All paper and electronic documents (including assessments) must be submitted 4 weeks before the specified date of the thesis defense at the latest to allow for the administrative processing in the GCB and with the expert committees, etc.
The thesis must be submitted no later than one year after finishing experimental work, i.e., within 4 years (3 years experimental work + 1 year after). GCB doctoral candidates may request exceptions to the rules. When a doctoral candidate plans to submit from the end of the 4th year or later, they must submit a request to the GCB PhD Committee in writing to request an official prolongation. Rationale must be included. Evaluations of prolongation requests are evaluated individually.
GCB Promotion Regulations - relevant Articles (The following excerpts are from an English translation of the original and signed “PROMOTIONSREGLEMENT der Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences der Universität Bern” issued in German. The German version is legally valid):
Art 7§1 The PhD program generally lasts three years. Applications for part-time studies must be submitted to the Expert Committee. In the case of part-time studies, the duration of study is extended accordingly. [Version dated 10.10.2019/12.12.2018/24.6.2019]
Art 10 §3 The dissertation must be submitted at the latest one year after completion of the research work. Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the PhD Committee. [Version of 10.10.2019/12.12.2018/24.6.2019]
The Excel worksheet is a simple tool to identify key dates when planning your written thesis submission and oral thesis defense. Enter your planned thesis defense date dd.mm.yyyy in the indicated field. All other dates will be calculated according to a formula to approximate the key submission deadlines.
Results, can be added as published or submitted manuscripts. If this option is chosen, a separate page needs to be inserted before each manuscript in the thesis, where the title of the manuscript and a short description of your own contribution is stated (i.e., which experiments, which figures are yours).
Each PhD thesis submitted to the GCB will be screened for improper citations and potential plagiarism by means of a specialized plagiarism-detection system. For guidelines on scientific integrity and prevention of plagiarism, please consult the links referring to Scientific Integrity in the box «Find out more» at the bottom of this website.
The thesis is independently assessed by the supervisor and by the external co-referee.
May I get an official letter of confirmation confirming my PhD title after my oral defense?
Yes. According to the GCB promotion Regulations, Art. 18, 2The use of the title of Doctor is permitted after receipt of the doctoral diploma. In the intervening period, the candidate is sent proof that he or she has passed the doctoral studies. The GCB will issue a confirmation letter for your title. This is valid proof for any employer, for grant applications, etc. until you receive your actual diploma.
The conditions are that the GCB has received and confirmed the following documents:
a. Three hard copies (A4 size, bound, not spiral bound) of the final written thesis
b. The thesis defense record confirming successful defense (the final oral defense grade is recorded on the Thesis Defense Record) and submitted to the GCB office by the mentor, as well as a protocol of the closed 60 minutes discussion.
When can I expect to receive my diploma?
The process can take as few as 2.5 months and up to 5 months, depending upon a variety of factors.
The diplomas and diploma supplements are printed in batches 3-4 times annually. Then, the diplomas and diploma supplements are verified. Appointments for signatures are made with the deans of all three GCB governing faculties (Medical, Science, Vetsuisse) and then signed individually by each dean. Following that process, the University rector signs each diploma individually, and stamps each diploma with the University of Bern official crest.
When I can officially use my new PhD title?
The use of the doctoral title is governed by the GCB promotion Regulations, Art. 18, 2The use of the title of Doctor is permitted after receipt of the doctoral diploma.
During the pandemic, what form of the thesis defense is recommended?
Please check on our website www.gcb.unibe.ch (scroll down a bit on the first page) for any guidelines or updates.
It is the candidate's responsibility to schedule their defense date. This is done in agreement with your PhD thesis committee. Be mindful to allow sufficient time (refer to the steps below) for your external co-referee to complete and submit the evaluaion of the approved thesis.
Instructions for the preparation and submission of your PhD documents are detailed below. Candidates of Vetsuisse Zurich follow the instructions for the Front Page and the Payment Fee according to the Guidelines for GCB candidates of Vetsuisse ZH (DOCX, 19KB).
