The PhD program of the GCB grants each candidate a completely tailor-made training, in order to match specific needs and individual interests in relation to the planned research project. Training modules may be selected from courses and seminars organized and supported by the GCB, from the teaching units of the participating faculties at the University of Bern, and also from approved, project-related courses and summer schools offered by other Swiss Universities or recognized institutions in Switzerland and abroad.
The selection of courses is decided upon at a meeting between the candidate, the supervisor and the GCB representative (mentor), after admission to the GCB, and is recorded in the Doctoral Agreement (DOCX, 95KB), which must then be submitted to the GCB for approval.
The PhD program requires a minimum of 6.0 ECTS credit points, to be exclusively obtained with scientifically oriented topics. As part of the 6.0 ECTS, it is mandatory that 3.0 ECTS are acquired with lecture courses or book clubs which include a graded exam with marks, and which provide the candidate with new knowledge relevant to the research project.
Transferable skills courses (academic writing, presentation skills, etc.) are considered as optional courses and cannot be acknowledged as part of the required minimum of 6.0 ECTS.
ECTS are only awarded for courses, workshops, summer schools etc. which include some type of performance assessment, i.e. an exam, a talk, a poster presentation or a written report.
Any changes to the planned courses listed as «Mandatory Requirements» in the Doctoral Agreement are subject to the approval of the supervisor and the mentor of the PhD candidate, and must be communicated to the coordinator of the GCB for final approval. Additionally, the written agreement of the mentor (e-mail) must be submitted to the GCB.—Major changes to the Doctoral Agreement must be recorded in a revised Doctoral Agreement, which must again be dated, signed, and submitted to the GCB for approval.
PhD candidates and supervisors are very welcome to suggest topics for new courses to be added to the GCB course catalog.