PhD Program

The PhD program usually lasts three years and offers structured post-graduate training in experimental research. Applications to the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences must be submitted to the coordinator no later than four months after the start of the research project.


Each student is supervised by a thesis committee consisting of a supervisor, a co-advisor and a mentor.

The supervisor is responsible for the research project, the laboratory infrastructure, adequate supervision and the salary of the student according to SNF guidelines.

The co-advisor must not be from the same institute as the supervisor, but should be an expert in the research area of the thesis project. The co-advisor is obliged to meet with the student at least twice a year to discuss and assess progress of the thesis work and advise and support the student. It lies in the students' responsibility to organize these meetings.

The mentor is assigned by the GCB; he/she decides with the student and the supervisor upon the training program (see below, «Training»).

Details of the doctoral work and individual training are agreed upon at the start of the PhD in a meeting between the student, the supervisor, and the mentor, and are specified in the Doctoral Agreement (docx, 95KB).


The research project is carried out in a laboratory affiliated to one of the participating Faculties or at a research institution recognized by the GCB. In addition to the research work, the training program requires a minimal number of 6.0 ECTS credit points which can be obtained by participating in approved, project related courses, workshops, seminars and lectures during the first 18 months of the doctoral training period. The individual training program assigned to each student takes into account the student's previous training and relevance to the research work.

Progress in the PhD program and the research project is documented in the annual Progress Report (DOCX, 84KB).

Within the time frame of 18 to max. 24 months after the start of the project, in-depth knowledge of the research field and progress of the project must be documented in a scientific presentation (Mid-term Evaluation).

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