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About us

The D-BIOL helpdesk was founded in 2020 by volunteers from the association of scientific staff at the Department of Biology (AMB) and the department to create a new safe space to ask questions and to share your concerns in a strictly confidential environment. We assist in guidance and provide answers to department- or employment-related questions. We are here to listen and support you in difficult times. 

Our purpose

At the D-BIOL helpdesk, we would be happy to help to answer any questions you might have regarding rights and working condition regulations by ETH and/or the Swiss government. We can provide you with information and refer you to the appropriate centers if more specialized help is neededNo action will be taken along the process without your prior consent. We are here to listen and support, in a confidential manner


Feel free to contact us! 

Contact any of our volunteers via e-mail to set up a face-to-face confidential conversation or write your question directly in the email. 

Other services that might be helpful  

AVETH counselling

If you would be more comfortable with asking your questions to an outsider of the department, you can write your email to the AVETH counseling serviceYou can contact the peer-to-peer counselling service when you need advice or just a talk about anything professional or personal related.  

Contact –  


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

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 scientists (in collaboration with the vice-rector of doctoral studies)  

Contact –  

Psychological counselling

You can contact the Professional Psychological Counseling Service that provides professional counselling for students and doctoral students. These services are not available for postdocs. 

Contact  –  

An alternative for Postdocs and academic staff is the MeWell Community, a non-profit organization that promotes mental health in academia. Events and mental health advice can be found on their Facebook page. 

 Bullying, harassment, and discrimination

If you are bothered by experiencing inappropriate behaviour such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination, you can contact the specialized unit within ETH concerned with mutual respect. You can also contact the specialist unit SSHE: Threats and violence, or the external advice centre: Bullying, harassment, and discrimination 

Respect campaign  

SSHE campaign contact – 

Advice centre 


“Nightline Zurich is an independent help-line from students for students of ETH, UZH, and other academic institutions in Zurich like ZHAW, ZHdK, and PHZH. You can reach us anonymously and confidentially during the semester from Monday to Friday 20.00-24.00 by phone and via e-mail or chat at

Call nightline: 044 633 77 77 


Buddy system

If you just started your doctoral studies or you are just low on social interactions, you can contact the buddy system and they can provide you with some friendly students to talk to and have a coffee with. This network of people provides a social environment to eliminate isolation from your life. As a doctoral student, you can also contact the buddy system provided by AVETH which is based on the same system.  

AVETH buddy system