Doctoral programmes at university of Fribourg

All faculties at the university of Fribourg are offering courses which are open to the Doctoral students. 

List

Faculty of Theology

  • Study of Religion

    In the modern age, religion, with its promises and perceived platitudes, is under suspicion of inhibiting endeavours to educate humans and speed up social progress. In the meantime, we live in a «religion friendly» society, characterised by new-found interest in «religious phenomena». So, the new role of religions in a pluralist and multicultural society is everything but clear. They provide potential for conflict and at the same time urge peace. They oppose secularisation and encourage it at the same time, as they are the expression of a confession and therefore promote neutralisation of the public.

    The Faculty of Theology in Fribourg is the largest theology Faculty in Switzerland integrated into a state university. It is subject to national law, like the other University Faculties, but in addition is acknowledged by the Church and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Bishops Conference.

    The Faculty of Theology takes into consideration the variety of methods, but at the same time, as a science of faith, approaches religion as a confession and uses scientific resources to analyse and provide critical and constructive support to stimulate interreligious dialogue.
    The Faculty of Theology offers study programmes which not only impart knowledge, but also lead to students clarifying and deepening their own position in the dialogue of religions and with religions.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Biblical studies

    • Dr Gudrun Nassauer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – New Testament

    • PD Dr Philippe Hugo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Hebrew Bible
    – Greek Septuagint Bible

    • Prof. Philippe Lefebvre

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Bible
    – Relationship between the Bible (Christianity) and culture, the Bible and literature, cinema

    • Prof. Thomas Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Exegesis of the New Testament

    Patristics and Church History

    • Prof. Mariano Delgado

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Church and society in Latin America
    – Church and society in Europe in general, with a focus on Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain
    – Dialogue between religions
    – Religion and violence
    – Religion and migration
    – Multiculturalism
    – Christianity/Church and politics

    • Adj.Prof. Gregor Emmenegger

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Patristics and the history of the Church

    • Prof. Paul-Bernard Hodel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of the Church in the Middle Ages, modern and contemporary times

    • Prof. Franz Mali

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early Christianity
    – History of Christianity in the East, particularly in the Middle East

    Faith and Religious Studies, Philosophy

    • Prof. Gilles Emery

    Areas of specialisation:
    – The question of God
    – The Trinity
    – Christ
    – Creation
    – The Christian vision of mankind
    – Life after death

    • Prof. Barbara Hallensleben

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ecumenical questions
    – Churches in the East
    – Theology and spirituality of Churches in the East
    – Questions on faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church
    – Questions concerning the promotion of research

    • Prof. Veronika Hoffmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Dogmatic theology
    – German-language theological currents of the 20th century
    – The theological reception of Charles Taylor and Paul Ricoeur
    – The doctrine of salvation
    – Faith and religious indifference

    • Prof. Joachim Negel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Fundamental theology

    • Adj.Prof. François-Xavier Putallaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Adj.Prof. Bernard Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Prof. Helmut Zander

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Comparative history of religions and interreligious dialogue

    Moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Daniel Bogner

    Areas of specialisation:
    – General moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Thierry Collaud

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Special moral theology and Christian social ethics

    • Prof. Hansjörg Schmid

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Islam and society, interreligious ethics

    • Adj.Prof. Markus Zimmermann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Foundation of Christian social ethics
    – Theological bioethics
    – Equal distribution of health
    – Decisions at the end of life
    – Ethics of palliative care
    – Work and social security
    – Migration and integration

    Practical theology

    • Prof. François-Xavier Amherdt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral issues
    – Parishes and dioceses, religious education and catechism
    – Theology and humanities, particularly psychology and sociology
    – Public Relations

    • Prof. Astrid Kaptijn

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Canon law

    • Prof. Martin Klöckener

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Liturgy
    – Worship
    – Celebration of the Sacrements
    – Litugical periods and celebrations, Church year
    – Rites
    – Prayer
    – Piety
    – Popular piety
    – Liturgical space, construction and furnishing of churches

    • Prof. Salvatore Loiero

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral theology

    Contact

    Faculty of Theology
    Dean's Office
    Eveline Jungo
    eveline.jungo@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-theology (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-theology (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae doctor in studiis religiosis / Doctor of Philosophy in the study of Religion (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Theological Studies

    The Faculty of Theology in Fribourg is the largest theological Faculty in Switzerland integrated into a state university. It is subject to national law, like the other University Faculties, but in addition is acknowledged by the Church and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Bishops Conference.

    Theology differs from other scientific fields insofar as it has its own unique outlook: it deals primarily with God and humans, to the extent they refer to God as their origin and purpose. It reflects its own position as well as that of every Church in the community. Theologists share the responsibility for the planet's sustainable development with a human face. In light of the deregulation of religion and ethics (fundamentalist and esoteric movements) and the search for a peaceful world where different religions and cultures can coexist, theology plays a critical role in engaging a discourse on the question of truth and values.

    From this perspective, the Faculty of Theology serves the Church as a community, as well as its individual members, and also serves society as a whole. The issues explored through the study of theology using a variety of scientific research methods play a critically constructive role.

    The doctorate in theological studies focusses on students who have completed their studies in theology as a main programme (with a minor).

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Biblical studies

    • Dr Gudrun Nassauer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – New Testament

    • PD Dr Philippe Hugo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Hebrew Bible
    – Greek Septuagint Bible

    • Prof. Philippe Lefebvre

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Bible
    – Relationship between the Bible (Christianity) and culture, the Bible and literature, cinema

    • Prof. Thomas Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Exegesis of the New Testament

    Patristics and Church History

    • Prof. Mariano Delgado

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Church and society in Latin America
    – Church and society in Europe in general, with a focus on Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain
    – Dialogue between religions
    – Religion and violence
    – Religion and migration
    – Multiculturalism
    – Christianity/Church and politics

    • Adj.Prof. Gregor Emmenegger

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Patristics and the history of the Church

    • Prof. Paul-Bernard Hodel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of the Church in the Middle Ages, modern and contemporary times

    • Prof. Franz Mali

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early Christianity
    – History of Christianity in the East, particularly in the Middle East

    Faith and Religious Studies, Philosophy

    • Prof. Gilles Emery

    Areas of specialisation:
    – The question of God
    – The Trinity
    – Christ
    – Creation
    – The Christian vision of mankind
    – Life after death

    • Prof. Barbara Hallensleben

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ecumenical questions
    – Churches in the East
    – Theology and spirituality of Churches in the East
    – Questions on faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church
    – Questions concerning the promotion of research

    • Prof. Veronika Hoffmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Dogmatic theology
    – German-language theological currents of the 20th century
    – The theological reception of Charles Taylor and Paul Ricoeur
    – The doctrine of salvation
    – Faith and religious indifference

    • Prof. Joachim Negel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Fundamental theology

    • Adj.Prof. François-Xavier Putallaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Adj.Prof. Bernard Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Prof. Helmut Zander

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Comparative history of religions and interreligious dialogue

    Moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Daniel Bogner

    Areas of specialisation:
    – General moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Thierry Collaud

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Special moral theology and Christian social ethics

    • Prof. Hansjörg Schmid

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Islam and society, interreligious ethics

    • Adj.Prof. Markus Zimmermann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Foundation of Christian social ethics
    – Theological bioethics
    – Equal distribution of health
    – Decisions at the end of life
    – Ethics of palliative care
    – Work and social security
    – Migration and integration

    Practical theology

    • Prof. François-Xavier Amherdt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral issues
    – Parishes and dioceses, religious education and catechism
    – Theology and humanities, particularly psychology and sociology
    – Public Relations

    • Prof. Astrid Kaptijn

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Canon law

    • Prof. Martin Klöckener

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Liturgy
    – Worship
    – Celebration of the Sacrements
    – Litugical periods and celebrations, Church year
    – Rites
    – Prayer
    – Piety
    – Popular piety
    – Liturgical space, construction and furnishing of churches

    • Prof. Salvatore Loiero

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral theology

    Contact

    Faculty of Theology
    Dean's Office
    Eveline Jungo
    eveline.jungo@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-theology (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-theology (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae doctor in studiis theologicis / Doctor of Philosophy in theological studies (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Theology

    The Faculty of Theology in Fribourg is the largest theological Faculty in Switzerland integrated into a state university. It is subject to national law, like the other University Faculties, but in addition is acknowledged by the Church and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Bishops Conference.

    Theology differs from other scientific fields insofar as it has its own unique outlook: it deals primarily with God and humans, to the extent they refer to God as their origin and purpose. It reflects its own position as well as that of every Church in the community. Theologists share the responsibility for the planet's sustainable development with a human face. In light of the deregulation of religion and ethics (fundamentalist and esoteric movements) and the search for a peaceful world where different religions and cultures can coexist, theology plays a critical role in engaging a discourse on the question of truth and values.

    From this perspective, the Faculty of Theology serves the Church as a community, as well as its individual members, and also serves society as a whole. The issues explored through the study of theology using a variety of scientific research methods play a critically constructive role.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Biblical studies

    • Dr Gudrun Nassauer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – New Testament

    • Prof. Philippe Lefebvre

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Bible
    – Relationship between the Bible (Christianity) and culture, the Bible and literature, cinema

    • Prof. Thomas Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Exegesis of the New Testament

    Patristics and Church History

    • Prof. Mariano Delgado

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Church and society in Latin America
    – Church and society in Europe in general, with a focus on Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain
    – Interreligious dialogue
    – Religion and violence
    – Religion and migration
    – Multiculturalism
    – Christianity/Church and politics

    • Adj.Prof. Gregor Emmenegger

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Patristics and the history of the Church

    • Prof. Paul-Bernard Hodel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of the Church in the Middle Ages, modern and contemporary times

    • Prof. Franz Mali

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early Christianity
    – History of Christianity in the East, particularly in the Middle East

    Faith and Religious Studies, Philosophy

    • Prof. Bernhard Blankenhorn

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Dogmatic theology

    • Prof. Barbara Hallensleben

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ecumenical questions
    – Churches in the East
    – Theology and spirituality of Churches in the East
    – Questions on faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church
    – Questions concerning the promotion of research

    • Prof. Veronika Hoffmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Dogmatic theology
    – German-language theological currents of the 20th century
    – The theological reception of Charles Taylor and Paul Ricoeur
    – The doctrine of salvation
    – Faith and religious indifference

    • Prof. Joachim Negel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Fundamental theology

    • Adj.Prof. François-Xavier Putallaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Adj.Prof. Bernard Schumacher

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethical, bioethical and societal issues

    • Prof. Helmut Zander

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Comparative history of religions and interreligious dialogue

    Moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Daniel Bogner

    Areas of specialisation:
    – General moral theology and ethics

    • Prof. Thierry Collaud

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Special moral theology and Christian social ethics

    • Prof. Hansjörg Schmid

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Islam and society, interreligious ethics

    • Adj.Prof. Markus Zimmermann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Foundation of Christian social ethics
    – Theological bioethics
    – Equal distribution of health
    – Decisions at the end of life
    – Ethics of palliative care
    – Work and social security
    – Migration and integration

    Practical theology

    • Prof. François-Xavier Amherdt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral issues
    – Parishes and dioceses, religious education and catechism
    – Theology and humanities, particularly psychology and sociology
    – Public Relations

    • Prof. Astrid Kaptijn

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Canon law

    • Prof. Martin Klöckener

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Liturgy
    – Worship
    – Celebration of the Sacrements
    – Litugical periods and celebrations, Church year
    – Rites
    – Prayer
    – Piety
    – Popular piety
    – Liturgical space, construction and furnishing of churches

    • Prof. Salvatore Loiero

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pastoral theology

    Contact

    Faculty of Theology
    Dean's Office
    Eveline Jungo
    eveline.jungo@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-theology (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-theology (German)

    Degree conferred

    Sacrae theologiae doctor

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

Faculty of Law

  • Law

    With its centres of scientific excellence and its research activities clearly linked to the entire range of legal subjects, the University of Fribourg's Faculty of Law is committed to the challenges of today and of tomorrow. It attaches particular importance to post-graduate training, which aims to offer young researchers optimal framework conditions in which to obtain their doctorate in law.

    The doctoral training at the Faculty of Law is multilingual and multidisciplinary in many areas of legal specialisation (private law, public law, commercial law, international law, history of law, philosophy of law, etc.). Courses take place at different specialised research centres and a wide network of nationally and internationally recognised scientific partners is available.

    The theses carried out within the Faculty of Law may be done within the framework of research conducted by the following different departments:

    • Private law: this comprises the disciplines of civil law and Swiss and European contract law, including Roman law and comparative law.
    • Public law: this encompasses public law and administrative law, as well as canon law and social insurance law. It includes labour law and the history of law.
    • Criminal law: this covers the disciplines of criminal law and Swiss and international criminal procedure law, as well as mutual legal assistance and criminology.
    • International and commercial law: this includes international and European law, commercial law, international private law and civil procedure. Tax law and philosophy of law are also included.

    Within the framework of their doctoral research, the doctoral students can also integrate the many Institutes linked to the Faculty:

    • Institute of Federalism
    • Institute of European Law
    • Institute of Law and Religion
    • Institute of Construction Law
    • Institute of Law and Economics
    • Interfaculty institutes (Interdisciplinary Institute of Ethics and Human Rights and Institute of Family Research and Consulting)

    Lastly, doctoral students have the opportunity to take part in different doctoral programmes in connection with other Swiss universities. These include, notably, the doctoral programme in law of the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO) called Programme doctoral en droit or that in law, philosophy and history of the Universities of Fribourg and Bern, called Law, ideas and politics of Europe.

    The CUSO doctoral programme in Law

    Doctoral students in law registered at one of the universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva or Neuchâtel can register to the doctoral programme in law of CUSO. The purpose of this programme is to improve conditions for the doctoral thesis by encouraging contacts between researchers and proposing numerous doctoral training activities. Doctoral students benefit from training which will allow them to develop different generic skills at the same time as writing their doctoral thesis, in order to best prepare them for an academic or professional career.

    The doctoral programme in law, philosophy and history, Law, ideas and politics of Europe

    The Law, ideas and politics of Europe programme is an interdisciplinary bilingual doctoral programme open to doctoral students at the universities of Fribourg and Bern.

    Its purpose is to develop in Switzerland fundamental and inter-disciplinary research on law, and European ideas and politics, thanks to close supervision of doctoral theses and to the organisation of a certain number of activities, such as doctoral conferences, block seminars, annual meetings and support seminars. It brings together doctoral students in law, philosophy and history interested in European matters, and also, more widely, international relations. The programme not only allows doctoral students to cover their research questions from the angle of different disciplines, but also to identify new questions from «reading» other disciplines.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Marc Amstutz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Corporate law
    – Group law
    – Competition law
    – Sociology of law
    – Theory of law
    – Legal methodology

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Eva Maria Belser

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss constitutional law and comparative law
    – Fundamental rights and human rights
    – Democracy
    – Federalism
    – Administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Samantha Besson

    Areas of specialisation:
    – International law
    – European law
    – International and European human rights law
    – Theory of human rights
    – Philosophy of international and European law
    – General international law (subjects, sources, responsibility, relations with national law, settlement of international disputes)
    – Constitutional and institutional law of the EU
    – ECHR law
    – Anti-discrimination law

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Martin Beyeler

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private construction law
    – Law of public infrastructures
    – Law of public demand (in particular of public procurement)
    – Legal analysis of alternative conflict resolution methods

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Marc Bors

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Roman law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Basile Cardinaux

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Labour law
    – Social insurance law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Isabelle Chabloz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Corporate law, incl. Public Takeover law
    – Competition law
    – Debt collection and bankruptcy law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Jacques Dubey

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional law
    – Administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Astrid Epiney

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European Union law
    – International public law
    – Legal relations between Switzerland and the EU
    – European and international environmental law
    – European and Swiss data protection law
    – Selected Area of public law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Gerhard Fiolka

    Areas of specialisation:
    – International criminal law
    – European criminal law
    – International mutual legal assistance in criminal matters
    – Accessory criminal law (in particular criminal road traffic law and criminal drug law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Christiana Fountoulakis

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Family law
    – Personal rights
    – Media law
    – Child and adult protection law
    – Contract law
    – Private international law
    – Arbitration law

    Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

    • Prof. Clémence Grisel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss public law
    – Administrative law
    – Administrative procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Michel Heinzmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Civil procedure
    – Enforcement law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Pascal Hinny

    Areas of specialisation:
    – National and international tax law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Bettina Hürlimann-Kaup

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Property law
    – Personal rights
    – Preliminary title of the Swiss Civil Code

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Alexandra Jungo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Family law
    – Succession law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Ramon Mabillard

    Areas of specialisation:
    – National and international civil procedure
    – Debt collection and bankruptcy law
    – International private law

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Yves Mausen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Marcel Alexander Niggli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law
    – Philosophy of law

    Theses can be supervised in German, French, English or Italian.

    • Prof. René Pahud de Mortanges

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of law and constitutional law
    – Law of religions and canon law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Bertrand Perrin

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Special criminal law
    – Criminal business law
    – Criminal procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Pascal Pichonnaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private law
    – Roman law
    – Contract law
    – European private law and European consumer law
    – Comparative law
    – Arbitration

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Maryse Pradervand-Kernen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Real rights
    – Right property ownership
    – Law of succession
    – Preliminary chapter of the Civil Code
    – Mediation in civil law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Adriano Previtali

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social and social insurance law
    – Constitutional law

    Theses can be supervised in French or Italian.

    • Prof. Thomas Probst

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law, Civil liability law
    – European private law
    – Comparative law
    – International contract law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European law
    – European migration law

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Christof Riedo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law
    – Criminal procedure
    – Juvenile criminal law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Isabelle Romy Romerio Giudici

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private international law/international procedure
    – Environmental law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Andreas Stöckli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional right
    – General administrative law
    – Special administrative law (including planning, construction and environmental law, commercial administration law, energy law, education and university law, civil service law) , Financial Budget Law)
    – Public procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Hubert Stöckli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law (Swiss contract law, general section; Swiss contract law, special section, special laws)
    – Civil liability law
    – Private construction law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Joëlle Vuille

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law, general section
    – Criminal penalty law and execution of sanctions
    – Criminology
    – Use of forensic science in a criminal procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Bernhard Waldmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional law (organisation of the State, federalism, fundamental laws)
    – Administrative law, general section
    – Administrative procedure and legal protection in public law
    – Public organisation law
    – Law of urban planning, construction and the environment
    – Other areas of administrative law on request

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Franz Werro

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law
    – European private law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Jean-Baptiste Zufferey

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss administrative law
    – General administrative law
    – Social administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in French or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Law
    Rachele Tiziani Tanner, study advisor and study coordinator
    rachele.tizianitanner@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-ius (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-ius (German)

    Degree conferred

    Iuris doctor / Doctor of Law (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Legal Studies

    With its centres of scientific excellence and its research activities clearly linked to the entire range of legal subjects, the University of Fribourg's Faculty of Law is committed to the challenges of today and of tomorrow. It attaches particular importance to post-graduate training, which aims to offer young researchers optimal framework conditions in which to obtain their doctorate in legal studies.

    Open to students who have a Master of Arts in Legal Studies (MALS), the doctoral training in Legal Studies at the Faculty of Law is multilingual and multidisciplinary in many areas of legal specialisation (private law, public law, commercial law, international law, history of law, philosophy of law, etc.). Courses take place at different specialised research centres and a wide network of nationally and internationally recognised scientific partners is available.

