To be eligible for a Ph.D. thesis, applicants must hold a Master degree.
A Ph. D. thesis at the Department of Biochemistry involves the independent experimental realization of a research project and the preparation of a written thesis. Duration is about 4 years on average. In the course of the thesis, Ph.D. students are expected to develop expert knowledge in their scientific field through their practical research work as well as by attending seminars and specialized training courses. Furthermore, Ph.D. students are expected to acquire interdisciplinary skills in areas such as research project management, presentation techniques, communication and ethics. With such skills, the Department of Biochemistry expects their Ph. D. graduates to take the responsibility for their work and their decisions in a context exceeding mere research.
The University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich very much emphasize career development. Therefore, they have established the joint Life Science Zurich Graduate School and initiated several specific Ph.D.programs which offer talented and ambitious Ph. D. students an ideal environment for further education. Almost all research groups of the University and the ETH participate in at least one Ph.D. program. The admission of a candidate into such a program is subject to passing a competitive evaluation procedure.
A Ph.D. project fosters one's own persistence, competence to judge, to work in a team, and to take responsibility, independent of individual preferences und interests. A Ph.D. title may be helpful in finding positions outside academia. However, it is an absolute prerequisite for a research career in academia or industry.