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University of Basel

FAQ PhD Candidates

  • What are the regulations regarding the final examination?

    There are faculty-specific requirements for the examination, the colloquium and the defense which are specified in the respective doctoral study regulations. For more information, please contact the Dean’s Office of the faculty or ask your supervisor.

  • How can I finance my doctorate?

    There are multiple ways of financing one’s doctorate. At university, you can apply for doctoral positions in departments or research groups. These positions are either financed by the university or by external funding agencies such as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). You can also apply for a scholarship from a public or private foundation. Finally, a doctorate can also be financed independently, i.e. by means of a part-time job. For more information, please contact your supervisor, visit the website of the Career Advancement Office or contact the Graduate Center.

  • Do I need to become part of a doctoral program?

    Since you have to enroll at the University of Basel for your doctoral studies, you will be a member of a Graduate School. Depending on the agreement with your supervisor, you are free to decide whether or not you want to be part of a doctoral program. Talk to your supervisor about this topic.

    Graduate Schools and Doctoral Programs

  • How do I fill in the doctoral agreement and where do I have to send it?

    The first part of the doctoral agreement must be filled in and signed by you and the members of the doctoral committee within the first six months of your doctorate. The remaining information must be completed after twelve months at the latest. It is advisable to discuss the processes and goals of your doctorate with your supervisor and to fill in the agreement together. Instructions for completing the doctoral agreement can be found here. The signed agreement has to be submitted to the faculty. A status meeting with your supervisor(s) will take place at least once a year. These meetings also provide the opportunity to adapt the doctoral agreement.

  • How do I find a supervisor?

    Finding a supervisor is your own responsibility. Talk to a professor or another person who can supervise dissertations in your field. You can also apply for a doctoral position as these are usually bound to a department and a professor who will be your supervisor.

  • How do I settle in Basel?

    The Welcome Center at the University of Basel is happy to help you with all questions regarding your immigration to and stay in Switzerland as well as with finding an apartment, insurance, etc. in Basel.

  • Where can I earn credit points?

    The doctoral study regulations as well as the regulations for your doctoral program provide detailed information on how to earn the 12 or 18 credit points that you need for your doctoral studies. Details can also be negotiated and fixed in your doctoral agreement. Generally, you earn credit points by attending specialized courses in your department, actively taking part in workshops and conferences or by attending Transferable Skills courses. The majority of the Transferable Skills courses offered at the University of Basel are organized by GRACE.

  • I have a personal problem with my supervisor, can you please help me?

    If you have any conflicts or problems concerning your doctorate, we recommend that you act early. It is worth getting support immediately in stressful situations. Please contact the Personal Integrity Coordination Office or the Training and Development unit.

  • Is it possible to take the doctoral examination virtually if public life is restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    If the University of Basel prohibits any public and in-person events, conducting the doctoral examination virtually is reasonable and legally justifiable. In addition:

    • Postponing the doctoral examination is possible at the request of the doctoral candidate.
    • Depending on the doctoral study regulations, the doctoral board has to comment on the possibility of conducting the doctoral examination virtually.
  • Can the employment contract of doctoral candidates and postdocs be extended due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

    “If it is absolutely necessary for academic training, and in particular in the case of family responsibilities, the position may be extended for a maximum of one year in justified cases” (OWP §23). The University of Basel does not intend to automatically extend the contract. Those affected should contact their supervisor/mentor, then the General Manager as well as the Office of the Dean of Research. If no solution can be found, doctoral candidates and postdocs may turn to the central HR for support.

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