Teaching & Learning

Doctoral support


We organize group workshops on different themes related to the transversal skills that permeate your academic career. You will find workshops in both French and English open to all, allowing exchanges on practices and reflections enriched by each participant's background and the various disciplinary traditions that will be represented among the participants.

We also organize workshops at your request. Whether you are in the process of doing your doctorate, coordinating or directing a doctoral school or even a student association, let us know your needs.

You will find below the workshops given in English. The complete list of workshops can be found on this page (in French).


Doing research is already an accomplishment in itself, but knowing how to communicate your results to the scientific community is definitely a plus and a valuable asset. Knowing how to give good presentations will be useful to you whatever your future professional orientation may be.

Communicate research effectively

  • How to prepare a presentation that is attractive to my audience?
  • From all my research, what information should I select and what should I set aside?
  • What do I put on my supports and what do I say orally?
  • How to structure a good presentation medium (PowerPoint / Poster)?
  • I am overwhelmed by stress at the thought of speaking in public. What are some useful tips for managing it?

In this workshop, you will learn how to prepare, produce and perform an oral presentation.

In particular, we will discuss the characteristics of the audience, the different contexts of academic presentations and the objectives pursued. You will be introduced to methods and tools to organize and energize your presentations.

This day is also an opportunity for you to train! This workshop offers you the opportunity to test your communication skills by allowing you to present your research for 2 minutes. You will receive feedback and personalized advice on your presentation and the support used.

Objectives of the workshop

  • Determine the content of your presentation.
  • Prepare a good presentation material.
  • Improve your communication skills.
  • Apply techniques and tools to improve your presentations.

Duration of the workshop

  • One day (9 a.m - 5 p.m)

Workshop fee

  • 250 CHF (External)
  • 0 CHF (PhD students UNIGE)

Workshop dates

On request

  • What is the purpose of defending my thesis in public?
  • What are the main issues of a thesis defense?
  • How should I prepare the presentation?
  • How can I communicate effectively in these circumstances?
  • What kind of questions may I expect?

The thesis defense is a major step of your PhD. It is therefore important to prepare it in a careful and methodical way. This workshop gives you the tools, advice and support in order to best prepare this event. Both the form and content of your presentation will be addressed during this workshop. You will be guided throughout the process, receiving tools and ideas in order to anticipate and prepare questions of the jury. Participants will be offered the opportunity to discuss their experiences and ideas in order to share different points of view and reflections with other PhD students coming from different disciplines.
This workshop also offers you the opportunity to practice presenting your thesis (in a few minutes) in order to receive feedback to improve your presentation skills.

Very reassuring and useful

PhD student, 2014, Faculty of Sciences

This workshop is open and useful for both PhD students whose defence will be soon (to be well prepared) and for those who will finish later. For the latter, it will provide time for reflection on what is expected from doctoral students and will also give an overview of the different steps you will go through to reach the defence. Furthermore, the communications skills covered during this workshop are necessary in a lot of situations you may encounter (seminars, congress, teaching or competitions).

Objectives of the workshop

  • To practice and enhance your presentation skills
  • To determine the content of your presentation
  • To identify the actual stakes of your thesis defense
  • To anticipate and prepare for the questions of the jury

Duration of the workshop

  • One day (9 a.m - 5 p.m)

Workshop fee

  • 250 CHF (External)
  • 0 CHF (PhD students UNIGE)

Workshop dates

On request


Individual support

  • The group workshop has given you some ideas but you still don't see how to adapt it to your context?
  • You want to benefit from an outside perspective to develop your presentation?
  • You are stressed by the defense and you want to put all the chances on your side to perform at your best that day?
  • You would benefit from a role-playing exercise to ensure the quality of your presentation?

We are at your disposal to accompany and support you, whatever your level of progress in your thesis.


Whether you are 1 month away from defending or 3 years away, whether you want to prepare a presentation for a congress or for your thesis defense, we can help you prepare this event and strengthen your communication skills (structuring your presentation, preparing your support, valorizing your research).

Support can take several forms:

  • a phone call to unblock a situation or answer a specific question
  • an appointment to prepare a presentation
  • a simulation to test your presentation
  • a simulation with a mock jury to anticipate the management of questions and debate

We will then determine the best ways to meet your needs effectively.

More information and contact: formdoc(at)unige.ch

Please note that our services are free of charge only for doctoral students registered at the UNIGE.

  • You have received the news of the date of your defense and you are counting the days under stress?
  • You have applied for a grant and will soon have to defend your project in front of the jury?
  • You have applied for a position at another university and you are summoned for a trial lesson in a few days or weeks?

We offer you a realistic scenario to help you prepare for this important event, complete with a mock jury or small public.

Immediately after your lecture, you will receive detailed feedback on the content of your lecture and its form, as well as the materials you use. If questions were asked by your mock jury, feedback on your question‑and‑answer management will also be provided.

Contact us at least one month before the date of the event at formdoc(at)unige.ch, in order to fix one or two simulation dates or appointments.

Please note that our services are free of charge only for doctoral students registered at the UNIGE.


We can provide you with advice and resources on issues such as:

  • What's next after my thesis?
  • How does a defense unfold and how to prepare it?
  • What softwares can be useful to me?

You can get more information here (in French), or by contacting us at formdoc(at)unige.ch.

My Thesis in 180 Seconds

Every year, the University of Geneva organizes the regional finals of the My Thesis in 180­ Seconds contest.

On this occasion, 15 candidates present their thesis in 180 seconds and not one more! Their objective is to explain their research subject in simple terms in order to convince the jury and the audience.

At the end of the regional finals, the jury awards three awards. The winners then participate in the national finals. The audience also has the opportunity to vote for the audience award.

More information (in French)

Contact us

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Mallory Schaub

Head of the service, pedagogical advisor

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Delphine Rinaldi

Pedagogical Counsellor

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Christophe Carlei

Pedagogical Counsellor