Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English French
Deadline: Apr 15, 2023
43 place StudyQA ranking:2249 Duration:4 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Doctoral Program in Biotechnology and Bioengineering (EDBB) provides doctoral students with the education necessary to be leaders in the fast-growing industrial and academic biotechnology and bioengineering sectors. Students gain a depth of knowledge and competence in their specific research area as well as a breadth of knowledge in biology, bioengineering and biotechnology.

The combination of coursework, laboratory based research, in-house seminars, and national and international conferences, etc. form the basis of this education.

The program's themes include:

  • genomics and proteomics
  • biomolecular engineering and biomaterials
  • stem cell biotechnology
  • cell and process engineering
  • biochemical engineering
  • orthopaedic engineering
  • biomechanics, mechanobiology
  • cell biophysics
  • computational biology
  • biomedical imaging
  • molecular, cell and tissue engineering.

In addition to the research groups of the Institute of Bioengineering, at the interface between the Life Sciences and Life Technologies, and bridging two EPFL Schools: the School of Life Sciences (FSV) and the School of Engineering (STI), the researchers of the Global Health Institute (EPFL School of Life Sciences) are also part of our PhD program and offer exciting PhD positions to talented young researchers.

Core courses

  • Animal models in Biomedical research 
  • Engineering of musculoskeletal system and rehabilitation
  • Mechanisms of cell motility
  • Monthly IBI-EDBB Mini-symposia   
  • Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research 
  • Scientific writing for biomedical articles 
  • Training Rotation (EDBB)  
  • Summer school on healthcare diagnostics 
  • BIO-664 'Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research' (1 ECTS)
  • 'Introduction to practical aspects of animal experimentation and animal facilities' (1 ECTS)
  • The application process includes an online candidature completed with 3 reference letters and academic records.
  • All required documents, including the referee evaluations, must be received before the application deadline (April 15th or November 1st). Therefore, please contact your 3 referees enough in advance before the application deadline and validate your application well before the deadline. In doing so, request letters are automatically sent to them via email. 

STEP 1 - EDBB review commission

The applications will be reviewed by the EDBB Program Commission members on a competitive basis. Some applications will be rejected at this stage.

STEP 2 - EDBB SKYPE pre-selection

Due to the increasing number of candidatures, a second selection will take place and the candidates will be SKYPE interviewed before being invited to a personal interview or to our Hiring Days. A number of applications will be rejected at this stage.

STEP 3 - Personal interviews & matching you with a host lab

Should your application get a first positive evaluation from the PhD Program Commission and a second positive evaluation from your Skype interview, you will receive an invitation to come to the EPFL for personal interviews or to participate in a joint selection process (Hiring Days) taking place approx. 10-12 weeks after the application deadline on the EPFL campus.

During hiring sessions where the EDBB Program participates in joint Hiring Days, the applicants have the opportunity to present their Master work in front of a review panel that will decide on the final acceptance into the program. Our lab heads hiring PhD candidates will present their labs and the project for which they have an open position. A wonderful opportunity to meet other EPFL PhD students.

During hiring sessions where the EDBB Program decides that individual interviews will be conducted by the hiring lab heads, you will also present your Master work and they will recommend you to the EDBB Committee that will make a final decision (admission into the program or rejection).

In order to facilitate the matching process, we STRONGLY recommend that you contact by email the head of the lab(s) you are interested in before or while you apply. You will find some keywords about the research areas of our affiliated thesis directors on 

The candidates will be informed of the decisions shortly after the Hiring Days. Candidates who have successfully passed the 3 selection steps and been matched with a host lab will be admitted. Those who have not would be rejected. A minority may be deemed admissible into the program provided that they find a host lab within a few months.

Who is eligible

Eligible candidates must have a Masters Degree or equivalent with at least 6 months of research experience. Candidates with a four-year Bachelors Degree may be considered as well (depending on the undergraduate institution and performance there); these students may be admitted with special requirements, depending on their background.

You can indicate on your application form which labs and/or Professors you are interested in. Furthermore, please feel free if you'd like to contact the Professor(s) of interest as well to see directly with them if they have any open positions, as it's always good to have had a personal contact.

We recommend that EDBB candidates provide us with the results of their GRE test.

Much more than an English test, the general GRE test evaluates your general skills. This is helpful to the evaluators as without it, it is difficult to have a proper basis for comparison in the selection process. If you are NOT planning on taking the GRE, please mention this in your application, as well as the reason for this.
The TOEFL test is highly recommended for students who have not followed more than three years of study in English.

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