We are a peer group of experienced doctoral students and postdocs who provide completely confidential and independent advice on academic, administrative and personal issues. We are here to provide:


Listen to you to clarify your needs and offer you advice


Help navigating ETH’s rules and resources, and academia in general


Help de-escalating or mediating conflicts with colleagues


Improve your situation at ETH and discusse your future

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Contact the AVETH Counselling team:

As Rector of ETH Zürich since 2015, I am aware that a great many doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows contribute to delivering research of outstanding quality at our institution. In doing so, some may encounter obstacles along the way, perhaps feeling as if they are swimming through rough and turbulent waters. The dedication of the AVETH Counselling Team in offering competent assistance in any difficult times, is akin to that of a lighthouse, giving much needed guidance, hope and reassurance. I am happy to express my support and endorsement for this programme, which is run by a committed team of volunteers. I encourage those in need of a chat or some advice, not to wait, and to seek help without delay. Prof. Dr. Sarah M. Springman

1985: London-Paris Triathlon Relay 1st swimming, Sarah Springman, at 5.30am 13 °C.

About us:

AVETH Counselling is a peer-to-peer counselling service run by volunteers made up by ETH Mittelbau employees. We are a group of people trained in communication/ mediation/ de-escalation/ active listening and are familiar with the rules and regulations of ETH. As peer-to-peer counselling service, we aim is to support postdocs and doctoral students at ETH to solve arising concerns in an early stage and before they grow in size. Providing a confidential service on eye level, we lower the barrier for people to come forward early on if they experience uncertainties, mismatching expectations, miscommunications and other concerns during their stay at ETH. Even when you are not sure you really have a problem, just a feeling, talk to us and we can help you avoid a problem from occurring. The earlier you seek help, the more likely it is to avoid an escalation. This can be problems with your supervisor, other group members or living in Switzerland. We will work out a solution together with you, help to avoid escalation, provide mediation and connect you with the necessary services at ETH. It is our mission to make your time at ETH a positive experience and assist you in any way requested. We understand that many problems are of a confidential nature and anything you tell/ entrust us with will remain between us. The counselling team is part of the AVETH organization while being run completely independent. We do not venture into psychological nor legal issues but rather guide you to the specialists in those fields.


Other useful services

These services can also provide support for you. We have good links with them, and can contact them on your behalf if you wish.

Psychological Counselling Services

You can contact the Professional Psychological Counselling Service that provides psychological counselling for students and doctoral students. These services are not currently available for postdocs, but if you contact we can help finding a therapist.

EmailWebsiteÄrztefon Kanton Zürich


Nightline Zurich, an independent help-line for students of ETH Zurich, UZH, ZHAW, ZHdK and PHZH, can be reached anonymously and confidentially during the semester from Monday to Friday 20.00-24.00 by phone and via e-mail or chat

Email044 633 77 77Website


The ombudspersons offer advice on the following topics: workplace conflict and conflict involving instructors. Whistle blowing in case of suspected illegal action by members of ETH Zurich. Other cases of breaches of ETH Zurich’s compliance guide.

Peter FrischknechtMargrit LeitholdGerhard TroesterKathrin TeuscherOmbudspersons

Doctoral Administration

Doctoral administration is the point of contact when you need assistance with the administrative side of your doctoral studies, also if you are a doctoral candidate or need assistance after you received your doctoral degree.

Doctoral administration

ETH bullying and threatening behaviour

If you are bothered by bullying, harassment and discrimination, you can contact the specialized unit within ETH concerned with mutual respect. Contact the specialist unit SSHE: Threats and violence, and external advice centre.

SSHE campaign contact

Contact the external office for Bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Advice centre contact

Trusted Intermediaries

The trusted intermediaries serve as contact persons for all questions of research integrity. Some examples include: authorship conflicts, suspected plagiarism in scientific publications, falsification and fabrication of data, problems with sharing data or handing them over when leaving ETH Zurich, conflicts of interest, insufficient support for junior scientist (in collaboration with the vice rector of doctoral studies).

Renate Schubert & Rainer Schulin & Peter Widmeyer Trusted Intermediaries

ETH Entrepreneurship

Office for start-ups is the place to find guidance and further information on funding, organization, rules&rights, workshops and everything related to initiating your own start-up company.


ETH Financial Aid Office

Doctoral candidates from ETHZ who are proven to be in financial difficulty may apply for financial support in the form of a loan towards study fees and living expenses, up to a total amount of CHF 12,000. Due to the Corona situation short-​term loans are possible up to CHF 5,000. They are granted from as early as the first semester in order to help students overcome temporary financial difficulties. All loans are interest-​free. A loan application may be submitted at any time. Application forms are available from the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid Office

Department counselling helpdesks

The department counselling helpdesks can provide answers to all questions that are department specific. They aim to help you finding solutions in early stages of conflicts on academic, administrative or personal issues. They are happy to help answering any question you might have regarding rights and working condition regulation by ETH Zurich and/or Swiss government. They can provide you with information and refer you to the appropriate centres if more specialized help is needed. No action will be taken all along the process without your prior consent. They are here to listen and support, in a confidential way.

Are you new at ETHZ?

AVETH Survival Guide has been renewed and can be found online. Do not hesitate to peruse the different sections and find a wealth of information.

Survival Guide

Get to know your way around the city and campus, meet interesting people, make new friends and get the real spirit of being a member of ETH. Visit the welcome center and get familiar with the first steps after arrival in Switzerland. 

Welcome Center

Immigration and housing is usually the responsibility of every new employee and should be arranged with the Canton office and agencies personally. For guidance and further information you can go to the immigration and housing office. 

Immigration and housing

Would you like to like to learn a language or improve on your soft skills through courses and workshops? Visit the following links and please inform us further if you know more helpful organisations.

DidacticaHR coursesBusiness tools

Similar to the ESN buddy system, AVETH is connecting peers, if you just started your doctoral studies or would like to expand your network, we provide you with some friendly students to talk and have a coffee with. The network of people provides a social environment to eliminate isolation from your life. As a doctoral student or Postdoc, knowing your way through ETH already, you can help people and become a buddy. Get some briefing about recourses in and around our university and make a new friend. Write to buddy for an inquiry.


Didn’t find what you were looking for? Contact us and we will assist you in finding the answers to all your questions.