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Faculty of Law

Welcome info for junior researchers in the Faculty of Law

Dear junior researchers,

We are pleased that you have decided to pursue a PhD thesis in law. You have a large project ahead of you, and we hope it will be an enjoyable and inspiring time that you can later look back on with happiness and pride. To help you find your feet with your new tasks and how our faculty works, the Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development has put together this easy-to-navigate document with the most important bits of information that you are likely to need in your first few weeks and months. 

The majority of this ‘Welcome info’ has been researched by Jasmina Bukovac, Teaching and Research Assistant and PhD Candidate, who brings together the most common reference management programs, presents platforms for initial publication and shows the ways in which you can network with your academic colleagues. We would like to thank her for her time and effort.

Of particular value is her overview of the institutions that publish PhD theses in law. You will find detailed information on the requirements of each publisher, open-access opportunities, costs and publication templates. Since publication templates can vary significantly from publisher to publisher, we recommend that you look into how you plan to publish your thesis at an early stage so that you are already using the ‘right’ template when you enter your writing phase.

As you will well know, things are in a constant state of flux and this guide is no exception – what you see here is not set in stone. If you have any suggestions for additions to the guide or spot anything that needs to be corrected, we would be grateful if you could make us aware of this by contacting us at:

We would like to wish you all the best for your research project. We hope you enjoy the special time that lies ahead and will allow you to concentrate on your very own research interests.

Vice Dean's Office for Research and Academic Career Development
February 2023

Tools for drafting your PhD thesis – Reference management

It is common to use a reference management program when drafting your thesis. We have listed a few reference management programs below, along with a brief description of each: More details information can be found on the UZH website:  (link).

  • Citavi: only compatible with Windows; sharing via Citavi Web; task planning; ‘Knowledge Organizer’ (link) 
  • JabRef: compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux; intuitive user interface for native processing of .bib files for BibTeX and BibLaTex; ‘cite-as-you-write’ function for Emacs, LyX, Texmaker, TeXstudio and more; OpenOffice/LibreOffice integration; no add-in available for quoting directly in Word(link)
  • EndNote: sharing via EndNote online account; PDF management; automatically search for PDFs; customisable referencing styles; multiple repositories available; rather complex program (link)
  • EndNote Basic: web-based; easy-to-manage references; multiple referencing styles; PDF management is cumbersome (link)
  • Mendeley: compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux; intuitive; integrated PDF viewer; automatic synchronisation with Web Library; is currently being reworked and can sometimes result in issues with functionality (link)
  • Zotero: compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux; intuitive; good import quality from library catalogues/databases; open source; small, free web-based storage space (300 MB) (link)

Time recording

Holidays and absences are managed by the holder of the professorial chair. Generally speaking, academic staff may choose to keep a voluntary employee time sheet or holiday table, but the holder of the professorial chair may require this to be done. However, it is recommended that you keep a time sheet  so that you can maintain an overview of the number of hours of protected research time you have actually undertaken.

Common rooms

In addition to the general common rooms E-057 and E-059, another break room (J-003) is available to junior researchers at Rämistrasse 74; this is open to all of those working in the Faculty of Law.

Advice in the event of conflicts

If the event of a conflict between junior researchers and supervisors that cannot be resolved between the two parties, the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development is on hand as a point of contact (link).

UZH has implemented Regulations for Protection against Sexual Harassment. It is expected that all members of the university will treat each other with respect. UZH is able to offer advice in the event of sexual harassment. The Regulations, the names of contact persons and other relevant information can be found here:(link).

The Employee Assistance Office (MBS) offers psychological and legal advice to UZH employees in the event of harassment at the workplace (link).


The UB Law is a reference library offering restricted lending. Employees of the Faculty of Law are permitted to borrow from the library. PhD candidates with a personally assigned study space may also apply for permission to borrow from the library.

UB Law location (opening times, reserving study spaces, lockers, library systems, applying for a long-term study space)

Subject-specific support for law (courses, tutorials and workshops on research and on writing and publishing, access to information sources, blogs)

Library catalogues in UB and ZB Zurich:  The central point of reference for research into the collections of the University Library Zurich (UB) and the Zentralbibliothek Zurich (ZB) is swisscovery UB and ZB Zurich. Titles purchased and licensed by the UB and the ZB can be found in swisscovery, as can publications from UZH researchers.

