Swiss Summer School 2016


2015 Version of the document, will be updatet for 2016.

General information

Established in 1997 [History], the Swiss Summer School is open to all who need to use Social Science methods for their work and has been conceived for those who feel the need to refresh, deepen and widen their methodological knowledge and skills, whatever the situation: student, researcher or practionner.


The Summer School runs for two weeks, preceded by two-day preparatory workshops taught on Friday and Saturday, before the first week of regular workshops. During each of the two weeks of the Summer School, there will be several parallel workshops on both quantitative and qualitative methods. [Click here for the workshop programme].

Each regular workshop runs from Monday through Friday, full time (roughly from 8 h 30 through 18 h) an average effective teaching time of 7½ to 8 hours per day, i.e. a total of up to 35-40 hours per week. Past experience shows, that quite often students ask for more, as they are highly motivated by their project work.

All workshops will be oriented towards practical applications and spend roughly half of their time on applied work and exercises (many workshops will make heavy use of computer software); there will be ample time to discuss and try to solve problems related to your personal research with the instructors and fellow participants. Participants are strongly encouraged to work on their own data and research problems to get the most out of the Summer School experience.

Faculty members are renowned specialists and experienced teachers in their respective fields. Depending upon the number of participants in their workshop, they will bring a teaching assistant, in order to optimize opportunities for help and advice during the workshops.

How to select a workshop?

Methodology is clearly the corner stone of good scientific practice and a sound training in methodology will be essential for your professional future. There are however many different philosophies, approaches and techniques, many of them highly specialized.

Therefore you should carefully consider your choices of workshops in a wider perspective, i.e. your training in the field of methodology for the years to come. We recommend that you discuss your choices of workshops with your PhD supervisor or seek advice from another experienced person in your field of research or work.


For a number of workshops you are expected to have some methodological background, namely knowledge, skills and some experience with empirical analyses in the social sciences. When selecting a workshop, please read carefully the prerequisites listed with the workshops description before registering.

How to register?

Register by filling-in the on-line registration form bnhjki (this is the only form of registration). Registration is conditional until you have paid the invoice (within three weeks of reception). If you applied for the reduced (student) fee a recommendation letter/copy of an official document stating your student status is required to make your registration final. Registration is on a frist-come first-serve basis.

Limited number of participants

To guarantee optimal learning conditions, the number of available places per workshop is limited (typically 10-12 for a workshops taught by the instructor alone, 20-25 when taught by an instructor and his/her assistant or co-teacher).

Registration for a particular workshop is on a first come/first serve basis. Registrants beyond the maximal number of participants will be placed on a waiting list, and will be informed as soon as a place becomes available. If the waiting list grows too long, registration for that workshop will be closed.

Minimal number of participants

Workshops may be cancelled if there are not enough confirmed participants (fewer than 7) by June 1st. If this happens you will be notified by e-mail and the paid fees will be reiumbursed, or, if you prefer, you can choose to attend one of the other workshops (unless they are fully booked).

Teaching language

The language in all workshops and lectures will be English, therefore active and passive command of English is expected.


The Swiss Summer School is funded through participant's fees.[Details]


The Summer School is financed through participant's fees and cannot offer any scholarship, grant or financial aid. If needed, participants should seek financial assistance at their home institution. [Some advice]

Certificate of participation

At the end of the successful completion of a workshop, a Certificate of participation will be delivered, attesting the active presence of the participant during the 5 days of each workshop. Partial presence will be noted on the Certificate. Furthermore no certificate will be delivered for a workshop a participant has attended less than three days. For the two-day Preliminary Workshop a Certificate of Participation is only delivered on request.

If you consider using the Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution to find out whether they recognize the Summer School, how many credits can be earned for a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work and no exams. (We only deliver a Certificate of Participation, i.e. we certify your presence). Make sure to investigate this matter before registering, if this is important to you.


If you need to reserve accommodation, see here for further information and advice on how to find a hotel or pension.


There are no specific deadlines for application. However consider:

  1. The number of participants per workshop is limited; some workshops are very popular, so please register as early as possible.
  2. Workshop fees have to be paid in advance and registration is final only after reception of your payment.
  3. Decently priced accommodation is difficult to find at the very last minute.

EH Last update: 27.10.2015