Areas of research

The University of Fribourg is committed to excellence in research and teaching, and takes pride in a truly interdisciplinary spirit.

There are a total of five faculties, with activities spanning the entire research spectrum, as well as numerous cross-faculty and interdisciplinary projects. In addition, the University is home to array of centres of scientific excellence. Several researchers at the University were highly-awarded for their scientific excellence through ERC grants

Information related to research activities (projects, publications, presentations) at the University of Fribourg can be found in the FUTURA database.


Faculty research

Research activities of the five Faculties at the University of Fribourg:

  • Economics and Social Sciences
    Business administration, economics, informatics, mass media and communication, non-profit and technology management.
  • Humanities
    Historical science, languages and literature, philosophy, psychology, pedagogy, social science, special education.
  • Law
    Commercial law, criminal law, federalism, private and public law, Swiss, European and international law.
  • Science
    Biology, chemistry, medicine, geosciences, physics, material sciences, mathematics.
  • Theology
    Biblical, oecumenical and liturgical studies, church history, ethics, morals, philosophy, religions and religious languages.

Interdisciplinary research

The University of Fribourg has several interdisciplinary research units, involving researchers from various faculties, on the following topics:

  • Competitiveness
    Role of economic, governmental and social policy on competitiveness, determinants of competitiveness, innovation, cluster mapping, multinational enterprises, competition policy.
  • Environmental science
    Environmental protection, climate change, energy and resources shortage, from a point of vue of disciplines like biology, physics, geosciences, philosophy, economics and law.
  • Ethics and Human Rights
    Diversité et droits culturels, éthique économique, philosophie politique.
  • European Studies
    Management-oriented and cultural issues of European-specific knowledge and competencies, business and international management, European culture, history and politics, European integration and European law.
  • Informatics
    Theoretical computer science, information systems, software engineering, decision support, pervasive artificial intelligence, multimedia engineering and data analysis, exascale computing, telecommunication networks and security.
  • Multilingualism
    Linguistic, social, political, economic and educational aspects of multilingualism, multilingualism in education, human migration and the workplace, evaluation of language competence.
  • Nanoscience
    Bio-nanomaterials, Materials, Nanoparticles self-assembly, Polymer Chemistry.

Initiatives of scientific excellence

Several researchers of the University of Fribourg have received the prestigious grants provided by the European Research Council (ERC):

Prof. Philipp Werner, Department of Physics, received an ERC Starting Grant that allows him to work on real-time dynamics of correlated many-body systems. See the press release and a detailed brochure (ERC Success stories).

Prof. Simon Sprecher, Department of Biology, received an ERC Starting Grant that funds an ambitious project on brain research in fruit flies. See the press release and a detailed brochure (ERC success stories).

Prof. Christophe Weder, director of the Adolphe Merkle Institute, received an ERC Advanced Grant that supports his work on new mechanically responsive materials. See the press release and a detailed brochure (ERC success stories).

Prof. Björn Rasch, Department of Psychology, received an ERC Starting Grant that will allow him to continue his research in the field of Sleep and Sleep disorder. See the press release and a detailed brochure (ERC Success stories).

Prof. Philippe Cudré-Mauroux, Department of Informatics, received an ERC Consolidator Grant to support his work in the field of Big Data application. See the press release and a detailed brochure (ERC Success stories).

National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) and National Research Programmes (NRP)

The National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) for Intelligent Bio-Inspired Materials, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, is hosted by the University of Fribourg and will become operational in 2014.

Also, researchers at the University of Fribourg participate in the following NCCRs:

  • Affective Sciences – Emotions in Individual Behaviour and Social Processes
  • IM2 – Interactive Multimodal Information Management
  • Kidney.CH – Kidney Control of Homeostasis
  • MaNEP – Materials with Novel Electronic Properties
  • Mediality – Historical Perspectives
  • Molecular Oncology – From Basic Research to Therapeutic Approaches
  • Neuro – Neural Plasticity and Repair


Furthermore, researchers at the University of Fribourg are currently involved in the following National Research Programmes (NRPs) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation:

  • NRP 60 – Gender Equality
  • NRP 62 – Smart Materials
  • NRP 64 – Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials
  • NRP 65 – New Urban Quality
  • NRP 66 – Resource Wood
  • NRP 67 – End of Life
  • NRP 68 – Sustainable use of soil as a resource
  • NRP 69 – Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production
  • NRP 70 – Energy Turnaround
  • NRP 71 – Managing Energy Consumption

Research Promotion Service - University of Fribourg - Ch. du Musée 8 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Switzerland -
Tel +41 26 300 73 30 - Fax +41 26 300 97 28 -