The steps of the thesis

Thesis procedure

Step 1: Thesis committee composition

Each PhD student has a thesis committee who follows her/his progress during the thesis process. Its composition must be communicated to us upon registration and selected by common consent between the thesis director and yourself. It includes the thesis director (and co-director, if applicable), two experts, at least one from outside the Department of your thesis director & the president (nominated by the Doctoral School).

Experts should not have collaborated scientifically with you during your thesis in a significative way preventing them from being objective in the assessment of your work. Note that you can add or pick other experts for the thesis defence, so that at least one is from outside the University of Lausanne.

Upon registration, use the form available on our website. 

Step 2: First evaluation during the 2nd semester

A short report summarizing the thesis subject, the milestones & the research advancement must be prepared by the end of the second semester. The report should be sent by e-mail to ALL the members of the thesis committee and in copy the thesis director and the Doctoral School for a first evaluation by the thesis committee.

Step 3: Mid-thesis evaluation

The mid-thesis exam must be presented at the latest two years after the beginning of the first contract as PhD assistant or 3 semesters after the official enrolment. During this exam, the student presents the advancement of his research in front of the thesis committee.

Step 4: Thesis defence

In brief, you will have to write your thesis, defend it at the “private defence” session in front of a selected jury. If you pass, you will then be allowed to present you research in a format more accessible for non-scientists in front of a public audience. The thesis defence usually occurs in the 3rd, 4th or 5th year, provided that the 12 ECTS of the coursework (and the possibly additional requirements of the PhD programs with a study option) have been obtained and the mid-thesis evaluation has been successfully passed. 

Study programs (ECTS)

The student takes part to the PhD program in Life Sciences free study option or in a PhD program with a study option.

First year: 4 ECTS

At the end of the first year, at least 4 ECTS credits should be obtained. Two of these 4 credits should be obtained by participation to 2 tutorials. 

Ready for the thesis defence: 12 ECTS

12 ECTS credits should be obtained by the end of the PhD doctoral studies.

It is better to forward the documents for validation of courses at any time during your thesis but no later than at least four weeks before the announcement of the date of your private defence to the Thesis Office (the same deadline applies for the request of your ECTS Certificate).

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