For decades, a variety of organizations have existed within ETH Zurich, helping doctoral students with social, cultural and many other aspects, making their lives easier and more enjoyable. In the following chapter, we would like to provide a brief overview of these diverse organizations, including different interest groups, service organizations and hobby clubs. However, it should be remembered that it is impossible to make a complete list.
For more detailed listings and further information, please check the semester program, the ETH directory, the ETH Zurich Homepage (check out “Getting to know the campus” under the “Campus” header) and other ETH publications. One good source of updated information are the bulletin boards located near each cafeteria, where information for activities organized by official ETH organizations and external groups is posted regularly. Furthermore, there are some clubs which are common to both the University of Zurich (UZH) and ETH Zurich, and a lot of UZH activities are open to ETH students as well, so also have a look at UZH ads and homepages.
9.1. ETH Services
ETH Zurich provides a range of services to facilitate your daily work. In this chapter, we provide links to the official services pages and briefly outline the services we think are most useful for a successful start at ETH Zurich.
General services include the phone service, car rental, transport, shipping, office supplies, repairs, workshops, printing business cards, print design and even a university forest. More information is available online.
ETH Zurich provides excellent IT services. The IT services range from the provision of software and hardware, printing services, email, and help desk services to supercomputing facilities. We only present a small selection here. Check-out the IT Services website for a complete overview.
All official ETH services can be accessed with your nETHZ password. Details specific to your account can be handled with the Admin Tool. You can modify your ETH-Zurich account, create guest accounts, join a range of IT services, and use the e-mail and calendar service.
ETH-Zurich Employee Search
Find phone numbers and much more on this webpage. ETH-Zurich uses an LDAP service that can also be accessed by a suitable client (e.g. Outlook). Just type firstname.lastname@example.org on any Unix machine to find data.
ETH offers a wide range of printing facilities and services for its students and employees. From self-printing posters to ordering ready-printed ones and support with other printing-related activities, you’ll find all the relevant information on the Print Service for students page.
Study material, office supplies and other official “ETH Zurich” items are available in the ETH store shops around the campus. The ETH Store offers books, study materials, stationery, and merchandise products with the ETH logo. Students and employees get discounts and benefit from special offers. Scientific staff are represented in the ETH Store board by an AVETH representative in both the executive board and in the student board. If you are interested to get involved in the financial and organizational matters or if you would like to learn about anything related to the ETH Store please contact email@example.com.
Located directly on the campus, ETH Stores are easily accessible. The ETH Store operates at the following locations:
ETH Store Hönggerberg HPI
ETH Store Polyterrasse
ETH Store Sonneggstrasse (merchandise products)
ETH Store Materialverkauf HIL
ETH Store at Shop ITZ, Toniareal
In addition, the ETH Store webshop is open 24/7: www.eth-store.ch
Need more power to do your math? ETH Zurich has high-performance clusters which are accessible to all employees.
Are you confused by your statistics? Professional help is at hand at ETH Zurich via seminar for statistics.
Access to a large number of contracted journals, literature and book delivery services (including free delivery to your office!).
Intellectual Property Protection
ETH Zurich offers support for licensing and patenting issues, as well as for founding a spin-off.
If you happen to be in charge of an event at ETH Zurich, you may want to use the ETH-Zurich catering service.
Mechanical Workshops are organized at a departmental level. Get your gadgets built!
Also check out the Student Project House where you have access to many cool machines (3D printers, lasercutters, drill press). You will need to get an introduction to use the machines yourself. In addition one could contact the ETH platform for workshop technology.
9.2. Diverse Political Bodies and Interest Groups
AVETH is an intercultural and interdisciplinary association uniting scientists from all departments at ETH Zurich.
Doctoral students, research assistants, post-docs and any other academic employees who are not faculty at ETH are united in one group called scientific staff (in German, “Mittelbau”). It is the second largest group of people at ETH Zurich after students.
In 1968 our predecessors joined forces to protect and improve all aspects of the scientific staff’s well-being at ETH Zurich and founded the Association of the Scientific Staff at ETH Zurich, (Akademische Vereinigung des Mittelbaus der ETH Zürich) AVETH.
AVETH is the official representation of scientific staff at ETH Zurich. It sends representatives to various councils and commissions such as the University Assembly, Strategy Committee etc., and regularly meets with ETH Zurich’s Executive Board to make sure your concerns are raised. AVETH bridges the gap between you and the executives at ETH Zurich. Your interests are represented in each commission, meeting and project by someone from the AVETH Politics Team. They are represented in meetings with members of the executive board of ETH by the AVETH presidency. They each take care to convey your opinions and inform you about the decisions made. We keep an eye on political developments at ETH and are prepared to step in whenever needed. If you want to get involved, you can keep an eye out for the monthly politics meetings that are open to all scientific staff. You can always get in touch with the team via email for any inquiries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The AVETH counselling team are a group of doctoral students and postdocs who provide assistance to all scientific staff. They provide confidential advice on academic, administrative or personal issues. They provide guidance, support, and an open ear to doctoral students and postdocs having difficult situations with their bosses or colleagues. They help them navigate ETH bureaucracy by making them aware of the various support resources at ETH, be it legal, institutional, or otherwise. They listen to your story, and if you want advice, they can provide it, and they can provide help with de-escalation or mediation. They encourage you to contact them if you would like advice or coaching about improving your research or life as an employee within ETH. They have compiled information in this handbook and regularly update information on the AVETH homepage. You can always get in touch with the team via email for any inquiries (email@example.com).
