Code of Conduct

Principles

As an independent, non-profit organization, the ETH Zurich Foundation promotes teaching and research at the ETH Zurich. The Foundation allocates resources to the ETH Zurich, which are received in the form of charitable donations from companies, foundations and individuals.

I. Donations

Donors enable the strengthening of research and teaching. Thanks to donations, it is possible for the ETH strategy to be implemented more rapidly. Donations permit the focused expansion of research activities and nurturing of talents and drive forward the progress in science and technology.

II. Acceptance

Donations shall be in accordance with the aims of the ETH Zurich Foundation. Decisions concerning the acceptance of donations are in the sole responsibility of the ETH Zurich Foundation. Commitments of donations are recorded in the form of written agreements.

III. Focus on ETH strategy

Donations shall focus on strategic projects of ETH Zurich, where the greatest impact can be achieved.

IV. Earmarked donations

In the case of earmarked donations, the specific purpose in question must be approved by the Executive Board of ETH Zurich. Wherever possible, donors’ wishes will be duly considered.

V. Endowment of professorships

Donations can support the establishment of new professorships, institutes or centres in accordance with ETH planning. ETH Zurich is responsible for defining the thematic focus and profile of the professorship, advertising the position, and conducting the recruitment and appointment process.

VI. Freedom of teaching and research

For persons and projects supported by donations at ETH Zurich, the freedom of teaching, research and publication is guaranteed at all times. The ETH Zurich Foundation cannot grant donors any rights to the ownership, publication or exploitation of research results.

VII. Origin of donations

The ETH Zurich Foundation verifies the origin of donations, which are only accepted from trustworthy donors. If a donation is made through an individual or organization acting as an intermediary, their trustworthiness is also examined. The intermediary confirms that the source of the funds has been verified in accordance with applicable legislation.

VIII. Transparency and privacy

The purpose and content of donations are published on the website of the ETH Zurich Foundation. The Annual Report provides information on the financial situation, donations received and funds allocated. Donors’ who wish to remain anonymous will be respected. Data and information received will not be passed on to third parties without the consent of the persons concerned.

IX. Reporting

The Foundation’s organs (Board of Trustees, Office, auditors) act in a fiduciary capacity towards donors’ expressed wishes. Donors are regularly informed of the progress and outcomes of projects they support.

X. Compensation

Members of the Board of Trustees serve in an honorary capacity.

These guidelines, approved by the Board of Trustees of the ETH Zurich Foundation, come into effect on 29 October 2013.