Ph.D. Positions in Health System, Care and Labour
Scadenza: 07 February 2021
The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), as part of the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS) and its capacity building goals, is opening two fulltime positions for PhD Students in Health Systems, Care, and Labour at the Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care (DEASS).
Starting date: by March, 1st 2021 or by agreement. Employment rate: 100%.

The SLHS is a collaborative project between ten academic partner institutions (Universities of Basel, Lucerne, Lugano, Neuchatel, St. Gallen and Zurich, Bern University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland, Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Unisanté Lausanne). The SLHS aims to build scientific capacity and bridge research, policy and practice by means of structured dialogues between different stakeholders. This is intended to foster the development and continuous integration of research-based solutions to current and future challenges in the health system.

The successful applicants will enrol in a PhD programme provided by one of the Universities participating in the SLHS initiative. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to enrol in one of the PhD programmes offered by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+;

Hiring will be finalised contingent upon the programme receiving confirmation of funding from the SHK Higher University Council, expected in mid-January 2021.


  • Attend the courses required by the PhD programme of enrolment, as well as the courses required by the SLHS programme and possible additional courses useful for the research project.
  • Run health policy and health services research as part of the PhD project.
  • Contribute actively to the activities of the SLHS (in particular, the development of policy briefs and the preparation and conduct of stakeholder dialogues).
  • Publish outputs of the doctoral research project in scientific journals.
  • Eventual contribution to teaching activities, to administrative activities and to supervision of Bachelor students.


  • A Master of Science/Arts degree in a relevant field (see below, specific sections PhD position nr. 1 and nr. 2).
  • Strong interest in and motivation for interdisciplinary research work.
  • Skills in the use of databases.
  • Experience in literature reviews and good writing skills.
  • Ability to communicate and write effectively in English and, at least, in one of the Swiss national languages (Italian, German, or French).
  • Result-driven commitment and adaptability to change.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Experience in the field of health systems or health institutions would be a preferential criterion.

PhD Position n.1
Area of research: The role and impact of supplementary insurance in the Swiss health system.


PhD Position n.2

Area of research: Transformations of long-term care work in Ticino canton.
The candidate will be expected to define a focused set of research questions with her/his supervisors, within the following possible areas:

  1. organizational context, financing and governance of nursing homes (including participation);
  2. quality of care work;
  3. health at work;
  4. articulation between professional care work and family care work;
  5. coping strategies and, where relevant, life paths following inability to work.


  • Master of Science/Arts degree in either Economics, Sociology, Social Policy, Public Health, Political Science or related field.
  • Good knowledge (CEFR level B2/C1) of Italian is required from the second year of enrolment in the doctoral programme.
  • PhD programme: the candidate will apply for enrolment in the doctoral program of a Swiss university participating in the SLHS programme; the university will be determined based on the focus of the research proposal.

We offer

  • Opportunity to actively participate in the public health community in Switzerland and to contribute to the development of the department's applied research activities.
  • Dynamic, constantly evolving work environment; the successful applicants will be part of a motivated team with members coming from a range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Promotion of diversity and of equal opportunities in employment.
  • All employment decisions are made entirely on merit.
  • Contract position with a maximum duration of 4 years.
  • Salary according to the indications of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Documents required for application

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Motivation letter.
  • Academic transcripts.
  • 2-page research project (in English) on a topic of interest to the candidate (even if not related to the two topics described for positions n. 1 and n. 2).

Additional information

The requirements for this function are published within the “Direttive interne SUPSI” (direttiva 4) and within “Regolamento del personale SUPSI” on the Italian website.

For further information please contact:
Carlo De Pietro

All applications have to be submitted electronically by the 07.02.2021 via the official online form.
Applications which are incomplete or sent after the deadline will not be considered.