Conducting clinical research across borders?
We promote international collaboration.

Associate member

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.

Today's clinical research is tomorrow's medicine

For researchers and study personnel

Systematic, targeted development of young researchers

In order for Switzerland to remain an attractive location to conduct clinical trials, academic clinical research needs to have well-trained personnel who are able to conduct studies according to professional standards. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has mandated the SCTO to coordinate activities to implement the national roadmap for developing the next generation of clinical researchers. We are committed to making interesting training and further education opportunities on current topics in clinical research available to researchers.


Support for multicentre, multinational studies

One of the main objectives of the SCTO’s collaboration with the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) is to help researchers in Switzerland gain access to research infrastructures in Europe. This access opens up a wide range of management and consulting services for researchers involved in multicentre, multinational studies.


Patient and public involvement (PPI)

The SCTO supports the dialogue between researchers and patients and advocates for patient and public involvement (PPI) in academic clinical research. One of our most important strategic goals for the 2021–2024 performance period is to establish a centralised coordination hub and point of contact for all PPI stakeholders. This PPI hub’s activities will span organisations and diseases.

PPI is also a major focus of institutions that fund clinical research projects. For example, as part of its investigator-initiated clinical trials programme (IICT), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SFSF) is requesting applicants to document their efforts to actively involve patients, patient organisations, members of patients’ families, caregivers, and the public in the design and delivery of their research projects. PPI representatives are members of the programme’s international evaluation panel and evaluate the PPI aspects of the planned clinical trials.

More information about PPI:

  • Our PPI Fact Sheet explains the general concept of PPI, who can be involved in research, and when and where involvement is possible.
  • Our practical guide for researchers to address PPI in clinical trials offers support for researchers when they start planning a project and apply for potential funding to identify opportunities within their clinical trials that can inspire effective and meaningful PPI.


In order to successfully develop new treatments and improve existing medicines, it is essential for all those involved in clinical research to communicate and cooperate with one another. The SCTO does its part to help shape the best possible framework conditions for clinical research and establish the (inter)national contacts needed to do this.

More information: