event is taking place on 13 April 2016 at Restaurant Metropol in Zurich.

More information


22 January 2016

DACH Symposium for clinical trials

The coordination centres for clinical studies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are organising the first joint three-nation congress for clinical trials. The two-day congress including an extensive supporting programme will be held in Freiburg/Germany on 7 and 8 March 2016 and is aimed at all persons active in the field of clinical research. The event language is German.

Online registration (German)

EUPATI Toolbox live as of 27 January 2016

On 27 January 2016, EUPATI will launch its second "core product" after the EUPATI Patient Expert Training Course: the EUPATI Toolbox on Medicines R&D. The Toolbox is a reliable source with regularly updated information and contains 83 themes out of 16 categories in Medicines R&D.

Discover! Adapt! Share! as of 27 January 2016 at
Toolbox video available here


11 January 2016

Unlimited access to the Cochrane Library within Switzerland

A newly signed national licence offers free access to the Cochrane Library to all residents in Switzerland. Swiss patients and health care practitioners will now have access to over 6500 published systematic reviews in healthcare interventions.
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. The organisation gathers and summarises the best evidence from research to help make informed choices about treatment.

Visit the Cochrane Library

Learn more about Cochrane Switzerland

For older news and press releases please see our news archives 20152014 and 2013.