Conducting clinical research across borders?
We promote international collaboration.

Associate members

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.


Our services: we provide expertise and contacts

We are committed to making Switzerland a more attractive location for research. Everyone involved in clinical research, including research groups from academia and industry, authorities, patients and the public, can find an arena for exchanging information and ideas at the SCTO. Together with our partners we are working to promote clinical research in Switzerland and make it more accessible. Our services are designed to optimise and harmonise processes. We focus on quality, efficiency and transparency.

Support for clinical research projects: Clinical Trial Units

The SCTO itself does not offer services for the operational implementation of trials. This is the task of the Clinical Trial Units (CTUs). The CTUs provide all the services needed to smoothly conduct clinical study projects. The SCTO coordinates the collaboration among these centres. More information about the services they offer and about the members is available under CTU network.

Excellence centres for better processes in clinical research: Our platforms

With the ultimate goal to achieve more at national level, six platforms were set up in early 2017. These platforms serve as excellence centres and focus on the following areas:

Auditing Dr Regina Grossmann, CTU Zurich
Regulatory affairs    Dr Laure Vallotton, CTU Lausanne
Data management Dr Michael Scharfe, CTU Basel
Biostatistics/Study methodology Brigitta Gahl, CTU Bern
Monitoring Dr Jocelyne Chabert, CTU Geneva
Project management Dr Synove Otterbech and Mareen Reiter, CTU St.Gallen
Education SCTO Executive Office

In these excellence centres experts work together to harmonise processes and set national standards. This includes strengthening Switzerland’s international competitiveness and promoting the conduct of multicentre studies. Furthermore, the platforms serve as central contact partners for authorities and national and international stakeholders for all questions concerning clinical research.

The SCTO liaises between the different platforms. As a supervisory link it ensures the required exchange in national and international activities and encourages a smooth collaboration in order to avoid parallel activities. The SCTO’s previous working groups for quality assurance, data management and education were integrated thematically into the six platforms.

Specialised research units

Our member institutions host specialised units for clinical research projects with patients which are either in an early phase or whose research questions require special conditions or methods. The catalogue under Specialised units provides an overview of the units existing in Switzerland.

Working groups

We also initiate and moderate working groups ad hoc that address the current challenges of clinical research and attempt to develop solutions. For example, by actively participating to implement the Human Research Act in a practice-oriented way. We look ahead in order to identify changes at an early stage and respond to them appropriately. Please contact us for more information about our services. Let us tackle current challenges of clinical research together.

For further information about our services see our latest SCTO Short Report.