Cantonal universities and federal institutes of technology


Professors in Switzerland have research, management and teaching duties.

  • Ordinary or Full professor: It is a permanent position and it is the highest level in the academic hierarchy.
  • Associate professor: It is a position between assistant and full professor. In general it is a permanent position that allows to the professor to lead his research activity and his group.
  • Assistant professor: It is a time-limited appointment, funded by the Institutions. After 4-6 years of activity the Assistant professor can apply for Associate professorship.
  • SNSF professorship: It is an Assistant professorship funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Each year, 30-40 professorships are granted. To apply, a PhD and between 2 and 9 years of postdoctoral research experience are required.


Before applying for a professorship, the candidate should control the requirements that are outlined in the post description, application guideline and in the faculty’s regulations.

  • To apply for a professorship at a Swiss university, you must hold a PhD degree and demonstrate several years of recognized research experience.
  • Solid teaching experience at the University level is a concrete advantage.
  • In the German speaking part of the Switzerland (as well as in all German speaking countries), it is nice to have the "Habilitation" as a "Privatdozent" (PD). That is a post-doctoral degree. Note that the Habilitation is not required, however it could be an advantage.

A lot of researchers in Switzerland are foreigners, as a consequence, English is often the working language for both research and teaching. It essentially depends on the branches’ best practices. However, candidates speaking at least one of the local languages are more easily integrated into the department’s life. That is indeed convenient!

Remark: sometimes positions are advertised as "open rank position". It means that the final position will be adapted to the level of the selected candidate.


The Professor’s salary varies in Switzerland from place to place. Approximately from CHF 11,000 for an Assistant Professor up to CHF 20,000 per month for a Full Professor (see salary section). The salary must be indicated in the contract of employment and can be negotiated.