Bern, Switzerland

Hidden Players in the Food Chain-Improving Health at the Interfaces Between Environment, Plants, Animals and Humans

when 21 August 2023 - 25 August 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee CHF 120

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. Our Summer School 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 the key role of microbes in causing disease and conferring health benefits. They will visit two agricultural enterprises offering different ways of contemporary food production. In addition, participants will have the possibility to visit multiple state-of-the-art research University of Bern laboratories working on One Health projects. Here world-leading scientists together with their research teams will introduce the students to their work and efforts to promote healthy food chains. Through challenge-based learning, students will be able to use their own skills as health detectives to find potential solutions to some of the most pressing problems of the future.

Course leader

Researchers presenting their work: Prof. Dr. Matthias Erb, Prof. Dr. Siegfried Hapfelmeier, Prof. Dr Adrien Mestrot, Dr. Josef Gross

Target group

Bachelor students (national and international) in semesters 4-6 (must have completed their fourth semester by August 2023). They must be at least 18 years of age and be enrolled in a life sciences Bachelors programme. Likewise, Master students with a background in life sciences (national and international) must have completed their first year by August 2023.

Course aim

The aim of the International Bachelor and Master Summer School for One Health is to bring together highly motivated, open-minded bachelor and master students. The participants study a wide range of subjects; therefore, this course makes it possible for everyone to get new insights into the topic of terrestrial food chains and understand how closely areas are connected, which are regarded as separate disciplines most of the time. This interdisciplinarity was very much appreciated by previous participants. During the course, students interact with high-profile scientists. The informal atmosphere gives participants the opportunity to gain new insight into up-to-date research and to expand their scientific network. As a conclusion, students are asked to use all the information they collect during the excursions, lab visits and lectures. They are required to work on a real-world problem in interdisciplinary teams and to develop an idea and present how specific problems might be solved. This way students are pushed to use their creativity and to create a draft for a research project. During the last day of the school, the teams present their solutions to each other.

Credits info

2 EC
Participants having successfully completed the Summer School will receive a certificate of attendance and can obtain 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) 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 programmes at home institutions other than the University of Bern is the responsibility of the participants.

Fee info

CHF 120: Early Bird fee: 120 CHF Early Bird deadline: 15 April 2023. Included in the price: Fee for course and course material, excursions, social programme.
CHF 150: Regular fee: 150 CHF Regular deadline: 15 May 2023. Included in the price: Fee for course and course material, excursions, social programme


The University of Bern is striving to reduce its CO2 emissions. To this aim, UniBE International is offering financial support to summer school participants who will travel to Bern without using air travel. More information on our website.