Degree Programs & Courses Doctorate

Funding Program “Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024”

The deadline for submissions has expired

Submission of Funding Requests for Doctoral Programs: Funding Period 2021-2024

The purpose of the funding program “Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024” is to further strengthen the quality and attractiveness of doctoral degree programs and, thus, improve the career prospects of doctoral students within and outside of academia. The aim of the program is to support academic offerings that promote the doctoral students’ disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transferable skills. Allocation of the funds made available by the Executive Board will be on the basis of funding requests pursuant to the funding criteria outlined in the following.

The Executive Board herewith gives notice to the university units to submit requests for funding of doctoral programs in accordance with the mentioned criteria for the funding period 2021-2024. It should be noted that no further calls to submit funding requests are planned before 2024.

Funding requests of Graduate Schools and of (individual) programs offered within the scope of a Graduate School are not part of this call to submit requests. The Graduate Schools will receive a separate invitation to submit funding requests for existing (i.e. currently funded through TP1) and new (individual) programs or individual courses (e.g. Summer Schools) at a later point in time.
Furthermore, no funding requests may be made for existing programs that are already in receipt of funds from the Executive Board or other sources (e.g. CUSO doctoral degree programs).

Eligibility to apply under the funding program “Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024” extends to requests for financial support of doctoral programs currently funded through resources of the swissuniversities TP1 “Doctoral programs of the universities 2017-2020”, provided they comply with the criteria specified below. Eligibility to apply also extends to requests for funding of newly developed programs.

This invitation to submit funding requests extends to:

  • Courses for doctoral students
  • Coordination/administration of doctoral degree programs


It does not extend to funding requests for:

  • Resources for funding doctoral students’ research (salaries and grants of any kind)
  • Resources for furthering infrastructure (workspaces, devices, software, etc.)
  • Resources to support individuals (e.g. individual conference participation costs)
  • Lump sum payments to doctoral students
  • Costs for external doctoral students
  • Clear philosophy and thematic focus of the doctoral degree program
  • Structured educational offering that promotes disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transferable skills
  • Curriculum in the scope of minimum 10 ECTS credits over the course of 4 years*
  • Transparent criteria and processes as regards admission of doctoral students to the doctoral program
  • Intra-university cooperation(s): participation of minimum two units of the University of Bern (faculties, centers of excellence, departments, offices)
  • Inter-university and international network
  • Minimum 10 doctoral students (in the case of inter-university cooperation(s): minimum 5 doctoral students from the University of Bern)
  • Positioning of the program within the offering of the university and the university’s faculties for the promotion of early career researchers
  • Support of the doctoral program by the faculty board(s)
  • Doctoral students on the program are not member(s) of Graduate Schools or other doctoral programs that already receive Executive Board funding (e.g. CUSO doctoral programs)
  • Transparent budget and cost efficiency

*Awarding of ECTS credits is based on performance assessments taken by the doctoral students. The courses are listed in the CTS course catalogue (also in view of issuing a diploma supplement). Crediting of ECTS credits earned within a doctoral program towards the required study attainments as per the relevant regulations on doctorates (Promotionsreglement) must be assured.

The selection of programs to be funded with resources of the “Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024” funding program will be made by the Executive Board on the basis of the criteria listed above, and in consideration of the overall funding available. There is no legal right to the awarding of “Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024” funding.

Funding requests are to be submitted

  • electronically

  • as a single PDF file (scope: max 8 pages excl. appendix)

to Marco Hollenstein (, for the attention of Prof. Dr. Achim Conzelmann, Vice-Rector for Development.        

The deadline for submitting funding requests is 20 March 2020.

An application form is available. Applicants submitting funding requests must make sure to use this form only.

Application form 2019_Doctoral Programs_EN.doc (DOC, 157KB)

Requests must include a short declaration of consent signed by the dean of the competent faculty. In the case of programs with participation of several faculties, the declaration of consent must be signed by the dean of each faculty concerned. Funding requests may be submitted in German, English or French.

If you have any questions, please contact Marco Hollenstein (Vice-Rectorate Development): or tel. 031 631 85 41