You can also use swisscovery to order media for collection from publicly accessible locations (not UB Law). For a fee, you can also choose to have media sent to a specific library by SLSP Courier or to your home by post. Note: In addition to physical resources that can be borrowed, swisscovery also offers electronic resources that may also be included in your search results, if available (link).

For afee, media can also be delivered on interlibrary loan from any library in Switzerland or abroad.

Not registered yet? Link to register with SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform)

UB Law – borrowing, returns and renewals: Media from UB Law can be taken out of the library using the self-service book issue machine on the raised ground floor and on the 6th floor (south-side gallery). Media can be returned and loan periods extended at the front desk, which is staffed during regular opening hours.

Long-term study spaces for PhD candidates (UB Law): PhD candidates in law may apply for a long-term study space, which gives access to the 7th floor of the library. PhD candidates are issued a shelf for their personal use(link to application for long-term study space).

Long-term lockers: Long-term lockers can be rented for a period of six months at a cost of CHF 20.00. The application form for a long-term locker can be collected at the library’s front desk.

Contact: The details of contact persons (librarian liaison team management) for junior researchers can be found here:link.

Doctorate as part of a Cotutelle de thèse project

There is an option to complete your PhD thesis as part of a Cotutelle de thèse project. These projects are based on cooperation between UZH and a university abroad, with this cooperation being set out under a cotutelle agreement. The PhD thesis is completed under two supervisors. This results in two diplomas in which reference is made to the fact that the thesis has been completed as part of a Cotutelle de thèse project. More information can be found link.

If you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Brunner at theOffice of the Vice Dean of External Relations.

Getting involved

There are opportunities for junior researchers to get involved in the jurisprudence community beyond their appointment and PhD thesis. The Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development supports new ideas and initiatives, and established traditions can be carried on.
For example, since the Spring Semester of 2022, the newer junior researchers have organised a writing retreat to the Val Bregaglia, where workshops and forums are held and dedicated thesis writing periods scheduled.

  • Alumni (Ius Alumni): The purpose of the Ius Alumni community is to maintain and nurture relations between the Faculty of Law and its alumni, as well as between the alumni themselves. You can find out more about the objectives and offers of this alumni organisation on the Ius Alumni website (link).
  • APARIUZ: see ‘Publishing’
  • Association of Teaching and Research Assistants in Law at UZH (Vereinigung der Jus-Assistierenden und -Oberassistierenden an der UZH – JAZ): The purpose of JAZ is to promote the interests of the (senior) teaching and research assistants within the Faculty of Law. It serves as a forum for discussing various topics surrounding the role and activities of teaching and research assistants, as well as general topics relating to universities and teaching and education. For example, the interests of the teaching and research assistants are supported through representation on university committees (Faculty Assembly, Senate Committee, various other committees). Teaching and research assistants may represent the junior researcher profession on the professorial appointment committee. Invitations to the upcoming professorial appointment committee are made through JAZ. Those who would like to put themselves forward for vacancies and other opportunities can register their interest at any time by contacting the JAZ Council. JAZ also organises various events where teaching and research assistants can get to know each other in more informal settings (pizza lunches, football games, trips to Christmas markets and more). More information can be found here: link.
  • VAUZ: The Association of Junior Researchers of UZH is the professional organisation for junior researchers at UZH. Junior researchers are all persons who hold junior academic positions and PhD candidates who have matriculated at UZH. VAUZ works to promote the university-specific and training and educational interests of the profession and of those within the profession at UZH – especially with regard to co-determination and participation in teaching and research – and deals with other concerns relating to activities carried out at UZH. More information can be found here:Association website.
  • F.Ius: The Feministich.Ius (‘Feminist.Ius’) association is committed to ensuring that feminist concerns, gender issues and LGBTQIA+ topics are also given a voice in law. As part of its activities, the association organises events, lectures and participates in debates. More information can be found here:Association website.
  • Research Meetings for Junior Researchers:  Dedicated junior researchers organise regular meetings for junior researchers, divided into specialist groups (basic subjects, civil law and civil procedure law, trade and business law, criminal law, public law and legal data). The research project is then presented and discussed within a collegial framework. Anyone interested in the organisation can reach out to the relevant organisers. Contact details can be found at the following website. Information on the respective research groups and meetings is available here:link.
  • Organisation of scientific conferences:  There are various opportunities for junior jurisprudence researchers to become involved in a more research-focused way at a conference. Those who are interested can take the initiative at any time and organise a conference themselves. The Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development is available as a point of contact for financial support. Those who have organised conferences in the past are available for questions about the organisation process.

