Applying & Selecting a PhD Track

Ensure prerequisites for admission

PhD candidates are required to have a master’s degree recognized by the University of Basel in a field relevant to their target discipline.

The PhD Board of the Medical Faculty can in certain cases issue an exception allowing a student to make up for missing course requirements to a maximum of 24 credit points. Any such exceptions must be approved by the Rectorate’s Office. 

Find a primary advisor at the University of Basel

Prospective students need to find a primary advisor at the University of Basel. They are advised to regularly check the university job vacancies page or the INS website for PhD openings. Alternatively, they may contact the faculty member of their choice directly providing a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, a copy of their Master’s diploma (including grades and ECTS), a copy of their Master thesis and a brief outline of their research idea.

At INS, the following faculty members can be approached as potential supervisors: Prof. Dr. Sabina De Geest, Prof. Dr. Michael Simon and Dr. Franziska Zúñiga. Prospective advisors will obtain agreement from the INS leadership prior to acceptance of the applicant’s formal application to the PhD.

Apply for admission to the PhD in Nursing Science

After approval by the primary advisor and the INS leadership, prospective students are required to apply for admission to the PhD at the University of Basel. The application, including all required documents, must be submitted to the University’s Student Administration Office. Applications can be submitted to the Student Administration Office throughout the year.

The Student Administration Office processes the application and passes the dossier on to the Faculty of Medicine’s PhD Student Office. Admission is decided by the PhD Board, which meets continuously. 

After acceptance of their applications candidates can enroll as PhD students at the Student Administration Office. Every PhD student must stay matriculated throughout his or her PhD.

Submit a PhD agreement and full research proposal

The enrolled doctoral student needs to submit a PhD agreement and full research proposal to the Faculty PhD Student Office within six months after admission. 

The PhD agreement includes information on the proposed PhD committee members (Advisors and experts), a schedule of PhD committee meetings, the planned duration of studies (usually 3 years), availability of resources and finances, supervisors and planned credit points.

Each PhD student has to provide a Learning Agreement, including all planned courses and workshops to reach the required ECTS credits. The Learning Agreement, as well as any changes to it, has to be approved by the PhD Board of the Faculty of Medicine. It is necessary to fill in a Learning Contract for all courses accepted in the Learning Agreement which are not included in the University of Basel’s course directory.

Submit a progress report

Every year, each PhD student has to hand in a progress report and an updated PhD agreement to the PhD Board of the Faculty of Medicine.

Submit doctoral thesis to the Office of the Dean

At the end of the PhD (on average between 3 and 3.5 years) the PhD student submits a thesis manuscript and any other required documents to the Office of the Dean. The PhD Board of the Medical Faculty requests that one first-author manuscript has been published or accepted for publication at the time of thesis submission. Two further manuscripts with the PhD student as first author have to be considered of sufficient quality by the student’s supervisor that their acceptance can be assumed. 

Set up the PhD Defence

After approval of the manuscript the PhD student sets up a PhD defence with his or her PhD committee. The chairperson leads the defence, including a short presentation of the PhD project and its discussion by the PhD committee and the public.

Submit the PhD Thesis to University of Basel

Finally, three hard copies of the PhD Thesis need to be submitted to the University of Basel within two years after the PhD Defence.

More information is available in the PhD regulations and the PhD guidelines.