Updated 24 June
Animal testing was suspended at the University of Geneva between 17 March and 11 May 2020 as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus adopted by the federal and cantonal authorities, with the exception of projects directly related to SARS-CoV-2. During this period, the buildings were closed and access was strictly controlled and limited to authorised personnel in compliance with health and social distancing rules. The staff of the animal husbandry was reorganised so that basic activities, housing conditions and animal welfare could be ensured at all times.  Daily checks on the animals, including weekends and public holidays, continued. The number of animals has been reduced by approximately 10% to ensure the safety and welfare of staff and research animals. Only lines deemed critical continued to be bred and the importation of new animals was reduced to COVID-19 research-related experiments only.

Researchers at the University of Geneva are committed to research on SARS-CoV-2 from medical, scientific, economic, legal and societal perspectives. This versatility reflects the importance of multidisciplinary skills to face complex challenges. 

> An overview of the research carried out at UNIGE

Updated 27 May

Under the strategy that the federal and cantonal authorities have laid out to gradually ease the current restrictions, research has been allowed to resume on 11 May 2020, and everyone involved must carefully comply with health and safety measures and social distancing and with the rules set out by the faculties and centers. These rules are designed to meet the needs and constraints of each of these entities as much as possible while complying with the plan to partially resume activities at the University  as well as the accompanying health and safety plan.

Updated 20 May 2020

Young researchers who have been heavily impacted by the crisis and have a temporary position, contract or funding are able to submit a request for an extension of their contract in principle for two months.

> Fill in the form

Regardless of where your funding comes from, this opportunity is opened to PhD students, postdoc or research and teaching fellows and scholarship holders. Applications must be supported by the dean's office or the interfacultary centre's management team, and the extension should ideally be funded by your research group, department, section or faculty. Where no such funding is available, requests can be forwarded to the Rectorate.

A case-by-case approach allows to take account of individual circumstances and to allocate available resources to those who have been affected most by the coronavirus crisis.

Support is allocated based on five core principles:

  1. Priority is given to helping young researchers on temporary contracts in order to limit the impact on their future careers.
  2. All cases are treated equally and fairly, regardless of whether the funding comes from the cantonal authorities (DIP), the SNSF or elsewhere.
  3. The deadlines for reviewing tenure-track and other assistant professors will be flexible.
  4. Project leaders are encouraged to apply to their funding entity (SNSF or other) for an extension.
  5. A support fund is set up to help researchers whose funding does not come from the SNSF.

To ensure fair and equal treatment, all cases are examined on the basis of whether the applicant was prevented from continuing their research for the duration of the lockdown according to the following criteria:

  • The coronavirus crisis has had a material impact on your research (i.e., you have been unable to collect data or to access facilities, databases or library or archive resources, or your data have been lost or become unusable).
  • Your personal or family situation did not allow you to work remotely or prevented you from continuing your research.
  • You had to take on tasks that were unrelated to your research, as part of the University's response or to help your community (e.g., you were setting up online courses, recruited by a hospital or called up by the army).
  • You were unable to meet your pre-doctoral deadlines.

If you are funded by the cantonal authorities (DIP), your contract extension (normally of two months) is covered by your faculty or center. Hiring will be postponed unless there is a pre-existing contractual commitment.

If your funding comes from elsewhere (SNSF or other third-party funding), your contract extension should ideally be covered by the entity concerned. However, if your request is rejected, the head of research will reallocate funds from their internal budget. If this is not possible, they will be able to request funding from the section, department or faculty, or, as a last resort, the Rectorate, through the planned support fund.

These measures were drawn up following a consultation process involving the University's deans, centre directors, the Staff Committee and the Assembly. They are similar to those being taken by several other Swiss universities. The rectorate has set out the specific terms and conditions in a directive.

If your situation is urgent, please contact your supervisor and, if necessary, the Human Resources Division.


Updated 14 May

The Research Service is continuing its work online. All information, advice and contractual follow-up services are still running.

Information concerning the extended submission deadlines for certain calls for projects is available HERE.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, many important calls for projects are open in all scientific domains:

Furthermore, many priority research initiatives focused on COVID-19/Coronavirus have been launched recently:

Updated 26 June

Starting on 8 June, libraries has reopened progressively for students and UNIGE/HUG staff members. Libraries opens to the general public as of 29 June. The Library's maximum capacity has been significantly reduced as a result of the 1.5-meter rule. As the Library is likey to get busy during the exam periods, which start on 27 July, priority will be given to the UNIGE/HUG community; UNIGE students and staff members will be required to show their multiservices card.

The library loan service reverts to the standard procedures. The "digitization on demand" service for book chapters and articles remains available throughout the summer. Users can also scan the desired documents on the site.

Opening hours for each library can be found on the Library website.

The number of users in library reading rooms can be consulted in real time via the UNIGE mobile app.

> Opening hours and receptions conditions

The Library is strengthening its services adapted to working from home. > More information in the "Library and scientific information" section on the Students page and on the Research page.


Scientific information

 Remote support for researchers is reinforced:

Temporary access to a wider range of digital resources, available 24/7

  • Access our collections of e-books, journals, newspapers and magazines, articles, databases, videos, films, music, etc. here (only accessible with VPN). You can also access these resources by discipline;
  • To find free or Open Access digital resources, use the tips here;

A team on hand to answer your questions

  • For all general questions, use this form (French only);
  • You can continue to request digital materials via the designated form (French only).

Continued support for publishing Open Access

  • Specialist librarians are providing remote support regarding the dissemination and preservation of your Open Access research;
  • Responses to your questions by email;
  • Management of funding requests to the UNIGE Scientific Publication Fund;
  • Help submitting your publications to the UNIGE Open Archive;
  • New! The procedure for submitting PhD theses has changed and is now done entirely online.

Ongoing support for data management

  • Support for managing research data is provided remotely by a designated team of librarians:
  • Contact our team to have us re-read your Data Management Plan before you submit it to the SNSF;
  • Information and advice about tools for preserving and archiving your research data are available online.

Training adapted for online teaching

  • On the training page, you will find a list of the upcoming Rendez-vous de l’info scientifique and Workshops. They are now offered in the form of webinars, as are DMP workshops;
  • The e-learning platform InfoTrack is particularly suited for distance-learning and gives students guidance on writing academic papers (selecting and researching a topic, writing a bibliography, advice for avoiding plagiarism, etc.).


March 17, 2020