    The theses carried out within the Faculty of Law may be done within the framework of research conducted by the following different departments:

    • Private law: this comprises the disciplines of civil law and Swiss and European contract law, including Roman law and comparative law.
    • Public law: this encompasses public law and administrative law, as well as canon law and social insurance law. It includes labour law and the history of law.
    • Criminal law: this covers the disciplines of criminal law and Swiss and international criminal procedure law, as well as mutual legal assistance and criminology.
    • International and commercial law: this includes international and European law, commercial law, international private law and civil procedure. Tax law and philosophy of law are also included.

    Within the framework of their doctoral research, the doctoral students can also integrate the many Institutes linked to the Faculty:

    • Institute of Federalism
    • Institute of European Law
    • Institute of Law and Religion
    • Institute of Construction Law
    • Institute of Law and Economics
    • Interfaculty institutes (Interdisciplinary Institute of Ethics and Human Rights and Institute of Family Research and Consulting)

    Lastly, doctoral students have the opportunity to take part in different doctoral programmes in connection with other Swiss universities. These include, notably, the doctoral programme in law of the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO) called Programme doctoral en droit or that in law, philosophy and history of the Universities of Fribourg and Bern, called Law, ideas and politics of Europe.

    The CUSO doctoral programme in Law

    Doctoral students in law registered at one of the universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva or Neuchâtel can register to the doctoral programme in law of CUSO. The purpose of this programme is to improve conditions for the doctoral thesis by encouraging contacts between researchers and proposing numerous doctoral training activities. Doctoral students benefit from training which will allow them to develop different generic skills at the same time as writing their doctoral thesis, in order to best prepare them for an academic or professional career.

    The doctoral programme in law, philosophy and history, Law, ideas and politics of Europe

    The Law, ideas and politics of Europe programme is an interdisciplinary bilingual doctoral programme open to doctoral students at the universities of Fribourg and Bern.

    Its purpose is to develop in Switzerland fundamental and inter-disciplinary research on law, and European ideas and politics, thanks to close supervision of doctoral theses and to the organisation of a certain number of activities, such as doctoral conferences, block seminars, annual meetings and support seminars. It brings together doctoral students in law, philosophy and history interested in European matters, and also, more widely, international relations. The programme not only allows doctoral students to cover their research questions from the angle of different disciplines, but also to identify new questions from «reading» other disciplines.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Marc Amstutz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Corporate law
    – Group law
    – Competition law
    – Sociology of law
    – Theory of law
    – Legal methodology

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Eva Maria Belser

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss constitutional law and comparative law
    – Fundamental rights and human rights
    – Democracy
    – Federalism
    – Administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Samantha Besson

    Areas of specialisation:
    – International law
    – European law
    – International and European human rights law
    – Theory of human rights
    – Philosophy of international and European law
    – General international law (subjects, sources, responsibility, relations with national law, settlement of international disputes)
    – Constitutional and institutional law of the EU
    – ECHR law
    – Anti-discrimination law

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Martin Beyeler

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private construction law
    – Law of public infrastructures
    – Law of public demand (in particular of public procurement)
    – Legal analysis of alternative conflict resolution methods

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Marc Bors

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Roman law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Basile Cardinaux

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Labour law
    – Social insurance law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Isabelle Chabloz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Corporate law, incl. Public Takeover law
    – Competition law
    – Debt collection and bankruptcy law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Jacques Dubey

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional law
    – Administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Astrid Epiney

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European Union law
    – International public law
    – Legal relations between Switzerland and the EU
    – European and international environmental law
    – European and Swiss data protection law
    – Selected Area of public law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Gerhard Fiolka

    Areas of specialisation:
    – International criminal law
    – European criminal law
    – International mutual legal assistance in criminal matters
    – Accessory criminal law (in particular criminal road traffic law and criminal drug law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Christiana Fountoulakis

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Family law
    – Personal rights
    – Media law
    – Child and adult protection law
    – Contract law
    – Private international law
    – Arbitration law

    Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

    • Prof. Clémence Grisel

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss public law
    – Administrative law
    – Administrative procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Michel Heinzmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Civil procedure
    – Enforcement law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Pascal Hinny

    Areas of specialisation:
    – National and international tax law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Bettina Hürlimann-Kaup

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Property law
    – Personal rights
    – Preliminary title of the Swiss Civil Code

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Alexandra Jungo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Family law
    – Succession law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Ramon Mabillard

    Areas of specialisation:
    – National and international civil procedure
    – Debt collection and bankruptcy law
    – International private law

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Yves Mausen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Marcel Alexander Niggli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law
    – Philosophy of law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. René Pahud de Mortanges

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of law and constitutional law
    – Law of religions and canon law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Bertrand Perrin

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Special criminal law
    – Criminal business law
    – Criminal procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Pascal Pichonnaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private law
    – Roman law
    – Contract law
    – European private law and European consumer law
    – Comparative law
    – Arbitration

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Maryse Pradervand-Kernen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Real rights
    – Right property ownership
    – Law of succession
    – Preliminary chapter of the Civil Code
    – Mediation in civil law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Adriano Previtali

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social and social insurance law
    – Constitutional law

    Theses can be supervised in French or Italian.

    • Prof. Thomas Probst

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law, Civil liability law
    – European private law
    – Comparative law
    – International contract law

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European law
    – European migration law

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    • Prof. Christof Riedo

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law
    – Criminal procedure
    – Juvenile criminal law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Isabelle Romy Romerio Giudici

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Private international law/international procedure
    – Environmental law

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Andreas Stöckli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional right
    – General administrative law
    – Special administrative law (including planning, construction and environmental law, commercial administration law, energy law, education and university law, civil service law) , Financial Budget Law)
    – Public procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French or German.

    • Prof. Hubert Stöckli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law (Swiss contract law, general section; Swiss contract law, special section, special laws)
    – Civil liability law
    – Private construction law

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Joëlle Vuille

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Criminal law, general section
    – Criminal penalty law and execution of sanctions
    – Criminology
    – Use of forensic science in a criminal procedure

    Theses can be supervised in French or English.

    • Prof. Bernhard Waldmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Constitutional law (organisation of the State, federalism, fundamental laws)
    – Administrative law, general section
    – Administrative procedure and legal protection in public law
    – Public organisation law
    – Law of urban planning, construction and the environment
    – Other areas of administrative law on request

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Franz Werro

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contract law
    – European private law

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Jean-Baptiste Zufferey

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss administrative law
    – General administrative law
    – Social administrative law

    Theses can be supervised in French or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Law
    Rachele Tiziani Tanner, study advisor and study coordinator
    rachele.tizianitanner@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-ius (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-ius (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae doctor in scientiis iuridicis / Doctor of Philosophy in Legal Studies (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

Faculty of Humanities

  • European Studies

    The Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies offers doctorates in European Studies in French or in German. The European Studies Domain provides bilingual teaching in the Human and Social Sciences, in which the emphasis is on politics, contemporary history and culture. The period covered by European Studies at Fribourg starts at the end of the Second World War up to the present day. With its interdisciplinary profile, the domain takes into account the legal, economic and political aspects of contemporary Europe and analyses the sphere of influence of European culture.

    Possible subjects for a doctorate in European Studies at the Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies are:

    • The history of European integration
    • Franco-German relations
    • Relations between Switzerland and the European Union
    • The New Right in Europe
    • The processes of democratisation in Europe
    • The concepts and policies of cooperation and reconciliation
    • The policies of remembrance and identity in Europe
    • Europe as an area of communications
    • International and diplomatic relations
    • Cultural policies in Europe

    The European Studies domain also supports fundamental research in the social and cultural fields of the analysis of European policies as well as in comparative politics. The same applies to the more practical and specific study programmes.

    During the academic year, the doctoral students also have the opportunity of taking part in the master and thesis colloquium in European Studies. Over and above their specialisation, they can also take part in the French and German-language doctoral schools.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Gilbert Casasus

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Franco-German relations
    – Relations between Switzerland and the European Union
    – The New Right in Europe
    – History of European integration
    – Comparative analysis
    – Democratic deficit and deficit of legitimacy in the European Union

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies
    Anja Früh
    anja.frueh@unifr.ch
    Marie Moulin
    marie.moulin@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-european-studies (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-european-studies (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Studiis Europaeis / Doctor of Philosophy in European Studies (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Contemporary History

    The doctorate is the third level of training and research at the University of Fribourg. It consists of the independent conceptualisation, formulation and conduct of a research project which is innovative in its content and methods and is an enrichment to research.

    Doctoral studies in Contemporary History can be undertaken following a master's degree in Contemporary History or History, or following a master's degree in a related discipline of social sciences or cultural studies. In the latter case, further academic qualifications may be required. At the same time, doctoral students conclude a doctoral agreement which regulates the key steps and tasks during their doctoral studies. After about one year, doctoral students submit a concept of their thesis project.

    The Department of Contemporary History offers a dynamic, stimulating and encouraging scientific and social environment and a clear, organisational framework for the pursuit of a doctorate. Great importance is attached to scientific exchange and interdisciplinary cooperation. Doctoral students receive guidance on content and methods, including support in seeking funding. The compatibility of doctoral studies and family life is also a key concern. The Department of Contemporary History encourages periods of research at universities abroad as well as joint supervision of the doctorate at the University of Fribourg and a foreign university via the programme «Cotutelles de thèse/Gemeinsame Dissertationsbetreuung».

    The doctorate in Contemporary History offers an outstanding qualification, not only for further research and an academic career, but also for leadership roles and executive positions in a wide array of occupational fields, such as museums, archives, the diplomatic service, communal, cantonal and federal administration, publishing companies, etc.

    Doctoral training
    Contemporary History offers a number of courses for training at doctoral level: The interdisciplinary doctoral programme Migration and Postcoloniality Meet Switzerland, financed by swissuniversities, deals with various dimensions of inclusion and exclusion and, among other things, looks at present-day migration in the context of the postcolonial present and the colonial past. Further offers are the CUSO Programme doctoral en histoire contemporaine (PDHC), doctoral students' colloquia with presentation of thesis projects, «Study Days Contemporary History» with text readings at a more intensive level, and the «Fribourg Forum for Contemporary History». A core objective of these training and complementary training formats is to promote scientific exchange and to network several disciplines and universities with one another.

    Key areas of research
    The Department of Contemporary History is the largest of its kind in Switzerland and covers the entire spectrum of Contemporary History as Swiss and European as well as global Contemporary History. In addition to this, the professors in this field have developed focal points and research networks on specific themes.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Jean-Francois Fayet

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social and cultural history of politics
    – International relations
    – Humanitarianism
    – Media
    – Russian and Soviet world

    • Prof. Matthieu Gillabert

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Cold War
    – Cultural diplomacy, Soft Power and Propaganda
    – History of higher Education (Students and university policies)
    – History of Centraleurope and Eastern Europe (especially polish space)
    – Colonisation and Decolonisation
    – Museums and History

    • Prof. Claude Hauser

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Intellectual history
    – History of international cultural relationships
    – History of the Second World War
    – History of Jura region and national minorities

    • Prof. Anne-Francoise Praz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of childhood and education
    – History of social and family policies
    – Historical demography and population policies
    – Women's history and gender history

    • Prof. Damir Skenderovic

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European and Swiss contemporary history
    – Political and cultural history
    – History of political parties
    – Right-wing populism, radical right
    – Countercultures, 68 movement, life reform movement
    – Migration History
    – Colonial history

    • Prof. Christina Späti

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Swiss, European and Canadian contemporary history
    – Language politics and bilingualism
    – Orientalism
    – Antisemitism and anti-Zionism
    – History of the left, 68 movement
    – Post-history of National Socialism

    • Prof. Siegfried Weichlein

    Areas of specialisation:
    – European contemporary history
    – Political and cultural history
    – Nationalism
    – Regionalism
    – Federalism
    – Labour movement
    – Modern religious history
    – Cultural history of the Cold War
    – Political iconography
    – Transatlantic history
    – History of Zionism and the State of Israel

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Contemporary History
    Prof. Matthieu Gillabert
    matthieu.gillabert@unifr.ch
    Prof. Claude Hauser
    claude.hauser@unifr.ch
    Prof. Siegfried Weichlein
    siegfried.weichlein@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-contemporaryhistory (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-contemporaryhistory (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Praesentis Aetatis Historia / Doctor of Philosophy in Contemporary History (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • History

    The Department of History offers a doctoral programme in history which students can take either in French or German, or both. History studies are all about the analysis of human societies of the past, their organisation, achievements and representations. In the context of the doctorate, candidates are called upon to demonstrate their skills in the following fields:
    – Putting an original question and pursuing an independent line of thought on a historic theme;
    – Collecting and critically analysing a corpus of documents for the needs of historical research;
    – Drafting a large-scale work of research and communicating the results of their research in a clear and convincing way.

    To this end, candidates attend regular research conferences and are closely mentored by their research supervisor.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    History of Antiquity

    • Prof. Cédric Brélaz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Greek institutions and political culture
    – Roman provincial administration
    – Cultural interaction and linguistic contacts between the Greek and Roman worlds
    – Hellenistic and Roman East
    – Greek and Latin epigraphy

    • Prof. Tanja Itgenshorst

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Roman Republic and Principate
    – Archaic and Classical Greece
    – Elites in Antiquity
    – History of ancient culture
    – Memory studies

    • Prof. Francesco Massa

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of ancient religions
    – Religions in Roman Empire
    – Late Antiquity
    – Religious interactions in the Roman Empire
    – Intellectual history

    • Senior Lecturer Dr. habil. Olivier Curty

    Areas of specialisation:
    – The Greek gymnasium in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
    – Benefactors in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
    – Political and institutional problems in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
    – Relations between cities in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
    – History of the history of Antiquity in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Mediaeval history

    • Prof. Hans-Joachim Schmidt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contacts, cooperation and conflict between the medieval West and Middle Eastern civilisations
    – Urban history of the Middle Ages
    – History of religions and ecclesiastical institutions
    – History of political conceptions in the Middle Ages
    – History of mediaeval Switzerland

    History of Modern Times

    • Prof. Volker Reinhardt
    • Prof. Claire Gantet

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early Modern European history
    – History of science and knowledge in the modern era
    – Intellectual history, scholarly exchanges in the early modern period
    – Cultural history, history of human sciences in the early modern era
    – Thirty Years War and Peace of Westphalia

    • Adj.Prof. Thomas Lau

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Modern Swiss history
    – Early modern English and American history
    – History of the Holy Roman Empire
    – History of towns
    – History of diplomacy
    – History of emotions
    – History of culture

    Contemporary history

    See list of professors and themes at:
    http://studies.unifr.ch/en/doctorat/hist/contemporaryhistory

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of History
    Prof. Hans-Joachim Schmidt
    hans-joachim.schmidt@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-history (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-history (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Historia / Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Social Anthropology

    The Department of Social Sciences offers a doctoral course in Social Anthropology in French and German.

    In so doing, the Department also contributes to the development, enrichment and dissemination of scientific knowledge, and to the deployment and optimisation of knowledge and professional practices in the field of anthropology.

    The social anthropology theses carried out within the Department tend to address subjects related to the specialist areas of the Department's professors of anthropology (specified below).

    The Department of Social Sciences supports both fundamental research in social anthropology and research projects focused on action or application.

    With regard to the CUSO doctoral programme, French and German-speaking doctoral students can enrol in the Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology.

    During the academic year, the professors of the Department organise research seminars with the Department's doctoral students. Candidates writing a thesis under the supervision of one of the Department's professors periodically present their work in these seminars and are able to get feedback from other researchers in the Department. Moreover, the professors organise meetings and/or theme study days for those doctoral students who are writing their theses in collaboration with other national or international research teams.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Véronique Pache Huber

    Areas of specialisation:
    – India
    – Switzerland
    – Political anthropology
    – Interethnic relations
    – Interculturality
    – Caste
    – Indian middle class
    – Trading communities
    – Matrimonial strategies
    – Anthropology of childhood
    – Generation
    – Care
    – Domestic workers

    Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

    • Prof. Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi

    Areas of specialisation:
    – China
    – Central Asia
    – Eastern Europe
    – Infrastructure
    – Technology
    – Built environment
    – Political anthropology
    – Ethnicity and nationalism
    – State
    – Borders
    – Territory
    – Place/space
    – Natureculture
    – Space

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Social Sciences
    Prof. Véronique Pache Huber
    jeanne-veronique.pache@unifr.ch
    Stéphanie Fasel
    stephanie.fasel@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-socialanthropology (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-socialanthropology (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Anthropologia Sociali / Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Political Science

    It is possible to take a doctorate in Political Science at the Department of Social Sciences of the Faculty of Humanities.

    A distinctive characteristic of Political Science in Fribourg is its specialisation in Eastern Europe. This geographical orientation stems from a longstanding tradition in Political Science at the University of Fribourg which is unique in the whole of Switzerland and offers excellent networking with universities and partners in Eastern Europe. In addition to this, Political Science places its focus on comparative politics and political theory.

    The thematic focus covers fields of research – and therefore possible doctoral projects – on the following subjects:

    • Political systems of Eastern European states, comparison of political regimes
    • Political transformation processes in Eastern Europe, democratisation and authoritarianism in Eastern Europe
    • Informality and political networks
    • Political sociology
    • Political theory

    Doctoral students of Political Science have the possibility of participating in the events of the CUSO Programme doctoral en science politique (PDSPO) or applying to participate in doctoral programmes with specialised thematic areas.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Nicolas Hayoz

    Areas of specialisation:
    See above.

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies
    Prof. Nicolas Hayoz
    nicolas.hayoz@unifr.ch
    Rte des Bonnesfontaines 11
    1700 Fribourg
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-eastern-european-studies (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-eastern-european-studies (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Rerum Politicarum Scientia / Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Sociology (DE)

    The Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development offers supervision of doctoral theses in sociology on a variety of topics. There is a broad expertise of methods to supervise research. The research of the doctorates at the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development may be basic research or use-inspired research. Supervision is provided individually or as part of a doctoral programme.
    For sociology, the doctoral programme Social Problems and Social Welfare (PROWEL) is offered in English in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel. The Programme Doctoral Romand en Sociologie (PDRS) is funded by the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO), and takes place in French. Within the framework of the doctoral programme PROWEL, methodological and work-related content is offered. Secondly, the doctoral students regularly present their work. They receive comments and feedback from international experts, professors and their colleagues. They also have the opportunity to network nationally and internationally. Doctoral students are motivated and supported to present their results at national and international conferences.

    The content, methods and language of the doctoral thesis are agreed upon with the supervising professor or the supervising private docent.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Andreas Hadjar

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Inequalities along the axes of social origin, gender, migration.
    – Social structures in comparison: educational systems, welfare state regimes
    – Education and status acquisition, life chances
    – Subjective well-being
    – Values, attitudes, political participation
    – Youth: socialisation, violence, delinquency
    – Quantitative methods, mixed-method designs, qualitative methods, longitudinal analyses, comparative methods/multilevel analyses

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    Contact

    Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development
    Prof. Andreas Hadjar
    andreas.hadjar@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-sociology-socialwork

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Sociologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Social Work and Social Policy

    The Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development supervises doctoral theses in Social Work and Social Policy on various topics and various methods. Doctoral theses at the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development encompass both basic research and applied research. Supervision takes place individually and/or within a doctoral programme.

    Individual supervision includes regular colloquia where doctoral students present their work and receive feedback from their supervisors.

