Doctoral Candidates

Calatrava student

Studying at UZH

Application and admission

International students holding a Master’s degree are eligible to apply for admission to a doctoral program at UZH. The application procedure depends on whether you are interested in an individual doctorate or a doctoral program. Please note that the two procedures differ considerably.

Information on the application procedures, forms, semester fees and deadlines can be found on the University's website.

Doctoral Studies at UZH

Information on exchange programs and financial aid

Please ask your home university whether it has an exchange agreement with the University of Zurich. You can find more information about Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (Bundes-Exzellenz-Stipendium) at The Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists.

Information about other sources of financial aid is available at Euraxess Switzerland.

Research funding

Information on funding opportunities for doctoral candidates at UZH can be found on the following website.

Funding for PhD students

Graduate Campus (GRC)

Graduate Campus supports all junior researchers at UZH. GRC provides you with essential information and opportunities to show your research achievements within and outside the University and helps you to expand your academic network. If you are new to UZH, we recommend taking part in one of the GRC Grüezi events, a welcome event where GRC presents information aimed at easing your start at UZH. Furthermore, GRC provides an overview of PhD programs and graduate schools at UZH. And once you have settled in, get to know UZH even better by visiting GRC events such as Science Trail, or an ongoing exhibition, all with a focus on junior researchers. To stay informed, sign up for the GRC Newsletter! For those who would like to organize a workshop, conference or other academic event, GRC offers funding which can be applied for by junior researchers. And last but not least, GRC organizes a wide range of transferable skills courses specifically tailored to supporting the academic endeavors of doctoral researchers.

Graduate Campus

Working at UZH

Employment at UZH

For employment-related matters, your supervisor and Human Resources are the best source of information. At ISC, we're happy to help you find the right contact person, answer general questions about working in Switzerland or support you in case of language issues.

HR has collected the basic questions on the website UZH as employer. You'll find information on the probation period, working hours, family benefits, parental leave and more topics on the following website and document.

UZH as Employer

UZH Terms of Employment (PDF, 149 KB)

Employment as a doctoral candidate

An employment at UZH is based on public law. Instead of a contract signed by both employee and employer, you will receive an agreement signed only by the employer. This is called an employment by means of an order ("Anstellungsverfügung"). 

As a doctoral candidate, you're employed non-permanently. The exact duration of your employment is stated in your employment order. A position as doctoral candidate is limited to six years. As a project employee, your employment can last one to three years. This can be extended to up to nine years in total.

Please note that for scholars from non-EU/EFTA countries, the maximum period of studies is 8 years (including degree, doctorate and postdoctorate studies or employment). For more information, please visit the website of UZH Human Resources (partly in German, log-in required for certain webpages).

Information and Services

The website UZH for Doctoral Candidates compiles links to all relevant topics and services for PhD candidates at UZH, ranging from the University's sports association ASVZ (of which you are automatically a member once you've received your student card) to information on libraries, continuing education, career services, entrepreneurship and much more.

UZH for Doctoral Candidates

Association of Doctoral Candidates, Postdocs and Scientific Employees of UZH

The Association of doctoral candidates, postdocs and scientific employees of the University of Zurich (Vereinigung akademischer Mittelbau der Universität Zürich, in short VAUZ) is the official representation of non-professorial academic staff at UZH.

As an active member of VAUZ, not only can you elect representatives for academic committees, you can also become eligible yourself. There's a small annual fee for becoming an active member which makes you eligible for the VAUZ board and UZH committees.

VAUZ organizes events and activities ranging from academic to matters of education policy to social. Together with their partner organization at ETH (AVETH) and Graduate Campus, VAUZ regularly co-organizes networking meetings and opportunities to connect.

If you’re interested in university politics and/or broadening your circle of acquaintances and friends, check out the VAUZ website and sign up for their newsletter to be informed about upcoming activities.



Due to the high demand of living space in Zurich, it is advisable to start looking for an accommodation as early as possible. Search options, application tips and further information can be found under accommodations.

The Housing Office of UZH/ETH has a small quota of studios specifically for newly arrived doctoral candidates. These are meant as a temporary solution until you have settled in and found something suitable while searching the housing market on site. Please note that the application has to be handed in by your supervisor. All relevant information can be found on the website of the Housing Office.

PhD studios

Student Concessions

Students benefit from concessions or special student prices in many areas, ranging from museums, cinemas and cultural events to computer stores, hairdressers or waived account fees. Please remember to ask if you're entitled to a student discount in shops, when you make use of services or when buying tickets. It's vital to do so before making a purchase. Just have your student card ready at hand. For more information on where to obtain student concessions (banks, public transport etc.), please contact the ISC.