    In recent years, junior researchers have organised the following conferences with great success:

Funding for PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers

Key funding at a glance:

  • UZH Candoc Grant; 12 months (link)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for PhD candidates; grant for 2 years to a maximum of 4 years (link)
  • UZH Doc.Mobility; 6 to 12 months at a host university (link)
  • UZH Postdoc Grant; 12 months (link)
  • Fund for the promotion of junior academics (Fonds zur Förderung des akademischen Nachwuchses – FAN/UZH alumni). FAN Fellowships: funding of between CHF 50,000 and CHF 100,000. FAN grants: bridging loans between CHF 20,000 and CHF 40,000 (link)
  • SNSF Postdoc.Mobility; fellowship for approx. 2 years and for a maximum return phase of 12 months (link)
  • SNSF Ambizione; grant and project funds for between 2 and 4 years (link)

You can find an overview of all UZH offers on the website ‘UZH for researchers and junior researchers’ (link).

The UZH Graduate Campus is the central and cross-faculty platform dedicated to promoting academic career development. The GRC offers advice and support in the form of grants, training courses and events (link).

Examples include GRC Grants, Short Grants, Travel Grants, the GRC Peer Mentoring Grant. The offering is constantly being updated, so we highly recommend subscribing to the newsletter so that you can stay informed.

For a summary and further information regarding the links above, you can also refer to ‘PhD and postdoc financing‘ and the funding opportunities from the Faculty of Law’s Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development (link)


The Faculty of Law’s IT department is available as a point of contact for IT-related questions (helpdesk: 044 63 43014, Support team or via online form:link)

For a quick overview of all services, please refer to the Faculty of Law’s intranet site (link).

The Faculty of Law’s IT guidelines (link) and the Guidelines and Security Rules of the Central IT department of the University of Zurich must be followed (link).

Central IT provides excellent protection for all servers used by the Faculty of Law (both against threats from the outside and the inside), however complete security cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, it is recommended that all employees back up files they are currently working on using an external data storage device (USB stick, drive, cloud etc.). It should also be noted that due to the security requirements, only devices configured by the IT department are granted access to the drives. Likewise, no personal admin rights are granted.

Any hardware or software used within the Faculty of Law must be purchased or sold by the Faculty of Law’s IT department. This also applies to the installation of such hardware and software, and to first-level support. In addition to the standard software and the chair-specific software for Windows and Apple devices – which is installed on each corresponding device – homologated software can be downloaded and installed independently (and usually free of charge) from the UZH Software Centre (link).

The range of hardware and software available can be found on this page.

All users who are supported by the Faculty of Law’s IT department have access to various service drives that serve as storage locations for files. On these servers, users have access to their own personal network drive (N:\) and a general drive for the chair (L:\). Access to a project drive (P:\) can also be granted on a case-by-case basis by applying to the Faculty of Law’s IT department; this drive is particularly suitable for interdisciplinary work. The data servers are available to users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when working on equipment issued through the Faculty of Law.

The use of cloud services is particularly recommended when working from home (e.g. for sharing data with third-party devices) if the IT department has not provided an employee with a laptop. Employees with a laptop issued through the Faculty of Law can easily access the approved drives at any time via the VPN service that is provided. If using a cloud service, this must be SWITCHDrive (link). SWITCHfilesender also lets users share large data volumes (300 GB). The corresponding interfaces are part of the standard configuration of all issued devices (please refer to the University of Zurich’s Regulations on the Use of IT Resources (link). Only data that is actually required for working should be uploaded to SWITCHDrive. The OneDrive cloud service included in Microsoft 365 (standard software for all Faculty of Law devices) is also approved. More information can be found here. IMPORTANT: Synchronising an entire chair drive is not permitted.

Microsoft Teams, including SharePoint (link), and Zoom (link) are offered as collaboration tools.

