Thanks for your interest in EuroScholars, a unique research study abroad program in Europe. In each edition, this newsletter aims to keep you updated with the latest program developments!
IN THIS ISSUE:
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: University of Zurich
The University of Zurich at a glance –
The largest university and the broadest range of courses in Switzerland
The University of Zurich was founded in 1833, though its origins stretch back as far as 1525 and the days of protestant reformer Ulrich Zwingli. Today the University enjoys international renown as a place of education and research. Two thousand lecturers in 140 special institutes provide the broadest range of subjects and courses available from any Swiss seat of higher education. With over 25,000 students and 1,900 graduates every year, the University of Zurich is also Switzerland’s largest university. The University provides academic services, works with the private sector and considers itself part of a national and global network for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge.
The University of Zurich’s international reputation is based on groundbreaking research, particularly in molecular biology, brain research and anthropology, and on the work of the University Hospital and Veterinary Hospital.
The University’s researchers, lecturers and students benefit from the infrastructure that Zurich provides as a Centre of teaching and research. Apart from its own institutions, the University offers its members access to archive collections, libraries and the facilities of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), as well as to the city’s private institutions. Nine museums and collections, covering subjects from anthropology to zoology, constitute yet another valuable academic resource.
More information: http://www.euroscholars.eu/universities/zurich.htm
The University Hospital Zurich –
One of many possibilities for EuroScholars students to gain research experience in a professional team at the University of Zurich
The University Hospital Zurich is one of the largest and most important teaching hospitals in Europe. With its 42 departments and institutes, the hospital is renowned for its achievements in health care, research and teaching, as well as for compassionate care. It offers state-of-the-art treatment for a broad range of illnesses, provided by a dedicated team of leading consultants of the highest international standing. The hospital’s philosophy is to bring together expertise and technology in the most efficient and sensitive way possible.
The Department of Rheumatology/Institute of Physical Medicine is one department where EuroScholars students have the chance to gain research experience. It offers a comprehensive spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic services covering the complete area of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The Department accounts for several areas of specialization that are highly appreciated by referring physicians, Departments within the University Hospital and outside hospitals. More than 8,000 patients are seen each year. For the years 2005 – 2010 the Department has been elected as “Centre of Excellence in Rheumatology”. The department is one of Europe’s largest combining Rheumatology and Physical Medicine. It is widely recognized for its excellence through tight linkage from basic and clinic research to patient care. In the fall term 2010, two EuroScholars will work on individual research projects in the Department of Rheumatology/Institute of Physical Medicine. With the research projects “Dissecting the Function of Hypoxia-inducible Prolyl-4-hydroxylases (PHDs) in Oxygen Metabolism” and “Roles of posttranslational modifications in the control of the activity of the human exonuclease I” EuroScholars’ students are offered two additional opportunities to do research in the field of medicine and biomedical science.
Apart from these projects, the EuroScholars research projects of the University of Zurich cover the fields of biology, chemistry and social sciences.
More information: https://koala.leidenuniv.nl/euro/oa/EuroScholars.php
Research at the University of Zurich
The University of Zurich is well known for its research excellence, which is mirrored in the extensive amount of research cooperation’s and the excellent rank 54 in the worldwide Shanghai Ranking 2009. The University of Zurich aims at strengthening its research with several instruments. Two crucial measures are the University Research Priority Programs and the Centres of Competence.
University Research Priority Programs
In order to strengthen the leading position of the UZH in scientific research, the Executive Board of the university has, in line with its strategic development, established University Research Priority Programs (URPP). These programs complement the existing elements of research priority programs at the university.
URPP build on excellent research expertise already present at the university. They are interdisciplinary and cross-faculty and promote collaboration within the university. Additionally, they strongly support the academic career development of young researchers. Currently, the following six URPP engage in excellent research: Asia and Europe; Ethics; Foundations of Human Social Behavior: Altruism and Egoism; Integrative Human Physiology; Systems Biology/Functional Genomics.
