Curriculum

The PhD program consists mainly of the PhD thesis involving 3 to 4 years (full time) of research work in a project within one of the research units of the faculty affiliated to the Graduate School of Climate Sciences. The PhD thesis is usually written in the form of research articles in international peer reviewed journals.

Completion of the program entitles with a "PhD of Science in Climate Sciences, University of Bern" issued by the Faculty of Science. PhD students of other faculties of the University of Bern can also be admitted to the PhD program if they are members of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research. These PhD students are subject to the regulations of the relevant faculties and are also enrolled in the relevant faculties.

The PhD program is not a structured training program, but with the studies program 2011 (Studies program 2011 (PDF, 1020KB),  Studies program 2011 (Studienplan 2011) (PDF, 1009KB)) students are obliged to prepare a doctoral agreement (Doktoratsvereinbarung) and complete 12 ECTS coursework during their PhD

Doctoral Agreement (Doktoratsvereinbarung)

The Doctoral agreement (Doktoratsvereinbarung) en (PDF, 292KB) puts rights and duties of the PhD candidate and the supervisor(s) on record. Even though not legally binding, it is valid during the PhD project and aims at setting an optimal framework for the PhD candidate. The doctoral agreement can be modified and should be reviewed regularly. It must be completed within the first month of the PhD project and submitted to the deputy studies director.

Coursework

According to the studies program 2011, PhD students are obliged to complete 12 ECTS coursework during their PhD studies. The type of courses is specified in Courses overview with ECTS (Appendix 2 of the studies program; PDF, 34KB) of the studies program:

Compulsory courses (9 ECTS):

  • International Swiss Climate Summer School (3 ECTS)
  • Colloquia, seminars and/or Oeschger Seminar Series (6 semesters, 3 ECTS)
  • Participation in an international conference, with talk or poster (2 ECTS)
  • OCCR Climate Young Researchers Meeting (1 ECTS)

Elective courses (3 ECTS):

  • Course(s) of your choice from the MSc program (U Bern and ETH Zurich)
  • Any other course(s) (different summer schools, specific training courses, etc.) upon approval by the studies director

Together with your supervisor, you specify the courses you plan to take in the Doctoral agreement (Doktoratsvereinbarung) en (PDF, 292KB). Get the approval by the studies director for elective courses that are not in the Courses overview with ECTS. Register for the courses in KSL and collect certificates of attendance where applicable; submit them to the studies directorate.

Scientific Writing for PhD students

The Graduate School of Climate Sciences offers training opportunities for scientific writing. The course “Writing for Publication in Climate Sciences” is intended for PhD students in the first half of their project and focuses on general writing skills for research articles. The course is not accountable towards the corsework of 12 ECTS (see above). In addition, all PhD students are entitled to one package of three individual consultations within one year. These consultations are designed to work specifically on texts that are ready for submission / publication. In the consultations, grammar, style and tangibility of your texts will be improved. Please write to peter.stucki@oeschger.unibe.ch for more information.

PhD examination and completion

The graduation process and formalities are defined by the Faculty of Science. It involves some important steps:

  • Designate an external co-referee for your dissertation. Fill in the request for authorization, and hand it in to the studies directorate of the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, who will approve and forward it to the Dean's Office.
  • Check the registration and submission deadlines for the evaluated dissertation.
  • Set the date, time and location for your PhD defense with your supervisor(s) and the chair examiner. The chair examiner must be a member of the Supervising Faculty. Fill in the "Application Form for Completing a PhD" and follow the instructions.
  • IMPORTANT: Notify peter.stucki@oeschger.unibe.ch in time for the announcement of the PhD defense.

Please refer to the
Forms and Guidelines of the Faculty of Science