Students enrolled in the Cancer and Immunology PhD program are registered at the University of Lausanne (UNIL).
Please go the doctoral school web page
Salaries are according to the scales of the University of Lausanne or the Ludwig Center for Cancer Research of the University of Lausanne, and/or the Swiss National Science Foundation and are competitive on an international level.
Organization of studies
PhD studies usually last 4 years. In the exceptional event that it should take more time, the thesis committee must be informed of the reasons and be asked for approval of a specific extension period. The working language is mainly English.
Students are expected to attend introductory or advanced courses in the field of their interest. For more information please consult the COURSE BOOK
Within the first month, the student informs the PhD program administrator of the courses that they have chosen to attend within the first year. Each course corresponds to a defined ECTS credit number and these credits are only given to students who were subjected to an evaluation of knowledge acquisition during the course.
Original course certificates must be transmitted to the doctoral program office. The local administrator is responsible for keeping track of the credits obtained by students and keeping all original course documents.
Students must accumulate 6 ECTS credits before the second year qualifying exam.
Within the first year, there must be : 2 credits from UNIL tutorials or various CIIL courses out of the 4 credits required. Students must obtain at least 12 ECTS credits before their final thesis defense. Link
As part of their obligations, PhD students enrolled in UNIL laboratories teach practical classes for Biology and Medicine students of the University of Lausanne.
First year evaluation exam
Within 6-9 months from the official day of entry into the program, there will be an official exam to evaluate the student's performance and potential. Failure by the student to organize and take this exam is equal to failing the exam.
COMPOSITION OF THE JURY: The exam committee will be composed by the thesis director and two other members of the program (the PhD Committee member and a third person from the program called "CIIL representative). Please note that someone in the committee should be from a different department, i.e. the expert or the PhD program member. It is the thesis director's responsability to check the validity of the jury before the exam is organized.
CONDITIONS FOR THE FIRST YEAR EVALUATION REPORT:
The requirements are as follows:
- Use Arial font 11 for the text and font 8 for the figure legends.
- 4 pages divided in the following sections:
1. overall working hypothesis, specific aims and brief description of approaches to be used to achieve the goals: 0.5-1 page
2. summary of significance: 4 sentences, max., bullet style
3. background with novelty/significance of the questions to be addressed: 1 page
4. preliminary results: 1-1.5 pages
5. project plan: future approaches : 0.5.1 page
Figures and legends are included in the 4 pages. On the contrary, references are out of the 4 pages.
IF THE REQUIREMENTS ARE NOT MET, THE TEXT WILL BE RETURNED AND THE EXAM WILL NOT TAKE PLACE.
Please note that the purpose of the first exam (to be held withing the first 9 months), is to evaluate the potential, dedication and capacity of the student to focus. The exam is not meant to assess the results already obtained. If the committee finds that a student is unlikely to be successful in completing a he/she will be informed and, after potential additional probation period, the contract will be terminated (by the end of the first year).
Intermediate thesis exam
Graduate students take an intermediate exam 24-28 months after having started their PhD studies. Failure by the student to organize and take this exam is the equivalent of failing the exam. The exam committee will be composed by the thesis advisor and two other members, including a PhD program committee representative and an external expert. The exam consists of a written report (10 pages maximum), organized as a tentative thesis, an oral presentation (approximately 40 min), and a discussion. The report must be submitted to the members of the thesis committee two weeks before the exam. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate the student's progress and make constructive suggestions regarding the thesis project. If the intermediate exam shows a lack of progress, the student will be told so by the thesis committee. After a potential additional probation period, such students may be excluded from the PhD Program and their contract terminated (by the end of the third year of studies).
24th-36th month report
In the period 24th-36th month Submission of the form ‘Annual Progress Report/UNIL’ (see below) to the doctoral program office and short discussion with the PhD program representative on the work progress. It is strongly advised to have accumulated at least 12 credits within the first 3 years.
Final thesis exam
After 4 years of thesis work, graduate students have a thesis exam in the presence of the thesis committee. Typically three weeks later they present their work to their family, friends and co-workers in a public thesis exam.
The thesis committee consists of :
-The Thesis Director (the **co-director or the rapporteur if one has been assigned)
-A Member of the program
-An External expert
-A University representative
The composition of the thesis committee is agreed between the student, the thesis director, the PhD Program committee chairperson and the FBM-UNIL Doctoral School. No committee members (except the advisers) can be co-authors of papers with the candidate.The members of the thesis committee offer guidance, advising students on the feasibility of their research project and evaluating their progress. The PhD program committee chair should be consulted by the student and/or his director on issues related to the project, or in case of conflict. The thesis committee evaluates the student's performance at the intermediate exam.