More information: http://www.uzh.ch/research/priorityprograms/university_en.html
Centres of Competence
At the end of the 1990s, strategic considerations prompted the Swiss Federal Council to commission the Swiss National Science Foundation to establish a new specific support action for innovative research, the National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR). The idea behind them was to strengthen Switzerland's long-term position in the world of research, especially in those areas that are particularly relevant to the development of business and the economy and in which a high level of competence already exists.
The concept dictates that each NCCR comprises one centre of competence at a university or similar academic research institute and a network of associated partner institutions. This creates synergies and promotes innovation where the various disciplines and research groups overlap, thus directly increasing Switzerland's competitiveness. In especially future-driven areas, the NCCRs' role is to ensure the highest scientific quality, while also supporting academic career development and promoting knowledge and technology transfer.
The University of Zurich is the home institution of five National Centres of Competence in Research and thus unites the most areas under one roof: NCCR Democracy, NCCR FINRISK, NCCR Mediality, NCCR Neuro, NCCR Structural Biology. Apart from this, the University of Zurich is involved with another eleven NCCR.
More information: http://www.uzh.ch/research/priorityprograms/national_en.html
New Centre of Competence founded
In 2010, a new Centre of Competence has been founded. It links the fields of medicine, ethics and law (Kompetenzzentrum Medizin – Ethik – Recht Helvetiae (MERH). During the last decades, developments in biomedical sciences have challenged social norms, ethical and legal boundaries. Cloning, end of life decisions, embryonic stem cell research, assisted reproductive technologies are only some of the issues that have triggered ongoing political, philosophical, and legal debates. There is an increasing need for experts in biomedical ethics and law who can adequately address the emerging issues at the national and international level. The MERH aims at strengthening research and teaching at the interface of the three mentioned fields at the University of Zurich as well as other Higher Education Institutions in Switzerland and abroad.
Spring 2010 MidStay Program - Student Report
EuroScholars alumna, Kerri Hunter, studied at the University of Helsinki during the spring 2010 semester. Here she writes about the MidStay program hosted by the University of Zurich.
The midstay program in Zurich was so much fun! Switzerland is not a place I was planning to go to while studying in Europe and so I am really glad that it was the location chosen for the trip as it gave me an opportunity to explore somewhere new. And it was great to finally meet the other EuroScholars.
The academic part of the trip was really interesting. I loved seeing the buildings of the downtown campus; the architecture is very unique. The opportunity to present our own research was useful in that I think it helped me to better understand the goals and purpose of my research project. It also gave me much needed practice with public speaking. Listening to the other EuroScholars’ presentations was very interesting and I loved how different everyone’s projects were. The presentations by the PhD students were also informative. Visiting their labs was a nice bonus as we got to see some of the research facilities at the University of Zurich for ourselves and learn a lot more about the ongoing research there. They were very enthusiastic about their research and it got us excited too.
Visiting Bern was my first time on a long distance train which was really fun since we were able to meet some other European students. They were very nice and made sure to include us in everything even though we were the newcomers. The tour of parliament was interesting, as Switzerland’s parliament is set up very differently from the system I am used to in Canada.
My favorite day of the program was the final day when we went sight-seeing. We got to travel up the river to Lake Zurich. The weather was finally sunny and warm so this trip on little boats was even better. Later that day, we walked through Old Town and visited all the main tourist attractions. Overall, it was a very fun day.
Because we had contacts in Zurich who took us out to dinner and sightseeing, we got to see a lot more of Zurich than a typical tourist would. I love visiting any new place and Zurich was no exception. The central location of our hotel also allowed us to do some sightseeing on our own. I would like to thank the staff at the International Centre at the University of Zurich for putting together such an awesome program for us and making it a really great experience.
And of course we cannot forget the volcano eruption and the craziness that ensued when all European airspace was closed, adding pretty much a whole other trip in trying to get back home to Finland! For the record, it took me and another student 6 trains, 2 taxis, 1 bus, 1 subway, and 1 ferry to get back from Zurich to Helsinki. But what an adventure, and definitely something I will always remember.
READ MORE ABOUT KERRI'S SEMESTER http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/science/1091.htm