    The doctoral programme PROWEL (Social Problems and Social Welfare; see link below) is offered in English in the field of Social Work and Social Policy. Doctoral students present their work at regular intervals throughout the doctoral programme. They receive comments and feedback on their work from colleagues, professors and international experts. Doctoral students are motivated to and supported when presenting their results at national and international conferences. They are also given national and international networking opportunities. PROWEL does not dispose of grants for doctoral students.

    Content, methods and language of the thesis work are agreed with the supervising professor, supervising assistant professor.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Andreas Hadjar

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social structure analysis (including inequalities according to social origin, gender, migration)
    – Educational sociology (including educational inequalities, education systems)
    – Social policy (including welfare state regimes, migration policies, education policies)
    – Political sociology (including values, attitudes, participation)
    – Subjective well-being
    – Empirical social research methods

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Marc-Henry Soulet

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social work
    – Social problems
    – Social policy

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development
    Prof. Marc-Henry Soulet
    marc-henry.soulet@unifr.ch
    Sarah Gay, secretary
    sarah.gay@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-socialwork (French)
    Prof. Andreas Hadjar
    andreas.hadjar@unifr.ch
    Daniela Tissi
    daniela.tissi@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-sociology-socialwork (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Scientia Operae Socialis et Politica Sociali / Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work and Social Policy (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Sociology (FR)

    The professors teaching the Sociology programme of the Department of Social Science supervise theses on different issues, using a variety of methods. Theses can be written in different languages. The Department gives equal priority to fundamental research in sociology as well as empirical and action or application-oriented projects. Supervision is individual or provided in the context of specific doctoral programmes: the French-language Programme Doctoral Romand en Sociologie (PDRS), funded by the Conference of Western Switzerland's Universities (CUSO), or the English, French and German-language programme Migration and Postcoloniality Meet Switzerland.

    Doctoral students doing the doctoral programmes (PDRS, Migration and Postcoloniality Meet Switzerland) regularly present their work and receive feedback from national and international experts, professors and programme participants. They also have the opportunity to network with international researchers. The doctoral students are encouraged to present their work at scientific conferences and are supported in doing so.

    All details (theme, method, language) are agreed with the thesis supervisor.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Esther González Martínez

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Language and society. Analysis of practices and social interactions
    – Communication and work activities in an institutional context, particularly regarding health, justice and education; nursing work
    – Ethnomethodology, analysis of conversation, multimodal analysis, video ethnography

    Theses can be supervised in French, English or Spanish.

    • Prof. Francesca Poglia Mileti

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Migration and interethnic relations. Social categorisations and identities
    – Youth and intergenerational relations
    – Economic, work and political sociology
    – Health and gender

    Theses can be supervised in French, English or Italian.

    • Prof. Muriel Surdez

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Sociology of professional groups, work and public policy. Changing professional careers and identities
    – State reforms, new public management and work of public servants, particularly in food safety policies and agricultural policies
    – Construction of public problems and political sociology (political socialisation, interest groups)

    Theses can be supervised in French or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Social Sciences
    Prof. Esther González Martínez
    esther.gonzalezmartinez@unifr.ch
    Prof. Francesca Poglia Mileti
    francesca.poglia@unifr.ch
    Prof. Muriel Surdez
    muriel.surdez@unifr.ch
    Brigitte Hirschi Lizzola, secretary
    brigitte.hirschi@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-sociology

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Sociologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Religious Studies

    Apart from general religio-sociological issues, the research and teaching of Fribourg Religious Studies focuses on the fields of religion, politics, law and education; new religious and ideological movements and communities; and the relationship between religion and media and religion and natural sciences. We are specialised in the diversity of religions in Europe and employ a contemporary, sociological approach to explore this religious pluralism.

    Thesis projects are possible in these fields. In addition to individual supervision, doctoral students receive intensive support in an advanced seminar (in German) and doctoral schools (in French).

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Oliver Krüger

    Areas of specialisation:
    See above

    • Prof. François Gauthier

    Areas of specialisation:
    See above

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Social Sciences
    Prof. Oliver Krüger
    oliver.krueger@unifr.ch
    Prof. François Gauthier
    francois.gauthier@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-religious-studies (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-religious-studies (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Scientia religionum / Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Classics

    The Department of Classics offers students the possibility of doing a doctorate in Greek Language and Literature or Latin Language and Literature either in French or German, and even in other languages such as English and Italian. The scope of research covers all Greek literature, from Homer to the Byzantine period, and all Latin literature, from the early days of the Republic to the Humanist period.

    However, special attention is paid to the reception of classical Greek antiquity during the imperial period (Second Sophistic), to the culture and literature of late antiquity (Greek and Roman), in particular in terms of its links with Christian authors and – by means of fruitful collaboration with the Institute of Antiquity and Byzantium and the Medieval Institute – to its survival during the Latin Middle Ages as well as during the Byzantine period and the Renaissance. Students also study the influence of literary forms and ancient mythology on modern literature in partnership with the Institute of General and Comparative Literature.

    During their doctorate, candidates have the further possibility of specialising in codicology, palaeography, papyrology and techniques of textual criticism (ecdotics). Training is carried out in partnership with neighbouring disciplines at the University of Fribourg and other institutions in Switzerland or abroad.

    Doctoral students also have access to the training activities offered by the CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale) Programme doctoral en Sciences de l'Antiquité (EDOCSA) and those organised under the partnership agreement between the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg (BENEFRI). Similarly, thanks to the participation of the University of Fribourg in Metageitnia – a scientific group comprising 14 Swiss, French, German and Austrian universities (Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Genève, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Zürich; Besançon, Mulhouse, Strasbourg; Freiburg im Breisgau, Konstanz, Tübingen; Innsbruck) – doctoral students are able to take part in the group's grand annual meeting and present the results of their research to a specialist public.

    Thanks to the contribution of staff from the Department of Classics and the Institute of Antiquity and Byzantium, the programme covers all the various facets of the study of the languages and literature of Greco-Roman antiquity.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Latin Language and Literature

    • Prof. Karin Schlapbach

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Latin literature of late Antiquity, in particular Augustine
    – Philosophical prose
    – Poetry and metapoetic discourse
    – Dance and pantomime

    Theses can be supervised in German, French, Italian or English.

    Greek Language and Literature

    • Prof. Thomas Schmidt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Plutarch
    – Literature of the Second Sophistic
    – Byzantine scholiasts and commentators
    – Greek papyrology

    Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Classics
    Prof. Thomas Schmidt
    thomas.schmidt@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-classics (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-classics (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Philologia classica / Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Philology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Slavonic Languages and Literatures

    The Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies offers a doctoral programme in Slavic Literatures. The main focus of research in Fribourg Slavic Studies is on Russian and Polish literature of the 19th to 21st centuries. The literature is examined in its interrelations with other spheres of culture (fine arts, philosophy, religion, etc.) and against the background of socio-historical developments. Fribourg Slavic Studies maintains partnerships and cooperations with numerous institutes, academic chairs and colleagues, particularly in Poland and the Russian Federation. It organises study days and conferences on a regular basis.

    Doctoral theses can be written in German, French, English, Polish or Russian.

    Fribourg Slavic Studies offers the following main topics for doctoral projects:

    • Russian poetry
    • The novel and theory of the novel in Russia
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • History of Russian literature and literary theory
    • Polish poetry
    • The novel and theory of the novel in Poland
    • Polish intellectual history
    • Polish literature and social movements
    • Polish cultural criticism and philosophy of history

    Other topics are also possible. In particular, comparative projects or projects focusing on fundamental questions of literature and literary theory are welcome.

    Doctoral students of Fribourg Slavic Studies participate regularly in events organised by the Slavic Literatures or Comparative Literature doctoral programmes.

    There is a seminar for doctoral students in which the participants' projects are discussed and general methodological and theoretical issues are addressed (about 7 meetings per semester). Doctoral students meet regularly with their supervisor to discuss questions of content and method.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Jens Herlth

    Areas of specialisation:
    See above

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of European Studies and Slavic Studies
    Prof. Jens Herlth
    jens.herlth@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-slavicstudies (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-slavicstudies (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Linguis et Litteris Slavorum / Doctor of Philosophy in Slavonic Languages and Literatures (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • French Language and Literature

    The Department of French offers a doctorate in French Literature (from the Middle Ages to contemporary times) and French Linguistics.

    The programme offers an opportunity to approach the entire spectrum of language and literature in all its manifestations from a variety of perspectives and in a spirit of dialogue and close collaboration between the professors and doctoral students, and with the Department's international partners.

    Consequently, theses written here can pursue any of numerous areas, including:

    French literature (from the 9th to the 20th century)

    • Poetic and thematic approaches
    • Critical editions of literary texts (also, online publishing)
    • History of theatre and drama
    • Literary theory
    • Interdisciplinary and transversal approaches
    • Intercultural, post-colonial and global approaches

    Certain members of the teaching staff (Prof. Th. Hunkeler, Prof. M. Viegnes, Prof. M. Uhlig) are also willing to supervise theses on comparative literature.

    Prof. M. Uhlig also accepts theses in Gallo-Roman philology.

    French linguistics

    • Morphosemantic properties of lexical units, polysemy
    • Nominal typology, semantic corpus annotation
    • Neology
    • Expression of space and time in language and discourse
    • Verbal constructions
    • Micro-syntax and macro-syntax
    • Pragmatics
    • Linguistic variation
    • Spoken French
    • Enunciation

    Co-supervision of theses, including international co-supervision, is possible in most cases, whether in French literature or linguistics.

    Throughout their thesis, doctoral students work as an integral part of skilled research teams made up of professors, postdocs and other doctoral students and receive coaching in the following forms:

    • Teaching events specific to the University of Fribourg: research seminars and doctoral colloquia, both intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary; doctoral events held in collaboration with partner universities abroad;
    • Participation in the CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale) doctoral schools in the fields of French literature, language sciences and medieval studies, and in the Swissuniversities doctoral schools of language sciences, comparative literature and medieval studies;
    • Integration into the everyday activities of the Department of French.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    French literature

    • Prof. Thomas Hunkeler

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Renaissance literature
    – History of theatre and dramaturgy
    – European modernism and avant-garde movements
    – Contemporary literature and theatre
    – Literary theory and comparative literature

    • Prof. Michel Viegnes

    Areas of specialisation:
    – French literature of the 19th and 20th centuries (notably, the poetics of short fiction, poetry, the novel and the essay)
    – Fantastic literature
    – Literature and spirituality
    – Comparative literature and intercultural issues

    • Prof. Claude Bourqui

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Literature of the 17th and 18th centuries
    – History of theatre (16th to 18th century)

    • Prof. Marion Uhlig

    Areas of specialisation:
    – French literature of the Middle Ages and medieval theatre
    – Literature and interculturality
    – Travel literature
    – Literary theory and narratology

    French linguistics

    • Prof. Richard Huyghe

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Nominal semantics
    – Morphological derivation
    – Syntax

    • Prof. Gilles Corminboeuf

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Micro-syntax and macro-syntax
    – Pragmatics
    – Linguistic variation
    – Spoken French
    – Enunciation

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of French
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-french

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris gallicis / Doctor of Philosophy in French Language and Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Comparative Literature

    The Institute of General and Comparative Literature offers a doctoral training in the field of literature from Antiquity to the contemporary period and in literary theory and interculturality.

    The programme provides the opportunity to cover these fields of study in all aspects and in the multiplicity of their manifestations. It fosters a mindset of exchange and promotes intense collaboration between professors and doctoral students, thanks to the doctoral programme in collaboration with the Universities of Zurich and Geneva – and with the Institute's international partners.

    The theses directed within the Institute can cover many fields, including:

    • Poetic, historic and thematic issues
    • Literary theory
    • Interdisciplinary and transversal issues
    • Intercultural, post-colonial and global perspectives

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Thomas Austenfeld
      American literature
    • Prof. Arnd Beise
      Modern German literature
    • Prof. Hugo Bizzarri
      Medieval Spanish literature
    • Prof. Paola Borsa
      Medieval and modern Italian literature
    • Prof. Claude Bourqui
      Modern French literature
    • Prof. Julia Straub
      Modern English literature
    • Prof. Elisabeth Dutton
      Medieval English literature
    • Prof. Christian Genetelli
      Modern Italian literature
    • N.N.
      Early modern English literature
    • Prof. Sabine Haupt
      General and comparative literature
    • Prof. Cornelia Herberichs
      Medieval German literature
    • Prof. Jens Herlth
      Slavic literature
    • Prof. Thomas Hunkeler
      Modern French literature, literature theory
    • Prof. Tom Kindt
      Modern German literature, literature theory
    • Prof. Uberto Motta
      Modern Italian literature
    • Prof. Ralph Müller
      Modern German literature
    • Francisco Ramírez Santacruz
      Modern Iberian and Latin-American literature
    • Prof. Karin Schlapbach
      Ancient literature
    • Prof. Thomas Schmidt
      Ancient literature
    • PD Dr Martin Steinrück
      Ancient literature
    • Prof. Marion Uhlig
      Medieval French literature

    Note: For more details on the areas of specialisation, view the corresponding department's Web page.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Institute of Comparative Literature
    Prof. Julia Straub
    julia.straub@unifr.ch
    Prof. Sabine Haupt
    sabine.haupt@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-Comparative-literature (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-Comparative-literature (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Litteris Generalibus et Comparativis / Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • German Language and Literature

    The Department of German at Fribourg offers a doctoral training in the three areas of study: linguistics, medieval studies and literature. German Studies' doctoral students therefore have the full range of study areas from which to choose their research subject. The subjects of the theses are arranged individually. They may be connected to current research projects financed by third parties. However, intensive discussions are held with the PhD advisor to find the subject, taking into account the interests of both sides. The theory and methods implemented in the Department of German at Fribourg are focused on the one hand on historical and cultural studies (in particular medieval studies and literature) and on the other hand on social-cognitive studies (in particular linguistics). In general, theses are written in German.

    The main research fields of German Linguistics are language use, language variation and language acquisition, sociolinguistic and perceptual dialectology and sociolinguistic and contact linguistic issues from a synchronic or diachronic perspective. Alongside intensive personal support, there are three further types of support available to doctoral students. (1) A regular research conference, which in spring is also accessible to doctoral students from the western Swiss universities, where the progress of work is presented and unresolved questions are discussed in a wider circle. (2) Anyone writing a thesis within the framework of one of the research projects launched by one of the two professors can benefit from an exchange with a large international research network and from internal workshops. Doctoral students will also be supported in launching debates on their area of research in domestic and international meetings. (3) Doctoral students can also make use of the doctoral programmes of CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale), such as the Programme doctoral en langue et littérature allemandes and forge contacts with other doctoral students. Linguistics doctoral students working on the subject of contact linguistics and language acquisition can work with the Institute of Multilingualism (Institut de plurilinguisme/Institut für Mehrsprachigkeit) or with the Centre for Teacher Training for Secondary Levels I and II (Centre d'enseignement et de recherche francophone pour l'enseignement au secondaire I et II (French-speaking section) or Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung für die Sekundarstufe I und II (German-speaking section)).

    German Medieval Studies focus on literary theory, the history of tradition and comparative aspects, in particular with regard to French-German literary relations in the Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Period. In addition to an intensive personal supervision of the doctoral theses, various forums can be used to follow up current debates on methods and theory as well as to discuss the individual dissertation projects with internationally renowned specialists in the respective field of research. Current theories on literature, media and cultural theory as well as specific projects of doctoral students are discussed with guests from other Swiss and foreign universities in the Mediävistisches Forschungscolloquium, which takes place regularly; the Colloquium of the Medieval Institute of the University of Fribourg (IEM) is a platform dedicated in particular to interdisciplinary exchange. Interuniversity and international graduate symposia also take place regularly. The doctoral programmes offered by the CUSO (Conférence universitaire de Suisse occidentale) promote both German studies and interdisciplinary medieval exchange.

    German Literature offers a doctoral training which, in terms of subject and method, is purposely open. However, particular emphasis lies on the subjects of general and comparative literature, like, for example, issues of genre typology, stylistics, or historical poetics. German Literature offers the following forms of support for doctoral students: (1) In addition to individual support from professors in Fribourg, a research conference takes place two or three times a term. This conference my be attended by all graduate scholars, doctoral and qualified scholars of German and comparative literature from Fribourg and other Swiss universities. At these meetings, chapters from qualification work are regularly submitted, which are annotated by all participants in advance, thus giving doctoral students the opportunity to learn how to read texts thoroughly and how to discuss them critically. In these circles of students, qualified scholars and professors, current research articles are presented, which serve for in-depth discussion of the topics. (2) Further, doctoral students will also be supported in launching debates on their area of research at domestic and international meetings. (3) Lastly, the network of western Swiss universities, CUSO, offers the opportunity to exchange with students from other universities.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    German Linguistics

    • Prof. Regula Schmidlin

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Acquisition of writing skills
    – Lexicography
    – Phraseology
    – Language variation and language standardisation
    – Language and age

    German Medieval Studies

    • Prof. Cornelia Herberichs

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Religious Literature (Drama, Mysticism, Allegorical Poetry)
    – Reception of Antiquity
    – Heroic Poetry
    – Medieval Reception in Modernity
    – Theatricality of the Middle Ages
    – Premodern Mediality and Hermeneutics
    – Medieval Comparative Literature

    German Literature

    • Prof. Arnd Beise

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Literature and history
    – Intermediality
    – Thematology
    – History of drama
    – Edition philology

    • Prof. Sabine Haupt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – German and French literature from the 18th to 21st centuries
    – Literature and picture media
    – Literature and natural science
    – History of ideas/Discourse analysis
    – Literature and politics

    • Prof. Tom Kindt

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Theory of literature, in particular interpretation theory
    – Theory of humour and history of comedy
    – Narrative theory
    – Literary modernism
    – History of German studies

    • Prof. Ralph Müller

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contemporary literature, in particular Swiss literature
    – Poetry and rhetoric
    – Genre theory and spelling
    – Lyricology and narratology
    – Digital humanities, corpus stylistics, cognitive poetics

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of German
    Sylvia Kilchör
    sylvia.kilchoer@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-german (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris germanicis / Doctor of Philosophy in German Language and Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Rhaeto-Romance Language and Literature

    Apart from the University of Zurich, the University of Fribourg is the only university which offers a doctoral programme in Rhaeto-Romance Language and Literature, in addition to the bachelor and master programme in Rhaeto-Romance. Because of the anchoring of Rhaeto-Romance in the Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education, at Fribourg the sociolinguistic, language contact, language teaching and language learning aspects are particularly self-evident. Doctoral students can, however, choose sub-disciplines such as synchronic and diachronic description of Rhaeto-Romance, the history of the Rhaeto-Romance language and Rhaeto-Romance literature.

    Theses in Rhaeto-Romance Language and Literature can be paired with an existing doctoral programme or a specific credit-based programme focused on a research project.

    • Doctoral students working on theses in the fields of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics or language teaching and learning research can complete the doctoral programme Multilingualism: acquisition, education and society (Universities of Fribourg, Bern and Lausanne) or the doctoral programme Language and Cognition (Universities of Fribourg, Geneva and Neuchâtel).
    • Theses dedicated to the synchronic and diachronic description of Rhaeto-Romance and history of the Rhaeto-Romance language are accompanied through the Sciences du langage doctoral programme of the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO).
    • Doctoral students in Rhaeto-Romance literature can access the doctoral programme Allgemeine und vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft [General and comparative literature] of the Schweizerischen Universitätskonferenz (SUK).

