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  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 312 / Year
  • Foreign: $ 312 / Year
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 257pts.
  • Duration:
  • 4 years

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    The PSC PhD Program in Plant Sciences is a joint program of the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich and the University of Basel. The structured curriculum offers training in frontier topics of the plant sciences, including molecular biology, environmental sciences, ecology and agronomy. It also provides opportunities to acquire transferable skills for careers in and outside of academia. All courses are in English. 

    The PhD Program in Plant Sciences includes a written dissertation about the own independent scientific research project in natural sciences and is usually completed in three to four years (full-time). The program aims to broaden the skill base of PhD students and to strengthen their research competence in the plant sciences with workshops on frontier research skills methods and techniques in plant sciences / statistical methods / research management / communicating and disseminating science / professional conduct / finance, funding and resources/ professional and career development / dialogue of science and public. 
    The program includes a curricular part of at least 12 ECTS credits composed of: 
    the colloquium "Challenges in Plant Sciences", a choice of intense scientific courses on frontier scientific and methodological topics in the plant sciences, a selection of transferable skill. 

    • Current challenges in plant breeding
    • Analysis of Ecological Data
    • Scientific Writing Practice II
    • Science & Policy: Building Political Support
    • Niche Modeling
    • Introduction to R
    • Responsible Conduct in Research
    • Research with biological material from abroad: International regulations and due diligence in research
    • Pathways and Fluxes: Exploring the Plant Metabolic Network
    • Leadership Skills for Postdocs
    • Scientific Presentation Practice
    • Project Management for Research
    • Concepts in Evolutionary Biology (BIO 395)
    • Filmmaking for Scientists
    • Biology of Orchids
    • Science & Policy: Communicating Science
    • Next-Generation Sequencing 1 - Introductory Course: Assembly, Mapping, and Variant Calling (BIO 610)
    • Next-Generation Sequencing 2 - Advanced Course: Transcriptomes, Variant Calling, and Biological Interpretation (BIO 634)
    • Dealing with the Publication Process
    • Genetic Diversity: Analysis
    • System thinking
    • QTL Analysis in Arabidopsis: Theory and Practical Applications
    • Conservation Management: Field Course, Western Highlands of Scotland
    • Advanced Data Management and Manipulation using R
    • Introduction to R
    • Alpine Ecology in Plant Life

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Required Qualifications

    • Applicants must hold a university Master's degree (or equivalent) before starting the Plant Sciences program. Please note that we do not accept degrees from Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen).
    • Applicants must have strong English skills.

    There are two ways to apply

    • Track I Application: File an application via the Life Science Zurich Graduate School
    • Track II Application: Contact a PSC group leader directly to enquire about open PhD positions and then apply directly to group leader



    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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