Bern, Switzerland

Hidden players in the food chain

when 10 August 2020 - 14 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee CHF 155

A healthy environment, including healthy soils, plants and animals, is essential for human well-being. One Health is an interdisciplinary framework that helps us to understand the processes that shape and connect global health.
The One Health International Bachelor and Master Summer School at the University of Bern offers a unique opportunity to explore the methods and current knowledge on the health of terrestrial food chains, from soils to plants, animals and humans. Students participating in the Summer School will explore the interfaces between the different compartments and learn about health connections in agroecosystems.

Participants will:
• Explore connections between plant, animal and human health on excursions to different food production systems, whilst enjoying beautiful Switzerland.
• Visit multiple state-of-the-art research laboratories working on One Health projects and connect with scientists from around the globe.
• Use their own skills as health detectives to find potential solutions to some of the most pressing problems of the future.

Course leader

Teaching at the summer school is led by the following leading scientists of the University of Bern:
Professor Matthias Erb (Executive Director of Institute of Plant Sciences, Director of One Health, Head of section Biotic Interactions)

Target group

Bachelor students (third year) and masters’ students (first year) with a background in life sciences.
We aim to have a lively, international and interdisciplinary group of participants with a balanced number of students of both genders from different disciplines and from different countries.

Course aim

What are the benefits of attending the Summer School?

Experience health connections along the food chain in Switzerland
To explore connections between plant, animal and human health, participants will visit different food production systems in Switzerland, ranging from conventional to alternative permaculture. These visits are an excellent opportunity to discover Switzerland and learn about management strategies that promote healthy agroecosystems.

Get first-hand experience in cutting edge interdisciplinary research
The students will have the opportunity to connect with scientists working along the food chain, from soils to plants, to ruminants and humans. World-leading scientists together with their research teams will introduce the students to their work and efforts to promote healthy food chains. Visits will include presentations as well as visits and hands-on experience in different laboratories of the University of Bern.

Challenge yourself.
Develop your own solutions for important one-health challenges
During the week, you will follow a scientific story in several episodes. Use your own skills as a health detective to develop hypotheses about the storyline and solve the mystery. At the end of the week, the students will be given a challenge to work on in small teams. Combine your own knowledge, creativity and team spirit to find creative solutions to some of the most pressing problems of humanity. During the last day of the school, the teams will present their solutions to each other.

Have fun!
The summer school offers many opportunities to explore Switzerland and the city of Bern, to socialize with participants from all over the world and to meet One Health scientists in an informal, friendly setting.

Credits info

2 EC
Participants having successfully completed the Summer School will receive a certificate of attendance and can obtain 2 ECTS points. 2 ECTS correspond to 50 – 60 hours of work, consisting of preparatory work, full participation in the course and giving a short presentation at the end of the week. Acknowledgement of the ECTS points in the study programs at home institutions other than the University of Bern is the responsibility of the participants.

Fee info

CHF 155: Early Bird fee: 125 CHF, Please note that the Early Bird discount is only valid if you complete your application process before 19 April 2020.
Regular fee: 155 CHF
The registration fee includes two excursions, course participation and two “apéro riche”. The price does not include meals, accommodation or insurance.
The One Health International Bachelor and Master Summer School is kindly supported and subsidized by UniBE International..


There will be travel grants available for international students, who travel to Bern by train.