The HES or HEP option

Applied research and the development and provision of services to third parties form an increasing part of the activity of the hautes écoles.

Research especially is rapidly expanding in the HEP and HES sector, creating attractive professional openings for PhD holders interested in applied research. 

Some tips for finding a job at a University of Applied Sciences (HES)
Job offers in the field of teaching and research at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) are generally published on its website. It’s also advisable to visit the websites of all 27 institutions comprising the HES-SO or HES in other linguistic regions if you have the necessary linguistic abilities to apply.

If you’re interested by the HES, it’s worth visiting applied research and development sections (AR&D) of the different websites and the internet pages of different networks. This is a good way of finding out the areas of research available and who is working in these fields.

As in academic circles, the network plays a fundamental role at the HES.

Keeping informed of colloquiums and conferences organised at the HES and attending them (information circulated on websites and through distribution lists), becoming known among research professors active in the field of AR&D, and – why not - suggesting collaboration with them, are excellent ways of starting up a network.

Collaboration between universities and HES / HEP can be a strong point for research projects submitted to the SNSF. National Research Programmes (NRP), for example, provide opportunities to propose inter-institutional projects.

The links thus established are an excellent way of keeping informed of vacancies or projects for which PhD holders are sought. It also gives you precise information about the necessary requirements and type of candidate profiles that are likely to be favoured.

Such information is very useful for knowing what to emphasise in a CV and a covering letter (teaching, research, project management ability, etc.).

Compared to universities, the administration of Universities of Applied Sciences, and particularly human resources, play a more prominent role in staff recruitment. It is often they that receive applications in the first instance and are present at interviews.

In addition, since the principal mission of HES and HEP is to train practitioners and conduct application-oriented research, it’s very important to take these two aspects into account when considering how to present your application and at the interview.


To find out more:

List of Recognized and Accredites Swiss Higher Education Institutions (swissuniversities.ch)

University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO)

University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)