    When creating a specific project-related programme, bear in mind that the following aspects are taken into consideration:

    • A) general academic training
    • B) thematic specialisation
    • C) soft skills/basic competences

    For parts A and B, the following study credits may be taken into account: visiting doctoral conferences, doctoral seminars and scientific workshops, taking part in a session with a presentation and writing a scientific article. For the thesis project, essential basic skills (part C) can be acquired by attending courses at the University of Fribourg and/or other universities.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Matthias Grünert

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Synchronic and diachronic description of Rhaeto-Romance
    – Variation linguistics
    – Contact linguistics
    – Sociolinguistics of the trilingual canton of Graubünden

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or Rhaeto-Romance.

    • Prof. Raphael Berthele

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contact linguistics
    – Variation linguistics
    – Psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Alexandre Duchêne

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Critical sociolinguistics
    – Language anthropology
    – Language policy

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education
    Prof. Matthias Grünert
    matthias.gruenert@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-multilingualism (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-multilingualism (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris rhaeto-romanicis / Doctor of Philosophy in Rhaeto-Romance Language and Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Ibero-Romance Languages and Literatures

    The Department of Spanish at the University of Fribourg offers a course of study covering the literatures of the Iberian peninsula and Latin America (including the United States), not only in terms of their own development, but also in terms of their mutual relations. With respect to method, special attention is paid to the links between literature and the humanities as well as on the contribution made by interdisciplinary studies.

    In language-related studies, in addition to current linguistics and the multiple variations of Spanish, the Hispanic philology course offered at Fribourg analyses ecdotic methodologies and investigates codicology and textual history.

    Both in its literary and philological sections, the Fribourg course stands apart in the academic landscape not only of BeNeFRi universities, but of the whole of Switzerland.

    The theses written in the Department of Spanish may treat the following subjects (indicative only):

    • History of the language
    • Medieval literature and culture
    • Language and literature of the Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age
    • The manuscript tradition of works and their place in the history of the language
    • Linguistic migration: language and mass media, languages in contact with one another, migration
    • Literature and intercultural relations
    • Space, identity and literary production
    • Short forms: narrative in the Hispanic world
    • Travel literature: history and theory
    • Literary and canon works: récit noir, graphic novel

    Doctoral students writing their thesis under the supervision of one of the Department's professors periodically present the current status of their work in dedicated colloquia, where they can get advice from their supervisors and specialists specially invited for the purpose (for example, those who are to sit on the thesis committee). Students are keenly encouraged to take part in the multidisciplinary doctoral colloquia organised by our University (for example, those in our own discipline or those of the Medieval Institute and the CUSO Programme doctoral en Etudes médiévales) and by other Swiss or foreign universities: colloquia for students of Romance languages, meetings between young researchers, congresses on subjects related to students' theses, etc.

    Besides getting stimulating feedback, doctoral students can also take advantage of the possibilities these events offer of publishing their first papers on their thesis subject. They can count on the support of their thesis supervisor, whether for their participation in events or for publication.

    Theses may be co-supervised within the Department of Spanish or, if required, with external specialists (Swiss or foreign).

    Theses should preferably be written in Spanish, but can be accepted in French, German or English on a case by case basis.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Hugo Oscar Bizzarri

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of the language
    – Medieval literature and culture
    – Language and literature of the Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age
    – The manuscript tradition of works and their place in this history of the language
    – Short narrative and collections of proverbs

    • Prof. Francisco Ramírez Santacruz

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Literature of the Renaissance and the Early Modern Period (picaresque novels, Cervantes, mysticism)
    – Colonial Latin American literature
    – Contemporary Latin American literature
    – Religion and literature
    – Humour and literature
    – Transatlantic studies
    – Biographies
    – Textual Criticism

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Spanish
    Prof. Hugo Bizzarri
    hugo.bizzarri@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/es-spanish

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris ibero-romanicis / Doctor of Philosophy in Ibero-Romance Languages and Literatures (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • English Language and Literature

    The Department of English at the University of Fribourg welcomes doctoral research (PhD) in the following fields of study: English Philology, English Linguistics, English Literature, and American Literature.

    English Philology
    Philology, the study of medieval texts, is a distinct field of study at undergraduate and graduate levels within the Department of English. Graduate students in English Philology can benefit from the resources of Fribourg's interdisciplinary Medieval Institute as well as close collaboration with medievalists at other Swiss and English universities. The Professor of Philology at Fribourg is Elisabeth Dutton, who specialises in early English drama and medieval English devotional compilations and women's writing. She currently heads two major research projects on drama in different institutions: medieval Oxford colleges, and English and French medieval convents.

    English Linguistics
    English linguistics at Fribourg focuses on the analysis of the processes involved in the construction and interpretation of meaning in context. Another specificity of English linguistics lies in the emphasis set on combining theoretical with empirical approaches to research. PhD students are invited to use different methodologies in their project, and in particular to evaluate the robustness of theoretical claims against empirical evidence. PhD students will be invited to participate in national and international doctoral workshops and summer schools to acquire the necessary skills and to be exposed to state-of-the-art research in the field. The Professor of English Linguistics at Fribourg is Didier Maillat. His research focus is on pragmatics, within the wider scope of cognitive approaches to language. His current research interests include (but are not limited to) persuasion, figurative language, humour, deceptive communication and misinformation, or deictic uses of language. Dr Steve Oswald's area of expertise lies at the interface of pragmatics, argumentation theory and cognitive science. He welcomes PhD applications related to these fields.

    English Literature
    Professor Indira Ghose specialises in the fields of early modern literature, with a focus on early modern drama, and literature of the British Empire. Her current research interests include humour and the comic, Renaissance courtesy literature, and the history of the emotions. She welcomes doctoral students with interests in any of these fields or related areas of study.
    Literature never exists in «splendid isolation». It is an integral part of the social and cultural fabric underlying our communities and is closely tied to other forms and media of artistic expression. As Professor of Modern English Literature (c. 1780-21st century), Julia Straub investigates the intersections between literary and media history in her research and explores the interactions between literature and digital technologies as well as other media such as photography or the visual arts. She welcomes research proposals from prospective PhD students who would like to work in these or other areas, such as Victorian Literature, contemporary anglophone fiction, transatlantic literary relations, canon theory, melodrama or cultural memory studies.

    American Literature
    American literature is an integral part of the English curriculum at all levels. Professor Thomas Austenfeld's research in American Poetry, American Modernism, and regional American literatures – especially the South and the West – indicates his preferred areas for doctoral supervisions. Other fields in American studies may be explored in co-supervised dissertations with Professor Austenfeld's colleagues in Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Poland, and the North American continent.

    Students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in English Language and Literature at the University of Fribourg are integrated into the Doctoral Programme in English Language and Literature organised by the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO). Regular workshops offer doctoral students an opportunity to engage with the work of internationally renowned experts, to interact with their peers at other Swiss universities, and to present their work-in progress to an audience of scholars working in their field.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    English Philology

    • Prof. Elisabeth Dutton

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early English drama
    – Medieval English devotional compilations
    – Women's writing

    English Linguistics

    • Prof. Didier Maillat

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pragmatics
    – Studies on meaning in use and meaning in context
    – Cognitive approaches to language
    – Experimental pragmatics

    Possible topics:
    – Analysis of interpretative processes, and of inferential processes involved in meaning construction
    – Analysis of playful and creative uses of language (e.g. humour, figurative language, fiction)
    – Analysis of misleading and deceptive uses of language (e.g. manipulation, disinformation, propaganda)
    – Analysis of L2 interference on pragmatic processes (e.g. reference assignment, implicature derivation)
    – Analysis of context-dependent expressions (e.g. deixis, reference frames)

    Theses can be supervised in English or French.

    • Dr Steve Oswald

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pragmatics
    – Argumentation theory
    – Discourse analysis

    Topics:
    – Manipulation, deception and covert speech acts more broadly
    – (Implicit and explicit) Meaning in argumentative processes
    – Rhetorical effectiveness of fallacious and non-fallacious argumentation
    – Classical pragmatic phenomena: metaphor, humour, implicature, etc.

    Theses can be supervised in English or French.

    English Literature

    • Prof. Indira Ghose

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Early modern drama
    – Literature of the British Empire
    – Humour and the comic
    – Renaissance courtesy literature
    – History of the emotions

    • Prof. Julia Straub

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Contemporary English literature and digital technologies
    – Intermedial configurations from 1800 to the present day
    – Transatlantic literary relationships
    – Victorian literature, especially the reception of Dante Alighieri's works
    – Melodrama: its history, forms and functions
    – Theories of literary canon formation and cultural memory

    American Literature

    • Prof. Thomas Austenfeld

    Areas of specialisation:
    – American Poetry, especially Modern and Contemporary
    – American Modernism
    – American Drama
    – Regional American literatures, especially the South and the West
    – Memoir and Life Writing

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of English
    English Language and Literature
    Prof. Elisabeth Dutton
    elisabeth.dutton@unifr.ch
    Prof. Didier Maillat
    didier.maillat@unifr.ch
    Dr Steve Oswald
    steve.oswald@unifr.ch
    Prof. Indira Ghose
    indira.ghose@unifr.ch
    Prof. Julia Straub
    julia.straub@unifr.ch
    Prof. Thomas Austenfeld
    thomas.austenfeld@unifr.ch

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris britannicis / Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Italian Language and Literature

    The doctoral programme in Italian Language and Literature at the University of Fribourg aims to provide a fostering framework for students' scientific training in the field of Italian studies (literature, linguistics, philology) by giving them a solid foundation in methodology, history and culture. The approach traditionally taken to Italian studies at the University of Fribourg, including the doctoral programme, dates back to Gianfranco Contini and Giuseppe Billanovich and has been continued by Giovanni Pozzi, Aldo Menichetti and Alessandro Martini. In this context, particular emphasis is placed on research projects aimed at producing critical and/or annotated text editions, notably of poetry (with a particular focus on the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque, as well as on literary modernism), and on the history of the tradition and reception of classical (Greco-Roman and Italian) authors from the 13rd and 18th centuries. In collaboration with the Swiss Literary Archives of the Swiss National Library in Bern, we also encourage projects dealing with authors of Italian-language Swiss literature of the 20th and 21st centuries.
    This programme offers doctoral students scientific training in the different branches of Italian studies: literature and the history of literature, philology, linguistics and the history of the language, and literary criticism theory. In all these fields, special attention is paid to aspects of the methodology of research and academic teaching. The intellectual autonomy of doctoral students as players in the field of scientific research is fostered by means of specific objectives and varied activities: personal study and research with the aim of producing a high-quality thesis; attendance and organisation of colloquia and seminars on specific research issues; participation in intensive courses and research workshops on cross-cutting issues allowing them to acquire a broad and diverse range of skills. In addition, doctoral students are given guidance in building up their own scientific research network through exchanges and collaborations with the principal actors in academic research and teaching in Switzerland, Italy and Europe. To this end, students are recommended to spend periods abroad. The most suitable partner university for candidates' research projects is chosen in line with individual needs and requirements.

    The programme is aimed at young, highly qualified researchers from Switzerland or the European academic network who, after a master's degree, wish to continue their training to the highest level. It fosters dialogue and exchanges between the doctoral students themselves and between them and eminent specialists on the teaching staff or from the Swiss and international research milieu.

    Doctoral students must enrol at the Doctoral School of Italian Studies (Scuola dottorale in Studi italiani) and participate in the scientific activities it offers. Back in 2011, the Department of Italian of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Fribourg set up a Doctoral School of Italian Studies in collaboration with Geneva University's Italian Unit and Lausanne University's Italian Section, with the support of CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale).

    The Doctoral School of Italian Studies was inspired by the Séminaire de Troisième Cycle Romand en Italien, which was launched in 1976 on the initiative of Giovanni Pozzi (professor of Italian Literature at the University of Fribourg from 1960 to 1988) and took place until 2011. Continuing the same spirit of internal collaboration and international openness of the Séminaire de Troisième Cycle, the Doctoral School is a place where young highly qualified research students meet and train. As part of its activities, the School also promotes exchanges with other private and public universities in Switzerland (Basel, Bern, Lugano, Saint-Gall, Zürich) which are not members of CUSO. Its relations with Italian-speaking Switzerland also deserve a special mention, as some of the School's activities are organised in Ticino. With this presence south of the Alps, the Doctoral School hopes to encourage teachers from secondary schools in Ticino and Grisons to take part regularly as auditors. These activities are recognised as continuing education courses.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Italian literature

    • Prof. Uberto Motta

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Italian literature of the Renaissance (notably, Baldassarre Castiglione, the artist-writers and the literary culture of the Italian courts from 1500-1530)
    – Italian literature of the 20th century (notably, modern and contemporary poetry tradition, with a special focus on the period 1930-1990)
    – Theory of literature and history of literary criticism

    • Prof. Paolo Borsa

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Italian literature of the Middle Ages
    – Italian literature of the 18th and 19th centuries
    – Literary correspondence
    – Political poetry
    – Dante Alighieri
    – Ugo Foscolo

    • Dr Sandra Clerc

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Humanism and the Renaissance
    – Theatre literature
    – Reception of the classics
    – The literature of Italian-speaking Switzerland

    Italian philology

    • Prof. Christian Genetelli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Italian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries
    – Literary correspondence of the modern period
    – Giacomo Leopardi
    – Eugenio Montale
    – Genetic criticism and «critica delle varianti»
    – The literature of Italian-speaking Switzerland

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Italian
    Dr Sandra Clerc
    sandra.clerc@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/it-italian

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Lingua et Litteris italicis / Doctor of Philosophy in Italian Language and Literature (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Special Education

    The Department of Special Education (formerly curative education) offers a doctoral training in French, in German and in English in the field of special education.

    Special Education is the practice of educating students with special educational needs. The Department of Special Education contributes to the development, enrichment and dissemination of scientific knowledge and to the deployment and optimisation of professional skills and practices in the field of special education.

    The theses in the Department are likely to cover themes concerning, for example:

    – Educational interventions, therapeutic pedagogical measures and systems used in the field of special education and/or clinical speech therapy;
    – The learning journeys and/or the characteristics of people – children, teenagers and adults – for the benefit of services in the field of special education and/or clinical speech therapy;
    – Monitoring the journeys of people on the academic, developmental or social level depending on living and learning conditions proposed to them;
    – The functioning and/or organisation of ordinary and/or specialised environments in welcoming people;
    – Contact between these people, the community and/or the immediate or more distant entourage (family, neighbours, school, work, other);
    – Training of professionals working in the field of special education and/or clinical speech therapy;
    – Social attitudes towards persons receiving services in the field of special education and/or their entourage;
    – etc.

    The Department of Special Education focuses on fundamental research and on action or application-orientated projects. It is also interested in on meta-research in the field of special education.

    In the doctoral programme, doctoral students who speak either German or French can register for the PROWEL (Social Problems and Social Welfare) doctoral school, which is led by Prof. Winfried Kronig from the Department of Special Education in collaboration with Prof. Monica Budowski (Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, University of Fribourg) and Prof. Christian Suter (Sociology, University of Neuchâtel). French-speaking doctoral students can also opt to attend the EDSE (Etudes doctorales en sciences de l'éducation ) offered by CUSO.

    During the academic year, a research seminar is organised 6 to 7 times by the Department of Special Education. Doctoral students writing their thesis under the direction of one of the Department's professors periodically present their work within this framework and thus benefit from feedback from other Department researchers. In addition, the Department organises meetings and/or study days for doctoral students, in collaboration with other national and international research teams.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Gérard Bless

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Academic integration
    – Efficiency of interventions
    – School-related problems

    Theses can be supervised in German or French.

    • Prof. Erich Hartmann

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Diagnostic, prevention and intervention in the field of acquired or developmental communication disorders
    – Diagnostic, prevention and intervention in the field of reading and writing disorders
    – Evidence-based practices

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Winfried Kronig

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Analysis of academic systems
    – Estimation of academic performance
    – Effects of the composition of classes

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Christoph Müller

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Behavioural problems
    – Intellectual disability and autism
    – Peer influence and peer relations

    Theses can be supervised in German or English.

    • Prof. Geneviève Petitpierre

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Intellectual disability, multiple disabilities and/or neuro-development disorders
    – Pedagogy-therapeutic intervention, efficiency and/or implementation
    – Meta-research (research methods for people with intellectual disability)

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Nicolas Ruffieux

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Clinical neuropsychology of children and adults
    – Visual disorder
    – New technologies at the service of disability

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Myriam Squillaci

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Behavioural problems
    – Health at work, burnout
    – Autismus (family, siblings)
    – Neurosciences and special education
    – Profound and multiple disabilities

    Theses can be supervised in French, Italian or English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Special Education
    David Biddle, study advisor
    david.biddle@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-specialeducation (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-specialeducation (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Paedagogia Speciali / Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Educational Sciences

    In line with the Department's philosophy, you will be allowed to write your thesis on a rich variety of topics within the general framework of educational sciences. Our Professors will guide you in defining the most relevant questions referring to education and training in various contexts such as school, –from Kindergarten to High-school or University–, families, culture or workplace.

    Depending on the topics you'll work on, your dissertation will have a stronger empirical focus or a more theoretical, fundamental accent. In any case however, you'll be asked to ground your work in a strong theoretical perspective, and to conduct a thorough literature review on the subject.

    Doctoral students in education at the University of Fribourg are given the possibility to attend various doctoral programmes, offered by our Department in conjunction with partner Universities in Switzerland, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel or Zurich.

    Before registering, you'll have to contact a Professor in the list below and discuss your intentions and interests with him or her. Although most of them do accept dissertations to be written in English, not all of them do so. In some cases, you might be asked to compose your thesis in French or in German, the two official languages of the University.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Jean-Louis Berger

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Self-regulated learning
    – Motivation to learn and to teach
    – Metacognition
    – Vocational Education and Training
    – Assessment

    Dissertations will have to be written in French or in English.

    • Prof. Pierre-François Coen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Assessment, self-assessment
    – Teacher training
    – Educational technology
    – Musical education/training

    Dissertations will have to be written in French.

    • Prof. Edgar Forster

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social and philosophical foundations of education
    – Globalisation and education / post-colonialism
    – Knowledge production

    Dissertations will have to be written in German or in English.

    • Prof. Philippe Genoud

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Social relationships in school and in the classroom
    – Emotional aspects of learning
    – Classroom climate
    – Educational measurement

    Dissertations will have to be written in French.

    • Prof. Claudia Leopold

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Educational psychology
    – Self-regulated learning
    – Multimedia learning with visual tools

    Dissertations will have to be written in German or in English.

    • Prof. Cathryn Magno

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Comparative and international education
    – Education and governance
    – Migration, human rights, and gender in education

    Dissertations will have to be written in English.

    • Prof. Veronika Magyar-Haas

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Qualitative-empirical research on education and inequality
    – Social scientific research on body and emotions
    – Well-being, participation, agency and vulnerability in childhood and youth
    – Research on multilingualism in early childhood

    Dissertations will have to be written in German or in English.

