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Established in 1997 [History], the Swiss Summer School is open to all who need to use Social Science methods, both quantitative and qualitative, for their work. It has been conceived for those who feel the need to refresh, deepen and widen their methodological knowledge and skills, whatever their professional situation: student, researcher or practioner. Organized by FORS, the Swiss Foundation for social science research and located in Lugano at USI (Università della Svizzera Italiana), it offers every year several full-time workshops in two weekly sessions (second half of August).

Instructors are renowned specialists and experienced and enthousiastic teachers in their respective fields. Depending upon the number of participants in a workshop, they will bring a teaching assistant or co-teacher, in order to optimize opportunities for help and advice during the workshops.

All workshops are oriented towards practical applications and spend roughly half of their time on applied work and exercises (many workshops will make heavy use of computer software). There is ample time to discuss and try to solve problems related to the work and research projects of the participants with instructors and fellow participants. Whenever possible participants are strongly encouraged to work on their own data and research problems to get the most out of the Summer School experience.

Most workshop topics are repeated regularly (every year or less frequently) and new workshop topics are added.

More than 2000 participants have attended the Swiss Summer School since 1997. Participants are Phd students (75-80%) , researchers and practitioners, from Switzerland (70-80%) and more than 40 different countries working in a wide range of scientific disciplines: Psychology, Educational Sciences, Business Studies, Communication, Political Science, Sociology, Health Sciences and many others.