Details on the study program

How can I obtain a "PhD in Life Sciences" with special mention/ certification in Cardiovascular and Metabolism Sciences? | CVM accredited events (non-exhaustive list) | Thesis milestones

How can I obtain a "PhD in Life Sciences" with special mention/ certification in Cardiovascular and Metabolism Sciences?

PhD candidates can receive a certificate in Cardiovascular and Metabolism Sciences attesting their courses and study credits obtained once they have chosen this special track and registered for it upon enrollment as PhD candidate in the Life Science Doctoral School of the FBM-UNIL. 

  • Overall, candidates have to obtain 12 ECTS study credits as in the "free study option" Life Science program.
  • 2 ECTS (out of the 12)  must be obtained by participating to tutorials within the first year of doctoral studies as in the "free study option" Life Science program. These can be related to CVM functions in health and disease or not.
  • 4 ECTS (out of the 12) must be obtained by participating to CVM mini-symposia organized twice a year (or equivalent events co-organized and announced by the CVM program). The CVM mini-symposia are a fundamental educational part of the programaiming to train candidates to conduct innovative research at the interface of basic science and clinical applications. The mini-symposia strongly promote interactions of the PhD candidates with renowned invited experts in the field. CVM candidates and thesis directors are welcome to suggest topics and speakers of their interest.
  • 9 ECTS (out of the 12) should be obtained by participating in events related to research on cardiovascular and metabolic functions in health and disease, as well as techniques and methodologies. These can be
    • Seminars and journal clubs
    • National and international conferences and symposia
    • Courses and workshops
    • CVM mini-symposia
    • CVM-related tutorials
    • Other types of meetings outside the department to which the PhD candidate is attached.
  • Remaining study credits (e.g. 3 ECTS out of the 12 obligatory ones) may be obtained by participating in scientific events, but also in transversal skills and comptences (scientific writing, science communication, career planning).

In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CVM coordinator: ulrike.toepel AT


CVM accredited events (non-exhaustive list)

Mini-symposia consist of a morning session of 4 seminars (0.25 ECTS) and an afternoon workshop where students discuss papers with the speakers (0.75 ECTS). The papers are given to the students in advance for preparation.
The CVM committee attempts to propose two mini-symposia per year.

Departmental seminar series
To obtain 1 ECTS students are required to participate to 12 seminars (can be accumulated from different seminar series; inquire about the suitability of other series or to add a sugegstion):

  • Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Department of Physiology seminars
  • DBCM seminars
  • CIG seminars
  • CHUV cardiology or metabolism seminars
  • LIMNA seminars

In the DBS literature seminars 2 ECTS can be obtained as they consist of 12-16 journal club like sessions (minimum of 12) lasting 1.5h each. Students register prior to commencing the seminar series and are required to prepare and discuss a journal paper with a given group leader in the department. The group leaders take turns in hosting the journal club.

Any tutorial given by a group leader in the CVM program (UNIL/CHUV) will be CVM-accredited. The CVM committee will ensure that 2 tutorials are given by a CVM group leader per year. A list of tutorials offered by the doctoral school can also be found on the CVM web site by clicking on the link “tutorials”.

Meetings /Conferences
Students are highly recommended to attend national and international meetings/conferences in the field of “Cardiovascular and Metabolism”. The most important yearly events are listed on the CVM web site. Many meetings/conferences are accredited by the CVM program. If uncertain, students should contact the CVM PhD program coordinator. Students presenting a poster or talk at a meeting/conference will obtain 1 ECTS.

Students should contact the CVM coordinator if they are unsure whether a certain event is CVM accredited:
Contact CVM: Dr Ulrike Toepel (


Thesis milestones

Over the course of your PhD thesis, several thesis milestones have been defined in terms of doctoral school requirements. Please read them carefully and follow them.

For example:
1. Composition of the thesis committee: The thesis committee must be selected by common consent between the thesis director and the doctoral student. Its composition must be communicated to the Doctoral School at the latest one year following registration with the doctoral school. The form for thesis committee selection can be downloaded on the website.

2. Submission of the first year report: The report must be co-signed by the thesis director and sent to the thesis committee and the Doctoral School. Together with the first year report, documents should be sent for validation of the 4 ECTS and to confirm the composition of the thesis committee members.

3. Submission of the yearly report: At the end of each year, a research report must be co-signed by the thesis director and sent to the thesis committee and the Doctoral School.

For general questions to the FBM doctoral school please contact


CH-1005 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 40 14
Fax +41 21 692 40 05
Université de LausanneCentre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV)