About the research

Research at the BFH with its diverse research units offers the best conditions for interdisciplinary solutions.

Our core task

The Office of the Vice-President Research promotes interdepartmental research as well as the national and international strategic development of research initiatives at the BFH.

As a capable partner, we implement interdisciplinary projects with partners from business, science and the public sector. The BFH’s research focuses on the main study subjects of digitisation, entrepreneurship, international affairs, career development and project-related contributions, and is aligned with international research standards and principles.

Facts + Figures

Our project partnerships

Annual report

In 2022 the Bern University of Applied Sciences maintains a total of 1,051 project partnerships and has external funds of CHF 48.1 million. It is respected for its high degree of practical orientation and application-oriented research.

With 383 research partnerships in the Canton of Bern, the Bern University of Applied Sciences is an important driver of innovation and development within the Canton and also beyond its borders.

A varied range of project funding

Research projects at the Bern University of Applied Sciences are financed by public sector contracts, by research contracts from industry, by Innosuisse and by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The consistently high level of third-party funding shows that the BFH is a capable and reliable partner in research and innovation.

A capable partner

The Bern University of Applied Sciences cultivates project partnerships with partners from business, the public sector, universities and the ETHs, as well as with universities of applied sciences.


The research commission of the BFH pursues strategic goals in five main study subjects: 


BFH supports the exchange between projects conducting research in the context of digitisation, promotes individual digital skills and contributes to the development of organisational structures that enable digital transformation to be actively shaped. 


Implementation and redesign of further training formats, which contribute to: 

  • digitisation enabling our research 
  • researchers being empowered for digitisation 

Research and innovation

Promoting entrepreneurial thinking and action is a key objective of BFH’s educational and research mandate. In cooperation with the BFH Entrepreneurship Office, the dossier develops a profile and measures to distinguish BFH as an entrepreneurial university. 

The dossier analyses the initial situation and establishes a framework for corresponding cultural development. This is based on the following questions: 

  • Which BFH departments could assume an active pioneering role? 
  • Which resources and competences can the university provide for students? 
  • What infrastructure is required? 
  • Can research institutes or research groups with a strong practical basis also develop an entrepreneurship culture or be managed in an entrepreneurial way? 

An international outlook

BFH positions itself internationally as an attractive research partner and research location. 

The international outlook dossier promotes cooperation and exchange between researchers from different countries and universities. 

We ensure that international calls for tender are accessible to BFH researchers and that interested parties receive competent support in the call for tender process. 

Career advancement

Employee development for mid-level academic staff is a high priority at BFH. The career advancement dossier presents a number of current measures based on mid-level academic staff concepts from the individual departments. 


  • The University of Bern has been open to graduates from universities of applied sciences since autumn 2019. The new options that will result from this in the field of PhD studies are currently under consideration. 
  • Support for prospective doctoral students by means of start-up funding for the development of third-party project applications. 
  • Presentation of an audience award for the best dissertation pitch as part of the “BFH Researchers’ Day” on Wednesday, 3 May 2023. 

Project-linked contributions (PgB)

On behalf of the federal government, swissuniversities promotes strategic projects at Swiss universities that serve to develop new skills. They are based at one or more universities at the same time and are funded equally by the federal government and the universities (project-linked contributions PgB). 

We inform the departments of the PgB projects and support those who are involved in the conception, implementation and quality assurance. 


BFH is participating in the following projects in the 2021-2024 period: 

  • PgB 1: Mobility Funding for Doctoral Students and Further Development of the 3rd Cycle 
  • PgB 4: Swiss Learning Health System 
  • PgB 6: swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network 
  • PgB 7: Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunities in University Development 
  • PgB 8: Reinforcing Digital Skills in Teaching 
  • PgB 10: Continuation and Expansion of a National Network to Promote MINT Education 
  • PgB 13: AGE-INT – International Expertise in Switzerland for “Innovative Solutions for an Ageing Society” 


Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA)

The BFH is one of the first signatories of the Coalition for Research Assessment Reform (CoARA). By signing, the BFH commits to further developing the evaluation criteria for research, to advocating high quality and impact, and to recognising the diversity of research activities, practices and outcomes.

The DORA declaration

The BFH is a signatory of the “San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment” (DORA). This requires an open, appropriate evaluation of research that is not merely limited to bibliometric indicators. BFH is committed to the recommendations of the DORA declaration regarding handling of the impact factor when evaluating research and researchers.

Berlin Declaration on Open Access

The Bern University of Applied Sciences declares that one of its strategic goals is Open Access in line with the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” signed by swissuniversities in 2006.

For this purpose, the BFH has an Open Science specialist service as well as the institutional repository ARBOR (Applied Research Bern Open Repository).

Academic integrity and good academic practice

Good academic practice is a central element of credible and internationally competitive research. The BFH is guided by the Code on Academic Integrity of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. In the regulations on academic integrity, it defines the corresponding principles, best practices, procedures and sanctions. Complementary measures such as the establishment of a Academic Integrity Board should help to consciously establish and live a culture of academic integrity at the BFH.