The Diversity Team of AVETH focusses on the inclusion and diversity for the scientific staff at the ETH domain. They achieve this goal by raising awareness and starting discussions, as well as facilitating and contributing to initiatives of others. Their goal is to improve the diversity of the scientific staff and making ETH an inclusive place for all.
The Diversity Team is building up a network of people working on Diversity related topics in the ETH domain. The main focus of the Diversity Team is currently on gender equality and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ minorities. Our responsibility includes representation, asking questions and sparking open conversations on diversity related matters. They offer financial and promotional support to all events organized for scientific staff, contact the diversity team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AVETH postdoc+ team addresses the needs of the senior academic staff, from postdoc and up, in terms of career, networking, and politics at ETH. Postdocs+ are in general at a later stage of career planning and personal life than doctoral students and thus have specific needs and interests within ETH. AVETH Postdoc+ Team organizes a variety of networking events throughout the year including “Wine & Cheese” events, a postdoc and senior scientist lunch, in addition to participating in the ETH orientation event for new staff. The idea of these networking events is to get to know fellow postdocs and senior scientists all over ETH. Additionally, the team organizes several successful career and networking events. Their funding information event organized yearly targets late stage Doctoral students, Postdocs and senior scientists interested in acquiring their own funding. This event consists of talks providing an overview of Swiss and EU funding sources and the various supports provided by EU GrantsAccess and Office of Research in the funding application process. If you like to get in contact with the team you can send them an email at email@example.com.
To connect scientists from all over ETH, AVETH organizes a variety of social events. The spectrum covers fun or sport activities, career events as well as excursions. Some events are jointly organized with our sister association at the University of Zurich (VAUZ). Seize your chance while you are in Zurich and enrich your personal life by making new friends and interdisciplinary professional contacts. You can find more information on upcoming events on the AVETH homepage. AVETH-members are also informed about upcoming events via our email newsletter. Contact the events team at; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever you end up after finishing your doctoral thesis at ETH Zurich – in industry, a research institute or a university – happy memories and valuable contacts will stay with you forever!
Join AVETH and Realize your own Dreams
If you have any ideas on how to improve life at ETH Zurich, if you want to organize an event, or if you know a practical solution to a problem, simply let us know. You are welcome to join the AVETH Board, project teams and work groups.
If you want to become a member, here are three (easy!) options to do so:
– Through our website, or
– Tick the box when you enroll online for a new semester as a doctoral student in msStudies, or
– Fill in the form given to you by HR together with your contract
If you want to contact us, send an email to email@example.com.
Be informed. Be involved. Join AVETH!
9.3. Department Associations
In every department, AVETH has sub-associations called department associations (in German “Fachvereine) which are responsible for the political representation of the scientific staff on department level. Department Associations represent your voice at the “Department Conferences” and can help you with problems on a departmental or institutional level. Moreover, they also organize various events; a perfect way to meet new people working in the same field. Again, the spectrum of events ranges from sports and cultural events to company visits or other career events. As an AVETH member, you are automatically a member of the respective department association.
The list of Department Associations will give you an overview of all department associations at ETH Zurich.
D-ARCH, AAA, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-BAUG, ASB, email@example.com
D-BSSE, VMB, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-INFK, VMI, email@example.com
D-ITET, VMITET, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-MAVT, AVMAVT, email@example.com
D-MATL, SAM, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-BIOL, AMB, email@example.com
D-CHAB, PSA, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-CHAB, VAC, email@example.com
D-MATH, VMM, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-ERDW, VAME, email@example.com
D-USYS, VMUSYS, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-HEST, HAS, email@example.com
D-PHYS, AMP, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-MTEC, SCST@MTEC, email@example.com
D-GESS, ASST, firstname.lastname@example.org
AsETH, (Association of Scientific Staff Singapore-ETH)
VSETH is ETH Zurich’s student association. Many Doctoral students are also members of the VSETH. They organize a huge variety of events and take care of the political representation of students. Check out their website here.
Telejob is a non-profit, volunteer-run business and part of AVETH, which supports students and academic staff at ETH in finding their dream job. They run the job platform ETH get hired. They are also organizing seminars addressing job applications, career start, and financial planning. They always welcome students interested in joining the team so don’t hesitate to get in contact with them if you want to get involved.
