Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund

With resources from the Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund, the SAMS has supported research projects in biomedical ethics – particularly clinical and public health ethics – since 2006. The annual call for proposals is either thematically open (and primarily addressed to young researchers) or restricted to a specific topic.

2018 call for proposals: «Coercion in medical practice»

In medical practice, coercion can take a wide variety of forms, ranging from explicitly coercive measures to implicit coercion. Any use of force runs counter to the principle of respect for autonomy, but there are certain medical situations in which coercive measures are unavoidable. To date, legal/ethical discussions and empirical studies have focused in particular on the application of coercive measures in psychiatry, in the management of elderly patients dependent on care or in custodial settings. Coercive measures in other areas, such as intensive care or obstetrics, are less well researched. For this year’s awards from the KZS Fund – in the event of applications of equal quality – preference will be given to projects addressing less well studied areas.


Funding and framework

For the 2018 KZS Fund call for proposals, a total of CHF 250'000.– is available. Support is to be provided for empirical or theoretical research projects investigating the topic of «Coercion in medical practice» from an ethical, philosophical, social scientific or medical perspective. Projects must be of relevance to Switzerland and must be in the planning stage; funding will not be provided for projects already underway.


In 2015, the SAMS published medical-ethical guidelines on «Coercive measures in medicine», designed to raise awareness of this sensitive issue and to provide guidance for physicians, nurses and other therapists. These guidelines take into account the provisions of the child and adult protection law which came into effect in 2013. The Central Ethics Committee of the SAMS will monitor the research projects which receive funding: the results should, as far as possible, deliver added value for the planned evaluation of the guidelines on «Coercive measures in medicine».


Use of grants

The amounts awarded are variable – i.e. applications can be made either for the entire amount available (CHF 250’000.–) or for more modest grants. Decisions will be based on the coherence of the project goals, planning and budget. Grants are generally awarded for a maximum period of 2 years; requests for longer-term support must be justified in the application. Funding can be used to finance project costs and/or to cover salary costs for the principal applicant.



Applications meeting the formal requirements will be evaluated by the KZS Committee of the SAMS in accordance with the criteria defined in the KZS Fund Regulations and specified in the 2018 call for proposals. The Committee will decide whether support is to be provided for one or more than one research project. Decisions will be communicated by 20 December 2018.


Submission of applications

Applications (in German, French or English) must be registered online. Details on the format and procedure for submission can be found on the registration page.


Submission deadline: 15 August 2018

Earliest project start (at the beginning of a month): 1 January 2019


Downloads and links


Dr. Myriam Tapernoux
Head of Department