In addition to UZH internet access, all employees and PhD candidates also have access to eduroam (‘education roaming’). This is a secure, worldwide internet access service for the international research and university world. More information can be found here. IMPORTANT: Using eduroam to access the internet is not the same as using the UZH network.

Infrastructure & Logistics

The Faculty of Law’s Infrastructure & Logistics Department is happy to support employees with any questions they may have about infrastructure and logistics. For a quick overview of all services and points of contact, please refer to the Faculty of Law’s intranet site (link). 

Long-term study spaces

See Library

Course planning

Course planning for the coming semesters is generally coordinated by the specialist groups. New courses or fundamental changes to existing courses must be reported using the appropriate form. It is highly recommended that you contact the semester planning team in advance and as soon as possible. Course planning begins three semesters in advance. Teaching and research assistants who wish to take advantage of opportunities to get involved in teaching should refer to this webseite.

The Faculty of Law’s Semester Planning Department is available as a point of contact for questions surrounding course planning  (

Reference management

See Tools for drafting your PhD thesis

Exchange programmes

Exchange options: The Faculty of Law has a number of partner faculties in Switzerland and abroad, and PhD candidates at the Faculty of Law can organise a research stay with one of these partner universities.

An overview of UZH’s university networks can be found at this link. A selection of the options is listed below:

  • Universitas 21: UZH is a member of Universitas 21, a global network of 27 research-intensive universities that collaborate in the fields of research, innovation in teaching, development of study programmes and general issues of international higher education. More information can be found here: link.
  • League of European Research Universities (LERU): UZH is a member of the LERU, a prominent voice in the European Higher Education Area that is active in the fields of research and teaching. More information can be found here:link.

There is always room for a research stay at another university to be organised on an individual basis. A request can be made via existing networks, for instance. It is recommended that you discuss this with your line manager or supervisor. The Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development is available as a point of contact for financial support for research trips (see 'Fact Sheet on the Awarding of Funding for SHort Exchange by Junior Researchers').

Outline of rights and responsibilities

For each person employed in a junior academic position, their line manager or supervisor will draw up an individual outline of rights and responsibilities, which is signed by the line manager/supervisor and by the holder of the junior academic position no later than the time of appointment. This must then be submitted to the Faculty of Law’s Human Resources Department. The legal basis and forms can be found here.

Protected Research Time

Protected Research Time is a certain proportion of working time that is dedicated to research work on your own academic goal and related activities. Assistants and doctoral students who have signed a doctoral agreement are entitled to Protected Research Time.

Assistants are generally employed at 50 % - 70 % and are entitled to 50 % of their working hours as Protected Research Time, but at least 30 % of a full-time position (= 1.5 working days). Doctoral students are generally employed at 80 % and are entitled to Protected Research Time amounting to 70 % of a full-time position (=3.5 working days).

It's recommended to complete the UZH Human Resources Department's working time table so that you can track your own Protected Research Time.

Examinations, corrections and remuneration

The obligation of teaching and research assistants to act as proctors is regulated in the 'Regulations on Remuneration for Teaching and Correction Services'.  The examination planning team requests that all chairs announce proctors. This activity is conducted within the chair’s working hours. 

When it comes to correctionsteaching and research assistants will be assigned by the professorial chair. You must have at least one MLaw degree to mark Master’s examinations and at least a BLaw degree to mark Bachelor’s examinations. It is possible to correct examinations other than those assigned to the chair. Remuneration for corrections is regulated in the 'Regulations on Remuneration for Teaching and Correction Services'. The professorial chair will decide whether the correction activities will be carried out within or outside of the chair’s working hours. In the case of these activities being carried out outside of the chair’s working hours, the time spent on corrections will be remunerated separately.

The examination planning team is the point of contact for the total budget for examination corrections per examination. If you have any questions regarding the payment or performance of the associated employment rate increases, please contact the Faculty of Law’s Human Resources Department. The examination planning team is also on hand for questions regarding assessments (


Junior researchers have various opportunities for publishing scientific papers. The Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Academic Career Development regularly informs junior researchers of opportunities for publication of which it becomes aware and will also provide information on calls for abstracts/papers. Junior researchers are also made aware of opportunities for participating in forums, conferences, workshops etc. that may be of interest.