International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) was founded in the United Kingdom in 1948. It is a non-political, independent, non-governmental association, consisting of national committees in more than 60 countries. IAESTE operates an exchange program for students of technical and natural sciences. They arrange traineeships to students at higher education institutions to provide them with technical experience abroad and an international perspective.
KOSTA, a subgroup of the VSETH, not only organizes the SOLA-Party, but also the famous Polyball. This is an established event in the annual agenda of Zurich society. To complete the decoration for the ball, KOSTA is always looking for creative people to help out in the Töga (Töffligarage) at ETH Zurich during November. New members who enjoy improving their skills in the field of event management in a lively environment are always welcome to join KOSTA.
L-Punkt was founded in the spring of 2010 as a university club geared towards lesbian, bisexual and queer women at the universities in Zurich. L-Punkt’s main goal is to provide students with a platform where they can gather, network and share.
9.9. Z & H
z&h represents LGBTIQ+ students at ETH and UZH, in cooperation with the ETH Equal Opportunities Office. z&h organizes film evenings, book readings, dinner parties and many other social activities in order to openly live gay culture at both ETH Zurich and the University, and to promote its general acceptance. The association is open to students and assistants of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich.
9.11. Student Research Opportunities Program (SiROP)
SiROP is a network for advertising research projects. Researchers who work at ETH can advertise various project types, such as internships and Bachelor’s or Master’s theses for free via a standardized interface.
SOS eth is a service organization open to all students, assistants and academic guests. In return for a small membership fee of CHF 5 for an ETH-Zurich student, SOS ETH sponsors several activities and services free of charge or at very low cost, including darkroom facilities (b/w and color), video-editing equipment, digital image processing and a fax service. They also hold movie nights at regular intervals during the term. Bring your own popcorn and enjoy some fine films free of charge! Announcements are made on their website, printed in Polykum/ETH-Life, and are posted on various notice boards around ETH Zurich.
9.13. Music Clubs
The instrumental and choral groups, whose members are mainly students at both ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, are almost always on the lookout for new faces and voices. The level of musical talent varies – from purely amateur to aspiring professionals – as does the frequency of rehearsals and performances. Look in the Semester Program under Freizeit for further descriptions and up-to-date contact information.
The Academic Orchestra of Zurich (Akademisches Orchester Zürich, AOZ) is a joint organization of the University and ETH Zurich. Founded around 1900, it has almost 90 members. The orchestra strives to promote talented musicians and has given concerts in Switzerland and abroad. The orchestra is always eager to recruit new members.
Additional music organizations can be found here.
9.15. Country-Specific and Religious Associations, International student associations
ACIS – Asociación Colombiana de Investigadores en Suiza
ACSSZ – Association of Chinese Students and Scholars in Zurich
AFrEZ – Association francophone des étudiants de Zurich
ASAZ – African Students Association of Zurich
B.A.S.S. – Belgian Association for Students in Switzerland
EFSZ – Hellenic Student Organization of Zurich
Gsibergerverein – Association of Vorarlberg students in Zurich
Hongkongers In Switzerland
iCafé – Christian International Students and Academics
ICES – Investigadores Chilenos en Suiza
InSAZ – Indian Students Association Zurich
IranSAZ – Iranian Student Association at ETH / University of Zurich
IRSAZ – Iranian Student Association in Zurich
KSA – Korean Student Association
LSVZ – Asociación Latina de Estudiantes en Zurich
LSZ – Luxemburger Students
MSZ – Muslim Student Association Zurich
Nordiska Roddföreningen i Zürich
PAKSAS – Pakistani Students Association
Studenti – Albanischer Studierendenverein Zürich
Taiwanese Student Association in Switzerland
TaVS – Tamilischer Verein der Studierenden
Turkuaz – Intellectual Thinking and Exchange Platform for Topics around Turkey and Relating Countries
ZARS – Zürcher Assoziation der Russischsprachigen Studierenden
ZHSŠ – Croatian Student Association
ZIGSS – Zurich Italian Graduate Student Society
Latest list and links can be found here.
9.16. Field-Specific Associations
BEST – Local BEST Group Zurich
EESTEC – Electrical Engineering Students’ European Association
ETH MUN – ETH Model United Nations
IAAS – International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences
IEEE Student Branch at ETH Zurich
IngOG – Engineers Without Borders Switzerland
Students Across Borders
GCC – Graduate consulting club
ETH Entrepreneur club
YSN – Young Scientist Network
MeWell – The Mental Wellbeing Community
EquipSent – Enable Education Everywhere
9.17. Associations for Woman at ETH
Most of the women’s associations at ETH Zurich work in close collaboration with the Equal office. They organize networking and career events, peer mentoring and much more, to support women students, researchers and scientific staff at ETH. Find the complete list here.