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Biozentrum PhD Fellowships Program University of Basel, Switzerland

The “Biozentrum Ph.D. Fellowships” program was established in 2006 with the generous support of the Werner Siemens-Foundation recognized the value of an international excellence program. After the initial financial support of the Werner Siemens-Foundation, the University of Basel took over funding the salaries of new fellows in 2010 to assure the continuation of the program, since it has proven to be both a great opportunity for the graduates and an enrichment for the international community of the Biozentrum.

The Biozentrum encourages talented, ambitious, and highly motivated young scientists from all over the world to apply for the prestigious and sought-after fellowships offered by the Biozentrum Basel International Ph.D. Program. In contrast to many other Ph.D. student programs that aim at the broad recruitment of many candidates, the Biozentrum Ph.D. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to a maximum of 10 successful candidates per year. Recipients are offered a unique rotation-based selection of a research group of choice and a number of other incentives that foster the scientific excellence and the career prospects of these Ph.D. candidates.

Application and selection procedure

The prestigious Ph.D. fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Shortlisted candidates are invited to Biozentrum for a week of interviews with group leaders and other opportunities to interact and get to know Biozentrum.

You must hold or expect soon a university degree that qualifies you for a Ph.D. program at the University of Basel (MSc and equivalent). In exceptional cases, outstanding students with a 4-year bachelor’s degree, typically from outside the Bologna system, are also eligible to apply. These will be able to complete a Master’s program on a fast track at the University of Basel as part of their fellowship.

In order to be eligible to receive the fellowship, candidates can neither be enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the University of Basel nor have signed a Ph.D. working contract at the University of Basel at the decision date of the respective fellowship call.

The Winter Call 2022/2023 is open. You can submit your applicationonline. Your application must include:

  • electronic copies of your diploma/MSc degree with grades and transcripts as pdf files
  • CV or scientific résumé (maximum one page, pdf format)
  • names and contact information of 2 referees from your previous academic environment (usually faculty members). The referees will be contacted automatically and will be asked for a reference letter.

You will get further information about the application procedure as soon as you have submitted your application.

Important dates for the next callsWinter Call 22_23Summer Call 2023
Start of online applications:September 15early 2023
Closing date for applications:November 13to be announced
Notification of shortlisted candidates:beginning Decemberto be announced
Interview days:January 16-20end of August
Decision of acceptance:February 6to be announced
Possible start of rotations/thesis:1.3.2023 – 1.9.20231.9.2023-1.3.2024

Selection procedure
After the closing date for the open call, applications will be evaluated by all group leaders of Biozentrum. Based on the feedback from their peers, the Program Committee will shortlist 20-30 candidates who will be invited to the Biozentrum for an interview week (travel and accommodation provided by the fellowship program).

To organize your individual interviews and lab visits during the interview week, you will be asked to indicate 8 to 10group leaders. You will also present your research in a 10-minute presentation and 20-minute question-and-answer seminar to the Program Committee and other interested group leaders. A chaperone – a Ph.D. from the fellowships − will be your personal guide during these days, tell you about being a Ph.D. at the Biozentrum and be happy to answer your questions. Two dinners with group leaders and the chaperones, an informal meeting with the Ph.D. Club and a cultural visit to Basel will give you a good insight into Basel and the Biozentrum.

At the end of the interview week, you will be informed about who will receive fellowship offers. We expect your acceptance or declination of the fellowship within two weeks after the interview week. You can then start your Ph.D. in the following six months.


As a fellow, you have the unique opportunity to experience different research groups before deciding on which group to do your Ph.D. You are also offered a number of incentives to support your scientific growth.

Unique rotation-based choice of lab
The fellowship is independent and not tied to aresearch group or project. Candidates accepting the fellowship must conduct research in at least 2 different labs (rotations) at the Biozentrum before they decide on the research group for the Ph.D. thesis (pending approval of the respective group leader). The duration of these rotations is at least 2 months each. The Ph.D. thesis underlies the general rules and guidelines of the University of Basel and candidates will automatically be part of the International Ph.D. Program of the Biozentrum. The fellowship is funded for 3 years and 3 months.

You are also offered a number of incentives to support your scientific and personal growth. Currently, the following benefits are provided (annual changes may apply):

  • a personal, annual allowance to attend meetings, acquire books or a computer
  • an annual study trip to a city with ties to Siemens
  • scientific meetings and networking opportunities with current students and alumni of the Biozentrum Ph.D. Fellowships Program
  • support for the preparation of the personal CV and postdoctoral application by Biozentrum faculty members in the Program Committee
  • financial support for travel to postdoctoral interviews at the end of the Ph.D. thesis.

Application Deadline: November 13, 2023

Official Website HERE.