4 May 2023

Together with EUPATI Switzerland, the Department of Clinical Research has developed a course for patients and their representatives that aims to introduce participants to patientoriented research and motivate them to take part in shaping new research projects.

What is evidence-based medicine? How does research work? What are the standards for sound scientific practices? And finally, how can patients incorporate their perspectives on a particular disease into the planning and design of new research projects? These are the main contents of the new training course to become an EUPATI Switzerland patient expert (see box for details), which is taking place for the first time this week at the University Hospital Basel. The course is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS).


Competent contributors

Graduates of the course will be able to exchange ideas with physicians and researchers to formulate the needs and expectations of patients for research and thus make it more relevant to patients. It is another DKF initiative to promote and advance Patient & Public Involvement (PPI). To ensure that the course meets the needs of its target audience, patient representatives from EUPATI Switzerland have collaborated in the creation of the course. It will take place for the first time at the University Hospital Basel from May to December 2023. 23 participants have enrolled, which means that the course is larger than originally planned.The majority of the participants come from northwestern Switzerland and the Zurich area. About two thirds have already experience with the topic of patient involvement in research and some represent a patient organisation.


Building bridges between researchers and patients

The course will include experts from clinical research and organisations that have long been committed to foster patient participation in research: Swiss Clinical Trial Organization (SCTO), Swiss Association for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Patient Lab Lausanne, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) as well as patient organisations (RheumaCura, SELMAS). The course emphasis is placed on the exchange and the networking among participants, but also between participants, researchers and the organisations. Thus, the training course can become an active platform for future collaboration.


Extension is planned

Further courses are planned after the experiences from the first round have been collected and implemented. The course materials will also be made available to other organisers upon request. There is already interest from Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva. The aim is to familiarise as many patients or people close to patients with medical research and its personal and social relevance. Should they become enthusiastic about active participation in research, they can positively influence the quality of future research results.


Training course
EUPATI CH patient expert

Course structure
6 modules, each consisting of an online course combined with classroom training

  • Basics about research on humans
  • Ethical and legal aspects with focus on Switzerland
  • Research priorities and study methodology
  • Implementation of ethical and legal guidelines
  • Informing and communicating
  • Transfer of new findings into practice

Course location
University Hospital Basel

Number of participants

Course management
Daniel Hammes, PhD, Senior Scientific Officer, DKF

Barbara Peters, PhD, Head of Education and Training, DKF

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS)

Further Information
Course description