    • Prof. Tania Ogay

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Family-school relationships
    – Professional practices in intercultural contexts
    – Intercultural training of professionals

    Dissertations will have to be written in French, in English or possibly in German.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Educational Sciences
    Xavier Conus (French)
    xavier.conus@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-educational-sciences
    Prof. Edgar Forster (German)
    edgar.forster@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-educational-sciences

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Scientia Paedagogica / Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Psychology

    The doctoral programme in Psychology is an integrated approach consisting of research, academic training and interventions. It provides doctoral students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations of the chosen sub-discipline and the research methods used in this sub-discipline. Doctoral students will learn to generate innovative knowledge based on strict methodologies and work with academic research teams or local companies. The research projects take place in the University of Fribourg laboratories. Currently 30 students are trained in these laboratories and have the opportunity to take part in research seminars at the University. They are also encouraged to present their research at national and international psychology conferences. This facilitates interactions between students and experienced researchers and allows students to develop a network for collaborations and for their future employment. For the same reason, they are encouraged/have the possibility to take part in one of the transuniversity doctoral schools affiliated to the department, such as the Programme doctoral romand en Psychologie, organised by the CUSO, the Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School (LNDS) or BeNeFRi exchanges.

    Doctors from the University of Fribourg go on to pursue successful careers in a wide variety of fields, such as research and teaching at the University, teaching in schools and academic upper secondary schools, research in industry or scientific publications.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Roberto Caldara

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Visual and social neuroscience

    • Prof. Valérie Camos

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Cognitive psychology and cognitive development
    – Working memory & executive functions

    • PD Dr Pascal Gygax

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Language and cognitive processes
    – Social Cognition

    • Prof. Petra Klumb

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Personnel and organisational psychology
    – Psychology of health and social relations in the workplace

    • Prof. Salome Kurth

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Development of sleep regulation
    – Maturation of neuronal networks
    – Mapping with high-density electroencephalography
    – Cognitive development in early childhood
    – Interaction with family context, nutrition, and gut microbiome

    • Prof. Chantal Martin-Sölch

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Clinical psychology and experimental psychopathology
    – Psychological interventions, psychology of health, clinical neuroscience and neuroimaging, depression, stress and trauma linked to disorders, anorexia

    • Prof. Simone Munsch

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Clinical psychology and Psychotherapy, experimental psychopathology, psychophysiology, eating disorders

    • Prof. Björn Rasch

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Cognitive neuroscience
    – Sleep, memory & health

    • Prof. Jürgen Sauer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Cognitive ergonomics and work psychology
    – Interactive consumer products, automation and complex work environments

    • Prof. Dominik Schöbi

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Clinical psychology of the family, health psychology
    – Intimate relationships, interpersonal emotional dynamics, relational distress

    • Prof. Petra Vetter

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience
    – Visual and Multisensory Perception, Consciousness, Eye Movements, Neuroimaging

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Psychology
    Dr Laurent Rossier (French)
    laurent.rossier@unifr.ch
    Dr Stefan Pichelmann (German)
    stefan.pichelmann@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-psychology

    Degree conferred

    Rerum Naturalium Doctor in Psychologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Philosophy

    Diversity in method and pluralism in the range of subjects and philosophical currents studied are the distinguishing features of the doctoral programme of the Department of Philosophy in the University of Fribourg. The Department regularly obtains research funding to promote doctoral studies as well as to create research groups drawing on the competence of the Department's members as well as that of numerous experienced scholars. Professors in charge of specific domains of research supervise doctoral students who are given the opportunity to discuss their work in weekly colloquia as well as to participate in activities organised at the doctoral level in collaboration with other universities in Switzerland and abroad.

    In the domain of ancient philosophy, theses can be supervised on Greek and Roman thought from the Pre-Socratic philosophers through to the Byzantine period. Equally, the reception of ancient philosophy during the Renaissance is a welcome subject. Research in the domain is concentrated on Platonic thought (Plato, the Old Academy, Middle Platonism, Plotinus, the late Neo-Platonists, Jewish and Christian Platonism). Research projects in metaphysics, cosmology and physics, the theory of knowledge, psychology, and ethics are encouraged. A command of ancient Greek and/or Latin is required. Doctoral candidates participate in the Doctoral School of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy organised every year in collaboration with the universities of Lausanne and Geneva.

    The principle axes of research in medieval philosophy are metaphysics, philosophy of nature, epistemology, anthropology and ethics of the 12th to the 15th century. In this field, a good knowledge of Latin is required. The students have the possibility both to develop their academic skills and pool of the results of research through doctoral schools and seminars. This programme enables them to acquire methodological tools and to build a profitable dialogue with the specialists and other doctoral students. They also have access to the doctoral programme of the Medieval Institute and of the CUSO (Programme Doctoral Romand en Philosophie), which offer a vast range of activities through which the students can get acquainted with specific aspects of medieval culture, as well as issues on the transmission and edition of texts.

    Research in the domain of modern and contemporary philosophy integrates two currents of thought which have had a major influence on contemporary philosophy, phenomenology and «analytic» philosophy. Doctoral research and training are as much about the historical origins of these two traditions as about the theoretical examination of the questions they raise. Topics addressed in this context include the relationship between the subjectivity of experience and the objectivity of knowledge. These questions are analysed not only from the theoretical perspective, as part of the study of cognitive attitudes, but also from a more practical perspective, through an analysis of the rationality of action.

    The field of the philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences focuses on questions related to the ontological status and, more generally, to the nature of experiencing subjects are at the center of the field of philosophy of language, mind and the human sciences. They include issues about phenomenal consciousness, the identity and individuality of conscious individuals, self-consciousness, agentive experience and free will, the role of emotion in human action, the relationship between language and thought and the one between phenomenality and intentionality. In this area a systematic approach is practiced in Fribourg which gives weight to rational intuition and to phenomenological reflection. Proposals for theses within the philosophy of language, epistemology, ontology and metaphysics, as well as on questions at the intersection of philosophy and the cognitive sciences are also welcome.

    In the fields of ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics and philosophy of art, doctoral students receive individual support for their research projects, from their supervisor and from Faculty more generally. They are offered various opportunities to continue their training and present their thesis projects. Every semester, external speakers are invited to give lectures on chosen topics. The colloquia for advanced students are an opportunity for master's and doctoral students to exchange ideas and present their respective research. In addition, doctoral students are supported in setting up workshops and symposia. The themes and fields of research are multiple: questions of value, ethics and meta-ethics, practical philosophy, history of political thought, philosophy of social sciences, aesthetics, the relationship between aesthetics and politics, subjectivity and society, philosophy of art, philosophy of perception, theories of media and technology, philosophy of culture.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • N.N.

    Areas of specialisation:
    Ancient philosophy

    • N.N.

    Areas of specialisation:
    Medieval philosophy

    • Prof. Gianfranco Soldati

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Phenomenology
    – Theory of knowledge

    • Prof. Martine Nida-Rümelin

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Phenomenal consciousness
    – The identity and individuality of conscious individuals

    • Prof. Ralf Bader

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Ethics
    – Meta-ethics
    – Political philosophy
    – Decision theory
    – Axiology

    • Prof. Emmanuel Alloa

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Aesthetics and Philosophy of art
    – Phenomenology (German and French)
    – Philosophy of culture and of social sciences

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Philosophy
    Prof. Gianfranco Soldati
    gianfranco.soldati@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-philosophy (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-philosophy (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Archaeology

    Classical archaeology deals with the Mediterranean Basin in Antiquity, and in particular the Greek and Roman world from the Minoan period to the end of the Roman Empire.
    Archaeology investigates the material and iconographic evidence left by past civilisations: architecture, sculpture, urban planning, painting, mosaics and small objects (bone artefacts, glass, pottery, gems, money, etc.), as well as the information supplied by bioarchaeology, earth and material sciences (paleopathology, analysis of organic and non-organic products), and written sources. The PhD course is mainly in French and German, but theses may also be written in another language (such as English or Italian).

    At the University of Fribourg, the Archaeology domain is at the crossroads of various disciplines (art history, ancient history, philology, literature, philosophy, anthropology, history of religion, etc.). The multidisciplinary approach gives candidates a grasp of the different aspects of Greek and Roman culture in both the material and imaginary dimension. Candidates are given in-depth training in systems of visual representation, the strategies of which vary depending on the support (pottery, intaglios, wall paintings, mosaics, etc.). Social history and how ancient economies functioned are the principal themes of current research, with particular emphasis on the culture of play, votive, divinatory and magical practices, the history of the body and medicine, and the history of children and women. The history of collections and the reception of antiquity at later periods are also addressed.

    The Archaeology domain encourages basic research as well as work with a more practical approach. Besides writing a thesis, numerous additional opportunities are open to candidates, such as taking part in and/or organising seminars, study days, field trips, exhibitions, teaching, etc.

    The PhD course is accompanied by a varied doctoral programme, which enables candidates to enhance their skills and build the national and international network of contacts crucial for an academic career. These regular scientific meetings are an invitation to deepen, develop and propagate knowledge of the past.

    The PhD consists in writing and defending in public a piece of research written by the PhD student in close collaboration with his/her thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor). By way of example, theses are currently being written on the following subjects in the Archaeology domain:

    • Anthropology of the image: study of the agency of children in classical Greek pottery
    • Archaeology of the economy: places of trade in the Iberian Peninsula, food-related practices
    • Archaeology of the family and kinship
    • Archaeology of medical practice in Italy and the Roman provinces
    • Artistic transfer and cultural interactions (amulets, astrological iconography, engraved stones, from ancient Egypt to the end of Antiquity)
    • Spatial and visual strategies of religion
    • The different players in artistic and architectural production (artisans, sponsors, etc.)
    • Archaeology and bioarchaeology (paleopathology, isotopic analysis, analysis of organic products, etc.)

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Véronique Dasen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Greek and roman iconography and material culture (Greek pottery, intaglios, etc.)
    – Archaeology and anthropology of ancient play culture
    – Archaeology and anthropology of the body (medicine and health, corporal customs and practices)
    – Archaeology and iconography of magical and votive practices, astrology
    – Material culture and iconography of women, children, gender studies

    • Prof. Nathan Badoud

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Archaeology of the Rhodian world
    – Archaeology of the economy
    – Amphorae and amphora stamps
    – Relations between Rome and the Greek world
    – Sculpture and its function

    • PD Dr. Ulrich Schädler

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Architecture and sculpture (portrait)
    – History of play culture
    – History of archaeological collections
    – Ancient urban planning

    Theses can be supervised in French, German, English or Italian.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Art History and Archaeology
    Prof. Véronique Dasen
    veronique.dasen@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-archeology

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Archaeologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Archeology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Art History

    The Department of Art History and Archaeology offers a doctoral training in French and German. The field of study is at the crossroads between many disciplines (history, theology, philosophy, anthropology, semiotics, literature). Art History – taken in its broadest sense to include architectural history and visual studies, etc. – considers works of art from Classical Antiquity to the current globalised times. It analyses the complex nature of their functions and meanings (in historical, aesthetic, cult, economic, cultural and social terms). The study of material culture and of visual and textual systems of representation provides a privileged entry point from which to consider the history of past and present societies.

    Through this doctoral programme, the Department wishes to create, further and disseminate scientific knowledge, in order to foster intellectual debate on universal cultural history. The doctorate involves the formulation and public defence of thorough and in-depth research work, conducted in close collaboration between the doctoral student and the thesis supervisor (or co-supervisor).

    Theses conducted within the Department might address themes concerning the following, but are not limited to:

    • Works of art in their materiality
    • Artistic heritage
    • The functions and uses of images and objects in their historical development
    • The forms and functions of architecture
    • The dynamics of the perception and reception of artworks
    • Artistic transfers and cultural interactions
    • Spatial and visual strategies evoking the powerful and the sacred
    • Artistic media and forms of visual communication
    • The various stakeholders in artistic production (artists, sponsors, mediators, administrators, beholders and their relationships)
    • The status of the artist, the universe of the workshop and Salons or exhibitions
    • Body image in Western traditions (anatomy, portraiture, physiognomy, costume, body movements)
    • Image and magic (vernacular culture, limits of rationality, counter-powers, marginal practices, etc.)

    The Department of Art History and Archaeology favours both fundamental research and work aimed at more practical applications. German- or French-speaking doctoral students may enrol in different doctoral schools. Various other opportunities may arise during the writing of the thesis: attendance and/or organisation of conferences, study days, study trips, partnerships with specialists in the scientific community, teaching, etc.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Véronique Dasen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Iconography and material culture in Ancient Greece and Rome
    – History of the body (medicine and health)
    – Magical practices, gender studies, history of children and the culture of play
    – Iconography of love feelings, gems, mundus muliebris in Greece or Rome

    • Prof. Michele Bacci

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Religious medieval art in Byzantium and in the West
    – Forms of evoking and materialisation of sacred objects
    – Images, objects and places of worship in the Middle Ages
    – The purpose and staging of places of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages
    – Forms of reception and use of medieval ritual spaces
    – Cultural, religious and artistic interactions in the medieval Mediterranean area
    – Compared phenomenology of various forms of religious materiality
    – The survival of medieval images in modern times

    • *Prof. Jérémie Koering *

    Areas of specialisation:
    – History of Renaissance art
    – History of modern painting
    – Poetics and artistic imagination
    – Anthropology of art
    – Theory of art
    – Epistemology of art history

    Theses can be supervised in French, English or Italian.

    • Prof. Julia Gelshorn

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Modern and contemporary art, in Europe and the USA in particular
    – Art and art theory of the 18th century
    – Processes of artistic appropriation, replication and cultural translation
    – Concepts of artistic subjectivity and authorship, models of artistic production
    – Relationships between art and politics
    – Artists' writings and interviews
    – Relations between images and texts or speech
    – Methodological questions on the history of art, contemporary art and globalisation

    Theses can be supervised in French, German, English or Italian.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Art History and Archaeology
    Dr Dominic-Alain Boariu (French)
    dominic-alain.boariu@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-art-history
    Dr Thomas Kaffenberger (German)
    thomas.kaffenberger@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-art-history

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Historia Artium / Doctor of Philosophy in Art History (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Musicology

    The doctorate involves the formulation and public defence of thorough and in-depth research work, conducted in close collaboration between the doctoral student and the thesis supervisor (or co-supervisor).

    Theses conducted within the Department might address themes concerning the following:
    – History and dramaturgy of musical theatre (17th-21st century)
    – Vocal music and literature (17th-21st century)
    – Baroque music and emotions
    – Musical patronage in Italy (17th century)
    – Swiss French music
    – Film music
    – Opera staging
    – Relationship between music and visuals (opera and concert relays)

    Joint doctoral seminars are organised with the Musicology chairs of the Swiss universities. Various other opportunities may arise during the writing of the thesis: attendance and/or organisation of conferences, study days.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Andrea Garavaglia

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Baroque musical dramaturgy
    – Vocal music and literature
    – Baroque music and history of emotions
    – Musical patronage in Italy (17th century)

    • PD Dr Delphine Vincent

    Areas of specialisation:
    – French and Swiss French music (since 1850)
    – Musical dramaturgy (since 1990) / Contemporary opera
    – Film music
    – Opera staging
    – Relationship between music and visuals (opera and concert relays)

    Theses can be supervised in French, German, English or Italian.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Musicology
    PD Dr Delphine Vincent
    delphine.vincent@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-musicology (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-musicology (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Musicologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Language Sciences

    Language Sciences is a set of disciplines based on the study of language in general and the diversity of languages.

    Language Sciences feature in different domains at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Fribourg: English, Germanistik, Français, Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education. Doctoral research can be pursued in various fields of the discipline: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, textual linguistics, cognitive linguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, language teaching, dialectology, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.

    Researchers in Language Sciences study the following subjects at the University of Fribourg:

    Germanistik Domain

    • Dialectology with a focus on sociolinguistics and perceptual linguistics
    • Sociolinguistics and contact linguistics from a synchronic or diachronic perspective
    • Linguistic system and pragmatics, at the interface between linguistic variation and language acquisition

    English Domain

    • Semantic analysis
    • Analysis of interpretative processes and of inferential processes involved in meaning construction
    • Experimental methodologies applied to pragmatic research (i.e. experimental pragmatics)
    • Various interfaces between pragmatics and other linguistic branches (e.g. second language acquisition, discourse analysis, argumentation theory, cognitive sciences)

    Français Domain

    • The expression of space and time in language and in discourse, syntagmatic constructions and referential chains
    • The morphosemantic properties of lexical units, polysemy, semantic annotations in the body, nominal and verbal typologies
    • Pragma-syntax
    • Language variation
    • Spoken French

    Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education Domain

    • The dynamics of multilingual competencies, multilingual acquisition and cognitive linguistics
    • Language and social inequalities, language, power and politics, societal and institutional multilingualism
    • Languages in contact, description of minority languages (including Rhaeto-Romance idioms) and synchronic and diachronic linguistics
    • Learning and teaching languages; Foreign language didactics and multilingualism didactics; Language testing; developmental paths in language acquisition; influence of input (German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language; French as a foreign language/French as a second language)

    Doctoral subjects are chosen together with the thesis supervisor. Each doctoral supervisor offers individual guidance throughout the course of the thesis. Doctoral conferences are regularly organised by the domains or within research groups.

    Moreover, two doctoral programmes funded by Swissuniversities and supported by the University of Fribourg help doctoral students to acquire research skills: the Language and Cognition programme in partnership with the universities of Neuchâtel and Geneva and the programme Multilingualism: acquisition, education and society in collaboration with the universities of Bern and Lausanne.

    Other training courses are offered in the frame of the CUSO doctoral programmes in Language Sciences, German language and literature and English language and literature.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    Germanistik Domain

    • Prof. Helen Christen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Variation linguistics with a focus on sociodialectology
    – Language change
    – Folk linguistics
    – Gender linguistics

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    • Prof. Regula Schmidlin

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Acquisition of writing and text skills
    – Lexicography and phraseology
    – Linguistic variation and language standardisation

    Theses can be supervised in German.

    English Domain

    • Prof. Didier Maillat

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pragmatics
    – Empirical and experimental approaches to linguistic meaning
    – Cognitive approaches to argumentation and discourse
    – Pragmatics of EFL (English as a foreign language)

    Theses can be supervised in English or French.

    Français Domain

    • Prof. Richard Huyghe

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Lexical semantics
    – Constructional morphology
    – Syntactic analysis

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    • Prof. Gilles Corminboeuf

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Pragma-syntax
    – Language variation
    – Spoken French

    Theses can be supervised in French.

    Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education Domain

    • Prof. Raphael Berthele

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Linguistics of language contact
    – Variational linguistics
    – Psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Alexandre Duchêne

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology
    – Language, power and politics
    – Language and social inequalities

    Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

    • Prof. Matthias Grünert

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Languages in contact (particularly in the Rhaeto-Romance area)
    – Descriptive linguistics of Rhaeto-Romance
    – Variational linguistics and sociolinguistics of Rhaeto-Romance

    Theses can be supervised in German, French or Rhaeto-Romance.

    • Prof. Thomas Studer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – German as a foreign language/German as a second language
    – Acquisition, leaning and testing of foreign language competencies
    – Corpus linguistics applied to foreign language studies

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Anita Thomas

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Teaching and linguistics of French as a foreign language/French as a second language
    – Developmental paths in second and foreign language acquisition
    – Input and language acquisition

    Theses can be supervised in French, English or German.

    Contact

    Faculty of Humanities
    Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education
    Prof. Alexandre Duchêne
    alexandre.duchene@unifr.ch
    https://www3.unifr.ch/directory/en/people/9219/303af
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-multilingualism

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Scientia Linguarum / Doctor of Philosophy in Language Sciences (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences

  • Economic and Social Sciences

    At the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, candidates can participate in a doctoral programme in the different subfields of the economic sciences – management, economics or information systems.

