Thursday, April 6, 2017

Biozentrum Basel International PhD Fellowship Program in Switzerland, 2017





The Biozentrum encourages talented, ambitious and highly motivated young scientists to apply to the Biozentrum Basel International PhD Program. This program offers prestigious PhD fellowships that are awarded on a competitive basis, provide direct entry into the Biozentrum PhD program and offer the fellows  a unique rotation-based selection of a research group of their own choice and a number of other incentives.


The International PhD Program in Molecular Life Sciences invites motivated young scientists from all over the world to apply for a PhD student position at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Switzerland. Notably, in contrast to many other PhD student programs that aim at a broad recruitment of many candidates, the “Fellowships for Excellence” are only awarded to a maximum of 10 successful candidates per open call: the program thus strives to recruit and identify only the most outstanding students worldwide. Due to this rigorous selection and a comprehensive evaluation procedure, these “Fellowships for Excellence” are highly prestigious and sought after. Recipients have direct access to the Biozentrum PhD program, are offered a rotation-based selection of a research group of choice and a number of other incentives that should foster the scientific excellence and the career prospects of these PhD candidates.

“Fellowships for Excellence” PhD students perform one to two (in rare cases three) two-month rotations in different research groups. Only at the end of the rotations, the fellows are expected to decide on the research group for their PhD thesis (pending on approval of the respective group leader). The “Fellowships for Excellence” PhD theses underlie the general rules and guidelines of the University of Basel and the Biozentrum. The “Fellowships for Excellence” cover the salary of the fellows for three years (including rotations). Should the PhD thesis exceed this time, group leaders and fellows are expected to together identify alternative funding. 

In addition, other incentives are offered to “Fellowships for Excellence” PhD students to support their scientific and personal growth. Currently the following perks are in place (annual changes may apply): 
  • a personal, annual stipend, e.g. to allow attendance of meetings, acquisition of books or computers (currently CHF 6’000 total for 3 years)
  • preferential registration for some courses in the Biozentrum Graduate Teaching program
  • yearly study trip to a city with ties to Siemens, e.g. Berlin, Munich, St. Petersburg
  • scientific meetings and networking opportunities with current “Fellowships for Excellence” students and alumni
  • personal certificate of acceptance into the “Fellowships for Excellence” program
  • support for the preparation of the personal CV and postdoctoral application by Biozentrum faculty members in the “Fellowships for Excellence” committee
  • financial support for travel to postdoctoral interviews at the end of the PhD thesis

Conditions and application
Before enrollment, applicants must either already hold or anticipate to receive a university degree that qualifies them for a PhD program at the University of Basel (MSc, Diploma, etc.). In exceptional cases, outstanding students with a BSc degree are also eligible to apply to the “Fellowships for Excellence” program; they however will have to pass additional courses at the Biozentrum after acceptance. PhD students who already have enrolled at the Biozentrum or plan to start their PhD thesis before September 1 of the same year as the open call are not eligible to apply to the “Fellowships for Excellence” program.

Open calls usually start on February 1 and end on June 20. Within that time, candidates can submit an online application. For the application, electronic copies of the diploma/MSc degree with grades and transcripts as pdf files, a CV or scientific résumé (maximum one page, pdf format), a description of research interests in general and one with a specific focus on a potential PhD thesis at the Biozentrum as well as the names and contact information of 2 referees from the candidate’s previous academic environment (usually faculty members) are required. The referees will be contacted automatically and will be asked for an online evaluation as well as a reference letter. Further information about the application procedure will be made available to the candidates upon registration and submission of their application.

Important dates for the next open call
Start of online applications: February, 2017
Closing date for applications: June 20, 2017
Notification of shortlisted candidates: end of June 2017
Interview days: 21. - 25. August, 2017
Decision of acceptance: mid of September 2017
Start of rotations/thesis: before the end of March 2018





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