Clinical studies are a prerequisite for advancing our understanding and treatment of disease. They provide essential information on disease pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment if conducted according to established scientific standards. In several workshops, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) had spotted the need to improve the quality of clinical research in Switzerland. Based on this finding, the SNSF initiated a program in 2007 to fund clinical trials units. The aim of these units should be to coordinate and support patient-oriented clinical research.
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bern applied to this initiative and was selected as one of three faculties in the first call. CTU Bern was formally founded at the end of 2007 and established over the following five years with decreasing funding by the SNSF. Over the following years, the unit has been growing and is now an established independent institute at the Faculty of Medicine.