    The Department of Management offers doctoral studies in all management disciplines (e.g. financial management, accounting, HRM, marketing, corporate strategy, technology management, international management). These are organised according to the research fields of the professors of the Department. You can find a list of the research fields here: http://www.unifr.ch/bwl/en/research. During their doctoral studies, candidates usually write research articles, give presentations at academic conferences in Switzerland and abroad, publish articles and participate in various courses (e.g. doctoral seminars, method courses).

    The Department of Economics offers doctoral studies in all fields of economics (e.g. microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics). Ph.D. students regularly participate in doctoral programmes offered by the Study Center Gerzensee:
    Swiss Program for beginning doctoral students in economics, Gerzensee (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL)
    Advanced Courses in Economics for Doctoral Students, Gerzensee (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL)
    Moreover, Ph.D. students regularly participate and present in the departmental seminar series:
    – Departmental Research Seminar
    – Departmental Ph.D. Seminar

    The Department of Informatics of the University of Fribourg offers doctorates in the fields of information management and computer science. Information management should be understood in the broadest sense of the term as comprising both information systems and decision-support systems.
    During their studies, Ph.D. students can participate in doctoral schools (such as the CUSO doctoral programmes in computer science or statistics and applied probability), or in specialist seminars in operational research.
    Consequently, doctoral theses may cover themes such as the Internet of Things/Web of Things, or decision support systems for managers through the application of operational research, fuzzy logic or applied statistics models.

    Professors eligible to supervise a doctoral thesis

    Department of Economics

    • Prof. Berno Büchel

    Research fields:
    – Industrial Organisation
    – Network Science
    – Law & Economics
    – Applied Microeconomic Theory
    – Applied Game Theory
    – Digital Economy

    Supervision of theses in English and German.

    • Prof. Christelle Dumas

    Research fields:
    – Development microeconomics
    – Applied econometrics
    – Empirical health, labour, education economics and demographics

    Additional courses:
    Other courses (health economics, econometrics) provided as workshop or block lectures, at University of Fribourg or in Switzerland.

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Reiner Eichenberger

    Research fields:
    – Public Economics
    – Political Economics
    – Public Choice
    – Economic Policy
    – Behavioural Economics

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Volker Grossmann

    Research fields:
    – Growth Economics
    – Distribution of Income and Wealth
    – Human Capital Formation
    – International Migration
    – Health Economics
    – Economics of Ageing
    – Bequest Taxation

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Philippe Gugler

    Research fields:
    – Competition Policy
    – Competitiveness issues (economic policy, clusters, quality of the business environment; competitiveness of regions and cities)
    – Multinational enterprises (MNEs)/international business (competitiveness of locations to attract FDI)
    – Role of home country competitive advantages in the competitiveness of MNEs
    – Public policies regarding competitiveness

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Holger Herz

    Research fields:
    – Industrial Organisation
    – Organisational Economics
    – Behavioural Economics
    – Experimental Economics
    – Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    Additional courses:
    Doctoral Program in Behavioral Economics and Experimental Research, CUSO (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL).

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Martin Huber

    Research fields:
    – Empirical labour, health, and education economics
    – Microeconometric methods for causal inference
    – Policy/treatment evaluation

    Additional courses:
    Ph.D. Program in Public Health of the Swiss School of Public Health (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL); Ph.D. courses offered by the Global School in Empirical Research Methods (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL).

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Thierry Madiès

    Research fields:
    – Policy Public economics
    – Public finance
    – Political Economics
    – New economic geography
    – International taxation
    – Economics of secessions
    – Experimental economics
    – Applied game theory
    – Economics of innovation

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Sergio Rossi

    Research fields:
    – Monetary Theory and Policy
    – Inflation
    – Financial Stability and Crises
    – Bank Regulations
    – Payment and Settlement Systems
    – Exchange Rate Regimes and Global Imbalances
    – European Monetary Integration
    – History of Monetary Thought

    Supervision of theses in English, German, French and Italian.

    • Prof. Mark Schelker

    Research fields:
    – Public Economics
    – Public Finance
    – Political Economics
    – Law and Economics
    – New Institutional Economics
    – Applied Econometrics

    Additional courses:
    Other courses (public economics, econometrics) taught as workshops or block lectures at universities in Switzerland or abroad.

    Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

    Department of Management

    • Prof. Silke Bambauer-Sachse

    Research fields:
    – Price management
    – Online marketing
    – Complaint management

    Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

    • Prof. Michael Burkert

    Research fields:
    – Strategy implementation with management control systems
    – Corporate governance
    – Incentive systems
    – Cost accounting and cost accounting systems

    Additional courses:
    Swiss Doctoral Program Network in Accounting Research (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL) and other courses (econometrics, experimental research in accounting) taught as workshops or block lectures at universities in Switzerland or abroad.

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Eric Davoine

    Research fields:
    – International and cross-national comparative HRM
    – Globalisation processes and HRM
    – International mobility
    – Managerial cognition
    – French-German Intercultural Management
    – Evaluation of HR processes
    – Top management careers
    – Gender and career

    Projects:
    – Swissness and HRM in the watch making industry
    – Context effects and HRM in MNC subsidiaries
    – HRM in MNC subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ukraine and Lebanon
    – Career anchors within global MNCs: generation and gender effects
    – Globalisation of Swiss top management profiles
    – Integration of highly skilled migrants in Swiss companies
    – Competencies gained through international student mobility
    – Impacts of new communication technologies on managerial practices
    – Gender issues in international dual careers

    Additional courses:
    PhD Seminar of Department of Management; PhD seminar of RHO Chair with guest researchers; LIVES NCCR PhD seminar; Ad-hoc method seminars from Swiss universities.

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Paul H. Dembinski

    Research fields:
    – Non-market environment of business
    – Very Large Enterprises in the World Economy
    – Global Value Chains – Structure & Meaning from macro & enterprise perspective
    – The economic fabric of Switzerland
    – Ethics in Business and Finance
    – Epistemology of Economics, management and Finance
    – Philosophy of the Enterprise
    – Comparative Economic Systems
    – Finance and Real Economy Nexus
    – Entrepreneurship in theory and practice

    Supervision of theses in French, English, German, Spanish and Polish.

    • Prof. Emmanuelle Fauchart

    Research fields:
    – Entrepreneurship
    – Innovation Management
    – Open Innovation
    – Start-ups
    – Small enterprises

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Olivier Furrer

    Research fields:
    – Marketing services
    – Strategic marketing
    – Intercultural marketing
    – Corporate-level strategy

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Markus Gmür

    Research fields:
    – NPO Management
    – Social Entrepreneurship
    – Third Sector Studies

    Projects:
    – Member Value Optimisation in Associations and Co-operatives
    – Typologies of Social Entrepreneurship in international comparison
    – Entrepreneurial Not-for-profit Management
    – Third sector labour markets and career patterns of npo executives
    – Corporate philanthropy and intersectoral cooperation
    – Professionalisation in fundraising

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Rudolf Grünig

    Research fields:
    – Corporate-level strategy
    – Strategy planning process
    – Internationalisation strategies

    Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

    • Prof. Dušan Isakov

    Research fields:
    – Finance
    – Business finance
    – Business governance
    – Financial markets
    – Dividend policy
    – Financial decisions and performance of family businesses
    – Executive remuneration

    Additional courses:
    Block courses given in Swiss universities or abroad as well as some courses offered by the Swiss Finance Institute.

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Franck Missonier Piera

    Research fields:
    – Governance role of accounting information
    – Valuation role of accounting data
    – Determinants & consequences of analysts' forecast errors
    – Role and consequences of IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards)
    – Environmental disclosure

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Dirk Morschett

    Research fields:
    – Headquarters-subsidiary relationships
    – Coordination of foreign subsidiaries
    – Market selection
    – Market entry strategies
    – Internationalisation of services and services companies
    – Internationalisation of retail companies
    – Management in Emerging Markets

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Martin Wallmeier

    Research fields:
    – Asset Management
    – Derivatives and Structured Financial Products
    – Asset Pricing
    – Firm Valuation
    – Information Implied in Option Prices
    – Behavioral Finance

    Additional courses:
    Ph.D. courses offered by the VHB (Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft), Swiss Finance Institute, Swiss Doctoral Program Network in Accounting Research.

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    Department of Informatics (interfaculty)

    • Prof. Laurent Donzé

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Survey statistics
    – Fuzzy statistics
    – Statistical modeling
    – Imputation of missing data in complex enquiries
    – Evaluating economic policy programmes
    – Problems related to evaluation of wage gaps

    Subjects of specific interest:
    – Hedonic methods, notably for constructing price indices
    – Fuzzy statistics methods

    Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

    • Prof. Bernard Ries

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Combinatorial optimisation
    – Structural and Algorithmic Graph Theory
    – Decision Support
    – Complexity Theory
    – Mathematical Modeling

    Subjects of specific interest:
    – Modeling and solving real world problems using graph theory and combinatorial optimisation
    – Analysing the computational complexity of graph theoretical problems
    – Analysing the structure of graphs in order to provide efficient algorithms

    Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

    • Prof. Hans-Georg Fill

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Meta modeling
    – Conceptual modeling
    – Visualisation
    – Process management
    – Development of enterprise information systems

    Subjects of specific interest:
    – Semantic information systems
    – Blockchains and smart contracts
    – Application of virtual and augmented reality in enterprise modeling
    – Deviceless interaction for enterprise information systems

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Jacques Pasquier Rocha

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Applying and improving software engineering techniques to build modular and extensible software architectures for challenging application domains
    – Frameworks for integrating and coordinating heterogeneous software components (legacy applications, micro-services, objects populating the Internet of Things, REStful web services, etc.) and humans in complex distributed systems

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Marino Widmer

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Quantitative models and methods of operational research with their applications in manufacturing and logistics
    – Combinatorial optimisation, in particular scheduling theory
    – Heuristic and metaheuristic methods
    – Simulation methods
    – Decision support systems

    Subjects of specific interest:
    – Operational Research: General Applications for Small and Medium Enterprises
    – Supply chain and distribution management
    – Production planning and control in industry and services
    – Design and control of systems in manufacturing and logistics

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
    Dean's Office
    Chantal Achermann
    chantal.achermann@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-sesm

    Degree conferred

    Rerum Politicarum Doctor /
    - Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
    - Doctor of Philosophy in Management (PhD)
    - Doctor of Philosophy in Business Informatics (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Social Sciences

    You have successfully completed your master and you enjoy research. You would like to find out more about media, communication and the public. You want to go deeper into a subject and carry out your own research project. A doctorate in communication science is the right challenge for you.

    The Department of Communication and Media Research DCM at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland offers the possibility to pursue a doctoral degree of Social sciences in Communication Studies. Communication Studies at the University of Fribourg is firmly rooted in the tradition of the social sciences and is devoted to the analysis of public communication in modern societies, looking at both legacy and new media (e.g. online platforms). Central topics are the general framework, systems, processes, contents and effects of communication. Research at the DCM focuses on different actors of communication, media content, media use, exposure and effects, media and news organisations as well as on media systems, including economic, political and cultural influences (e.g. media politics and media economics).

    Doctoral theses can be written in the following research fields, among others:

    • Journalism studies (e.g., current developments of journalism, quality in journalism)
    • Theory and history of communication and journalism
    • Political communication (e.g., digital democracy, analysis of political debates, opinion formation)
    • Media use, exposure, and effects (e.g., persuasion, parasocial relationships, health communication, media exposure)
    • Organisational communication (e.g. reputation and issues management, corporate social responsibility, communication strategies)
    • Comparative communication research
    • Media systems and media organisations
    • Media policy and media regulation (e.g., public service media, policy-making processes and power, governance)
    • Analysis of new media and new forms of communication

    A doctoral programme of 30 ECTS credits must be followed for successful completion of the doctorate. The core part of the doctoral programme is the DCM Colloquium. It is held at regular intervals and offers doctoral students the possibility to present and discuss the current state of their projects. ECTS credits can also be acquired by participating in academic courses at the University of Fribourg or elsewhere (e.g. summer or winter schools) in areas such as theory, methodology, didactics or academic writing and presentation skills, by giving presentations at scientific conferences, by publishing articles in scientific journals or books (first author or co-author), by writing reviews or helping with the organisation of conferences, or by undertaking other academic tasks at the Department.
    For detailed information about the doctoral programme, see https://www3.unifr.ch/dcm/fr/assets/public/files/handouts/dr-richtlinien2015.pdf

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Andreas Fahr

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Media selection, media use, media effects
    – Emotional & cognitive processing of media exposure
    – Mediated social communication
    – Parasocial relationships, health communication, entertainment

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Alexandra Feddersen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Political communication
    – Media and public opinion
    – Media and democracy

    Supervision of theses in English, French and German.

    • Prof. Regula Hänggli

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Political communication
    – Public debates
    – Challenges to democracy based on commercialisation and digitalisation
    – Relation between media and democracy

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Laura Illia

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Emerging forms of organisation, audiences and social media
    – E-audiences and their influence on business and society
    – Legitimacy, reputation, identity, stigma and new media
    – Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and communication
    – Communication in social impact and business in the circular economy
    – Crisis, communication, stakeholder management
    – Artificial Intelligence (AI) text agents and their implications for business and society

    Supervision of theses in French and English.

    • Prof. Diana Ingenhoff

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Strategic communication, organisational communication, communication management
    – International public relations research, public diplomacy and country images
    – Corporate social responsibility (CSR), social advocacy, and media quality
    – Reputation management and crisis communication in the digital age

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Manuel Puppis

    Areas of specialisation:
    – International comparison of media systems & Swiss media system
    – Media policy, media regulation and media governance
    – Media organisations
    – Critical communication research

    Supervision of theses in German and English.

    • Prof. Philomen Schönhagen

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Theory and history of mass communication
    – History of mass communication research
    – Qualitative methods in communication studies
    – Gender and media

    Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

    • Prof. Thilo von Pape

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Communication in digital contexts: uses and effects
    – Social construction and appropriation of media innovations
    – Mobile media and communication
    – Privacy, sustainability, accessibility in digital communication

    Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

    Contact

    Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
    Department of Communication and Media Research (DCM)
    Dr Daniel Beck, lecturer and study advisor
    daniel.beck@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-communicationmedia

    Degree conferred

    Rerum Socialium Doctor / Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

Faculty of Science and Medicine

  • Materials Science

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) currently employs around 50 PhD students who work in the five AMI research groups. The working language at the AMI is English and the PhD work comprises a personal research 3-4 year project within one of the research groups. The mentoring staff at AMI is devoted to instilling the doctoral candidates with the desire to perpetuate a tradition of high scientific quality. The state-of-the-art facilities provide students with the potential to acquire a whole range of valuable knowledge and skills over the course of their studies. The quality of the research equipment constitutes one of the major assets of the programme, as the trainees will be given the chance to master a high number of experimental techniques. The combination of interdisciplinary, outstanding infrastructures and educational commitment defines the attractiveness of AMI, making it one of the best places to study soft nanomaterials at the postgraduate level.
    The institute strives to be a leader in this area and hosts both fundamental and application-oriented interdisciplinary research programmes. Our researchers are currently organised in five research groups, which offer complementary expertise and interests in strategically important areas:

    BioNanomaterials
    The BioNanomaterials research group is co-led by Prof. Alke Fink and Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser. Prof. Fink leads the materials science aspect of the group and Prof. Rothen-Rutishauser is responsible for all biological studies. This situation is a fresh, novel, and exciting perspective upon scientific research in an academic setting, enabling the unification of two different scientific backgrounds in order to make a truly strong interdisciplinary research group. The interdisciplinary nature within the BioNanomaterials research group is further expressed by the varying scientific backgrounds of its members, which include chemistry and biochemistry, biology, pharmacy, biomedicine, materials science, and biophysics.

    For more information: https://www.ami.swiss/bionanomaterials/en/

    Biophysics
    The overarching research goal in the Biophysics laboratory, led by Prof. Michael Mayer, is to apply biophysics knowledge towards improving human health. To this end, his group contributes to the molecular understanding of disease by developing sensitive diagnostic assays and sensors, as well as characterising individual protein molecules for applications in biomarker detection, routine protein analysis, and proteomics. Research is multidisciplinary and collaborative and many projects take inspiration from nature to develop biophysical assays, methods, and tools that enable molecular-scale interrogations with unprecedented information content, sensitivity, and speed.

    For more information: https://www.ami.swiss/biophysics/en/

    Macromolecular Chemistry
    The research carried out by AMI's Macromolecular Chemistry group, led by Prof. Nico Bruns, is motivated by a fascination for polymers and proteins. The rationale behind our work exploits the various functions of proteins, such as their ability to self-assemble into well-defined three dimensional structures and to act as catalysts, and merges them with polymer systems, which are relatively easy to synthesise and can be tailored to specific applications. Via this approach, some of the best aspects of two different domains of macromolecular chemistry are combined in order to exploit the catalytic power of enzymes, to create novel nanosystems and to develop materials with unprecedented new functions.
    Three lines of research illustrate our strategy:
    1) Enzyme-catalysed controlled/living radical polymerisation (ATRPases);
    2) Protein cages and polymersomes as nanoreactors;
    3) Polymer-protein hybrid materials with the capability to self-report damage.

    For more information: https://www.ami.swiss/en/groups/macromolecular-chemistry/

    Polymer Chemistry and Materials
    Motivated by the desire to create novel (nano)materials that exhibit currently unavailable properties and enable new applications, the primary research focus of the Polymer Chemistry and Materials group led by Prof. Christoph Weder is the design, synthesis, and investigation of structureproperty relationships of novel functional polymers. Many projects are inspired by Nature's materials, and/or utilise bio-based building blocks, such as cellulose nanocrystals. Interests and activities are interdisciplinary and range from the synthesis of new monomers and polymers, to advanced polymer processing, to the in-depth investigation and technological exploitation of materials with unusual but desirable properties.

    For more information: https://www.ami.swiss/en/groups/polymer-chemistry-and-materials/

    Soft Matter Physics
    How does the assembly of materials on the 10 nm to 1 μm length scale determine its function? This question motivates most of the projects of the soft-matter physics group. Currently the two main topics encompass energy and optical materials. In the energy materials field, we investigate structure-function interplay in organic and perovskite based solar cells and in lithium-ion batteries. Optical materials include plasmonic metals that are structure with the help of polymer self-assembly and bioinspired photonic bandgap materials. The latter is part of the strong focus on bioinspiration focus of the soft matter physics group that also includes surface properties of (nano-) structured materials such as wetting and adhesion, and mechanical properties (e.g. nacre).

    For more information: https://www.ami.swiss/physics/en/

    Interdisciplinary collaborations between our researchers are the basis for the successful and efficient execution of complex research projects that transcend the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines.

    Open PhD positions will be advertised on the AMI web-page. Unsolicited applications that are not targeting an advertised position will not necessarily receive a response.

    Contact

    Adolphe Merkle Institute
    Chemin des Verdiers 4
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    http://ami.swiss

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in scientia materiarum / Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Earth Sciences

    The Earth Sciences Unit of the Department of Geosciences offers doctoral programmes in various fields of Earth sciences.

    Areas of research
    The Earth Sciences Unit's activities are developing in several fields.
    One key focus is research on the understanding of carbonate rock formation processes (sedimentology) and the study of the evolution of living organisms (palaeontology and micropalaeontology). These approaches contribute to an understanding of palaeoenvironments, their evolution over time and interactions between the geosphere and the biosphere.
    The tectonic group is investigating the formation of mountain ranges and rock deformation mechanisms.
    Others are studying the properties of mineral materials and rocks (petrology). This approach has applications in both industrial development and environmental protection (applied mineralogy). Archaeometry studies the materials used by man in the past to reconstruct ancient technologies and exchange networks.

