Doctorate - FAQ
Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about PhD:
- Which funding options are available for PhD programmes and for which duration do they apply?
Who is responsible for notifying the SNSF of the funding provided to new PhD students?
In principle, the person receiving the grant (usually the PhD supervisor) communicates any changes in funding. Changes and adjustments must be reported online via mySNF, the electronic platform of the SNSF.
What is the salary for a PhD student?
The salary depends on the type of employment depending on whether you are employed as an assistant or as an FNS scholarship holder. If you are enrolled as an independent PhD student, you will not receive a salary. For further information on employment conditions and salary, please contact the UniFR Human Resources Service.
Conditions of admission and employment
Do I have to enrol as a PhD student at the university?
As a PhD student you have to enrol. Please note the admission and enrolment requirements stipulated by the university.
Which visa is required for foreign students to apply for an SNSF grant?
In case your home country is subject to compulsory visa requirements, you need to apply for a visa at the respective Swiss representation in your home country before entering Switzerland.
Further information: Office for Population and Migration
Are PhD students entitled to maternity and paternity leave?
Yes, like all other employees of the university, PhD students are entitled to maternity and paternity leave. Maternity leave consists of 16 weeks, regardless of the type of employment (assistant, third-party funding, SNSF). Paternity leave is 2 weeks. You can find more information here.
Can I get unpaid leave for a research stay abroad if I am employed as an assistant?
Unpaid leave is permitted, but must first be approved by the PhD supervisor.
- Which financing options are available for a research stay abroad?
Are there funding opportunities for the accompanying partner during research stays abroad?
The benefits granted by the SNSF depend on marital status, family responsibilities and the cost of living in the country of residence. In case of unmarried couples who have been living together for more than two years, benefits are granted for the partner. However, if the partner earns more than CHF 15,000 per year during the research stay (current rate, which is reviewed regularly), the rate for a single person is applied instead. To receive benefits, the partner must accompany the researcher for at least 6 months. No benefit is granted for shorter periods.
How long is the minimum duration of a research stay abroad?
All types of mobility are supported. However, several SNSF funding programmes require a minimum stay of 12 months abroad in order for future career-supporting fellowships to remain possible.
Is it possible to spend my research period abroad in different places?
Generally this is not possible with the SNSF. Certain exceptions are made in case of two stays of six months each. However, this solution must be approved by the SNSF before the PhD student's departure.
Conflicts occurring during the PhD
In conflict situations within the research team, how should I behave?
Talk to your PhD supervisor as early as possible or contact the faculty. You may also contact the mediation service of the University of Fribourg or the psychological counselling service, whose services are subject to the requirement of confidentiality.
Cancellation of the PhD
To whom do I have to address my notice of termination if I want to discontinue the PhD?
Inform your PhD supervisor about your decision to terminate your PhD. Send the written notice of your cancellation to the Human Resources Office of the university along with copies to your professor and your faculty.