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Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #101 (ARWU) Bern, Switzerland
Chemistry leads us to the building blocks of life and matter, from the nano-level of the atom and molecules to the macroscopic substances of which the universe around us is made of. It leads us from the most simple molecules, from which billions of years ago life developed to the modern nanotechnolgy.
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The research project should lead to scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. At the end of the PhD studies, the results will be collected in a written thesis and examined by international experts. The PhD degree is the highest academic degree and opens the broadest carreer opportunities in industry and acedemia for positions in Switzerland and abroad. Thanks to the big nummber of companies in the chemical field in Switzerland, chemists with a PhD degree are always in demand.

Research at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (DCB) is thematically divided into two Domains, which each contain several Research groups:

Molecular Basics of Biological Processes

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Chemical Foundation of Novel Materials

  • Inorganic Chemisty / Novel Materials
  • Physical Chemistry / Electrochemistry / Radiochemistry

The Scientific Analytics Division comprises work groups offering services as well as conducting their own Research.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date

    Application deadline: October 15 (for spring Semester), March 31 (for fall Semester)

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description

      Graduate schools, doctoral programmes and doctoral studies last 3-5 years.

  • Credits
    30 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

A PhD thesis in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences generally takes 3-4 years. The thesis consists in a specialized research project within a group at the DCB, and leads to a written thesis and several scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, which will be key assets for your future career. Make sure to select a research topic you like as your work will become an important part of your life.

As a PhD student, you benefit from the high quality offered in seminars at the DCB and the neighbouring institutes. After one year you also participate in the "1st year graduate student symposium" and compete for the graduate student award. You usually attend a summer school or an international congress every year to present your work, and thus integrate the international research community. Part of your training also includes acting as teaching assistant in laboratory courses (usually 7 weeks per year).

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

To join the PhD program you need to hold an MSc (Master in Sciences) and be accepted in one of the research groups:

Further training qualifications (Master of Advanced Studies, Executive Master) and degrees from a university of applied sciences or a university of teacher education are not accepted for admission to doctoral studies.

General information on admission at doctoral level:

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office (ZIB).

Tuition Fee

  • International

    360 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 180 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    360 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 180 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

The fee for doctoral students is 200 CHF per semester. Additionally, a registration fee of 100 CHF is charged for the first or re-admission.

Living costs for Bern

  • 1655 - 2130 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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