All together


Ethical project oversight and carefully controlled finances



The University understands that private funds will never replace public funds or competitive research grants, but believes that private partnerships contribute to forging connections and to strengthening ties between science and society. As scientific questions are essentially societal questions, this collaboration is fundamental. It is only through pooling skills and resources that innovation can be supported, and the diversity and independence of the University reinforced. Through a partnership, the values and dreams of donors join forces with those of the University of Geneva.

The demonstrated willingness to invest in private partnerships mirrors a desire to consolidate the image and excellent reputation of the University of Geneva in terms of research, teaching, and service to the community.

Like competitive funding sources, private partnership agreements reflect the academic excellence of our institution.

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In its fundraising activities and relationships with private partners, the University is committed to guaranteeing - in line with the core values defined in our Charter of Ethics and Deontology - excellence in research, professional and effective management of projects and resources, transparency, and a relation of trust and quality with each donor.

The University of Geneva is committed to respecting the following four principles:

  1. Fundraising is carried out in the framework of the institution and with professional support
  2. Academic freedom is guaranteed, in line with our Charter of Ethics and Deontology
  3. Transparency is ensured in compliance with applicable regulations
  4. The goal of fundraising is the pursuit of a goal in the public interest

The University has a Development Cell that provides professional oversight of projects financed by donors to ensure they have the greatest possible impact.

Through an internal system of control, risk management, and continual evaluation of teaching and research, the University guarantees a culture of quality for all its activities, whether financed by institutional or private funding.

All financial resources, both public and private, are managed according to established norms and best practices. An internal audit, supervising internal controls and management tasks, underpins the University’s Quality process.

Researchers supported by gifts submit an annual report to their donor, providing regular updates on research progress. The University provides the donor with a financial report.

Upon request from several donors, the University is able to manage, in a professional manner and respecting international standards, thematic funds regulated by a charter and followed by an ad hoc committee.

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Private funds mostly contribute to innovation in research and teaching, to reinforcing centers of excellence, and to acquiring buildings and infrastructure.

Projects financed or co-financed by private partners are integral to the development strategy of the university and its faculties.

Private partnerships can finance or co-finance the following:

  • Chaired professorships
  • Scientific research
  • Innovative programs
  • Buildings and infrastructure
  • Any other project that complies with the principle missions of the University, as long as the skills and financial and human resources required to carry it out are available

Private financing of a chair falls under the strategy of the Faculty that has offered the position:

  • Nomination is carried out according to applicable University regulations, with the private partner having the opportunity to name an outside expert without voting rights
  • Hiring conditions are exclusively within the competence of the University of Geneva
  • The donor undertakes to not influence or orientate research; donors have no property rights stemming from the research

In exchange for the funding:

  • The chair can bear the name of the donor or an honoree
  • The support of the donor is mentioned in publications of the chaired professor and at public lectures

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