In the Spotlight: University of Zurich
The University of Zurich (UZH) is Switzerland's largest university and offers the widest range of study programs in the country. At UZH, students can choose from more than 130 different degree programs offered in over 140 departments and institutes at the University’s seven faculties. UZH is a top university and ranks regularly among the best universities worldwide. Overall, the University of Zurich enjoys a reputation for excellence not only within Europe, but throughout the world.
Research at the University of Zurich
The University of Zurich engages in research collaboration with strategically selected, internationally renowned universities and networks. UZH has established University Research Priority Programs (URPP) in order to strengthen its leading position in important fields of research and teaching. URPP are interdisciplinary and cross-faculty and promote collaboration within the university. Additionally, they strongly support the academic career development of young researchers. Next to the five URPP that are currently in progress, the UZH has established seven new URPP, which will start in 2013. Some examples of the URPP are:
Asia and Europe
The URPP Asia and Europe explores exchanges and encounters that have taken and continue to take place between Asia and Europe in the areas of culture, law, religion and society. The URPP Asia and Europe brings together various disciplines and faculties of the University of Zurich to create an expert and comprehensive interdisciplinary research structure.
Global Change and Biodiversity
The loss of biodiversity associated with global change is a current challenge. The impact of this loss on the environment and humans is not well understood. This URPP will investigate feedback mechanisms of biodiversity and global change at different spatial and temporal scales using coupled approaches.
Regulation of Financial Markets
The global financial crisis has caused a political debate about stricter regulation of financial markets that is economically significant for Switzerland and particularly for Zurich as a financial center. The URPP aims to examine existing regulatory concepts and approaches in the light of their history and international rulebooks. It further intends to analyze national as well as international regulatory needs and proposals.
Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion
Discovery and development of new materials and processes for the direct storage of solar light energy in chemical bonds are the main objectives of this program. The project with the working principle of an artificial photosynthesis contributes to supply the 21st century's demands for sustainable energy resources.
Research Opportunities at the Department of Psychology at UZH
The Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich is one of the biggest Departments at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 20 professors hold chairs in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Lifespan Development and Individual Differences, Clinical and Health Psychology as well as in Social, Organizational and Business Psychology. Nearly 2,500 students are enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs. The Department has an excellent international reputation for research in basic and applied Psychology.
EuroScholars can participate in current research projects as well as apply for a “project on demand”. Current research projects open to EuroScholars are concerned with motivational processes related to personal goals and developmental challenges and transitions across adulthood. Two of the central areas of application are (1) how adults manage the multiple demands of work and family and (2) how young, middle-aged, and older adults develop and pursue adaptive goals in everyday life. The “projects on demand” at the Department of Psychology are designed individually, tailored to the interests and academic backgrounds of the students and the expertise of the supervisor.
Year in, year out, Zurich is at the top of the chart in the Mercer survey, a study ranking the quality of life in the world’s major cities. This is no great surprise considering Zurich’s many charms: a beautiful lake set against an alpine panorama, a world-class opera house as well as numerous theaters and over 50 museums and 100 galleries. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and one of the most important economic, cultural and social centers in the country. It offers excellent opportunities for shopping, sports, and leisure time activities as well as a unique and broad variety of cultural institutions and events. The city is also auspiciously located: Zurich’s airport connects the city with the rest of the world, its train station offers quick and reliable transit connections to Europe’s main cities, and the region itself boasts one of the world’s most efficient and accessible public transportation systems.
From our Alumni
Caroline Johnson, Clark University, University of Milan
During the past spring I spent my semester in Milan, Italy studying and working at the University of Milan. I was working in a biology laboratory, researching the characteristics of echinoderm tissues which allow them to be so rapidly mutable. The goal of this research is to eventually create a biomaterial that would have the same qualities as these tissues. My research project with the University of Milan was a happenstance placement for as it turned out the other biology research projects I was initially involved with were not able to follow through for the spring semester. Regardless, I was interested in learning about some form of biological concepts and the University of Milan was able to find a place for me in their Echinoderm Department.
I learned a lot about what it meant to work in a laboratory environment. I have spent time in the laboratory at my home university but it is different when you are coming in more than a couple times a week. I am really looking forward to continuing my involvement in research back at Clark University and I hope my experience in Milan will give me the confidence and the experience needed to further my interest in Biological Research and I am excited about where this will take me in the future. This coming Fall I will be working in the Marine Biology laboratory at Clark University, which is a new laboratory for me. One of the reasons for me switching research projects was my new found interest in marine species after working intensely with them in Milan.
While in Milan I was also about to do a lot of traveling, both around Italy as well as to other countries in Europe. The echinoderms species used in the laboratory are collected off the western coast of Italy and it was neat to be able to travel with the lab to this area and collect sea urchins but also enjoy the countryside and the views along the way. With the Euroscholars program, I went to Stockholm, Sweden and with some free time I was also able to travel to Sprain during my stay. It was much easier traveling across borders than I expected and it was neat to be able to experience languages and cultures beyond Italy. I found that many places of interest are just a train ride away and traveling distances are much more travelable compared to the United States.
Living and working in Italy was definitely a memorable experience and I’m glad I pushed myself to take advantage of this opportunity because I think it will be harder to take my whole life overseas in years to come.