SSI/ISID Fellowships
ISID and the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases (SSI) jointly sponsor the SSI/ISID Infectious Diseases Research Fellowship Program.

The purpose of this Fellowship Program is to support infectious disease physicians and scientists from under-resourced countries through multidisciplinary clinical and laboratory training at select biomedical institutions in Switzerland. The objectives of the Fellowship Program are:
  • to train promising young physicians and scientists from under-resourced countries for clinical and research positions in infectious diseases
  • to foster partnerships between Fellows and infectious disease leaders in Switzerland
  • to increase scientific research capacity in under-resourced/high disease burden countries

Opportunities for training and research in a variety of areas ranging from basic studies of the mechanism of disease to studies in public health, epidemiology, diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccine development, are available through this program.

The term of the Fellowship is for one year. The start date of the will be determined by arrangement between the host institution and the Fellow.

A financial stipend of up to 36,000 SF per year (approximately $35,500 USD) will be given to Fellows to cover travel costs and living expenses.  The program intends to award two fellowships every year.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Language skills of French or German may be necessary according to the institution chosen. English fluencey will be sufficient for researchers. French and German are required for clinical fellows. Specific eligibility requirements for each site is listed below.
Training Sites
SSI/ISID Fellows will be placed at one of five collaborating research centers in Switzerland according to technical interests and skills. All infectious diseases programs at each institution offer experience in clinical infectious diseases, including HIV, and microbiology. The technical research interests at each site include:
  • Berne: The centre features a functional combination of ID service, hospital infection control and comprehensive microbiology laboratory covering all aspects of infectious diseases at the largest hospital group of Switzerland (Insel Group Hospitals) with daily interactions of all involved specialties and laboratories on a daily base for improved patient care. Together we form an ESCMID Collaborative Centre
    The Department of Infectious Diseases has three overlapping services:
    • ID Consultation Service (3 teams 7x24hrs) for all departments and specialties in the tertiary-care academic and associated hospitals with daily rounds in ICU and neutropenia wards. The ID department has no ID ward or ID beds, but performs ID consultation on all hospital wards (
    • Infection prevention unit: Infection control and hospital epidemiology service for the entire Insel Group and participation in the Swissnoso framework
    • Outpatient ID Clinic including general ID outpatient service and a special focus on HIV medicine and STDs; travel, tropical and migration medicine; and consultations within the city´s drug substitution – harm reduction programs.

    The ID department’s research focuses on clinical aspects and epidemiology of infectious diseases, lab facilities are in the partner Institute for Infectious Diseases (IFIK). Main research areas are 
    ·         HIV-Medicine e.g. within the framework of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and international collaborations with special emphasis on HIV/Hepatitis co-infection, opportunistic infections and migration
    ·         Transplant infections within the framework of the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study
    ·         Infection control and hospital epidemiology research projects within Insel Group and the Swissnoso framework

    The Institute for Infectious Diseases IFIK is the only university institute in Switzerland covering the entire spectrum of microbiology, including virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, molecular diagnostic and infection serology integrated in comprehensive diagnostic services, research, and education. The IFIK provides the entire spectrum of microbial diagnostic services for patient care in private practices and public hospitals including the Insel Group, the largest hospital group in Switzerland. The diagnostic service is recognized by the regulatory body Swissmedic and accredited according ISO/IEC 17025, (STS 0363). The IFIK is home to the Swiss National Reference Centre for Pneumococci and to the Swiss National Centre for Antibiotic Resistance mandated by the Federal Office of Public Health.
    Institute for Infectious Diseases (IFIK) research projects focus on
    ·         antimicrobial resistance
    ·         infections of the central nervous system
    ·         host-microbiome interactions and infections of the intestine and airways

    Collaborative research involving the entire spectrum of infectious diseases – Zimmerli S, Thurnheer C, Hirzel C.
    Research projects within the framework of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and international collaborations
    HIV/ Hepatitis co-infections – Rauch A, Wandeler G, Béguelin C;
    Opportunistic infections – Furrer H;
    STDs – Hauser C;
    Migration and HIV – Staehelin C.
    Infection control and hospital epidemiology research projects within Insel Goup and the Swissnoso framework – Marschall J, Sommerstein R, Buetti N.
    Swiss Transplant Cohort Study – Hirzel C, Walti L.
    Gram negatives, Antibiotic resistance – Ediminai A.
    National centre for antibiotic resistance; – Kronenberg A.
    Molecular diagnostics, Bioinformatics / biostatistics – Ramette A.
    Leib / D. Grandgirard: Neuroinfections – Leib S., Grandgirard D.
    Hathaway: Pneumococcal biology – Hathaway L.
    Streptococcal biology; biofilm – Sendi P.
    Gut microbiome – Hapfelmeier S.
    Respiratory Microbiome / National centre for pneumococci – Hilty M.
    Moraxella / vaccine – Aebi C.

