Postgraduate education

Doctorate in neuroscience - PhD

The doctorate in neuroscience is a diploma delivered jointly by the University of Geneva and the University of Lausanne, within the framework of the Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School (Ecole doctorale de neurosciences lémaniques).

The doctorate in neuroscience is organised jointly by the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne as advanced postgraduate training in neuroscience.

Goals and objectives

The Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School (LNDS) aims at providing students with broad background knowledge in neuroscience, irrespective of their thesis topic. That is, it offers courses and training events ranging from cellular and molecular to cognitive, clinical and computational neurosciences.

After completing the doctoral training program, the PhD candidate will have demonstrated that he/she is able to:

  • independently plan and execute an original research project.
  • use and apply the acquired knowledge and technologies to design a novel scientific study in order to answer preclinical or clinical questions.
  • effectively communicate, written and orally, about his/her research with the scientific community and the general public.
  • integrate his/her research topic with other domains of neuroscience, make connections between the fundamental and cognitive/clinical neurosciences, and acknowledge the benefit of transdisciplinary interactions for scientific advancement and innovation.
  • critically discuss their own as well as others’ research.
  • act and react promptly in scientific discussions and contribute to resolving problems in scientific projects.
  • efficiently organize his/her own as well as group-wide projects, and recognize a possible necessity of additional resources.
  • engage into scientific discussions in English.
  • write and successfully defend a doctoral thesis.


Useful links

Find a host group

Candidates wishing to apply for a doctorate in neuroscience must :

  • Find a host group and a thesis director who is part of the research groups affiliated with the Lemanic neuroscience doctoral program. (
  • Define a thesis project together with the thesis director and get approval by the doctoral program.

Registration and admission

  • PhD candidates register in the host university and faculty of their thesis director.
  • The application is reviewed by the UNIGE Admission Service and the scientific committee of the Lemanic neuroscience doctoral school (LNDS) presided by Pr Anthony Holtmaat.
  • Contact the program coordinator for questions.

Follow-up on thesis progression and thesis defence

In general, the rules of the faculty of enrollment of the PhD candidate apply.
Program-specific rules and guidelines can be found on the program website.

Please contact the program coordinator for further questions.

  • The Swiss National Research Foundation (FNRS) offers MD-PhD scholarships to physicians applying for a PhD in neuroscience, for a PhD in medical science ("MD-PhD") or in science (MD/PhD).
  • Scholarship applicants may be occupying a position of research assistant-physician. In this case, remuneration will amount to 70% of a position of clinical assistant-physician.
  • It is also possible to obtain an MD/PhD scholarship for a three year period, within the framework of the federal programme funded by various foundations. Applications must be undertaken with the authorisation of the thesis supervisor and of the MD/PhD committee and must include a research project. Seven to eight grants are awarded each year to Swiss medical faculties.
  • For both types of scholarships, the amount awarded consists of approximately 50'000 Swiss Francs.
  • Other grants can be made available by the Faculty of medicine of the University of Geneva for laboratory internships abroad lasting a few weeks as well as for participating in congresses.

To whom should one apply for funding?

Pr Jérôme Pugin 

President of the Committee for scholarship awards
Service des soins intensifs - Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève
Rue Gabrielle Perret-Gentil 4 - 1211 Genève 4
Tel. +41 22 372 92 36

Fonds national suisse - Bourses MD-PhD