Post-doctoral assistants

Post-doctoral assistants are staff members who hold doctoral degrees prior to applying for the position. In principle, they must have qualifications or academic experience in research acquired at another university or research institute.

At the beginning of their contracts, post-doctoral assistants are in principle no more than 36 years of age (notwithstanding exceptions due to professional, academic or family history), and must present a research project that they will undertake.

Post-doctoral assistants are formally appointed by the rector, having been selected by a professor and approved by the dean. Their status is determined by public law, provided no more than 50% of their pay comes from private funds (in which case their status is academic researcher). In principle, they are employed on a rolling annual contract, for a maximum of three years.

Each post-doctoral assistant answers to one professor. Assistants participate in teaching, research and administrative or technical tasks.

Unless the rector agrees otherwise, the minimum rate of engagement is 75%, with at least 50% of the assistant’s time spent on research. Each assistant must undertake two hours of teaching per week, going up to three in the case of full-time positions. Each year, post-doctoral assistants submit a progress report on their research to the professor in question so as to renew their contracts. The professor must ensure that the assistant’s workload leaves enough time for research, and, in principle, that this is the case throughout the year.

Post-doctoral assistants have the right to six weeks of holiday per year, which must in principle be taken by the end of the year.

The rate of pay is fixed by the Swiss Council of State.