A flexible advancement system opens up academic careers to talented young professionals, from assistant professorships to associate professorships and full professorships.
Is your aim the doctorate?
This decision depends on the relevance of the dissertation topic, the research specific factors, funding options, choice of the university as well as private circumstances. If you wish to do a PhD, you should discuss this project with a professor of the respective department.
Anyone desiring to remain in research after obtaining the doctorate should plan further career steps carefully: in the coming years it is key that your scientific autonomy grows, that you are willing to do research in different institutions (mobility), that you are successfull in raisinng third-party funding, and that you will establish a supporting scientific and personal Network with the aim of developing an excellent research profile and an excellent track record with the prospect of adequate positions.
Is your aim the "habilitation"?
The habilitation is common mainly at German-speaking universities and is a requirement for a professorship in most fields, but has less importance in natural and life-sciences.
Two different grades are awarded at the University of Basel:
a) Doctor habilitatus (Dr. habil.) confirms the facultas docendi, i.e. the ability to independently represent their field of study in both research and teaching at the university level
b) For the award of the academic title "Privatdozent" or "Privatdozentin", the venia legendi is based on a written work (the Habilitationsschrift) and a trial lecture or the fulfillment of other suitable requirements in the field in question.
Assistant professors aim at the further scientific qualification and the acquirement of a professorship. There exist an non-tenured assistant professorship and a tenure track assistant professorship. The first is a fixed term employement of five years. Afterwards an Associate Professorship position has to be found at an other research institution. The tenure track assistant professorships leads upon a successful evaluation to an Associate Professorship.
The new funding instrument SNSF Eccellenza ist intended for highly qualified young researchers who aspire to a permanent professorship. Researchers who have not yet obtained an assistant professorship can apply for a SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship for establishing their own team. SNSF Eccellenza Grants are aimed at researchers in all disciplines who have recently been appointed as tenure track assistant professors at a Swiss higher education institution.