Graduate School (until August 2015)

etudiant2.pngThe Graduate School (GS) in Affective Sciences is one of the most important training programs of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences. Its main goal is to provide doctoral students who already conduct research on affective phenomena at a Swiss university with a solid basis of disciplinary and interdisciplinary competences.

General structure

The Graduate School is one of the activities of the Education and Training Program of the NCCR Affective Sciences. The main purpose of the Graduate School is to provide a solid basis of interdisciplinary competences to doctoral students conducting research on affective phenomena. The typical duration of the Graduate School for a doctoral student is 3 years (ranging from 2 to 4 years). The official language of the Graduate School is English, but some seminars, mainly those at the Home Institution (University of Geneva), may be in French. Most of the activities will take place in Geneva, but some activities are occasionally held in Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Zurich.


The members of the Graduate School enjoy three main benefits: a varied program of training opportunities, financial support for their academic travel, and a large academic network.

Training activities
Most of the training activities organized by the E&T Program are designed for the members of the Graduate School and Postdoctoral Program. In order to graduate, students need to acquire 20 credits through these or other activities of their choice. Some of the activities organized by the program are compulsory for the members of the GS.

Travel grants
The members of the GS can be funded to attend summer schools, to present their work at international conferences, to visit another lab, or to take part in any scientific activity relevant for their career. These activities need to be previously notified to the Education and Training committee. The amount available for this purpose is (up to) CHF 4000.- for the duration of the PhD.

Academic networking
All members of the GS are part of the mailing lists of the NCCR, where academic activities are advertised. These provide regular opportunities to meet with the other students and members of the NCCR. The Intranet affords the possibility of creating working groups and, once a year, the whole NCCR meets on the occasion of the Annual Research Forum for a day of academic exchange. Additionally, once a week the members of the GS and PP located in Geneva meet at “Peers”, an informal lunch meeting self-managed by the students, who get together to discuss work and to support each other in all matters relevant to academic life.

Commitments of the members

Each member of the Graduate School is expected to

  • attend the CISA Seminar
  • attend the Graduate Seminars
  • take part in some of the training activities organized by the E&T Program (at least 1 credit in activities outside one’s discipline is necessary to graduate)
  • be available to his/her peers for consultation and to share his/her expertise
  • be available for some knowledge transfer activities (0.5 credits of this type are compulsory to graduate)
  • attend the Annual Research Forum (compulsory for all NCCR members)
  • be available, if necessary, for collaboration in activities organized by the Center, like our summer school.

Graduation requirements

In order to graduate, doctoral students should acquire at least 20 credits throughout the three years of their doctoral program. Participants are free to select the activities that best correspond to their specific interests and needs.

The number of credits granted for each type of activity can be found in the description of the training activities. In order to acquire the credits for an academic event, doctoral students are required to actively participate in at least 80% of the activity.

The minimum and maximum number of credits that can be obtained from any one type of activity is specified in the table below. When participants attend activities not organized by the NCCR, the credits corresponding to those activities will be assigned by the Education and Training committee on a case-by-case basis.

Type of activity Min
Summer schools 0 10
Conferences 2 10
Symposia 1 10
Courses 0.5 10
Workshops 1 10
Seminar series
0 10
NCCR Seminars (CISA Seminars, Graduate Seminars, Distinguished Lecture Series) 3 10
Talk-poster (outside conferences) 1 10
KT 0.5 3


Successful participants will receive the Graduate School in Affective Sciences Certificate, delivered by the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Affective Sciences. The Certificate is a complement to the PhD diploma warranted by the student’s university. It will officially acknowledge that the doctoral student has successfully participated in the interdisciplinary Graduate School in Affective Sciences.

Application procedure

The application to the Graduate School in Affective Sciences is open to all doctoral studentswho conduct research on affective phenomena for their Ph.D. thesis in a Swiss university during at least two years. Therefore, applications are also accepted from doctoral students not funded by the NCCR.

To apply, please send to Dr. Cristina Soriano:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a letter of motivation
  • a letter of recommendation from your Ph.D. supervisor.


Dr. Cristina Soriano
Head of Education & Training
Swiss Center for Affective Sciences
CISA, University of Geneva
Campus Biotech. Chemin des Mines, 9
Case Postale 60
CH-1211 Geneva  20