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Flexible Leadership and Research at the UZH


In its initial phase the project focused on assessing the situation and best practices already implemented at the UZH. Additionally, a network was built and potential contacts at the UZH were identified. From 2019 onwards, the project focused on the implementation of the findings gathered in two subject areas: the temporary reduction of the workload for professors and the reduction of the individual workload through redistribution of tasks in leading positions. The follwoing smaller and larger sub-projects were carried out in these two subject areas at different faculties:


The UZH has known the instrument of Part-Time Professorship for some time. It offers professors the option of a part-time appointment or allows professors to reduce their workload temporarily in order to better reconcile work life and family.


The funds saved by reducing the workload can be used for replacement jobs. The usefulness of this instrument has been examined through a series of interviews with past and present users as well as with other important stakeholders. Overall, the model can be considered a succesful best practice at the UZH. However, discussions have shown that the model is generally very little known.



In cooperation with members of the Vetsuisse Faculty a workshop with about 10 participants was held in September 2019 on the topic of flexible working models in veterinary medicine. As a result, a position paper on part-time work and job sharing at the professorial/clinic management level was developed. The position paper is to be used in the design of new guidelines for future appointment procedures at the Vetsuisse Faculty.

Based on this, veterinarians in senior positions and the hospital management discussed new working models for a more efficent use of research time at a second workshop in January 2020. Building on this discussion, the project manager, the vice dean and the vice president of the GLK drafted a factsheet with measures for a better protection of research time. The factsheet contains specific recommendations for senior physicians as well as for the domain of academic career development. It was approved by the faculty board in the spring semester 2020 and is available to all appointment commissions as well as to all mentors.


Human medicine

In collaboration with the HRM Directorate of the University Hospital Zurich, a pilot project  with a clinic was conducted. The project focused on the topic of flexible leadership models for physicians with the aim of identifying the prerequisites and challenges of flexible working models for cadre physicians and deriving recommendations for other clinics.

Weiterführende Informationen


CHESS – Center for Higher Education and Science Studies