Key topics

Youth and education

The pandemic presented particular challenges for young people. Four research projects are investigating what their experience of the pandemic was; what effect virus containment measures had on their development, vocational education and entry into the labour market; what impact school closures and digitalised teaching had on them; and what significance urban spaces have for young people’s resilience.

Family and law

What impact did the coronavirus pandemic have on families, mothers, fathers and children? Researchers working on three projects are investigating the extent to which pandemic containment measures resulted in conflict and violence within families as well as the impact they had on family law proceedings and child protection. The aim is to identify gaps and potential for improvement in the practices applied and to issue recommendations on prevention measures for the people affected as well as for professionals.

Governance and economy

The pandemic represented a challenge not only for individuals, but also for institutions and companies. The four research projects put state and non-state players centre-stage, investigating their reactions to the pandemic and the economic and health-policy measures that were imposed. They also look at the responses of aid organisations, companies and job seekers, as well as the legal, federalist framework, with the aim of developing proposals for improving crisis management.


The coronavirus pandemic had a huge influence on the work environment. Some people were able to work from home, others were not and still others lost their livelihood. Two projects deal with the effects of the pandemic on two population groups: domestic employees from a migration background and key workers who ensured that public life continued to function in Swiss towns and cities. A third project is exploring ways of formulating working-from-home rules such that employees perceive them as fair.

Public discourse

How did the public respond to the pandemic and measures to combat it? Four research teams are investigating the underlying factors. They are analysing the relevance of secular and religious world views and why there was such vigorous protest in German-speaking regions of Switzerland. One research project aims to encourage and empower young people to play an active part in shaping public discourse. Another is asking how the public responded to the pandemic-related data communicated to them.

Wellbeing and cohesion

Coronavirus containment measures severely restricted interpersonal contact. Four projects are examining the following questions: How do social relationships affect health practices and psychological wellbeing in a pandemic? How did people maintain intergenerational contact and social cohesion while rigorous restrictions were in place? What psychological and ethically appropriate steps can be taken to mitigate social isolation? What effect did restricted contact have on people living in nursing homes?

Social security

What social and economic impact did the coronavirus pandemic have on the different groups that make up society, and did it amplify existing inequalities? Three research groups are investigating these questions with the aim of strengthening social-policy tools and awareness of particular vulnerabilities with an eye to future crises.