Thematic Study Plans

Cancer & Immunology

The PhD Program in Cancer and Immunology focuses on interdisciplinary training, research in basic areas of modern cancer biology and immunology, and possible exciting connections with clinical problems. The research carried out by the participating laboratories covers a wide range of areas in cancer cell biology and immunology, such as: stem cells and cancer 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, cellular and molecular immunology, vaccine development, 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 workcourses, lectures, workshops and summer courses (in English), devoted to Cancer and Immunology, plus the possibility of practical training.

Required ECTS credits : 12 ECTS

For more information, please check our website

Or contact : Ms Nathalie Colin Garret

Cardiovascular & Metabolism

The Cardiovascular and Metabolism PhD Program (CVM-PhD) proposes a specific postgraduate training for students preparing a PhD or a MD-PhD thesis in the field of Cardiovascular and Metabolic disorders. Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for a large part of the mortality and morbidity in industrialized countries. The majority of these diseases are a direct consequence of metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.

A great deal of research efforts are undertaken in the academic world as well as in the industry to try to improve the diagnosis, care and treatment of these diseases. The improvement of the medical care for these diseases is highly dependent on advances in fundamental research in molecular and cellular biology, physiology, biochemistry.

In order to ensure that the best researchers, teachers and entrepreneurs will be active in this field; also in order to offer the best training in the fields of biology oriented towards medical applications; the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne has organized a study program in the field of the cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Required ECTS credits : 12 ECTS

For more information, please check our website :

Or contact : Dr Ulrike Toepel

Ecology & Evolution

The field of ecology and evolutionary biology is well established in western Switzerland, with about thirty research groups distributed between the Universities of Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel. Thanks to the financial support offered from the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO), these five Universities decided to join their efforts and expertise to establish a Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution.

The Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution aims to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and scientific methods through seminars and workshops to which foreign experts will be invited. The study program will also allow doctoral students to improve their aptitude for communication about their research, and offers a possibility to improve scientific English. Furthermore, the program encourages the doctoral students to establish networks of collaboration.

Required ECTS credits : 12 ECTS

For more information (registration & credits):

Contact : Ms Livia Ioni

Address: Doctoral School FBM, Amphipôle Building, Office 324, UNIL-Sorge, 1015 Lausanne




Microbial Sciences

In Switzerland and elsewhere, the past decade has seen a remarkable expansion of Microbial Sciences with a major impact on fundamental and applied life sciences and medicine. The Universities of Western Switzerland represent major poles of research in Microbial Sciences in the disciplines of bacteriology, virology, microbial ecology, and mycology with high-profile research groups. Together with EPFL and the University of Bern, they organise an overreaching program for training at the doctoral level, including scientific and technical training modules in fundamental and applied microbiology: the "Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences" of the Conférence universitaire de Suisse occidentale (CUSO).

Within the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne, the Institute of Microbiology and the Department of Fundamental Microbiology are active in this process and they invite the PhD and MD-PhD doctoral students of the Faculty to participate in the study program Microbial Sciences of the FBM.

Required ECTS credits : 12 ECTS (see below terms and conditions)

For more information contact : Dr Sylvia Rothenberger

Or check the website :

Enrollment and requirements

The UNIL is the authority awarding the PhD degree and the doctoral students must meet the requirements of the FBM Doctorate in Life Sciences. Thus:

  • Doctoral students must be enrolled in the thematic programme and matriculated at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne from the start of their doctoral studies.
  • During their first year of doctoral studies, students must obtain at least 4 ECTS credits: 2 from tutorials and 2 from other activities of the programme.
  • During the course of their doctoral studies, students must obtain a minimum of 12 ECTS credits.


During the course of their graduate studies, doctoral students immatriculated in the Doctoral School of the FBM enrolled in the thematic program Microbial Sciences (MS) are required to obtain a total of 8.5 ECTS credits from activities organized by the inter-university CUSO Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences, doctoral training courses and meetings in the field of Microbial Sciences.

Apart from these 8.5 ECTS credits, students can choose according to their interests, to meet the minimum of 12 ECTS credits. Activities of the “Programme Transversal” (soft skills) of CUSO are highly recommended. ECTS credits obtained by attending other activities are the subject to coordinator approval for validation.


Registrations to the CUSO and FBM Doctoral School events

To register for the CUSO activities, follow the instructions of the CUSO "Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences"; prior enrollment in the CUSO program is necessary.

To register for the tutorials of the FBM Doctoral School, follow the instructions of the FBM Doctoral Program in Life Sciences.


To get enroled, please use this form.

Quantitative Biology (previously called: IECB)

The Integrated Experimental and Computational Biology program (IECB) is currently being revamped into the Quantitative Biology (QB) PhD program.

The program aims to attract top students who want to pursue a career in computational biology research or deepen their quantitative biology skills, and to provide them with first-rate training.


Recognizing that tight collaboration between computational and experimental biologists is key, the program puts a special emphasis on harnessing and developing computational approaches to answer questions that are relevant to biological and medical research. As such, we expect the program to be of interest both to students developing new computational methods in their doctoral work, and students wanting to use and interpret state-of-the-art computational methods in their doctoral work. 

Required ECTS credits : 12 ECTS

For more information, contact : Corinne Dentan


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