Degree Programs & Courses Doctorate

Funding Program «Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024» (Graduate Schools)

Second Call: Invitation to Submit Financial Requests for the Funding Period 2023-2024

The purpose of the new funding program «Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024» (Graduate Schools Pillar) is to further enhance the quality and attractiveness of doctoral degree programs, to intensify the supervision of doctoral students and to, 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 Graduate Schools to submit requests for innovative subprograms or individual activities pursuant to the criteria listed below for the funding period 2023-2024.

Eligibility to submit project applications under this second call of the funding program «Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024» (Graduate Schools Pillar) extends to the existing Graduate Schools of the University of Bern for the period 2023-2024, for  

  • the continuation of (sub)programs or course modules already funded within the scope of the funding program «Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024» in the period 2021-2022, or
  • start-up funding of innovative (sub)programs or course modules newly set up from 2023 

that are offered under the auspices of a Graduate School, provided they comply with the criteria specified below and cannot or can only be partly funded through the core budgets of the Graduate Schools.  

The funding volume of projects for which continuation is being requested may not exceed the funding volume to date of the years 2021-2022, if the projects are to be continued unchanged. 
No applications can be made for support of activities that are already being carried out in the Graduate Schools, but that are not being financed through the funding program «Doctoral Programs University of Bern 2021-2024» in the period 2021-2022.

This invitation to submit funding requests extends to:

  • Courses / activities to strengthen disciplinary, interdisciplinary, methodological and/or transversal skills and to promote doctoral student networking
  • Coordination/administration of (sub)programs or individual modules  

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 
  • Innovative activities to promote (inter)disciplinary, methodological and transversal skills development and networking of doctoral students 
  • Inter-university cooperation(s) and/or cooperation(s) across different university types (universities of applied sciences [FH] and/or universities of teacher education [PH]) with substantial participation of all cooperation partners
  • Participation of at least two units of the University of Bern (faculties, centers of excellence, departments, institutes)
  • International network
  • Minimum total of 20 doctoral students (with minimum 10 doctoral students from the University of Bern)
  • Doctoral students are a full member of a Graduate School
  • Positioning of the subprogram or of the module within the existing offering of the Graduate School
  • Adequate and transparent cost sharing of the partner university or partner universities
  • Transparent budget and cost efficiency
  • Support of the subprogram or the module by the faculty dean(s) and the Graduate School directors

The selection of activities 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 under Section 3 of this document, 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. Virginia Richter, Vice-Rector for Development.        

The deadline for submitting funding requests is 09 May 2022. 

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

Application form «Doctoral Programs University of Bern» Funding Period 2023-2024 (Graduate Schools Pillar)

Requests must be signed by the director(s) of the competent Graduate School. Applications requesting support for a newly created offering must include a short declaration of consent signed by the dean(s) of the competent faculty / faculties. Funding requests may be submitted in German, English or French.


If you have any questions, please contact Marco Hollenstein (Vice-Rectorate Development): or tel. +41 31 684 85 41