Since 2020, the University of Fribourg is part of the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+). SSPH+ assembles the academic public health expertise available across 12 Swiss universities (Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Svizzera italiana, Zurich, BFH, SUPSI and ZHAW). SSPH+ is based on the vision that public health is a scientific and professional field, shaped by a broad range of disciplines. In a small country like Switzerland, no single institution has the critical mass needed to cover all public health relevant areas. The “virtual inter-university faculty” helps strengthening public health by assembling over 250 professors in public health sciences all across Switzerland. SSPH+ initiates and supports a range of academic activities across universities that would not get support from any single university.
After 7 years at Swiss TPH Basel and 7 years at ISPM Bern, the coordination office of the SSPH+ Inter-university Graduate Campus (IGC) is now located at the #PopHealthLab in Fribourg. Currently approx. 400 PhD students from 78 different countries, supervised by SSPH+ faculty members at the SSPH+ partner universities and working in the field of public health sciences, benefit from the IGC offers to strengthen their academic skills, competencies, career paths and networks. In addition, IGC allows students from all over the world an insight into the Swiss public health research landscape.
The IGC offers a broad course program with more than 25 courses in methods and topical public health issues. The courses are free for enrolled PhD students. Agreements with partners allow privileged access to many additional courses and programs. The Academic Board with members from all partner universities defines study recommendations, sets priorities and is responsible for the content and quality of the courses offered in the IGC. IGC meetings strengthen the inter-university exchange among students and supervisors. The SSPH+ IGC Internship Program widens career tracks in non-academic institutions.
Several members of the #PopHealthLab are faculty members of SSPH+ and PhD students of the laboratory are affiliated with the IGC.