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At the end of 2020, WSL counted 564 employment contracts with a total of 490,3 full-time equivalents (FTEs). Scientists accounted for 57,4 % of all staff (FTEs). The scientific staff includes 66 doctoral students and 52 post-doctoral researchers. Its staff also included 14 apprentices, being trained in eight different professions.


The proportion of women (excluding apprentices) was 38,5 %. Foreign staff accounted for around 32 % and came from 40 different countries. German was the mother tongue of most employees (85 %).


WSL launched a Visiting Fellows programme to increase research collaboration with foreign scientists. The aim of this programme is to enable leading international researchers at an advanced stage of their career to spend 3-12 months conducting research at WSL. Fellowships are awarded annually to international applicants. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only six "Visiting Fellows" from American and European research institutions were able to enter Switzerland to work at WSL in 2020.