    Contents of the doctoral programme
    The PhD programme focuses on a personal research project conducted under the supervision of a professor over a period of three to four years. The final product is a doctoral thesis, which is an original written document meeting the requirements for scientific publication. As a general rule, doctoral research projects fall within one of the research orientations of one of the unit's professors. They include field work in Switzerland or abroad in addition to laboratory work. During their research, PhD students participate in national and international conferences and prepare publications. They also participate in teaching (practical assignments, field camps, supervision). PhD students are strongly advised to participate in conference cycles, professional development courses and CUSO doctoral school activities.

    Competences acquired
    – Developing in-depth knowledge in a field of Earth sciences by mastering specific knowledge, methodological concepts and analytical methods;
    – Completing high-quality personal scientific research as part of a large-scale research project;
    – Making an innovative contribution to the chosen field and critically evaluating knowledge;
    – Teamworking and communicating with the specialised scientific community and society at large.

    Positions for doctoral candidates
    Open positions are published on the Earth Sciences Unit website (https://www3.unifr.ch/geo/en/department/jobs/). Interested persons can also contact the unit's professors to express their interest or propose a research project.

    Funding and salary
    Doctoral research is financed through a job as an assistant within the unit or by outside funds obtained by the thesis supervisor. PhD students' pay is determined according to the university's salary scale.

    Supervisors
    PhD theses are supervised by professors and senior researchers from the Earth Sciences Unit:

    • Prof. Bernard Grobéty

    – Applied mineralogy

    • Prof. Vincent Serneels

    – Archaeometry

    • Prof. Anneleen Foubert

    – Carbonate sedimentology

    • Prof. Walter Joyce

    – Palaeontology

    • Adj.Prof. Jon Mosar

    – Tectonics - Geology

    • Dr Silvia Spezzaferri

    – Micropalaeontology

    • Dr Afifé El Korh

    – Metamorphic petrology

    In the field of palaeontology, there is close collaboration with the Jurassica Museum in Porrentruy (Dr Damien Becker and Dr Olivier Maridet).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Geosciences
    Chemin du Musée 6 1700 Fribourg
    Prof. Bernard Grobéty, study advisor
    bernard.grobety@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/geosciences-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in scientiis terrarum / Doctor of Philosophy in Earth Sciences (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Biology

    The Department of Biology offers a PhD curriculum in Biology. This programme is fully given in English and comprises a personal research project to be taken over 3-4 years. It also includes seminars and lectures according to the bylaws of the Fribourg Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (FGLM).

    The biology laboratories at the University of Fribourg investigate three main areas of research:

    Ecology and Evolution
    This research area investigates organismic biology with a special focus on ecology and evolution. Current research interests include food web structure, conservation biology, invasive species, agro-ecology, eco-evolutionary feedbacks, life-history evolution, inbreeding depression, evolution in fragmented habitats, genome evolution, and population genetics. The organisms investigated are whole food webs, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), as well as plants such as relatives of Arabidopsis (Arabis, Biscuttella) and grasses (Aegilops).

    Neuro- and Developmental Biology
    The laboratories investigate the mechanisms that govern animal development and the structure and function of the nervous system in the following model systems: The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the zebra fish Danio rerio and the mouse. Research topics include molecular aspects of regeneration, cell differentiation in somatic and germ line tissues, neuronal outgrowth and connectivity, the function of neuronal circuits, behaviour, chemoreceptors, and aging. The tools employed are molecular genetics, molecular biology, protein analysis, microscopy and imaging, behavioural analysis and many more.

    Plant and microbial sciences
    This area emphasises the cellular and molecular aspects of pathogenic and symbiotic plant-microbe interactions. The research groups focus on aspects ranging from plant-microbe communication, initiation of defences, metabolic and hormonal adjustments, and the effects of various microbes on plant nutrition, growth and health. Current tools comprise molecular biology, reverse genetics, imaging, analytics, and biochemistry. The training both in practical and theoretical areas will prepare the PhD students for the challenge of the professional world.

    PhD students learn how to conduct a research project in an independent manner. They will also learn how to interpret scientific data and to present them. Furthermore, students are expected to be able to think independently about their research topic, to trouble-check their experiments, evaluate their data and put them into a general context, and of course to work in a team. PhD students participate at national and international scientific meetings in order to broaden their knowledge and to establish a scientific and social network.

    PhD students in the Department of Biology are remunerated according to standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine.

    To register to the doctoral programme, candidates select a laboratory in which they plan to carry out their PhD (see Contact). They read the relevant publications and then contact the group leader to ask for a possible opening.

    Alternatively, candidates look for openings that are posted by the FGLM. The selection procedure is carried out twice a year. It comprises a 15-minute oral presentation and discussions with the various group leaders.

    A non-exhaustive list of laboratories includes:

    • Prof. Simon Sprecher

    – Development and specification of photoreceptor neurons in the larva
    – Genetic control of sensory receptor gene expression switch during metamorphosis
    – Dissecting of the neuronal circuit for vision in the Drosophila larva: identifying neurons and their synaptic connectivity
    – Dissecting of the neuronal circuit for vision in the Drosophila larva: function of neurons in light-guided navigation and visual learning and memory formation
    – Proliferation control of neural cells in development
    – Neuroanatomy of an ant brain: insights into differences of a cast system
    – Super resolution imaging to identify synaptic connections
    – Systems biology of forgetting

    • Prof. Anna Jazwinska

    – Mechanisms of fin, heart and retina regeneration in zebrafish

    • Prof. Louis-Félix Bersier

    – Biodiversity and community structure
    – Metacommunities
    – Food webs
    – Conservation
    – Dynamics of multitrophic systems in mesocosms
    – Modelling

    • Prof.Christian Parisod

    – Plant evolutionary ecology
    – Range shifts under environmental changes
    – Population genomics of adaptation across heterogeneous landscapes
    – Adaptive radiation following polyploidy
    – Genome evolution and speciation

    • Prof. Laure Weisskopf

    – The role of volatile compounds in microbial interactions
    – The impact of the microbiome on plant health
    – New strategies for biological control of plant diseases

    • Prof. Stefanie Ranf

    – Sensing and control of microbial colonisation by plant cell-surface immune receptors
    – Identification of cell-surface immune receptors and their ligands
    – Mechanisms of cell-surface immune receptor signalling
    – Role of bacterial lipopolysaccharide cell wall components in plant colonisation
    – Translational research on plant disease resistance engineering

    • Prof. Thomas Flatt

    – Experimental evolutionary genetics in Drosophila
    – Population genetics and genomics of adaptations
    – Evolution of fitness components, life-history evolution
    – Climate adaptation along clines / environmental gradients
    – The role of chromosomal inversions in adaptation
    – Evolution and mechanisms of aging and longevity
    – Evolution and mechanisms of body size
    – Mechanisms of life-history trade-offs

    • Prof. Dominique Glauser

    – Functional analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans neural circuit
    – Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pain
    – Identification of evolutionarily conserved pain genes
    – Transcriptomics in nociceptor neurons
    Caenorhabditis elegans phosphoproteome

    Please refer to the internet link below for a complete an updated list (see Contact).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Biology
    Chemin du Musée 10
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Sabrina Lutz, secretary to the FGLM
    sabrina.lutz@unifr.ch
    Jörn Dengjel, co-head of the FGLM
    joern.dengjel@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/biology-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in biologia / Doctor of Philosophy in Biology (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Biochemistry

    The Department of Biology offers a PhD curriculum in Biochemistry. This programme is fully given in English and comprises a personal research project to be taken over 3-4 years. It also includes seminars and lectures according to the bylaws of the Fribourg Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (FGLM).

    The biochemistry laboratories at the University of Fribourg put special emphasis on investigating the mechanisms that control homeostasis and growth control in model organisms. They investigate the genes, proteins, and metabolites and their interactions with each other.

    Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary science: besides organic chemistry it can also include developmental, evolutionary, and behavioral biology. Students are therefore trained on a variety of modern practical methods (e.g., optical and electronic microscopy, X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry, and DNA sequencing). Moreover, life sciences benefit from of a flow of continuous technical innovation, which renders analytical tools increasingly sensitive and effective. The latest analytical instruments produce data at such speed and in such quantities that simply storing the information require the usage of bioinformatics. As a consequence, PhD students in Biochemistry can analyse and compare their own data with the ones from their peers.

    PhD students learn how to conduct a research project in an independent manner. They will also gain competence in interpreting scientific data, presenting them, and putting them into a general context. PhD students participate at national and international scientific meetings in order to broaden their knowledge and to establish a scientific and social network.

    PhD students in the Department of Biology are remunerated according to standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine.

    To register to the doctoral programme, candidates select a laboratory in which they plan to carry out their PhD. They read the relevant publications and then contact the group leader to ask for a possible opening.

    Alternatively, candidates look for openings that are posted by the FGLM. The selection procedure is carried out twice a year. It comprises a 15-minute oral presentation and discussions with the various group leaders.

    A non-exhaustive list of laboratories includes:

    • Prof. Joern Dengjel

    – Protein homeostasis in health and disease

    • Prof. Roger Schneiter

    – Lipid homeostasis in yeast

    • Prof Urs Albrecht

    – Circadian rhythms in mammals

    • Prof Claudio De Virgilio

    – Cell proliferation and growth control in yeast

    Please refer to the internet link below for a complete an updated list (see Contact).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Biology
    Chemin du Musée 10
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Sabrina Lutz, secretary to the FGLM
    sabrina.lutz@unifr.ch
    Jörn Dengjel, co-head of the FGLM
    joern.dengjel@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/biochemistry-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in biochemia / Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Chemistry

    The Department of Chemistry offers a doctoral programme in Chemistry. The programme is conducted entirely in English and comprises a personal research project which must be completed within a timescale of three to four years.

    Chemistry in Fribourg is an interdisciplinary science. Research at the FriMat and NCCR Bio-inspired Materials centres of competence is focused on nanomaterials, and practical application of the research is facilitated by the immediate geographical proximity to the departments of biochemistry, medicine and physics, as well as the Adolphe Merkle Institute.

    PhD students learn how to conduct independent research. They are also trained in the interpretation and presentation of scientific data and learn how to categorise these in a general context. PhD students have access to a comprehensive, modern pool of analytical instruments and are supported in their research by the respective experts. They also take part in international scientific conferences, to increase their knowledge and build up a scientific and social network. PhD students are actively involved in training chemistry students, for example by supervising chemistry laboratory course.

    PhD students in the Department of Chemistry are remunerated according to standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine. To enrol for the doctoral programme, applicants choose the laboratory where they wish to write their thesis. After consulting the respective publications, contact the group leader who will tell you if there are any vacancies.

    You will find the list of research groups on the department's Web page (see Contact).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Chemistry
    Chemin du Musée 9
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Dr Albert Ruggi, study advisor
    chem-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/chemistry-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in chemia / Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Physics

    The Department of Physics offers PhD studies consisting of a personal research project to be completed within 3-4 years. In addition to this research project Doctoral students will attend seminars and colloquia to broaden their knowledge. The research activity in the Department of Physics is both experimental and theoretical in character and focuses on the following areas:

    Solid State Physics
    The electronic and magnetic properties of novel materials are studied using photons, electrons, neutrons and muons as experimental probes. The research focuses on the interplay between magnetism and superconductivity and on understanding the electronic structure.

    Soft Matter Physics & Photonics
    Physical phenomena related to soft matter structures, scattering probes and optics in ordered and disordered media are investigated. Of particular interest are the structural/dynamical/mechanical properties of soft materials, and the development of new optical methods.

    Atomic physics
    Spin-coherent atomic assemblies are employed to probe subtle physical processes and their use in fundamental and applied physics is investigated. Inner-shell atomic processes are studied to obtain insight into atomic structure and dynamics.

    Computational Physics
    Numerical simulations and analytical techniques are used to study the equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties of strongly correlated electron systems.

    Soft Matter Theory
    The tools of classical statistical mechanics are used to investigate soft condensed matter systems. Interfacial phenomena, phase transitions and nonequilibrium states (such as colloidal glasses or sheared suspensions) are topics of current interest.

    Theoretical Interdisciplinary Physics
    Complexity in biology, the economy and the internet are studied using statistical methods. Current research is focused on the development of information filtering tools, models of interacting economic agents and investment optimization.

    PhD students will learn how to conduct a research project in an independent manner. They will also learn how to interpret scientific data and to present them. Furthermore, students are expected to think independently about their research topic and work as a team member in a research group. PhD students participate at national and international scientific meetings in order to further their knowledge and to establish a scientific network.

    PhD students in the Department of Physics are remunerated according to standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine. To register to the doctoral programme, candidates should identify a group in which they would like to carry out their PhD (see the Department's website), read some of the relevant publications and then contact the group leader to inquire about a possible opening.

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Physics
    Dr Baptiste Hildebrand
    phys-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/physics-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in physica / Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Mathematics

    The Department of Mathematics offers a PhD programme in Mathematics. This programme comprises a personal research project leading to a doctoral thesis to be completed over 3-4 years. PhD candidates participate in the scientific life at the Department through seminars, advanced courses, workshops or other activities at the Department or in the framework of the Swiss Doctoral Program in Mathematics.

    The following is a list of professors supervising doctoral theses and of their areas of specialisation.

    • Prof. Enrico Le Donne

    – Metric and differential geometry, geometric measure theory, geometric analysis; in particular: Lipschitz analysis on metric spaces, sub-Riemannian geometry, group actions, rectifiability on Carnot groups, geometric group theory, asymptotic geometry, embedding problems

    • Prof. Anand Dessai

    – Algebraic and differential topology, Riemannian geometry; group actions, positive curvature and symmetry, equivariant index theory

    • Prof. Ruth Kellerhals

    – Hyperbolic geometry; geometry of discrete groups, geometric group theory, discrete and convex geometry, volumes and polylogarithms

    • Prof. Ioan Manolescu

    – Probability; problems inspired by statistical mechanics, lattice models such as percolation, random-cluster and Potts models, self-avoiding walk

    • Prof. Christian Mazza

    – Applied probability; stochastic models in ecology and systems biology, biological networks, complex ecosystems, mathematical models of plant growth

    • Prof. Stefan Wenger

    – Geometric measure theory, metric geometry; currents in metric spaces, Lipschitz analysis, isoperimetric inequalities, minimal surfaces, asymptotic geometry

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Mathematics
    Chemin du Musée 9
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Dr Patrick Ghanaat, study advisor
    patrick.ghanaat@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/mathematicsresearch

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in mathematica / Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Geography

    The Geography Unit of the Department of Geosciences offers doctoral programmes in Human Geography and Physical Geography.

    Research orientations
    Research in Human Geography at the University of Fribourg examines the ways in which nature and society interact through the lens of power, knowledge and politics. It focuses on Political Ecology, Environmental History, Urban SocioNatures, and Migration and Environmental Change. Our research expertise includes Central Asia, Western and Southern Africa, Oceania, Europe and Switzerland.

    Research in Physical Geography at the University of Fribourg centers on the dynamics and evolution of the mountain cryosphere (glacier, permafrost, snow), and the periglacial and geomorphologic environment, with emphasis on the interactions with atmospheric changes. Our approaches include both measuring and modelling techniques, which we apply in remote, cold regions, including the Alps, Scandinavia, Andes, Central Asia, Himalayas, Antarctica, Svalbard and Greenland.

    Contents of doctoral programme
    The central part of the doctoral programme is a personal research project which the candidate conducts under supervision during a period of 3-4 years. The final product of the doctoral programme is the PhD thesis. The candidate's research can be part of ongoing research projects within the Unit of Geography, but can also be a single-standing study relevant to the research expertise at the Unit of Geography. In addition, candidates also participate in lecture series, professional development courses, publication projects, national and international conferences and may be involved in teaching activities. Doctoral candidates in Human Geography are strongly encouraged to attend workshops and conferences of the Programme doctoral de géographie of Western Switzerland (CUSO) (see link below).

    Acquired competences
    In accordance with the Dublin Descriptor, the doctoral programme in Geography enables candidates to:

    – develop a systematic understanding of a field of Geography and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field;
    – conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity;
    – to make a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge in Geography;
    – to undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas;
    – to communicate with their peers in Geography, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise.

    Positions for doctoral candidates
    Open positions for doctoral candidates are advertised on the website of the Geography Unit (http://www.unifr.ch/geoscience/geographie/en/general-information/open-position). Alternatively, interested candidates can also contact a supervisor of the Geography Unit and state their interest or propose a research project.

    Funding and salary
    Doctoral research is either financed through assistant positions at the Unit of Geography, or through third party funding acquired by the supervisor or the doctoral candidate himself. Salaries of employed doctoral candidates correspond to the standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine.

    Supervisors
    PhD theses are supervised by professors and senior researchers at the Unit of Geography:

    • Prof. Reynald Delaloye

    – Mountain geomorphology
    – Periglacial geomorphology
    – Permafrost-related processes

    • Prof. Christian Hauck

    – Applied geophysics
    – Permafrost modelling
    – Land-atmosphere interaction

    • Prof. Martin Hoelzle

    – Alpine cryosphere

    • Prof. Olivier Graefe

    – Political ecology of land
    – Water and park management

    • Prof. Christine Bichsel

    – Political geography
    – Environmental history
    – Critical water studies

    • Dr Matthias Huss

    – Glaciers and climate change
    – Mass and energy balance of glaciers

    • Dr Horst Machguth

    – Ice sheets
    – Glacier and climate
    – Surface processes of glaciers and ice sheets
    – Arctic glaciology

    For a complete and updated list of research activities check the link to the website of the Unit of Geography (see Contact).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Geosciences
    Geography Unit
    Chemin du Musée 4
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Dr Luc Braillard, study advisor
    geo-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/geosciences-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in geographia / Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Environmental Humanities

    Research in the Environmental Sciences Domain is based on an interdisciplinary, interfaculty and humanistic approach. The objective of the Environmental Humanities doctoral programme is to scrutinise environmental challenges and methods for resolving problems in the fields of the environment, sustainability and climate change from a humanistic perspective. It therefore places a particular emphasis on ethical issues and the challenges of normative justice.

    Content and areas of research
    The doctoral programme focusses on an individual research project carried out with in three to four years, supervised by the Chair for Environmental Humanities. At the end of their PhD, students must produce a thesis. Research by doctoral students can be part of an ongoing research project in the Environmental Sciences Domain or an independent study relevant to the research conducted in the Environmental Sciences Domain.
    Current research in the Environmental Sciences Domain is geared to issues of justice and conceptual questions about the differentiation of responsibilities in dealing with environmental challenges. The overarching objective of this research is to devise ethically viable and interdisciplinary implementable solutions to environmental challenges from a wide range of policy domains, spheres of life and scientific disciplines. The research areas in the Environmental Sciences Domain are:

    – Environmental justice in an interdisciplinary context
    In empirical research on environmental justice, unequal environmental burdens are usually automatically considered as injustices. However, from a normative perspective, this is not necessarily the case. This research field investigates both the appropriate distribution of environmental risks and burdens, as well as the fair differentiation of responsibilities with a view to the implementation of corresponding measures. One particular focus is on measures for climate adaptation, issues concerning climate loss and damage, and implementing geoengineering technologies.

