SNSF doctoral students

Unlike assistants, doctoral students financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) can in principle devote all their working time to their thesis.

However, the SNSF salary scales that determine their remuneration are distinctly lower than those applying to assistant funded directly by universities. The term of employment may also be shorter.

Universities have room for manoeuvre and each is responsible for managing the employment and salaries of doctoral students financed by SNSF funds. Therefore, in some cases, SNSF doctoral posts are supplemented by government assistant posts and in others an allowance is paid for teaching and research activities.

Unless explicitly mentioned in the regulations and directives of the appointing university, the Code des obligations  (CO) governs the employment contract of SNSF doctoral students. The CO is less advantageous, especially in terms of social security and leave (holidays, maternity, parental, etc.) than cantonal and university regulations concerning assistants.