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swisstopoEDU - Information

A Masters degree within the framework of swisstopoEDU is an excellent academic qualification that paves the way for a challenging future career. Here you will find all the relevant information for participation.

swisstopoEDU offers you support for your Masters thesis in a broad variety of ways:

  • Fascinating research activities.
  • Access to geodata (public and internal) for putting your ideas into practice.
  • Access to specialised infrastructure (laboratory, appliances, processing tools, etc.), depending on the topic concerned.
  • Advice, support and practical assistance from specialists.
  • Performance-related recognition awards of up to CHF 1'000.-
  • The opportunity for your research institute to receive an award of CHF 2500.-, thanks to your efforts.

Procedure for submitting a research project

Step 1: Choose your research topic

Consult our list of topics for inspiration. swisstopo has prepared a list of research questions and topic suggestions covering all its areas of activity. Do you already have a concept for a suitable Masters degree project, or maybe even an idea of your own? We look forward to hearing about it!

Research questions

  • positioning and navigation in space
  • modelling and corrections of geodetic measurement methods
  • studies of the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields
  • analysis of new sensor systems (imagery and distance measuring) as well as optimisation of basic data pre-processing
  • improvement and optimisation of the deduction of digital products out of our base data (image data, LiDAR, metadata) with up-to-date methods of geodata science (for example artificial intelligence)
  • change detection and change mapping of spatial and thematic information
  • optimising of archival methods and facilitating access to current and historical imagery and maps
  • geological models, from the field to the map to the model, including their current and future applications
  • the development of an automated generalisation workflow of geological datasets
  • geological 3D models of the shallow subsurface and their correlation and extension with the help of geophysical data
  • protection of cloud services against malicious attacks
  • optimization of long-term data storage using cloud technologies
  • improvement of data management with the help of international or national standards


Step 2: Submit a proposal

If you have chosen a topic, as a master's student you describe your research idea on one page. Your description should explain how your proposed project relates to the topic and swisstopo, and it should outline your planned methodology and the results you hope to achieve. You should also include personal details (address, current and completed fields of study), plus details about your supervisor at your research institute (name and address, declaration of consent). Send your proposal to our contact person.

We will notify you within one month whether your proposal is to be included in the swisstopoEDU-MSc programme. The criteria on which we base our decision are as follows:

  • Your research project has to potentially make a new scientific contribution to one of our current themes or areas of activity
  • Your research project has to be topical and feasible and demonstrate originality
  • You must have the specialised background necessary to carry out your proposed research 
  • There must be sufficient capacity in the programme and your chosen topic must still be available

Step 3: Working together with swisstopo

If your proposal is accepted, you and your supervisor at your research institute will be invited to a meeting at swisstopo, where you will be introduced to your contact at swisstopo who will support you during your research work. At the same time, your research project will be discussed in detail, your data requirements will be identified and data delivery will be specified. 

Step 4: Presentation of results to swisstopo

Upon completion of the research projects, all participants in the Masters degree programme are required to give an oral presentation of their results in front of an audience comprising an internal jury, employees of swisstopo and other interest groups. We require your participation and special commitment to this presentation so that we can obtain a clear picture of your research and assess your work. The presentation day is held towards the end of the year or by arrangement.

Step 5: Recognition award

After you have made your presentation and submitted your Masters thesis, your work will be examined and assessed by an internal swisstopo jury, which decides the amount of the recognition award, up to 1,000 Swiss francs per thesis. The assessment criteria are as follows (not in order of priority):

  • Practical and/or operational implementability of the project
  • Independence, originality, methodology and collaboration with swisstopo
  • Soundness of scientific treatment of the topic
  • Quality of the submitted thesis in scientific terms
  • Quality of oral presentation

If your work is judged to be the best, your research institute will also receive a special award of 2,500 Swiss francs. Here, in addition to the criteria relating to scientific content, the jury also assesses the quality and development of your collaboration with swisstopo during the period of your research. 


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
+41 58 469 01 11


Relevant authority

swisstopoEDU - MSc

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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