    – Institutions for sustainable environmental policy
    Implementing environmental protection and climate measures presents a challenge for conventional national governance structures. Environmental challenges are not limited to existing national borders, and their consequences have an impact that reaches far into the future. This area of research investigates the institutional structures aimed at ensuring sustainable, efficient and effective environmental policy. Of particular interest here are, firstly, democratic institutions for more sustainable policy. A second focus lies on the requisite conditions that allow collective actors, such as states, to exercise their environmental responsibilities.

    – Ethical decision-making for environmental practice
    Where environmental issues are concerned, ethical studies usually deal with the justification of environmental measures, but rarely with the ethical challenges that arise from implementing environmental protection and climate action. This area of research addresses the implementation of environmental or climate measures. The declared objective is to develop tools for analysing and resolving ethical conflicts in environmental practice. Inspired by environmental pragmatism and established practices in clinical and nursing ethics, tools for ethical decision-making are developed and applied to selected case studies.

    Skills acquired
    A doctorate in Environmental Humanities further developes your capacity in analytical thinking, precise reasoning and detecting the normative implications of measures for implementing policy or social requirements in environmental practice. In addition, you will acquire in-depth scientific, social and legal knowledge in the context of your research subject. Wherever possible, the research projects are carried out in cooperation with researchers from other disciplines, or with staff from government institutions. In addition, doctoral students can attend lecture series and take part in vocational training courses, publication projects, and national and international conferences. Where possible they will be involved in teaching.

    Funding and salary
    Doctoral research is financed either through assistant positions in the Environmental Sciences Domain or through third-party funding acquired by the supervisor or the doctoral candidate her- or himself. Salaries of employed doctoral candidates correspond to the standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine. Vacancies for doctoral candidates are published on the News page of the Environmental Sciences Domain (https://www3.unifr.ch/env/de/info/news/).

    Supervisors
    PhD theses in Environmental Humanities are supervised by Prof. Ivo Wallimann-Helmer.

    Contact

    Environmental Sciences and Humanities Institute – UniFR-ESH
    Chemin du Musée 4
    1700 Fribourg
    Prof. Ivo Wallimann-Helmer
    environment@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-environmentalsciences (French)
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-environmentalsciences (German)

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae doctor in scientiis humanis oeculogiae / Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Humanities (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Geosciences

    The Department of Geosciences offers doctoral programmes in various fields of Geosciences.

    Research orientations
    Research in Geosciences at the University of Fribourg includes the dynamics and evolution of the cryosphere (ice sheet, glacier, permafrost, snow), the periglacial and geomorphologic environment of mountains, land-atmosphere interactions and climate change. Our approaches include both measuring and modelling techniques, including geophysical techniques, remote sensing, micrometeorological methods and numerical and statistical modelling. Applications are worldwide, but predominantly in remote, cold regions, including the Alps, Scandinavia, Andes, Central Asia, Himalayas, Antarctica, Svalbard and Greenland.

    Contents of doctoral programme
    The central part of the doctoral programme is a personal research project which the candidate conducts under supervision during a period of 3-4 years. The final product of the doctoral programme is the PhD thesis. The candidate's research can be part of ongoing research projects within the Department of Geosciences, but can also be a single-standing study relevant to the research expertise in one of the various research groups. In addition, candidates also participate in lecture series, professional development courses, publication projects, national and international conferences and may be involved in teaching activities.

    Acquired competences
    – developing in-depth knowledge in a field of Geosciences by mastering specific knowledge, methodological concepts and analytical methods;
    – completing high-quality personal scientific research as part of large-scale research projects;
    – making an innovative contribution to the chosen field and critically evaluating knowledge;
    – teamworking and communicating with the specialised scientific community and society at large.

    Positions for doctoral candidates
    Open positions for doctoral candidates are advertised on the website of the Department of Geosciences (https://www3.unifr.ch/geo/en/department/jobs/). Alternatively, interested candidates can also contact a supervisor of the Geosciences Department and state their interest or propose a research project.

    Funding and salary
    Doctoral research is either financed through assistant positions within the Department, or through third party funding acquired by the supervisor or the doctoral candidate him/herself. Salaries of employed doctoral candidates correspond to the standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine.

    Supervisors
    PhD theses are supervised by professors and senior researchers within the Department of Geosciences:

    • Prof. Reynald Delaloye

    – Mountain geomorphology
    – Periglacial geomorphology
    – Permafrost-related processes

    • Prof. Christian Hauck

    – Applied geophysics
    – Permafrost processes and modelling
    – Land-atmosphere interaction

    • Prof. Martin Hoelzle

    – Alpine cryosphere

    • Dr Matthias Huss

    – Glaciers and climate change
    – Mass and energy balance of glaciers

    • Dr Horst Machguth

    – Ice sheets, glaciers and climate
    – Ice sheet surface processes
    – Arctic glaciology

    • Dr Luc Braillard

    – Quaternary sediments and palaeoenvironments
    – Geoarchaeology

    • Dr Christin Hilbich

    – Applied geophysics
    – Long-term monitoring in high mountains
    – Mountain permafrost and climate change

    • Dr Andreas Linsbauer

    – Alpine glaciology
    – Climate change impacts and adaptation
    – Outreach and glacier changes

    For a complete and updated list of research activities check the link to the website of the Department of Geosciences (see Contact).

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Geosciences
    Chemin du Musée 4
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Dr Luc Braillard, study advisor
    geo-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/geosciences-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in geoscientia / Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Medical Sciences

    The Medicine Section offers doctoral programmes in various domains of the biomedical research. Students are affiliated to one of the research groups of our Section and in addition may attend an organised programme of lectures, seminars and other activities. See for example: BeNeFRi Programme Neuroscience.

    All details concerning the present research activities of each group, the available PhD positions and the contact addresses can be found in the websites of each group (see Contact) and in the Scientific Report of the Medicine Section, which is published every two years (actual: 2017/2018).

    Department of Neurosciences and Movement Science (NMS)

    • Prof. J.-M. Annoni, Dr L. Spierer
      Laboratory for cognitive and neurological sciences
    • Prof. J.-P. Bresciani
      Perception and control of movement
    • Prof. M. Schmid
      Optovision - perceptual brain circuits and plasticity
    • Prof. G. Rainer
      Visual cognition laboratory
    • Prof. W. Taube
      Motor control and motor learning
    • Prof. M. Prsa
      Sensorimotor Neuroscience

    Department of Endocrinology, Metabolic science and Cardiovascular System (EMC)

    • Profs. S. Cook and M. Togni, Dr M.-N. Giraud
      Translational and clinical cardiology
    • Prof. D. Hoogewijs
      Molecular oxygen sensing and physiology
    • Prof. A. Lauber-Biason
      Molecular endocrinology
    • Prof. Z. Yang
      Cardiovascular and aging research

    Department of Oncology, Microbiology and Immunology (OMI)

    • Prof. L. Filgueira
      Cell biology, immunology and clinical anatomy
    • Prof. P. Nordmann
      Molecular and medical microbiology: emerging antibiotic resistance unit
    • Prof. C. Rüegg
      Experimental and translational oncology
    • Prof. C. Szabo
      Hydrogen sulfide signaling in health and disease
    • Prof. J. Stein
      Cell biology of the adaptative immune system
    • Prof. M. Walch, Dr P.-Y. Mantel
      Immunology and infectious diseases

    Department of Medical-Surgical Specialties (MSS)

    • Profs. B. Egger and L. Bühler, Dr C. Gonelle-Gispert
      Surgical Research unit

    Department of Medicine and Public Health (MPH)

    • Prof. A. Chiolero, Dr S. Cullati, Dr C. Carmeli
      Population Health
    • Prof. G. Hasler
      Psychiatry Research

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Medicine Section
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/medicine-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in scientiis medicinae / Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Medical Humanities

    The PhD in Medical Humanities at the University of Fribourg is framed either by questions and methods in historiography (of medicine) or in literary studies or it connects both. Research questions target contemporary medicine and illuminate specific aspects from a historical point of view; precisely from the perspective of cultural and literary history, history of medicine and media history. The approach is rather hermeneutical than empirical: representative sources – such as texts, images, films, practices, spaces, techniques – will be analysed, contextualised, interpreted and embedded in a coherent line of argumentation. The final aim of the PhD is an independently written monograph that contributes to a better understanding of the current medical system and its core features – such as global or local public health, doctor-patient-relationship, clinical communication, scientific practices, scientific institutions and actors, cultural conceptions of health and illness and their change over time; finally the mutual interplay between medicine, art and media.

    The PhD thesis can be written in either English, German or French.

    The PhD is suitable for career plans in a worldwide expanding, vibrant academic field – Medical Humanities or Health Humanities – that blossoms mainly at American, British and French universities; also at some Scandinavian and Swiss institutions. Additionally, this PhD may promote careers in extra-academic fields which require a critical perspective on the medical system – such as medical, scientific and health journalism, work in museums, archives and other institutions of cultural heritage, health management or positions in public health. Given the transdisciplinary approach which connects historiographical methods with scientific subjects, we require a double academic training at bachelor level as precondition for the PhD.

    Responsible professors
    The PhD theses in Medical Humanities will be supervised by Prof. Martina King.

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Medicine Section
    Ch. du Musée 8
    1700 Fribourg
    Prof. Martina King
    martina.king@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-medicalhumanities

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae doctor in scientiis humanis et socialibus medicinae / Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Humanities (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Medicine

    Since 2019, the Medicine Section of the Faculty of Science and Medicine of the University of Fribourg offers a doctoral programme leading to the academic degree of Doctor of Medicine (Dr. med./MD).

    Research areas
    PhD students generally form part of a research group in the Medicine Section. The Medicine Section is made up of five departments at several locations (mainly the university's Pérolles site and Fribourg Hospital) with a broad range of different research activities. These are:

    • Endocrinology, Metabolic Science and Cardiovascular System
    • Neurosciences and Movement Science
    • Oncology, Microbiology and Immunology
    • Medicine and Public Health
    • Medical-Surgical Specialties

    The Institute for Family Medicine and the National Reference Centre for the Early Detection and Monitoring of Antibiotic Resistance (NARA) are also affiliated to the Medical Section.

    With the agreement of the Faculty, research work may be carried out at other universities, research centres or university hospitals, as well as at industrial companies, provided the appropriate research infrastructure, competent people available to supervise the research project and an academic environment (access to academic colloquia, seminars and conferences, other researchers in related fields, etc.) are available on site.

    Content of the doctoral programme and learning outcomes
    The doctoral programme focuses on high-quality, independent research work. This personal research project is carried out over a period of up to four years. Students' research projects must be embedded in a research programme of the supervising professor.

    The students acquire in-depth knowledge of medical science. In addition, they learn how to plan and conduct theoretical and practical work, apply methodological concepts and analytical methods and critically assess scientific results and communicate them by means of presentations and publications. More generally, scientific flexibility, teamwork and a sense of responsibility are encouraged. Students will take part in lecture series, vocational continuing education courses and the activities of the responsible research group.

    Research supervision
    Theses are usually supervised by professors from the Medicine Section. With the consent of the Faculty of Science and Medicine, external professors, appropriate members of the university's non-professorial teaching staff or senior doctors from Fribourg Hospital or external hospitals may supervise a thesis. In the latter cases, there must be supplementary supervision by a Faculty professor.

    List of research groups: See Contact

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Medicine Section
    Chemin du Musée 3
    1700 Fribourg
    Prof. Michael Walch
    doctorate-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/medicine-research

    Degree conferred

    Doctor in medicina / Doctor of Medicine

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

Interfaculty

  • Computer Science

    Fascinated by software, logic, computing infrastructures or artificial intelligence? Take your career to the next level with a PhD in Computer Science!

    Why study Computer Science?
    Computer Science is today at the heart of our society. Computational techniques are transforming all aspects of our daily lives, from Smart Cities infrastructures to transportations, banking, the media or the manufacturing industry. Demand for highly qualified computer scientists is high, both in Switzerland and around the world. With a PhD in Computer Science, you will be able to face the tsunami of data that we are confronted to and help both our society and companies evolve towards a more efficient digital society.

    Our PhD Programme in Computer Science
    The University of Fribourg is proud to offer a PhD programme in Computer Science that will make you ready to tackle key scientific problems both for academia and the industry. Computer Science has a transformative impact on many facets of our society. Research topics that can be explored as part of a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Fribourg are quite diverse, and include:

    • Applied Statistics and Modelling
    • Decision Support & Operations Research
    • Document, Image and Voice Analysis
    • Data Science & Big Data Infrastructures
    • Foundations of Dependable Systems
    • Information Systems
    • Software Engineering
    • Human Computer Interaction
    • Smart Cities and Cognitive Computing

    Apart from detailed knowledge in the field, PhD students will also learn to conduct independent research projects, to guide bachelor and master students, to interpret and present scientific data, and to put their work into a general context. We also actively promote exchanges and interactions with other universities and with companies by organising workshops and research visits. We give all our PhD students the opportunity to present their work at international conferences and to meet people working on similar questions from close and far.

    PhD students also have the opportunity to take graduate courses, by following free courses and workshops organised by the CUSO Doctoral Program in Computer Science in Western Switzerland. Funding for PhD projects is available in two main ways: 1) through project funds attributed to individual labs. Interested candidates are encouraged to select a laboratory in which they would like to carry out their PhD (see Contact for a current list) and contact the group leader directly to ask for a possible opening; 2) through funds acquired by the PhD candidate (including Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-swiss-gov-scholarships).
    Before applying for funds, candidates should contact the group leader they would like to work with.

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Informatics
    Prof. Ulrich Ultes-Nitsche
    inf-scimed@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/computerscience-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in informatica / Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Bioinformatics

    Fascinated by biological questions and intrigued by the opportunities Big Data and high computer power offers to tackle them? Jump right into it with a PhD Bioinformatics!

    Why study bioinformatics and computational biology?
    It took 13 years and 3 billion dollars to decipher the human genome. Today, sequencing a whole genome takes but a few hours on a machine that fits on a tabletop at a tiny fraction of the original costs. Similar technological revolutions are underway in biological imaging, mass spectrometry based proteomics and metabolomics or ecological remote sensing, just to name a few. Consequently, biological and medical sciences are now collecting enormous amounts of information. This tsunami of data generates new problems: it needs to be analysed properly to unearth and retrieve the exciting knowledge it contains. And, most importantly, it also has to be made available to the scientific community in a useful way.

    Scientists with skills in biology and in computer technology are challenged to extract the relevant information out of this phenomenal sea of data. Information technologies are essential for a proper understanding of the regulatory modalities of cells, organisms and even entire ecosystems. Developing algorithms and sound statistical tools to grasp the folding of macromolecules are the first steps on our way to model the mechanisms behind the pure DNA sequence. Ultimately, we want to understand how organisms that are as complex as a human being work.

    Our PhD Programme in Bioinformatics
    The University of Fribourg is proud to offer a PhD programme in Bioinformatics that will trim you fit to meet these huge scientific challenges and opportunities.

    Bioinformatics and computational biology have direct and highly sought applications in basic and applied research ranging from conservation biology and modeling molecular networks to epidemiology, biomedical engineering and drug design, artistic data visualisation and developing human-computer interaction. Consequently, topics of PhDs in Bioinformatics at the University of Fribourg are rather diverse and include:

    • Bacterial genomics (e.g. the identification of genes conferring drug resistance or constituting virulence factors)
    • Gene interaction networks (e.g. characterising the transcriptional feedback loops that define circadian oscillators)
    • Medical genetics (e.g. developing methods to increase the power of genome-wide association studies)
    • Population genetics (e.g. harnessing the power of time-series data to study adaptive processes)
    • Statistical genetics (e.g. developing a genotyping pipeline for ancient DNA)
    • Proteomics and metabolomics (e.g. quantifying changes in protein abundance with age)
    • Image analysis (e.g. automated species recognition for ecological surveys)
    • Conservation biology (e.g. inferring the demographic history of an endangered species to device appropriate conservation measures)

    Apart from detailed knowledge in the field, PhD students will also learn to conduct independent research projects, to interpret and present scientific data and to put their work into a general context. To an interdisciplinary research field such as bioinformatics and computational biology, the exchange and interaction with people from many different fields is of uttermost importance. We actively promote such exchanges and interactions by organising workshops and courses of various topics.

    PhD students will further take part in the Fribourg Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (FGLM) and the PhD Training Network of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Contacts established during the PhD thesis provide valuable networking opportunities that will widen your job prospects in academia as well as in the private sector. We thus also give all our PhD students the opportunity to present their work at international conferences and to meet people working on similar questions from close and far.

    PhD students in the Department of Biology are remunerated according to standards of the Faculty of Science. Funding for PhD projects is available in multiple ways: 1) through project funds attributed to individual labs. Interested candidates are encouraged to select a laboratory in which they would like to carry out their PhD (see Contact) and contact the group leader directly to ask for a possible opening; 2) through openings posted by the Fribourg Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (FGLM). The selection procedure is carried out twice a year (see link below for details); 3) through funding acquired by the PhD candidate. Before applying for funds, candidates should contact the group leader under which supervision they would like to carry out their PhD.

    Contact

    Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Department of Biology
    Chemin du Musée 10
    1700 Fribourg
    Switzerland
    Sabrina Lutz, secretary
    sabrina.lutz@unifr.ch
    Prof. Daniel Wegmann, study advisor
    daniel.wegmann@unifr.ch
    http://studies.unifr.ch/go/bioinformatics-research

    Degree conferred

    Scientiarum doctor in bioinformatica / Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe

  • Islam and Society

    The Swiss Centre for Islam and Society (SZIG) is a national centre of excellence for current social issues related to Islam in Switzerland. It pursues a multi-perspective approach, which includes Islamic self-reflection as to how the multiple bases of Islamic knowledge and tradition can be transformed and integrated into a Swiss context. On the one hand, it analyses the manifestations of Islam and the day-to-day realities of Muslim men and women in Europe by means of theoretical approaches. It further investigates a possible development in Islamic thinking and Islamic self-reflection in the context of Europe. In its research, the SZIG employs interdisciplinary and intersectional methods. The research question under study determines the methodological approach.

    As an inter-faculty institute, the SZIG is part of the faculties of Arts and Humanities, Theology and Law. Doctoral projects may be conducted in all three faculties provided the appropriate supervision is available.

    During supervision, doctoral students remain in close contact with their supervisors and submit regular progress reports in a variety of formats. Personal networking within the institute and the University of Fribourg and further afield with relevant researchers from Switzerland and abroad allows doctoral students to benefit from very varied fields of competence.

    Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

    • Prof. Amir Dziri (Faculty of Humanities)

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Islam in Switzerland and in Europe
    – Research on Mohammed
    – Islamic traditional theories and hermeneutics

    Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

    • Prof. Hansjörg Schmid (Faculty of Theology)

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Interreligious ethics and Christian-Muslim relations

    • Prof. René Pahud de Mortanges (Faculty of Law)

    Areas of specialisation:
    – Religious Law

    Contact

    Swiss Centre for Islam and Society
    Rue du Criblet 13
    CH-1700 Fribourg
    +41 26 300 90 44
    http://www.unifr.ch/szig

    Degree conferred

    Philosophiae Doctor in Religione Islamica et Societate / Doctor of Philosophy in Islam and Society (PhD)

    Application procedure

    Candidates with Swiss qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ui3b4

    Candidates with foreign qualifications
    https://studies.unifr.ch/go/2KPbe