She studied Political Science at the University of Zurich and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In her MA thesis, she analysed the electoral chances of female and male candidates in Swiss national elections.
After graduating, she was a lecturer and research associate at the Departments of political science of the universities of Zurich and Geneva and at the Chair for Global Governance of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). In 2007, she got the certificate of the university didactic qualification programme Teaching Skills.
In the framework of the research project Parliamentary Decisions, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, she contributed to the realization of a survey among Swiss MPs. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Zurich in 2011, with a study about the Swiss Federal Assembly.
She was involved in several research projects that focus on Swiss politics, legislative behaviour, professionalization and political careers of MPs as well on youth and gender issues. Additionally, she has a special interest in scientific journalism and communication.
In 2013, she obtained a CAS for science journalism at the Swiss School of Journalism (maz).
Sarah Bütikofer teaches courses on Swiss politics and science communication and journalism for social scientists in various institutions.