·         Who can participate in the program?

Ph.D. students: Activities of the Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences are open to all PhD and MD/PhD students enrolled in one of the universities of Western Switzerland (Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel) and the affiliated university of Bern. Students can join at any time during their Ph.D thesis.

Research group leaders: Research group leaders from the Universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, and Bern can participate in the organization and teaching in the program’s activities.

·         How and when can I enroll in the program?

The Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences has open enrollment: Ph.D students and research group leaders can enroll at any time. There is an enrollment form online.

Please note: there is currently only one online-form. As a research group leader (principal investigator), please specify your position and give a short summary of your research activities.

·         Can Ph.D students already enrolled in another doctoral program participate?

Yes, Ph.D. students enrolled in other programs can participate in all activities of the Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences.  

·         Can post-doctoral fellows participate in the program?

Yes, post-doctoral fellows are welcome to participate in our activities depending on availability, but are not eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel and accommodation expenses. Registration to each activity is mandatory.




·         What activities does the program offer?

The Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences offers a wide range of activities, including workshops, invited seminars, and annual retreat. Please see the current list of activities under (link).

·         Where is the program located?

The Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences is an overarching activity of the partner Universities and activities will take place in each location. Pleased see the specific descriptions of activities for further information.

·         Does the program include tutorials?

Yes, but the tutorials are considered local activities that take place within individual universities. Tutorials are listed under our program activities and will give ECTS credits for the program. However, enrollment for tutorials is done directly via the webpage of the local Doctoral School that is indicated (link).

·         What does the program cover?

Travel expenses: Participants to Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class, between the home university and the activity site).

There is currently no reimbursement for private cars and taxi services.

Meals and accommodation: the program covers meals and accommodation in the context of activities for participants (Ph.D students) and organizers (research group leaders).

Reimbursement: Please send a Reimbursement Form to the coordinator of the Doctoral Program. See details and specific conditions here.





·         How many ECTS credits can I obtain in the program?

The numbers of credit points that can be obtained are listed under each activity. The different activities offered each year will allow students to take a total of 12 ECTS credits over 3 years.

·         How can I validate my ECTS credits obtained in the program?

The valorization of credits obtained in the program will be done by your local Doctoral School according to its own standards.

·         How many ECTS credits should I take each year?

Although we aim at a maximum flexibility to allow the students a choice of activities according their needs and interests, we recommend that at least 3 ECTS credits have to be taken each year.

·         Can I combine ECTS credits obtained in the program with other credits?

If approved by the local Doctoral Schools, ECTS credits obtained from activities of the Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences can be combined with ECTS credits obtained from local Doctoral Schools and other doctoral programs.





·         How can I give feedback to the program?

The Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences is a novel program and feedback from participants is highly appreciated.  In order to improve the quality of the program, participants are asked to fill out evaluation sheets that will be distributed during the activities. Individual feedback, suggestions, and ideas are very welcome and can be addressed to the Program Coordinator and the members of the Scientific Committee. 

·         Can Ph.D students participate in organizing activities?

Yes, and this is strongly encouraged. If you would like to participate in the organization of an activity or have own ideas about interesting activities, please contact the Program Coordinator and/or the members of the Scientific Committee.