Before applying to the Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS), candidates must have been accepted by a thesis advisor and been offered a position. Check the websites of the participating faculties for details of research activities, and the offers for open PhD positions of the GHS and the University of Bern.

General Information: Application Procedure

The application procedure comprises two separate steps:

  1. Registration at the University of Bern (before application to the GHS)
  2. Application to the GHS

Condition for admission to the GHS is a Master's degree or an equivalent diploma from a Swiss or a foreign university. Adequate knowledge of the English language is a mandatory prerequisite.
Applications to the GHS must be submitted to the Coordinator within four months after having started the research project.
Within one to three months after having submitted the written application, each candidate will be invited to a personal interview with one of the GHS Expert Committees.

Registration at the University of Bern

All applicants are required to apply online for admission at the University of Bern, as indicated on the below-mentioned websites. Read the instructions on the appropriate website, fill in the relevant form «Confirmation of Supervision», and follow the steps indicated on the form. The form «Confirmation of Supervision» has to be signed by the Coordinator of the GHS in the last section of p. 2. No signature is required from the Dean's Office.

Candidates with Foreign Diplomas

Registration at the University of Bern is required before signing your employment contract with your supervisor.

Deadlines for Application:

January 10, May 1, September 1

Please read the instructions carefully before starting the application.

The electronic documents # 1-8, should be submitted in a single PDF file by e-mail to

List of Required Application Documents

  1. Fully completed, dated and signed GHS Application Form (PDF, 161KB): First save the filled in form on your computer (File → «Print as PDF» → save on computer); electronic copy: «electronic signature»; or PDF scan: add hand-written signature.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Letter of acceptance by the thesis advisor, written on official business stationery, dated and signed. This letter includes a financial pledge granting the PhD candidate, as a rule, a salary according to the standard of SNSF regulations, or include a separate request for special cases of financing. letter of acceptance and financial pledge (DOCX, 53KB)
  4. Written Statement Co-Referee (DOCX, 78KB), dated and signed.
  5. Description of planned research project (2 to max. 4 pages including references) using the GHS Research Project Form (DOCX, 207KB) .
    Confirmation by the Ethics Committee that the planned experiments are approved needs to be included, if applicable.
  6. Photocopies of university diplomas and intermediate diplomas/exam certificates (e.g. Bachelor and Master) and officially certified translations if they are issued in a language other than German, English, French or Italian.
  7. Photocopies of all transcripts/mark sheets (e.g. Bachelor and Master).
    Transcripts must include a conversion key for marks where needed and copies of officially certified translations if they are issued in a language other than German, English, French or Italian.
  8. Additionally & only for candidates that apply to the Expert Committee III (PhD in Clinical Sciences) 
    Clear and explicit confirmation of the clinical positions from the head of the clinic and with a statement that 50% of time is allocated to research for the entire duration of the doctorate.

Please note:

  • Incomplete files/folders will not be considered.