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  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 314 / Year
  • Foreign: $ 314 / Year
  • Deadline:
  • 1 July 2017
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 712pts.
  • Duration:
  • 4 years

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    PhD studies of the Program in Ecology primarily involve research projects in one of the internationally acclaimed research groups at University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. To enhance student’s PhD experience, the program offers research training in the interdisciplinary field of ecology, general skills training for academic and non-academic excellence and opportunities to interact with other doctoral students. The program includes a curricular part of at least 12 ECTS credits, teaching experience, and is usually completed within three to four years (full-time). It offers yearly graduate schools, courses on subject specific matters and on methods that are of direct use to the work of doctoral students. Additional courses on transferable skills prepare students for professional life, whether this is in an academic institution or not. Research seminars foster international collaborations and the exchange of experiences among doctoral students and experts from different fields of ecology.

    Core Elective Modules

    • BIO 604 R Lunch Group
    • BIO 605 Seminar for Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
    • BIO 606 BEEES Seminar (Behaviour, Ecology, Environment and Evolution Seminar)
    • BIO 633 Reproducible Research in Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour, and Environmental Studies
    • ECO 301 Journal Club: Ecological Theory
    • ECO 334 Mixed-Effects Modelling with R
    • ECO 369 Visualising Research - Making an Effective Science Movie
    • ECO 373 Developing your Personal Impact and Presence

    Elective Modules

    Courses about specific subject matters

    LH*

    CP**

    Ecological Theory 28 2
    Animal Movement Ecology 28 2
    Conservation management 35 2.5
    Ethics for life science 14 1
    Journal club with a difference 14 1
    Journal club: Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and community history 14 1
    Microbial Ecology: Biogeochemistry of alpine wetlands 28 2
    Molecular microbial Ecology 28 2
    Natur und Kultur 28 2
    Post-genomic biology for "non"-biologists - -

    Courses on methods

    LH*

    CP**

    Applied ecophysiological techniques for plant studies 14 1
    Estimation of abundance, occupancy and species richness in large-scale surveys in ecology and monitoring 35 2.5
    Introduction to meta-analysis and research synthesis in ecology 14 1
    Introduction to Bayesian statistics for biologists using WinBUGS 28 2
    Bayesian population analysis using hierarchical models in BUGS and JAGS 28 2
    Introduction in ArcGIS: work with geodata for environmental research 14 1
    GIS-course 1: General usage of geodata for environmental research 14 1
    GIS-course 2: Data-analysis with ArcGIS for environmental research 14 1
    Introduction to using R for data analysis and graphics 21 1.5
    Statistics for free I: Linear Models in R 35 2.5
    Statistics for free III: Generalized Linear Models in R 28 2
    Contemporary analysis of ecology: Generalized Linear Models in R 14 1
    Statistics for free IV: Mixed Effects Models in R 28 2
    Contemporary analysis of Ecology: Mixed Effects Models in R 14 1
    Study design and data analysis using R 28 2
    R4All. A recipe for success with R 21 1
    R Lunch group 14 1
    R Graphics course: GGPLOT 14 1
    Hierarchical models in ecology - -
    Gardening techniques - -

    Skills training courses

    LH*

    CP**

    Environmental life cycle assessment and ecobalance 21 1.5
    Good graphics in R 14 1
    Green fingers: an introduction into gardening 14 1
    How to present experimental results 14 1
    Online publication practice 14 1
    Plant systematics and identification 21 1.5
    Project management 14 1
    Green Business 14 1
    Environment, Social and Governance 14 1
    Summer Graduate School 2010: Leadership and Management 21 1.5
    Summer Graduate School 2011: Sino-Swiss Alpine Ecology 28 2
    Summer Graduate School 2012: Effective Publishing 28 2
    Winter Graduate School 2013: Ecological Theory 28 2
    Summer Graduate School 2014: Understanding Ecology through the Humanities 28 2
    Summer Graduate School 2015: Data Carpentry Boot Camp 28 2
    Summer Graduate School 2015: Animal Movement Ecology 28 2
    Summer Graduate School 2015: Urban Wildlife Ecology 28 2
    Graduate Workshop 2016: Community Ecology 14 1
    Summer Graduate School and Symposium 2016: Urban Ecology 28 2
    Teamwork 14 1
    Writing up scientific research 28 2
    Scientific Writing 28 2
    How to deal with media 7 0.5
    Practical and teaching assistance skills 7 0.5
    Introduction to Teaching Field Practica 14 1
    Expert literature data basis - -
    Ökobilanz - -
    Scientific Drawing 14 1

    Research Seminars

    LH*

    CP**

    Postdoc Funding and Career Management - ***
    Zurich Interaction Seminar - 1
    Seminar for evolutionary biology and environmental studies (SEBES) - ***
    BEEES seminar (Behaviour, Ecology, Environment and Evolution) - ***
    Network seminar - ***
    Seminar in plant population biology and biodiversity research - ***
    Symposium of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Centre - ***
    Ökodose (Research seminar for all PhD students - ***
    Brown Bag Lunch: Statistics in biology and environmental sciences - ***
    Organization of conference / seminar   1

    *14 LH (lesson hours) = 1 ECTS credit point = 30 hours of work (including preparation, participation, homework)
    **CP = credit points 
    ***Presentation (talk) in one of the seminars = 1 CP


    University requirements


    Program requirements

    • A Master's degree (MSc) or equivalent from a university before starting the PhD Program in Ecology
    • Sufficient knowledge in ecology / environmental sciences (equivalent 10 ECTS-points) and in mathematics (including statistics) and physics (equivalent 6 ECTS-points)
    • Excellent knowledge of English

    Expenses

    Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. These figures should therefore be regarded as a guideline only (in CHF): 

    Rent incl. heating 550
    Additional expenses (telephone, internet) 200
    Meals 400
    Insurance 250
    Travel 80
    Clothing, laundry, personal items 70
    Leisure, spending money 150
    Teaching materials 50
    Total 1,750

    The expected minimum cost of living for students therefore comes to a total of CHF 1,750 per month. 

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