The following information is designed especially for the various departments and faculties of the University of Lucerne. You will find information on the coordination of the SEMP (Erasmus) programme and other mobility programmes, advice on what to consider when appointing international academic staff, as well as information on international research cooperation.

Mobility Programmes

Find here information and links regarding the SEMP (Erasmus) programme and on how to proceed when establishing a bilateral exchange agreement with an international partner institution. 

Coordination of the SEMP (Erasmus) Programme

As of the Autumn semester of 2014 Switzerland has third country status within the Erasmus+ Programme. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation has thus from the academic year 2014/15 onwards, implemented an interim solution. The interim solution, known as the 'Swiss-European Mobility Programme' (SEMP) allows Swiss universities to continue wokring with its European partners under very similar conditions to those of the Erasmus+ Programme.

The SEMP programme comprises the following activities: 

  • Student Mobility
  • Teaching Staff Mobility
  • Staff Mobility
  • European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) 

Bilateral Exchange Agreements

Student and (teaching) staff exchanges take place on the basis of a bilateral exchange agreement between the home university and the international partner university (see Checklist Partner Institutions).  

Please find below the necessary steps when establishing a bilateral agreement: 

  • The department or faculty contacts the International Relations Office of the University of Lucerne (IRO).
  • The IRO sends a draft agreement (SEMP agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding and/or Student Exchange Agreement) to the International Relations Office of the partner institution.
  • The IRO checks the amendments to the agreement made by the partner institution and if necessary negotiates any open points. The negotiations are led in accordance with the department and faculty.
  • Once both parties agree on the wording of the agreement, the agreement draft is checked by a lawyer, if necessary.
  • The IRO organises the signing process within the University of Lucerne.
  • After the signing of the agreement, the IRO informs the department and the faculty accordingly and files the agreement.  

For all questions regarding bilateral agreements, please contact

Catrin Scheiber
Head of International Relations Office 
T +41 41 229 50 71

International Research Cooperation

The international research cooperation of Switzerland offers quite a variety of instruments and services. Please find below information and links regarding the most important programmes.

Please also take note of the services offered by the Research Promotion Unit (rubric Research) of the University of Lucerne.

The Federal Administration’s bilateral programme to promote research cooperation with priority countries

bilateral focus

In the past, corresponding federal policies were strongly geared towards cooperation with Europe (European research organisations, EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development). Research cooperation ties were also established with the United States, Canada and Singapore.

The Federal Council Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation for 2008–2011 mentions several priority countries as potential partners with whom Switzerland would like to establish broader and deeper bilateral research cooperation ties. For each priority country, a Swiss university and a corresponding institution in the partner country are assigned to act as Leading Houses.

The Federal Administration’s bilateral programme to promote research cooperation with priority countries:

  • China (Leading House ETH Zurich)
  • India (Leading House EPFL)
  • Russia (Leading House University of Geneva)
  • South Africa (Leading House University of Basel)
  • Japan (Leading House ETH Zurich)
  • Südkorea (Leading House ETH Zurich)
  • Brazil (Leading House EPFL)
  • Chile (Leading House EPFL) 

Please check the different websites for more detailed information on the programmes.


logo sciex

Sciex is the promotion tool for research teams from all disciplines, consisting of team-members from the EU10 and Switzerland. Sciex Fellows from the EU10: BGR CZE, EST, HUN, LTU, LVA, ROU, POL, SVK, SVN pursue their research in cooperation with Swiss researchers in Swiss research institutions. Ideal working and framework conditions support the success of their research. Sciex is part of the Swiss Contribution to the New Member States of the EU.  

Swiss National Science Foundation

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The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is strongly committed to facilitating and promoting international engagement for the Swiss research community and provides a number of funding opportunities for this purpose. 

In Switzerland, SNSF collaborates closely with the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) on initiatives of European or worldwide interest. It also works closely with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


logo euresearch

On behalf of the State Secretariat for Education and Research the Euresearch network informs all interested parties about the possibilities and procedures of involvement in European research activities. Euresearch consists of a head office in Berne, with the national contact offices to the EU framework programme, and regional counselling offices at 10 university centres. The contact office SwissCore in Brussels also works with Euresearch.  

Euresearch is responsible for providing specific information and counselling to all interested researchers from the private sector and public institutions about participation in EU research framework programmes and COST activities.  

Further information on the Homepage of Euresearch

For more detailed questions, please contact the respective Regional Office (Euresearch Lucerne). 

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