PhD Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
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.
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 number of companies in the chemical field in Switzerland, chemists with a PhD degree are always in demand.
|Abschluss:||PhD of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Universität Bern|
|Umfang:||30 ECTS credits|
Doctorate: Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
3 - 4 years
Fall or spring semester
In some cases the student can be requested to attend additional lectures to acquire further knowledge that has not been gained during the master studies.
In all other cases, the attendance of master lectures is not mandatory during the PhD studies.
In addition to the official and legally binding German version of the study plan that can be found further up under "Legal Basis", we also provide an English translation of this document for your convenience.
During the PhD studies
During the 3-4 year of the PhD studies, the students have to follow the doctoral program in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences. All new PhD-students receive a PhD-binder from the administrator of the PhD-program (room S170) and will be informed in detail about the doctoral program.
Please make sure that you also take care of the various administrative procedures on time that are mentioned under "deadlines".
The Welcome Center of the University of Bern offers help to the PhD students before their arrival and during their stay in Bern. This is especially helpful for people that move here from abroad.
Scheme of program
The study program in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences of the University of Bern consists of
- the bachelor program (6 semesters, 180 ECTS, degree: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
- the master's program (3 semesters, 90 ETCS, in English, degree: Master of Sciences in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
- the PhD program (3 to 4 years, in English, degree: PhD of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Science)
A PhD thesis in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences generally takes 3-4 years. The thesis consists of a specialized research project within a group at the Departement für Chemie, Biochemie und Pharmazie (DCBP), 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 DCBP 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).
Tasks within chemistry program
In case your admissions letter from the dean’s office of the Science Faculty said that you are required to attend some lectures from the master’s program, please bring a copy of this letter to the administrator of the PhD-program (room S170) at the beginning of your studies. The student administration office will then help you to open up a KSL account which will be necessary to register for the exams. At the end of your studies you can print out an overview of your grades which you will have to hand in to the dean’s office to get your diploma.
Once you have started your PhD studies at the DCBP you have to get the PhD program binder from the administrator of the PhD-program (room S170).
File all the required papers in connection with the program throughout your studies in the PhD binder.
Once a year, your supervisor should sign off on the earned ECTS from the past year until you have reached the required 30 ECTS.
Make sure that approximately 4 weeks before you hold your thesis defense, your binder is complete as your supervisor will be asked by the director of studies to confirm that you have fullfilled all the requirements of the PhD program. Only when all the ECTS have been earned and the doctoral thesis has been passed, the doctoral program is successfully completed.
At the latest 3 months before your thesis defense you have to fill out a form for admissions approval of your second examiner (external evaluator). The form can be found on the website of the dean’s office under “Application (PDF, 750KB)”. Please give the filled out form as well as a copy of the CV to the student administration office for chemistry that will get the necessary signatures.
1st Year Graduate Student Symposium
The First Year Graduate Student Symposium is tentatively scheduled to take place in Spetember 2021.
Program will follow.
Individual study requirements
Application and Admissions
Different admission rules apply for applicants with a swiss degree and applicants with an international degree.
Please contact the admissions office should you have questions regarding the admissions process.
Subject specific requirement
To join the PhD program at the DCBP you need to hold an MSc (Master in Sciences) and be accepted in one of the research groups at DCBP. Please consult the corresponding research group websites and contact each professor directly.
As soon as you fulfill the subject specific formalities to finish your studies, you can apply for your degree upon the dean's office. Information regarding the degree application process can be found here.
Additional information regarding the completion of your course of study
- The lecture hall for your thesis defense can be reserved in the student administration office (room S358). Please make your reservation early enough, as you also have to make sure that your external referee and the examiner are also available at the preferred date.
- The "Declaration of consent" has to be integrated at the end of the thesis and in addition a signed extra copy has to be handed in at the dean's office.
- If existing: Original of the equivalency confirmation/admissions disposition of the dean’s office of the Science Faculty. If you were admitted to the DCBP PhD Program with the condition that you attend some master’s lectures, please also bring prove that you passed the exams of these lectures. You can print out such a document in KSL.
- Send the thesis early enough to your external referee for evaluation. Inform the external referee by what date at the latest the evaluation has to be sent to the dean’s office. This is very important so that your thesis defense can take place as planned. The deadline to hand in the evaluation is shown on the table provided on this page here. The latest date at which at least a copy of the document has to arrive at the dean’s office can be found in the last column (Abgabe dienstags) of the date table. If only a copy can be sent (by e-mail) by the requested date, the external referee has to send the originally, signed document as soon as possible.
- Bring one additional copy of your final thesis work to the administrator of the PhD-program for the department’s library..
Please remember that you have to do the following up to 3 months before your thesis defense:
- At the latest 3 months before your thesis defense you have to fill out a form for admissions approval of your external referee/examiner. The form can be found on the website of the dean’s office under “Application (PDF, 750KB)”. Please give the filled out form as well as a copy of the external referee/examiner's CV to the administrator of the PhD-program who will get the necessary signatures.
- Approximately 4 weeks before you hold your thesis defense, your supervisor will be asked to confirm to the director of studies that you have fullfilled the PhD program requirements. Therefore, make sure that your binder is complete and all necessary ECTS earned. Only when all the ECTS have been earned and the doctoral thesis has been passed, the doctoral program is successfully completed.
After the PhD
After a PhD in chemistry, many people decide to work as a Postdoc for 1-2 years in a research group of a University or other research institute.
Other career options
With a PhD in chemistry you can start working in the industry or you can continue your career in the academic field.
Various websites with information regarding job search and career
Career Services der Uni Bern
Stellenangebote Chemie - Jobvermittlung und mehr
ETH-gethired - Jobvermittlung
Experteer - Jobvermittlung
MyScience - Jobvermittlung
Careerjet - Jobvermittlung (listet ausgeschriebene Stellen von diversen Stellenvermittlungsseiten auf)
Acamedicum - PhD- und andere Stellen weltweit
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