Student office

My PhD

Please follow these links : PhD student at the Faculty of Sciences and Research at UNIGE for detailed information on procedures.

You can also download our flyer for PhD students (menu on the right). It contains detailed informatin on the different administrative steps to follow as a PhD student.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the student office kindly asks you to refer to the additional information mentioned in bold in the different questions of the FAQ.


If you are registered to the PhD School of Life Sciences at the Faculties of Medicine and Science, please check the programme's dedicated website.

I would like to apply for a PhD, how should I proceed?

To be admitted as a doctoral student, you need to find a Professor or a Senior Lecturer who agrees to supervise your thesis. To do so, you need to contact the departments or sections you are interested in, or apply to a job offer.

Your thesis supervisor will give you an acceptance letter (attestation de direction de thèse).

For more information, please check: Research at UNIGE.

If you are a student of the Faculty of Science, the acceptance letter has to be sent directly to the student office.

If you are not a student of the Faculty of Science, the attestation must be attached to your admission application and sent to the Service des admissions ">admission office of the University of Geneva.

If you wish to apply for the PhD School of Life Sciences at the Faculties of Medicine and Science, please visit the FAQ for applicants on the programme's website.>

My thesis supervisor has changed, what should I do?

A new acceptance letter (“attestation de direction de these”) must be edited, signed by the old and the new supervisor and sent to the student office.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the former thesis director writes the attestation, signs it and sends the original (paper version) to the new thesis director as well as a scanned version. The new thesis director signs the scanned version and sends it back to the email address of the Student office.

When the situation has returned to normal, the new thesis director will sign the paper version and send it to the Student office.

My thesis supervisor is retiring and I have not yet defended my thesis, what should I do?

If your thesis supervisor is an Emeritus Professor at the time of your defence, he can stay on as long as he has not been retired for more then a year.

If it is not the case, you must find a thesis co-supervisor within your department.

You need to provide the student office with the following documents:

• the co-supervision request form, duly completed and signed by your supervisor

• the CV of the new co-supervisor.

 

These documents will be submitted to the Dean.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the thesis director sends a scanned version of the co-direction request and the CV to the email address of the Student office.

When the situation has returned to normal, the original paper version should be sent to the Student office.

I have a new co-supervisor, what should I do?

You need to provide the student office with the following documents:

• the co-supervision request form, duly completed and signed by your supervisor

• the CV of the new co-supervisor.

 

These documents will be submitted to the Dean.


• Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the thesis director sends a scanned version of the co-direction request and the CV to the email address of the Student office.

When the situation has returned to normal, the original paper version should be sent to the Student office.

I will be taking a written/oral PhD exam, how should I proceed?

Please complete the registration form available online (see downloads section) or directly at the students office.

Make sure to enter the exam title legibly.

The form must be brought to the student office at least 10 days prior to the exam date. It can also be sent by email.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the doctoral exams are maintained and the evaluation mode must be adapted in order to comply with the health measures in force (written work transmitted by email or on an electronic platform, oral exam via videoconference, etc.). The doctoral student registers with the Student Secretariat by email Theses-Sciences(at)unige.ch using the form available online.

The Student Secretariat issues an electronic report sent to the thesis director, who must return it signed, with the result, by email confirming that keeps the original PV. The thesis director is responsible for the smooth running of the exam and its success.

When the situation has returned to normal, the original paper version should be sent to the Student office.


If you are registered to the PhD School of Life Sciences at the Faculties of Medicine and Science, please check the programme's website.

I need coaching in order to prepare for my defence, does the University offers any help ?

The “Pôle de soutien à l'enseignement et l'apprendissage » offers one-day workshop to give you the tools, advice and support in order to best prepare your defence. See their Website.

I’m about to defend my PhD thesis, how should I proceed?

You have to register for your thesis defence with the student office, at least 20 days prior to your defence.

