1.2. Structure of Paper
2.1. Working Definitions
2.2. Theoretical Framework
- Who are the main entities in Switzerland that conduct R&S4D?
- What are the benefits and/or disadvantages of R&S4D hybrid institutions on personal, institutional, national, and sustainable development levels?
- What are the structural opportunities and/or threats to R&S4D hybrid institutions?
- How could funders of research and development projects in Switzerland and elsewhere foster hybrid activities, if found beneficial?
2.3. Identification of Swiss Research Institutions with Double Competency in R&S4D
2.4. Study Design
2.5. Interviews and Data Analysis
3.1. Participating Entities in Switzerland with Double-Competency in R&S4D
3.2. Strengths and Opportunities of R&S4D Double Competency
3.2.1. Individual Level
“Sandec employs many young people as scientific assistants directly after their MSc without work experience. When they work with Sandec, they gain research related skills (e.g., objectivity and structured workflow), but they also learn very strongly how to interact with partners and how to coordinate and manage projects and field work with partners. That is what NGOs like—young people with relevant 3–5 years of experience who can get started straight away with all desired skills in development that you would otherwise gain within another NGO”.(Representative, Sandec)
3.2.2. Project Level
“Some implementation programs continue on what has been done for 20 years not adapting to the newest insights and developments”.(Representative, Empa TSL)
“Ebola, SARS, COVID-19—the whole stimulus that one has to do surveillance-response in research, was by public health action and not academics…Many development needs have, in principle, nothing to do with science but they are now shaping scientific questions”.(Representative, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences)
3.2.3. Entity Level
“If you look at the institute in purely economic terms, than the services sector is more lucrative. You can move back into operating in the black more quickly with service activities than with research activities. This is a good temporary strategy if the aim is purely financial at any point in time”.(Representative, IZB)
“Often, through services, we know about projects and from there sometimes we have topics that come up for research for our Master students, making the link between services, applied research, and teaching”.(Representative, HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute)
“Advantage of integrating local universities is that they have a large degree of thematic and sectorial expertise. You have direct access to students which are often the driving/executing forces—they are the ones that go to checkpoints, demonstrate and act as change makers in settings where all other institutions have lost their legitimacy”.(Representative, swisspeace)
3.2.4. Level of Global Sustainable Development
“Conversations and first stage co-design of projects are often led by “hybrid” persons taking over a bridging function to bring persons from both sides [research and services] on board. Hybrid persons often foster connections between departments and mandates, i.e., research and development, services, and education”.(Representative, IZB)
|Benefits to Individuals|
|Benefits to Projects|
|Benefits to Entities|
|Benefits to Sustainable Development|
3.2.5. Weaknesses and Threats
“Most of us have been working here for more than 10 years. We stay because we have a good employer. The activities we are doing are at the margin of what a university hospital in Switzerland is supposed to do. The university hospital exist to care for the patient of the canton first. Consequently, there is no institutional career path for us. However, we are dedicated people and that is probably why people are not moving. It is not like any other job”.(Representative, Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine)
“Often people are staying at swisspeace for longer periods because they can do both [research and services] and do not need to decide. swisspeace is known for this combined approach and offers doing both activities on a high level. It is therefore a very attractive place for mixed-approach people that are driven by dedication to context. There are not many alternative employers in Switzerland. The one thing that is missing at swisspeace is a clear career path—you can’t really move up the career ladder”.(Representative, swisspeace)
|Risks to Acquiring Bad Habits in a Service-Minded State that Affect Research|
|Risks that Research Negatively Affects Services|
|Risks and Challenges to Aligning Research and Services|
|Lack of Hybrid Career Path and Jobs in Switzerland|
3.3. Strategies to Maximise the Benefits of R&S4D Double Competency and Areas of Improvement at Swiss Research Entities
“Hybrid persons mediate, while purely service/research persons are necessary to inform and provoke. People who are solely in research or services are sometimes very provocative but sometimes they stir things up in a positive way. If you only employ hybrid persons, you create a form of monoculture producing a system without the possibility to accommodate individuals thinking outside the box. At the moment, however, there are not enough people in hybrid function and too many that polarize”.(Representative, IZB)
