University of Zurich Reviews

Updated March 5, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Postdoc at ETH

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral

    I worked at University of Zurich

    Pros

    For a postdoc the pay is quite good. It's an international atmosphere and many of the labs are top notch. There is money and the equipment is usually well-maintained.

    Cons

    If you don't know German you will feel isolated in the community. Labs tend to be a bit isolated and there doesn't seem to be too much interaction between labs even within the same building.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Of course each professor has a different style so it will entirely depend on which lab you join as to how you evaluate your experience. In our department I felt the senior management had difficulty dealing with conflict and with communicating changes that were going to be made. They especially had a hard time hiring new professors.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2. Motivating and Relaxed Work Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Visiting Student Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Current Intern - Visiting Student Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I have been working at University of Zurich as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible Hours; No Micro-Management; Weekly Meetings to discuss progress; Very able & supportive peers; Brilliant Transportation in the city.

    Cons

    Laid back environment can sometimes lead to less productivity & laxness.
    Zurich as such - Less social life. Not very happening city.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. Well organized university with lots of benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Zurich

    Pros

    Amazing sorts facilities, well structured with very efficient administration, broad range of studies, high class research facilities, all technical equipment is top notch

    Cons

    Synergies are not efficiently used, there are not enough positions/money for researchers, support for graduate students could be better (e.g. preparation for job market, research stays abroad)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. Great experience: nice work place, with great colleagues, but without so much public exposure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Junior Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Junior Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I have been working at University of Zurich full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues: very international, open-minded, flexible, convenient, high educated
    Flexible working time, in most all research departments
    Complete set of resources: if the researchers need some kind of material, equipment, or anything, that's not a problem to get.

    Cons

    Professors and senior researchers are so much cautions about publishing things that may be too risky, or that might created a big (negative/positive) impact to the community which is not so "diplomatic". Therefore, I would classify the professors and senior researchers as very very conservative in this way. They want to preserve their images (as anyone would do, that's fine), but they don't try to push too hard to create a big impact for something that might generate deeper discussion. They just don't want too much exposure, in my humble opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Contract more young and open-minded researchers/professors. In the computer science / informatic department that's the case, but even then, I still observe the "cons" which I described in this review.
    Don't hire PhD students that are just "on average" because you are in need of people. Just try to better select people that really has the conditions to push the quality of the university of zurich.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. No career perspectives.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor (Fixed Term) in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor (Fixed Term) in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I have been working at University of Zurich full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Salaries and research funds are OK, especially in comparison with other European institutions.

    Cons

    No long term career perspectives, especially for Swiss PhDs. Permanent positions are awarded exclusively to candidates from abroad, local candidates are ignored and discriminated against no matter what their track record, performance and contributions to UZH are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start rewarding and promoting high performers within the organization. UZH is rapidly loosing any connections to its roots and all goodwill/support among ZH taxpayers who are still providing almost all of the funding.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Talented bunch of astrophysicists, although not much else

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Zurich full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working hours, extracurricular activities encouraged for phd students, well-funded, lots talented people from computational astrophysics.

    Cons

    Despite the institute's name, the place is basically 95% astrophysics focused, and within that, it's pretty much all structure formation. It should be called 'The institute for structure formation'. They are not really interested in other sciences, despite their mandate and mission. The offices are a bit old and can overheat in the summer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employing people from different sciences would be in line with the goals of the institute, and would not only keep the institute's position secure in the university, but would help it grow in the long term.

  8. University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Zurich part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    work life balance is very good

    Cons

    no future perspectives of employment the employment is temporary

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. Fantastic working conditions, brilliant people, but no room for long-term employment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I worked at University of Zurich full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have worked at UZH as a postdoctoral researcher for about 3 years. There was always enough money to carry out the research I intended to do and to attend major conferences (this is not always the case in an academic setting). I extremely enjoyed the young, international and dynamic teams with flat hierarchies. You always find scientifically brilliant colleagues and supervisors to discuss your ideas, future projects and problems with. UZH also offers great opportunities to evolve through networking events, advanced trainings and career workshops. In addition, I personally enjoyed the reduced ASVZ membership, a sports union offering numerous daily classes all over the city.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, as so often in academic research there is no possibility for a long-term employment. A stable work situation can only be found as research assistant or professor (see also Advice to Management). In addition, in my previous institute the IT department was slow and avoided to help individuals. Hopefully, this is not an overall UZH issue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think it would be helpful to reduce the size of the research groups. Individuals in smaller teams are forced to focus, work efficiently and publish faster. This will improve their chances to find a recognised group leader position afterwards and will avoid leaving so many people with no future perspective behind. In addition, the reduction of research team size will create more free leadership positions for new motivated peers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. Once in Zurich, Always in Zurich

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I have been working at University of Zurich full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Zurich is a beautiful place to live, and the University is exceptionally well funded in comparison to North American and other European universities. PhD students and Postdocs are often making more than professors in other non-Swiss universities. Every department is different, of course, but there is an overall feeling of community here. Once you are in and find your place, opportunities will be made available for you to stay.

    Cons

    It can be difficult to integrate into Swiss life, although if your department is international this might not matter. Many positions are allocated in house which can make getting in difficult.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. Good Uni for biology researchRela

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Technician in Zürich (Switzerland)

    I worked at University of Zurich

    Pros

    Depends a lot on supervisor, but lots of independence and relaxed atmosphere

    Cons

    Salaries a bit low by local standards

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