Before applying to the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB), candidates must themselves arrange for a research laboratory and a supervisor. Check the websites of the participating faculties for details of research activities, and the offers for open PhD positions of the GCB and the University of Bern.

General Information: Application Procedure

The application procedure comprises two separate steps, and for Vetsuisse Zurich candidates three separate steps:

  1. Registration at the University of Bern (before application to the GCB)
  2. Application to the GCB

Applications to the GCB must be submitted to the coordinator no later than four months after the start of the research project.

Registration at the University of Bern

All applicants are required to apply online for admission at the University of Bern, as indicated on the below-mentioned websites. Read the instructions on the appropriate website, fill in the relevant form «Confirmation of Supervision», and follow the steps indicated on the form. The form «Confirmation of Supervision» has to be signed by the Coordinator of the GCB in the last section of p. 2. No signature is required from the Dean's Office.

Vetsuisse Zurich Candidates

Additionally register as «IN-MOBILITY Student» at the University of Zurich (see section above for more details).

Candidates with Foreign Diplomas

Registration at the University of Bern is required before signing your employment contract with your supervisor.

Deadlines for Application:

April 15, August 15, December 15

Please read through the instructions very carefully before starting your application.
Candidates with foreign university degrees: pay special attention to # 8 & # 9 in the list below. 

The following procedure has to be observed (see list of documents below):

  • Submission of electronic documents # 1-4, as one single, merged PDF file (reduced/optimized PDF), by e-mail to
  • Candidates with foreign university degrees: Additionally, submission of the Master Thesis as separate PDF file to (see # 9 below).
  • Submission of paper documents # 1-7 or # 1-8 as loose sheets in a folder, by mail to PD Dr. Marlene Wolf, Coordinator GCB, c/o Theodor Kocher Institute, P.O. Box 938, CH-3000 Bern 9, to be received by the respective deadline.
  • Please avoid calling in person at the GCB offices, unless absolutely unavoidable; you will be contacted if further documents are required.

List of Required Application Documents

  1. Fully completed, dated and signed GCB Application Form (PDF, 410KB): First save the filled in form on your computer (File → «Print as PDF» → save on computer); electronic copy: type in date and name (= «signature»); paper print-out: add hand-written signature.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Letter of acceptance by the supervisor, written on official letter paper, dated and signed,
    including financial pledge and, where applicable, confirmation that the permission for animal experiments or experiments involving human tissues has been obtained from the relevant institution (i.e. Ethics Committee, BVET, etc.).
  4. Description of planned research project, using the Research Project Form (docx, 113KB):
    The description of the planned research project should comprise 2 to max. 4 pages, be written by the candidate on the official Research Project Form, and address the items according to the outlines on the form.
  5. Written Statement Co-advisor (docx, 117KB), dated and signed.
  6. Photocopies of university diplomas and intermediate diplomas/exam certificates (e.g. Bachelor and Master).
  7. Photocopies of all transcripts/mark sheets (e.g. Bachelor and Master).
    Transcripts should include a conversion key for marks where needed.
  8. Officially certified, complete translations of all documents # 6 and # 7 listed above, if these are issued in a language other than German, English, French, or Italian.
    Applies only to candidates with foreign university degrees.
  9. Electronic copy of the Master Thesis in the original language, and including an abstract of the thesis in English, to be submitted as one single, separate PDF file by e-mail to
    Applies only to candidates with foreign university degrees.

Please note:

  • Incomplete applications/folders will not be considered.
  • Electronic copies to be submitted to
  • Paper copies to be submitted by mail to the Coordinator of the GCB, to be received by the deadline; or drop your documents in the letter-box at the TKI entrance.

PD Dr. Marlene Wolf

Coordinator GCB

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences
c/o Theodor Kocher Institute
Freiestrasse 1
P.O. Box 938
CH-3000 Bern 9