Joint PhD Call (late 2018)


(scroll down for frequently asked questions!)

Fully funded PhD studentships in Quantitative Biology 



The advent of large-throughput data is transforming life sciences into an increasingly quantitative discipline. The University of Lausanne is at the forefront of this revolution, with more and more quantitative research throughout the Faculty of Biology and Medicine, a dedicated department of Computational Biology, and interdisciplinary units such as the Center for Integrative Genomics. UNIL also hosts the headquarters of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, to which many quantitative research groups are affiliated, and closely collaborates with EPFL on the same campus. Ideally situated along the lake of Geneva, near Lausanne's city center, UNIL brings together over 120 nationalities.



UNIL’s Faculty of Biology and Medicine has launched a new doctoral program entitled “Quantitative Biology”. Several research groups are recruiting PhD students, covering areas as diverse as synthetic biology, plant science, cancer genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, molecular evolution, neuroscience, biological imaging, and computational biology.


Job information

Expected start date: 01.02.2019 or to be agreed


Contract length: The initial contract is for one year and is extendable to a total of 4-5 years.

Activity rate: 80-100%

Workplace: University of Lausanne, Dorigny



Your qualifications

We are accepting applications from talented and enthusiastic candidates who are interested in a dynamic, well-supported lab at a top research institution. Candidates need to finish a Master’s degree in a relevant area before the start date of their doctoral studies.


We are looking for three main types of PhD students:

  • Students with a life science degree, interested in working in an experimental lab, but with a high degree of motivation to learn the fundamentals of computational biology, and to develop quantitative skills to analyze data more effectively
  • Students with a life science degree interested in working in a dry computational lab, keen to deepen their quantitative skills and broaden their horizon in terms of experimental and computational techniques
  • Students with a non-biological background (e.g. computer science, maths, physics), who are highly motivated to transition to Life Sciences


A high level of written and spoken English proficiency is required since most scientific activities are conducted in English,


What the position offers you


You will develop your research project while working in a world competitive, interdisciplinary and highly collaborative environment. 


The PhD program in Quantitative Biology provides opportunities for professional training and acquisition of highly transferable skills. This is complemented by a wide range of activities (retreats, symposia, student life).


The position is fully funded. Salary and benefits are internationally highly competitive. Funding for consumables, computing, and to attend international conferences is widely available.



Informal inquiries

Prof. Christophe Dessimoz, Head of the UNIL Doctoral Program in Quantitative Biology program


Your application 

Deadline: 15.11.2018


Please, send your full application in Word or PDF through the form linked below.


It should contain:

  • Motivation letter (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae including, if available, extracurricular activities, internships, publications, conferences, awards, software contributions, etc.
  • Master’s thesis summary (max. one page)
  • The names and contact details of 2-3 referees


Submit your application here!


Download a poster


Frequently asked questions

Which labs will be recruiting this round?

This is still subject to changes, but potential recruiting groups include the labs of Profs. Richard Benton, Sven Bergmann, Giovanni Ciriello, Olivier Delaneau, Maria Cristina Gambetta, Laurent Keller, and Serge Pelet.

Do I need to specify which lab I would like to join?

This is not needed at this stage, though if you already have specific interests or research groups in mind, you can mention them in your cover letter. 

What will happen after I send my application?

The hiring committee will evaluate and shortlist candidates for a 2-day visit in Lausanne in early 2019, where hiring labs will introduce themselves and candidates will be interviewed. At the end of this process, both candidates and recruiting labs will be asked for their preferred choice(s), and job offers will be made on this basis.

Do I need to have completed my Masters degree by the time of the application?

No, you need to have completed at the latest by the time you get hired, so if you expect graduation within a few months, it might still be worthwhile applying.

Can the letter of recommendations be submitted by the referees after the application deadline?

There is no need to submit recommendation letters at all, as we will only solicit letters if your application ranks highly. Therefore, all you need to provide at the time of application are the name and contact details of your references.

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