Please provide the following documents:

• the defence registration form (available online or at the student office), duly completed and signed,

• a copy of the 1st page of your thesis conform to the model imposed,

• the full list of jury members with their full name, title (professor or doctor), gender and detailed professional information (Department, University, Faculty, city and country, without any acronym).

At the same time, you need to deposit your thesis with the relevant documents (see detailed instructions) to the Dean’s office (Sciences II, 4th floor, office 4-509).


1) Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the necessary checks prior to the authorization of the thesis defence cannot be carried out normally. We would like to bring the following points to the attention of thesis directors:

• the doctoral student must be registered and have been registered at the University of Geneva for the whole of his/her thesis, and if applicable, at the partner universities in case of “co-tutelle”.

• the doctoral student must have passed all doctoral exams

• the actual thesis direction must be consistent with what was announced in the original “attestation de thèse” (e.g., verify that a co-direction has been announced and approved by the Dean)

• concerning the “mention interdisciplinaire”, the jury's compliance with the mention rules (one of the jury members must belong to the doctoral student's initial field of study)

Verification of the above points will be carried out as soon as possible. The non-conformity of one of them may delay the delivery of the imprimatur or even invalidate the defence.

2) The doctoral student registers for the thesis defence, by sending the form (1st page of the manuscript, registration form and thesis manuscript) by email. The submission of the thesis report and the letter of the Section President is the responsibility of the thesis director, also by email. The files must be sent in pdf format and named according to the agreement: ApplicantName_Page1.pdf; ApplicantName_Registration.pdf; ApplicantName_Manuscript.pdf; ApplicantName_Report.pdf; ApplicantName_Section.pdf

The deadline of 20 calendar days before the defence remains valid and must be complied with.

3) The Student Secretariat issues “Procès-verbal de soutenance” which is sent by email, with a copy of the “mode de publication”, to the thesis director. The Student Secretariat also sends technical information related to the thesis defence by zoom.

I would like to book a room/auditorium, whom should I contact?

The room reservations in buildings Sciences are managed by the lodge at Sciences II. Please contact them by phone : ++41 22 37 96074 or by email.

You will find more information on the rooms/auditoriums available.

Should you want to book a room during the exam sessions, please send an emailto Mrs Jihane-Fabienne Moser at the student office.

I have defended my thesis, what should I do now?

In order to edit your Imprimatur (an authorisation to print your thesis), the student office needs the following 3 original documents:

• the final thesis report with the original signatures of all jury members,

• the defence grade transcript with the original signatures of all jury members,

• the form “Mode de publication” duly completed and signed by the thesis supervisor and yourself. The thesis supervisor should only sign this form once all the corrections have been made to the thesis.

Once the Dean has signed your Imprimatur, the student office will send you an email asking you to come and pick it up.

Please check this for detailed information on how to format and deposit your finalised thesis.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, the thesis director, respectively the President of the jury, guarantees the smooth running of the defence, collects the signatures of the jury members (by email, scan) and sends the PV and the defence report back to the Student Secretariat. The doctoral student signs the mode of publication and forwards it to his/her director who sends it by email to the Student Office when the eventual after defence corrections are made.

The files must be sent in pdf format and named according to the agreement:

NameCandidate_PV.pdf; NameCandidate_Report.pdf; NameCandidate_PublicationMode.pdf

When the situation has returned to normal, the original paper version should be sent to the Student office.

I want a refund of my thesis costs, who should I contact?

Please contact your section / department.

Attention all sections / departments don't refunds.

I have finished my PhD, when will I receive my diploma?

Once your thesis has been submitted to the “Archives ouvertes” of the University of Geneva, the Diploma office will issue your diploma. It will be sent by mail within approximately 3 weeks.


Attention, during the containment due to Covid-19, as all checks could not be made, no imprimatur and/or diploma can be awarded. However, the Student Secretariat will issue a certificate “attestation” confirming that the defence has taken place and that the imprimatur and diploma will be issued as soon as possible, taking into account the health measures in force.