The guidelines of the Doctoral Program are available in English (PDF document) and in French (PDF document).

In case of contest, the French version is used as the valid version.

By registering in the Doctoral Program you accept these guidelines.


For the PhD students of the University of Neuchâtel

For more information about your PhD studies, please refer to the Règlement du doctorat ès sciences de la Faculté des sciences (13 March 2018).

For information on what to do if you are finishing your PhD project: De l'immatriculation au dépôt de thèse -> Marches à suivre

For detailed information about the final thesis submission, please visit Dépôt des thèses and read the "Directive concernant le dépôt et la diffusion des thèses de doctorat".

  • At least 12 ECTS points must be accumulated during the Ph.D. period. Minimum 6 ECTS within the doctoral program + ECTS externa. No maximum limit!
    • min. 2 ECTS in communication
    • min. 2 ECTS in research tools
    • min. 2 ECTS in scientific activities
    • min. 6 ECTS free choice
  • Within the first 4 months the student provides a literature review and research plan in English to his/her thesis supervisor. The student and supervisor meet to discuss, adapt and approve the research plan. A copy of the research plan and confirmation of approval is sent to the education office within the first 6 months of the thesis.
  • Yearly reports written by the student in English are submitted to the supervisor (see from Art.147 of the Statuts de l'Université). No later than the end of the 2nd year, one such report is submitted to (an) external expert(s) who will participate in a meeting to discuss the report and advise on the progress of the project. The expert(s) for this mid-thesis meeting will be selected by the doctoral student in consultation with the supervisor. Copies of the reports as well as a brief report of the mid-thesis meeting (written by the PhD student) including the comments of the expert(s) are sent to the education office (with copy to supervisor).
  • Candidates must regularly participate in the courses, workshops, and graduate students meetings.


  • Write the reports and the thesis in English
  • Two publications in refereed scientific journals
  • Contribution to local teaching, but not more than 20%
  • Organisation of and participation in weekly local seminars
  • Conduct part of the research at a collaborating laboratory
  • At least two presentations (oral or poster) at international scientific meetings




For the structuring and implementation of the doctoral program policies a doctoral program committee is appointed. This committee consists of the following members:

  • The director of the program (University of Neuchâtel): Sergio RASMANN
  • The program coordinator (University of Neuchâtel): Pauline Fritsch
  • One member of the "corps professoral" (University of Neuchâtel): Redouan BSHARY
  • Two faculty members of the universities Fribourg/Bern/Lausanne/Genève: Louis-Félix BERSIER (FR), Philippe REYMOND (LA)
  • A representative of the "corps intermédiaire" except Ph.D. students (University of Neuchâtel)
  • One representative of Ph.D. students (University of Neuchâtel):
  • One representative of Ph.D. students of the universities Fribourg/Bern/Lausanne/Genève: Maria LITTO

The "conseil de l'institut" selects the coordinator, who dedicates 40% of a full time job to the doctoral program. The director of the program and the other committee members are nominated by their peers and elected by the "conseil de l'institut". The representatives serve two-year terms and can be re-elected.

The committee sets guidelines for the structuring and functioning of the doctoral program.

The committee meets as often as necessary upon invitation by the head of the program (at least once a year). Meetings can also take place upon request of two other members of the committee. Decisions are taken by simple majority voting. In case of parity of votes the vote of the director is decisive. Important decisions and key changes in the program will be presented to the "conseil de l'institut de biologie" for approval before implementation.


The Chair of the Committee will also serve as the ombudsman or mediator for the students. Students can make appointments by email to discuss issues and concerns that cannot be addressed by their direct supervisor. In case of absence of the chair of the committee and for his/her own students, the director of the Institute of biology will serve as the mediator.