Some potential examples are listed below

  • APARIUZ: Every year, UZH’s junior researchers in jurisprudence present research on a current topic in the APARIUZ (Analyses and Perspectives of Teaching and Research Assistants of the UZH Institute of Law) series. Junior researchers from all specialist groups are given the opportunity to register for the call for abstracts at the start of the Spring Semester and to publish their work as part of the exciting opportunity. This link has further information. The APARIUZ publishing team is renewed each year so that a new dedicated line-up of junior researchers can take part. Those interested in taking on a role in the publishing team for the following year can contact the current publishing team.
  • ex/ante: ex/ante is aimed at young legal scholars from all fields of law who would like to publish their ideas and research results. In addition to current issues in society, contributions from other areas can also be written. ex/ante publishes in German, French and English. The areas of focus are announced with the call for papers. Contributions from other areas can be submitted on the online plattform. More information can be found here:link.
  • cognitio: cognitio is a student forum focusing on law and society that presents those who are interested with the opportunity to write a contribution on the relationship between law and society from all fields of law. More information can be found here: link.

In addition to the examples mentioned above, which are primarily aimed at junior researchers, there are numerous other opportunities for publishing in the legal sphere (Jusletter, sui generis etc.). In some cases, the contributions undergo peer review, which serves as quality assurance for scientific work.

We encourage teaching and research assistants to publish their contributions on open-access platforms if possible. UZH will pay article fees for UZH researchers in full or in part (further information is available here: link). You can also submit your own articles on ZORA , which offers open and worldwide access to UZH research results.

Please note: If you contact a journal in person, make sure that it is a fully-fledged scientific journal (be aware of ‘predatory publishing’).


See Library

Keys and access points

Electronic access to buildings and premises is controlled with your UZH Card. The UZH Card also serves to identify students in the university environment, is a library card, and allows students to enjoy meals at reduced prices in UZH and ETH cafeterias. Employees are provided with a Card when they take up their position. The Faculty of Law’s Infrastructure & Logistics department assigns access authorisations for Faculty of Law buildings and rooms.

Meeting rooms

Meeting rooms can be booked individually by all employees via the UZH reservation system (Outlook). Those employed in a junior academic position do not have individual access authorisation for the meeting rooms. Access is possible by means of a UZH Card belonging to the responsible office/holder of a chair, through the (senior) teaching and research assistant organising research meetings among the junior researchers, through individual members of the JAZ Council, or through the Faculty of Law’s Infrastructure & Logistics Department.


See Funding for PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers

Overview of PhD theses at the Faculty of Law

  • Overview of PhD theses at the Faculty of Law: At this link you will find an overview of all researchers at the Faculty of Law by specialist group. Inclusion in the list is voluntary and is open to all PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers.
  • IURTHESIS: The Faculty of Law recommends registering your thesis topic in the  IURTHESIS register of theses  (Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg). The Faculty of Law will pay the registration fee for this.

Publishers and thesis publication

After your PhD thesis has been accepted, the specified number of deposit copies must be submitted within two years before the doctoral candidates are appointed to the position of doctor.

Deposit copies: If your PhD thesis is published using an open-access platform and is not published online, you must submit six deposit copies to the ZB Zurich. If your PhD thesis is published using an open-access platform you must also submit an additional deposit copy to the Faculty of Law. If you do not publish online, you must submit 30 deposit copies to the Faculty of Law. PhD candidates will receive further information after their thesis has been accepted by the faculty.

Publishers: Various publishers publish PhD theses to promote junior researchers. The following list provides a brief overview of some publishers (including open-access options). For a detailed overview and current information, please refer to the websites of the publishers.

An overview is also available here (PDF, 296 KB).

(see also Publishing scientific work through Dike (in German) (PDF, 47 KB), Process for publishing a thesis through Springer Nature (in German) (PDF, 320 KB) and Springer Nature manuscript guidelines (in German) (PDF, 959 KB))

Online presence

The online pages for the chairs are managed and updated by the chairs themselves. Since UZH requires a uniform online presence, every person who acts as an online author must be registered. The prerequisite for this is a completed Magnolia course, which is offered at regular intervals by Central IT. More information on the management of your online presence can be found at this link or can be requested from the Faculty of Law’s webmaster directly.