Research Networks of the University of Basel
At the university level, the instrument of research networks has been created to promote cooperation and networking among research groups that wish to intensify and expand their collaboration beyond the boundaries of the departments. Networks are organized bottom-up, are self-financing and use synergies to intensify and develop their scientific activities. An application for the establishment of a research network can be submitted to the Vice Rectorate Research by at least five members of Groupings I or II of the University of Basel from at least two different departments.
University research networks can apply to the Research Fund of the University of Basel for financial support to carry out scientific activities of the network. These are assessed by the Research Commission and approved by the Rectorate. Eligible activities include the organization of conferences and symposia, guest lectures, lecture series, visiting scientist programs, workshops, scientific retreats, and scientific outreach, provided that they serve to fulfill the objectives of the network, to link disciplines and to achieve international visibility.
Recognized research networks of the University of Basel
Responsible Digital Society
In recent years, the digital transformation has led to massive changes. The application of deep learning-based approaches to data analysis is advancing scientific knowledge at a rapid pace, providing solutions to long-standing problems and leading to new insights that seemed unimaginable only a short time ago. In contrast, critical discourse in the society seems to be lagging behind the rapid technological changes. Given the pervasiveness of the applications, it is crucial to conduct an accompanying interdisciplinary discussion at the societal, legal, ethical, psychological, political, and economic levels, to guide the responsible application of novel methods in all these various areas, and to identify opportunities and risks. A modern digital society should be able to use these new technologies in an opportune, yet critical and responsible way.
The goal of the Responsible Digital Society research network is to create a platform for a critical, interdisciplinary, and proactive discourse on all aspects of digital transformation within the university and beyond and to support the scientific exchange on methods of artificial intelligence and data-driven research (Data Science) and their application.
The research network involves researchers from the Faculties of Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Medicine, Economics, Theology, and Psychology at the University of Basel, as well as researchers from the University Hospital Basel.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bailer, Prof. Dr. Nadja Braun Binder, PD Dr. Peter Fornaro, Prof. Dr. Maria Katapodi, Christine Meier, Prof. Dr. Volker Roth, Prof. Dr. Fabian Schär, Prof. Dr. Heiko Schuldt
The Sustainable Future (SF) research network strengthens and networks the various research initiatives and projects in the field of sustainability research at the University of Basel across the boundaries of departments and faculties, thus forming a regional center of excellence.
As a socially and strategically important research area, sustainability research requires intensive interdisciplinary cooperation. The network coordinates this collaboration through an intensive exchange between the groups involved (and external partners) and supports the development of larger interdisciplinary research projects. The current focus is on the areas of «non-technical energy research», «(bio-)diversity» and «digitalization» and on the interfaces between these topics.
In addition to the organization of pure research activities, the «Sustainable Future» network is also involved in topic-specific knowledge transfer and public relations work, thereby increasing the visibility of sustainability research at the University of Basel.
Researchers from the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Theology and the Faculty of Psychology are involved in the research network.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Frank C. Krysiak, Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, Prof. Dr. Paul Burger, Andrea Ottolini-Voellmy
Basel Stem Cell Network (BSCN)
Neuroscience Network Basel (NNB)
University of Basel Immunology Community (UBICO)
At the University of Basel Immunology Community (UBICO), numerous research groups deal with topics of basic and translational research. For example, they investigate the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases like arthritis, diabetes or MS, antibiotic resistance and metabolic diseases. Through interactive collaboration of researchers from different disciplines, new therapeutic strategies are developed in connection with clinical medicine.
Director: Prof. Dr. Jean Pieters
Contact: Maja Güntensperger-Heckel
Personalized Health Basel
The Personalized Health Basel (PHB) research initiative is a joint project of the University of Basel, the University Hospital Basel and the University Children's Hospital Basel (UKBB). The network promotes and develops personalized medicine for the benefit of patients, research and society by harmonizing existing processes and establishing new infrastructures in information technology and biobanks. Through research collaboration in national and international networks, the Basel region is increasingly becoming an excellent research hub where the population also benefits from personalized healthcare. The PHB coordinates its strategy and activities with research groups in Zurich within the Personalized Health Alliance Zurich-Basel and is involved in the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN).
Director: Dr. Bram Stieltjes
Contact: Dr. Cristina Golfieri
Interfaculty Platforms and Institutes
At the University of Basel, research groups from various disciplines have joined forces to create synergies through joint activities and to conduct both basic research and develop possible applications. The institutes and platforms offer a broad spectrum of inter- and transdisciplinary research and cooperation.
Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neuroscience
Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI)
The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel is a center of excellence for nanoscience and nanotechnology. It emerged from the National Center of Competence in Research «Nanoscale Science - Impact on Life Sciences, Sustainability, Information and Communication Technologies» (2001-2013) and was founded in 2006 by the Canton of Aargau and the University of Basel to promote research, education and technology transfer in nanosciences and nanotechnology in Northwestern Switzerland.
Director: Prof. Dr. Christian Schönenberger
Contact: Claudia Wirth
Centre for African Studies (ZASB)
The Centre for African Studies Basel (ZASB) is based on a long tradition in the Basel region and is an internationally recognized coordination center of the University of Basel for interdisciplinary African research. It forms an interface for exchange between the various disciplines and faculties as well as the non-university partner institutions in the research network Africa. The Graduate Network African Studies of the ZASB supports doctoral students from different faculties of the University of Basel and coordinates joint activities with other universities in cooperation with the Swiss Society for African Studies (SSAS).
Direction: Dr. Veit Arlt
Contact: Dr. Pascal Schmid
Bernoulli Network for the Behavioral Sciences
eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image
The eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image emerged from the National Center of Competence in Research «Iconic Criticism - The Power and Meaning of Images» (2005-2017) and promotes and develops image-related scientific cooperation between researchers, programs and faculties at the University of Basel. Inter- and transdisciplinary research is conducted in national and international research projects, colloquia and conferences. The eikones Center maintains close relations and research cooperation with the Kunstmuseum and Schaulager.
Director: Prof. Dr. Ralph Ubl
Contact: Friederike Zenker
Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS)
The Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel is an interdisciplinary institute for research and continuing education specializing in the nonprofit sector. It represents a university think tank on the multifaceted topic of philanthropy. Founded on the initiative of SwissFoundations, the association of Swiss grantmaking foundations, it aims to further develop the scientific basis as well as the knowledge of philanthropy. Furthermore, the CEPS offers workshops and coaching for foundations and other non-profit organizations.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Georg von Schnurbein
Contact: Maria Clotilde Henzen
Institute for European Global Studies
At the Europainstitut – Institute for European Global Studies, relations between Switzerland and Europe are studied in a global context, thereby addressing fundamental issues of the 21st century. The researchers of the Europainstitut belong to the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Basel and cultivate interdisciplinarity at a high level. In addition to the regions of Europe and Asia, research is increasingly conducted in the transnational field. The Research Network Digital Humanities promotes collaborative research methods in the field of Digital Humanities and includes research projects of the Research Navigator, an initiative of the Europainstitut and the Department of History in cooperation with the Digital Humanities Lab.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Madeleine Herren-Oesch
Contact: Cornelia Knab
Institute for Biomedical Ethics (IBMB)
The Institute for Biomedical Ethics (IBMB) is a center for research and teaching dealing with ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences. It is affiliated with both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Basel. Research at IBMB is interdisciplinary and addresses topics in biomedical ethics such as new technologies, organ donation, palliative care or research in developing countries.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Bernice Simone Elger
Contact: Anne-Christine Loschnigg
Institute for Educational Sciences