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PhD Program Biomedicine

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


How many members of the thesis committee have to be a member of the BioMed PhD Program?

The PhD thesis committee consists of at least three members including the direct supervisor, the official supervisor (responsible faculty member UZH/MNF or ETH - depending on the affiliation) and an external expert (not BioMed). The direct or /and official supervisor must be BioMed member.  Depending on whether the thesis is conducted at the UZH or the ETHZ, two members must have the right to confer PhDs at the MNF/UZH or ETHZ, respectively, see BioMed guidelines

What are the application deadlines?

Depending on the track, you can apply to the BioMed program by the following deadlines:

Track I: July 1 and December 1. Interviews/visits are held twice per year.

Track II: applications are accepted all year round. Interviews are held four times a year.

How can I apply for the BioMed PhD program?

You can apply for the BioMed PhD program via the LSZGS online application tool (link to follow). There are different application forms for track I and track II, so please check that you chose the right form. If you want to apply via track II, please contact the BioMed coordinator before you apply. After the application deadlines, all complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by the admission committee of the BioMed program.

I already have a PhD position - how can I apply for the BioMed program?

If you already have a supervisor and a PhD position, you can apply for the BioMed PhD program via track II. Applications are possible year-round via the track II application form on the LSZGS online application tool (link to follow). Applications are preferentially done before you start your PhD but can be done up to 3 months into your work. Contact the BioMed coordinator before you apply. After the evaluation of the application, the selected candidates will be invited for the admission interview.

I don't have my master degree yet - can I already apply for the BioMed program?

Yes, you can apply for the BioMed PhD program even if you have not yet completely finished your master studies. Your admission to the BioMed program will be valid for six months.


What are the next steps once I'm accepted to the BioMed program and have found a position in a BioMed group?

Your supervisor's group will deal with your employment contract and the necessary HR and visa formalities. Visa formalities (if required) need to be completed before you start working as a PhD student.

Permits for foreign PhD students are linked to the registration at a Swiss University, students should therefore start the registration process early.



You will additionally have to register for student status with the Faculty of Science (MNF) of the University of Zurich or a given department at ETH Zurich depending on the affiliation of your future research group.

Once you have our official UZH / ETH email address, please send it to the BioMed coordinator, who can then create your DissGo profile.

What courses are obligatory at the BioMed program?

As written in the regulations/guidelines of the BioMed PhD program, there is one compulsory course (Introduction to Scientific Integrity) which you have to attend. In addition, you are required to participate in at least 2 BioMed retreats. Please take a look at the course webpage of the BioMed PhD program to find out more about the BioMed curriculum.

Where do I find courses I can attend?

You will find the courses organized by the BioMed on the BioMed course page. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of courses offered by i.e. the LSZGS and the Graduate Campus UZH.


What is the BioMed retreat?

The BioMed organizes a yearly retreat in Zürich or someplace else in Switzerland. The program may change from year to year but may include local, national and/or international keynote speakers who will give a lecture on their research field. All PhD students present their PhD project either on a poster or by in a short talk.

An informal get together on the first evening will allow the participants to get to know each other, to discuss about their projects and to initiate new projects and collaborations. The retreat is a unique opportunity to get in touch with the BioMed keynote speakers, PI's and other BioMed students.

BioMed students have to attend at least two retreats where they present their PhD project either on a poster or in a short talk. But of course, we highly recommend to join more than two retreats and take the chance to meet with other BioMed students and PI's.

What is DissGo?

DissGo is our PhD database platform which keeps track of your PhD process. You should enter your personal information as well as all information about your PhD project once you have got the login information for DissGo.

It is important to keep your DissGo profile up to date and to upload your milestones once you have achieved them. The BioMed coordinator will keep track of your milestones, will accept the achievement of milestones and will remind you when they are overdue. Your supervisor also has a profile on DissGo and will be informed when your milestones are due.

How can I stay in contact with BioMed after my graduation?

You can keep in contact with the BioMed over the BioMed website and our dedicated alumni web page. It would be great if you kept us informed about your career after your PhD and maybe someday come back to tell the younger PhD students about your career path.

How can I get in contact with other BioMed students?

The best opportunity to meet other BioMed students are of course the BioMed courses, events and especially the retreat. BioMed constantly updates contact information about all current BioMed students on its website.


Please also see Frequently Asked Questions - Life Science Zurich Graduate School (LSZGS)



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