Navigation auf


Life Science Zurich Graduate School

Requirements during the PhD

Thesis committee meetings

The direct supervisor and the thesis committee should give the PhD student regular feedback about the quality and progress of his/her primary research, doctoral studies and teaching.

The PhD student is responsible for initiating at least three thesis committee meetings during the course of the PhD.

Depending on the individual program the first thesis committee meeting must take place within 6-12 months after starting the PhD. In most PhD programs, the PhD students must submit a research proposal to all members of the thesis committee at least 2 weeks prior to the first meeting.

The thesis committee selects a chairperson for the thesis committee meeting, who is not the direct supervisor. The chairperson for the thesis committee meeting checks that both the PhD student and the direct supervisor have the opportunity to talk to the committee in absence of the other party. At the end of every meeting, a committee meeting report must be signed and uploaded onto DissGo.

Subsequent PhD committee meetings must be held annually and should include:

  • Discussion of the progress report, which must be sent by the PhD student to all  members of the thesis committee at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting.
  • Discussion of the work plan for the next 12 months of the project.


To complete a PhD at UZH or ETH, a PhD student must acquire 12 ECTS credits in total. The composition must comply with the regulations at the UZH or ETH, and the PhD program regulations. At the end of the PhD, the list with all courses must be signed by the official supervisor.

A two-hour introductory Scientific Integrity course (organized by the LSZGS) is compulsory for PhD students in most LSZGS programs (including signing a “Declaration of Good Scientific Practice” at the end of the course).

Teaching (for UZH PhD students at MNF)

All PhD students at MNF must participate in teaching for 150 – 420 hours over the course of their doctoral studies. The realization of this requirement should be structured in consultation with the Academic Support Office in Biology according with the rules specified in the document “Teaching requirements for PhD students” ( Different rules apply to the students of other MNF departments (biochemistry, chemistry, physics, etc.).