It is essential that you carefully follow the instructions below and on the Front Page template. In order to avoid mandatory corrections, it is highly recommended that you submit the Front Page of your thesis to the GCB Administration for review 11-12 weeks prior to your scheduled thesis defense date.
The thesis in A4 format must have been approved by the supervisor and must contain the following sections:
Layout: The cover page and deans’ signature page must be printed on one side only, while for the remaining pages of the thesis duplex (double-sided) print is preferred.
It is only allowed to include published articles in the thesis, if the student is first, shared first, second or shared second author. If the student is third, fourth, fith…. author, a short summary of the publication needs to be done and included in thesis. Please do not forget to cite correctly.
Recently a GCB student made a template für LaTeX and kindly offered other students to use it. You can find the template with the following link, but please note that the GCB is not responsible for the template nor can we give any support for it. However, should you encounter problems with it or it should not work, we are glad to be informed: https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/phd-thesis-template-gcb-university-of-bern/hvtgxsjyjrbc
*effective November 1, 2023 for all thesis defense proceedings taking place from January 1, 2024.
No later than 10 weeks before the date of the thesis defense, the candidate should submit the following document to the GCB office:
No later than 4 weeks before the date of the thesis defense, the candidate should submit the following documents to the GCB office:
send all documents to email@example.com
The PhD Degree Form and the assessments of the supervisor and the external co-referee will be forwarded by the GCB to the members of the thesis committee and the respective GCB Expert Committee. The members of the Expert Committee decide no later than one week before the specified date of the thesis defense upon acceptance of the thesis and admission to the thesis defense.
On request, an electronic copy of the thesis (PDF) can be made available for inspection to the members of the GCB Expert Committee.
Additionally, the GCB provides the mentor with an electronic version of the PhD Degree Form, the submitted thesis, and with appropriate instructions concerning the format of the thesis defense.
As of February 1, 2020 the thesis defense consists of your public presentation of 40-45 min and a closed discussion of 60 min. The closed discussion with your examiners can also take place on a different day. However, there will only be one grade given by each of the four examiners for the oral thesis defense.
(1) the supervisor,
(2) the co-advisor,
(3) external co-referee, and
(3) the mentor, who is also chairing the thesis defense
The grades are recorded on the Thesis Defense Record and submitted to the GCB office by the mentor. Furthermore, a protocol is written of the closed 60 minutes discussion and submitted to the GCB office by the mentor.
The final assessment is summarized on the Graduation Record and is obtained as defined in the «Rules» of the GCB («Promotionsreglement»), consisting of:
(a) the supervisor's assessment of the thesis
(b) the external co-referee's assessment of the thesis
(c) the examiners' assessment of the thesis defense (mean of examiners' individual marks)
No later than 2 weeks after the thesis defense, you must submit the following to the GCB office:
You may submit one electronic copy in PDF format on CD/DVD directly to the University Library (UB) Bern—see the UB website for further information.
The PhD Degree is jointly awarded by the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, and the Vetsuisse Faculty (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) upon the proposal of the PhD Committee of the GCB. The PhD documents are only issued upon receipt of the additional deposit copies and the electronic PDF copy of the final version of the PhD thesis. You are entitled to bear the PhD title after having received the PhD Diploma and Diploma Supplement.
Once you have completed your studies or if you no longer want to continue studying, you have to have yourself removed from the student registry (this does not take place automatically). For this purpose, please use the electronic re-registration form under www.selfservice.unibe.ch. The form is available from 20.5. - 31.8. for HS and from 15.12. - 31.1. for FS.
You may attend the Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty with which you were affiliated during your PhD. Information on date, time and venue will be made available by the GCB office.
Please check the SNSF Swiss Postdoctoral Fellowship call for 2023. The deadline is on December 1, 2023.