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You are hereUNIL > PhD Program in Cancer and Immunology > Overview


| General information: Application, Admission and Acceptance procedures

The PhD Program in Cancer and Immunology focuses on research in basic areas of modern cancer biology and immunology together with interdisciplinary and translational research. More specifically, the research carried out by the participating laboratories covers areas such as: stem cells, cancer and development, epithelial-stromal interactions, angiogenesis, cancer epigenetics, chromatin structure and function, cell cycle control mechanisms and DNA repair, cancer immunology, innate and adaptive immunology, transplantation immunology, infectious diseases, vaccine design, cellular and molecular immunology, vaccine development, aging, HIV infection and parasitology (malaria and Leishmania).
Strongly motivated students worldwide are selected twice a year through a two-step competitive selection procedure. The expected time to degree is four years. The program designed for PhD students includes advanced courses, lectures, workshops and summer courses (In English), devoted to Cancer and Immunology, together with the possibility of practical training.

The working language is English.


and of the UNIL Doctoral School.

  1. Laboratories participating in the PhD Progam in Cancer and Immunology
  2. Possible available positions and projects:
    2.1: Students are encouraged to consult the list of participating laboratories and apply
    throughout the year by contacting  directly P.I's of interest [TRACK 1 Procedure] - Link
    2.2: Students are also encouraged to send a formal application by the indicated deadlines,
           following the [TRACK 2 Procedure] - Link
    2.3: For representative available projects, please click here
  3. Possibility of doing a summer studentship in laboratories (please contact us)

 PhD Program Committee members:

  • Prof. Gian-Paolo Dotto, Director
  • Prof. Alexandre Harari
  • Prof. Monika Hegi
  • Prof. Werner Held
  • Dr. Camilla Jandus
  • Prof. Johanna Joyce
  • Prof. Ping-Chih Ho
  • Prof. Vladimir Katanaev
  • Prof. Fabio Martinon
  • Prof. Matthieu Perreau
  • Prof. Tatiana Petrova
  • Prof. Caroline Pot-Kreis
  • Prof. Thierry Roger
  • Prof. Pedro Romero
  • Prof. Daniel Speiser
  • Prof. Fabienne Tacchini-Cottier

PhD Program Students Representatives:            

  • Rebekka Schairer, group Prof. Margot Thome              Rebekka.Schairer@unil.ch
  • Irene Schrijver, group Prof. Thierry Roger                   Irene.Schrijver@unil.ch
  • Charlotte Théroude, group Prof. Thierry Roger             Charlotte.Theroude@unil.ch
  • Davide Croci, group Prof. Johanna Joyce                     Davide.Croci@unil.ch

PhD Program Administration:

  • Mrs. Françoise Flejszman

Mailing /Adress for sending the applications / contact address:

Email: Francoise.Flejszman@unil.ch
PhD Program in Cancer and Immunology
Administration Office
Department of Biochemistry (DB-UNIL)
Chemin des Boveresses 155
CH-1066 Epalinges

General information: Application, Admission and Acceptance procedures

Application Document

Prerequisites for being accepted in our program

M.D. degree, or
Master degree or equivalent in a relevant area of study such as medicine, biology, immunology....
Fluent in understanding, reading and communicating in English


Two application tracks are possible:

Track 1: Students are invited to apply throughout the year, sending a complete application directly to the PI with a copy to the PhD Program administrator: francoise.flejszman@unil.ch
Track 2: Twice a year, before the deadlines specified below, students are invited to apply for a more general selection procedure by completing the application form found below.

        Application deadline: NOVEMBER 30th, 2017 - Interview/selection:  9th - 10th January 2018


Admission Policy and Procedure

Track 1. Admission to the program is a two-step process,  the second step is shared with Track 2 (below). Preliminary decisions are made by the PI who has been contacted directly by the interested student, followed by a personal interview and evaluation by a preliminary admission committee. The selected student can then join the PI’s laboratory as a trainee student. Within 6 months of beginning work, the student must pass the second selection step, described further below, to be formally enrolled in the PhD program.

Track 2. Admission to the program is a two-step process on a competitive basis. Initial decisions are made by an Admission Committee after review of applications and possible skype interviews. This will be followed by an invitation of the selected candidates to participate in person to the selection meeting. This second step (shared with Track1) involves a 2 day visit, with an oral presentation and personal interviews.

Application procedure

Please read the instructions carefully before applying to check whether you are eligible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Application period (Track 2)

Please use the application form provided below. The completed form must be written in English and can be sent by email to the administration office (francoise.flejszman@unil.ch).

Selection/interviews with the candidates:

Acceptance procedure

Following admission, the candidate must start their PhD within a period of 6 months.

The PhD student, who is part of the  Cancer and Immunology/University of Lausanne PhD program, must refer from the start to the PhD office in Epalinges, for immatriculation, courses and credits, half-thesis, etc. until the term of the thesis . This means, that within the first week the PhD student presents themselves to the PhD program administration office in Epalinges (Mrs Françoise Flejszman, Department of Biochemistry) and receives information about the requirements for students enrolled in the program. The student and their supervisor sign a form declaring that they accept the specific rules of the program. This form needs to be returned to the PhD program administrator in Epalinges within the first month. The students themselves are responsible to fulfill the requirements of the program in time.

-Within the first month, the student chooses a PhD program representative according to the UNIL guidelines, who will follow their progress during their thesis.

Registration procedure at the UNIL when you start your PhD

When you start your PhD, it means that you have been accepted in one of the PhD program laboratories after having passed the interview/selection process organized by the PhD Program. You need to start the matriculation process at the Unil-IMMAT office, this procedure is done on line. Please follow the steps on HOW TO ENROLL AT UNIL
- with a Swiss university degree : click    
- with a foreign university degree: click

APPLICATION DEADLINE for enrollment in the PhD Program

In parallel, you have to start your enrolment in the PhD program:  you are requested to fill out this form with your thesis director that will sign it. Then give it/send it to our PhD administrator (Mrs Flejszman) in Epalinges. She will then transmit it to the Admissions office at UNIL.


NB: If the application is sent after the deadlines, the registration will be postponed to the next semester (or, in case the late application is accepted, the prospective student will have to pay an extra fee of CHF 200.-).  For more info

Please note that you will be requested by the IMMAT office to pay 200 CHF at the beginning of your PhD, plus 80 CHF at the beginning of each semester.


Ch. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges  - Switzerland  -  Tel. +41 21 692 57 00  -  Fax +41 21 692 57 05
Swiss University