    Eligibility criteria 
    Clinical work excellent language skills in German (oral and written) and French (oral) mandatory Research: English

    Department for Infectious Diseases, Bern University Hospital:
    Institute for Infectious Diseases:,

  • Geneva: General clinical infectious diseases in adults. Access to specific expertise or units specialized in HIV, infections in transplant patients, antibiotic stewardship or emerging viruses. Access to clinical microbiology labs and possibilities to participate to clinical research. Close collaborations with other Divisions specialized in Tropical Medicine, Infection Control or Pediatrics (Kaiser L, A Calmy, Schrenzel J, van Delden C, B Huttner, S Harbarth)

    Requirements: For clinical work excellent language skills in French (oral and written) are mandatory and for research English is a requirement.

  • Lausanne:
    Antibiotic stewardship
    Monitoring of antibiotic use
    Outpatient antibiotic therapy
    Diagnosis and management of community-acquired pneumonia 
    Complicated bone and joint infections
    Surgical implant associated-infections
    Septic surgery
    Diagnostic microbiology (MALDI-TOF, automation, molecular diagnosis)
    Infections in immunocompromised hosts
    Transplant infectious diseases, vaccination in immunocompromised patients
    Innate immunity
    Immunogenetics of infectious diseases and genetic epidemiology
    Infections in critically-ill and ICU patients
    Ventilator associated pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    Invasive fungal infections
    Molecular epidemiology of nosocomial infections
    Emerging infections
    Infections due to intracellular bacteria (Chlamydiae, Coxiella...)
    Clostridium difficile, fecal microbiota transplantation
    HIV medicine (neuro-HIV, adherence)
    Pediatric infectious diseases and vaccinology (infections among immunocompromised patients, children with cystic fibrosis)
    Congenital infections (cCMV)
    Travel medicine and vaccinology
    Investigators: Asner S, Bochud PY, Boillat-Blanco N, Calandra T, Cavassini M, de Valliere S, Galperine T, Genton B, Giulieri S, Greub G, Guery B, Lamoth F, Manuel O, Roger T, Senn L, Zanetti G

    Requirements:For clinical work very good language skills in French (oral and written) are mandatory and for research English is a requirement.

  • Basel: Infectious diseases and Hospital epidemiology. Full clinical service in all areas of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiology; Pathophysiologal and clinical research including health economy in following aereas: HIV clinical and pharmacological research in collaboration with Ifakara, Tansania and Lesotho, Subsaharan Africa and the Swiss HIV Cohort Study Group: pathogenesis and course of disease in transplant infectious diseases, Hospital Epidemiology. 
    (Battegay M, Widmer A, Khanna N, Tschudin Sutter S, Weisser M, Labhardt N, Stoeckle M, Marzolini C)

    Requirements: For clinical work excellent language skills in German (oral and written) are mandatory and for research English is a requirement.


  • Zurich: The overall focus of our research program is on infectious diseases and comprises studies of the pathogen, associated immune responses, pathogenesis, therapy and epidemiology and involves basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological research.
    Our basic and translational research groups focus on investigating the interplay between pathogens and the human host with a particular focus on viral and bacterial infections. Our current research projects investigate human infections with HIV, HCV, EBV, CMV, Influenza, Group A streptococcus, and other bacteria.
    (Senior scientists: Huldrych Günthard, Karin Metzner, Roberto Speck, Nicolas Müller and Annelies Zinkernagel.)
    Our epidemiology group focuses primarily on long term treatment aspects of antiretroviral therapy, such as treatment outcome, side effects and toxicity. Lately, HIV/HCV and HIV/HBV coinfections are studied more intensly as hepatic infections have a major impact on survival for patients receiving highly successful anti-HIV therapies. Furthermore, liver disease in general is being studied in HIV-infected patients because it may also be drug related. Many of these studies are performed in the framework of the Swiss HIV cohort study.
    (Senior scientists: Roger Kouyos, Huldrych Günthard, and Rainer Weber).
    Our infection control group investigates risk factors and the impact of nosocomial infections. 
    (Senior scientists: Hugo Sax and Stefan Kuster).
    Our clinical research program includes phase II and III trials of new therapeutic drugs against infectious diseases. An additional strong focus is on improving and evaluating established treatment strategies in particular also with regard to emergence of HIV drug resistance. We have also intensified our collaborative efforts with cardiac, vascular and orthopedic surgeons to study endocarditis, vascular graft and orthopedic implant infections.
    (Senior scientists: Barbara Hasse, Helen Kovari, Yvonne Achermann, Jan Fehr, and Rainer Weber).
    Eligibility criteria
    - Clinical work: excellent language skills in German (oral and written) mandatory
    - Research: English

The program is open to applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of under-resourced countries or Eastern Europe.  Applicants should have a M.D. or a Ph.D in a relevant field and should hold a position at a medical, research, or public health institution.  An endorsement by the home institution is required for participation in the program.

Applications should be made through our on-line submisson system:

Applications will be reviewed by a joint SSI and ISID committee. Selection will be based on the applicant's academic potential, career plans, previous clinical/research experience, letters of reference, and relevance of training to home institution and home country. Personal interviews will be arranged with selected applicants as the final step in the application process.

The annual application deadline for Fellowship applications is 1 April.

Questions or requests additional information should be directed to: