Published on 20.06.2024

Legal support and recent developments in human research

What's new in human research? The recommendations "sex and gender" from Swissethics, the training courses in the field "Patient and Public Involvement" and the grants of the "Young Talents in Clinical Research" program. Please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Department if you have any legal or contractual issues related to the submission of applications to the Swiss ethics committees.

Legal support at Unifr

Research involving human beings is closely regulated by Swiss law to protect the dignity, privacy and health of human beings.

  • The University of Fribourg, through its Legal Department, is committed to assist researchers with all legal issues related to the submission of applications to the Swiss ethics committees (CER-VD and KEK-BE).
  • Contractual support is also provided, for example in the drafting of collaboration agreements or data and material transfer and use agreements.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Department staff (

The Legal Department has launched its new website. Take a look! You’ll find a wealth of information and links on human research, for example:

  • categorization of projects
  • insurance cover
  • templates for authorization applications

A guide to research contracts and some templates for contracts are also available.

Recommendations « sex and gender » from Swissethics

Sex and gender differences are sometimes overlooked in research design, study implementation and scientific reporting. This omission limits the possibility to generalize research findings and their applicability to clinical practice, particularly for women, but also for men. Swissethics has just published recommendations and guidelines for better consideration of sex and gender in human research. They include a checklist designed to guide researchers in the writing of their study protocols and other related documents. The checklist will be used by Swiss ethics committees to review all protocols and related documents.

Funding of the clinical research: Program Young Talents in Clinical Research

The Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation provides funding to support young doctors starting out in clinical research:

  • Beginner grant to finance protected research time: max. CHF 75’000 per person, spread over 1 to 2 years.
  • Project grant for a consecutive research project: max. CHF 40’000 per year for up to 2 years.

Application deadline for funding from 1 January 2025: 30 June 2024

All information can be found here.

Patient and Public Involvement

Patient and public involvement (PPI) in clinical research can be defined as research that is carried out with or by patients or members of the public, rather than on, about, or for them. This means that patients and members of the public become actively involved in shaping the goals, design, and evaluation of research projects by sharing their specific experience with a disease.  PPI has the potential to democratize clinical research, making it more accountable and transparent. This is real added value for academic research financed by public funds.

Training and documentation :

Symposium "Data for Health"

The next symposium of SPHN « Data for Health: Joining Forces for a Swiss Health Research Data Ecosystem », organized with PHRT will take place on 31 October 2024 in Bern.  Registration and program here.