“A good arrangement would be to have people that work certain % in services and certain % in research; however, the career structures [referring to the academic career demands] currently do not allow”.(Representative, Swiss TPH)
3.4. Funding for R&S4D
“When it comes to applied/implementation research internationalization, you need combined support from SDC [Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation], from SECO [State Secretariat for Economic Affairs], and from SERI [State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation]. So potential federal support is very heterogeneous, and probably many directors of schools and especially individual research staff may feel it is too complicated. Especially if they have no previous international exposure and they have to start from scratch”.(Representative, HES-SO)
|More Opportunities for R&S4D Hybrid Work Are Needed|
|Better Support Individuals in Their R&S Double Function|
|Give More Consideration to Local Partners|
4.1. Institutional R&S4D Strategies
4.2. Strengths and Weaknesses of a Combined R&S4D Approach
4.3. R&S4D Careers and Funding
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Institution||Entity||No. of Staff at Entity||Research Foci|
|École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)||Cooperation and Development Centre (CODEV) a||28||Energy, sustainable habitats, disaster risk reduction, information and communications technology, MedTech|
|École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)||Excellence in Africa Initiative (EXAF)||4–6||Diverse|
|Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa)||Technology and Society Laboratory (Empa TSL)||12||Waste and secondary resources management, circular economy|
|Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag)||Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development (Sandec)||15–25||Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), waste research|
|Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)||Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)||500||Forrest, snow and landscape research|
|Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)||Department of Environmental Systems Sciences—Transdisciplinary Lab (USYS TDLab)||10–15||Transdisciplinary platform|
|Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)||Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED)||10–12||Climate modelling|
|Universities of Applied Sciences|
|University of Applied Sciences Bern||HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute||b||Agricultural, forestry and food sciences|
|University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)||Centre for Development and Cooperation||28||WASH, health, migration, habitat and energy|
|University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne (HSLU)||Competence Center for Regional Economics (IBR)||19||Regional economics|
|University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO)||International Research Programme “Entrepreneurship and Appropriate Technologies for Developing and Emerging Countries”||NI||Diverse|
|University of Applied Sciences Zurich (ZHAW)||Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)||>3000||Diverse|
|University of Teacher Education Zug (PH Zug)||Institute for International Cooperation in Education (IZB)||8–12||Educational research|
|Cantonal Universities and affiliated Institutions|
|University of Basel||Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)||800||Biological, epidemiological and medical sciences|
|University of Basel||Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH), Swiss TPH||50–100||Health systems support, health service delivery|
|University of Basel||swisspeace||55||Mediation, dealing with the past, statehood|
|University of Bern||Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)||100–110||Land resources, governance, climate change, economies|
|Geneva University Hospitals (HUG)||Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine||30||Non-communicable and neglected tropical diseases, One Health|
|Relative Level of Services||Structure of Entity||Entities|
|Low||Research is clearly prioritised over services. Only teaching, training-related services or minor short-term assignments (e.g., expert opinions) are being conducted||CODEV, EXAF, WSL|
|Low–medium||Research and services are being conducted but research is prioritised. Researchers are employed to do both and often contribute with research expertise when involved in services||Eawag/Sandec, USYS TDLab|
|Medium–high||Research and services are conducted at a similar priority. The research spectrum ranges from applied to basic. There are three different staff profiles: (i) researchers; (ii) consultants; and (iii) hybrids doing both|
|CDE, Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, Empa TSL, IZB, swisspeace|
|High||Research and services are conducted at a similar priority. In addition, the research focuses on applied research. Often, staff members work by a combined approach. Per statutes obliged to offer services as part of their educational mandate *||Centre for Development and Cooperation, ZHAW, HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute|
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