4. Doctoral programs and graduate schools

A supportive and empowering research environment which prepares PhD candidates for a wide range of careers

  • Doctoral programs, PhD subjects and graduate schools foster the skills of doctoral candidates, enabling them to work as qualified, responsible and independent scientists and scholars within or outside academia.
    • „Doctoral education must be embedded in a strong research environment and culture to ensure that the opportunities for cross-fertilisation between disciplines can foster the necessary breadth and interdisciplinarity. For this reason we believe that doctoral education is best undertaken in research-intensive institutions or in partnerships where the benefits of a wide range of research activities can be exploited“ (LERU 2010: 4).
  • Through doctoral programs, a critical mass of doctoral candidates and supervisors can be achieved even in rather small subjects. Synergies with other doctoral programs and activities are fostered.
    • Salzburg Principle 6: “Achieving critical mass: Doctoral programmes should seek to achieve critical mass and should draw on different types of innovative practice being introduced in universities across Europe, bearing in mind that different solutions may be appropriate to different contexts and in particular across larger and smaller European countries. These range from graduate schools in major universities to international, national and regional collaboration between universities” (EUA 2010: 4).
  • Doctoral programs, PhD subjects and graduate schools provide a curriculum consisting of both subject-specific and interdisciplinary events. Courses on good scientific practice are an integral part of the curriculum.
    • “Doctoral programmes bring together cohorts of candidates and include elements of pro- fessional development training, regular involvement in activities of research groups such as seminars and journal clubs, teaching, sometimes also technical courses” (LERU 2014: 5).
    • “PhD programmes should ensure that candidates have appropriate training in the rules concerning ethics and responsible conduct in research” (ORPHEUS & AMSE 2016: 11).
  • Colloquia are held regularly as part of the doctorate. All doctoral candidates should report on the results of their dissertation project at least once a year at the colloquium. The presentation of the dissertation at a colloquium, which is headed by professors, serves quality assurance purposes.

  • The curricular part of the doctorate should be completed within three years.

  • UZH strives to ensure that the same quality standards apply to all doctoral candidates. The aim is to ensure that doctoral candidates pursuing an individual doctorate can also carry out their dissertation project according to the standards of structured programs.

  • Doctoral candidates are appropriately integrated into the executive committees of the doctoral programs, for example as representatives of the doctoral candidates within a program with the right to vote.

  • Doctoral programs and graduate schools strive to implement an effective monitoring or career tracking system of their graduates.