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The PhD program in Care & Rehabilitation Sciences
The PhD program in Care and Rehabilitation Sciences is run in cooperation with the ZHAW School of Health Professions. It opens a university postgraduate qualification opportunity (Dr. sc. med. / PhD) in research for the health professions regulated in the Swiss Healthcare Occupations Act (GesBG): www.gesbg.admin.ch
It promotes high-quality research and offers structured postgraduate training in the fundamentals and methods of research.
The focus of the PhD program in Care and Rehabilitation Sciences lies on research with people with or without health issues in the areas of prevention, clinical (outpatient or inpatient) treatment and rehabilitation, and on applied studies grounded on basic research for the developement and improvement of interventions and treatments.
The Faculty of Medicine of the UZH offers further PhD programs with which the PhD program in Care and Rehabilitation Sciences cooperates.
The PhD program in Care and Rehabilitation Sciences is open to applicants from Switzerland and abroad who are highly qualified academically and display a strong interest in research in the areas mentioned above.
To be admitted to the program, applicants must
- hold a Master's degree from a university or an equivalent academic degree from a university of applied sciences in a health profession regulated in the Swiss Healthcare Occupations Act (GesBG); the equivalence of degrees is decided conclusively by the doctoral program commission on a case-by-case basis. Admission of applicants from other academic health science disciplines in health care (i.e. disciplines which can be studied at universities or universities of applied sciences); including nursing (MSc in Nursing), is decided on an individual basis by the doctoral program commission; admitted applicants holding a 90 ECTS credit Master's degree must acquire an additional 30 ECTS credits; ECTS credits acquired previously at at Swiss or foreign university can be recognized upon review by the doctoral program commission, provided they have not already counted towards a degree.
- have proof of their academic qualification (for example, in the form of academic transcripts, awards, scholarships or publications),
- show motiviation and commitment regarding their research interests, and
- have good knowledge of English.
Doctoral program commission
The overall responsibility for the PhD program in Care & Rehabilitation Sciences lies with the doctoral program commission. It includes four faculty members from the UZH Faculty of Medicine and four professors from the ZHAW School of Health Professions. The doctoral program commission is headed by a faculty member from the UZH Faculty of Medicine. The doctoral program commission reviews all applications received within the deadline which have successfully passed the preselection at the ZHAW (application deadlines are April 30 and September 30). Applicants who have passed the preselection phase will be invited to a personal application interview.
The doctoral program commission includes the following members:
UZH Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Witt, Vice Dean for Interprofessionality, UZH Faculty of Medicine, head of the commission (Website)
Prof. Dr. med. Dirk Bassler, UZH Faculty of Medicine ( Website)
Prof. Dr. med. Armin Curt, UZH Faculty of Medicine (Website)
Prof. Dr. med. Oliver Distler, UZH Faculty of Medicine (Website)
ZHAW School of Health Professions
Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Gerber-Grote, Dean ZHAW School of Health Professions (Website)
Prof. Dr. Hannu Luomajoki, ZHAW School of Health Professions (Website)
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Melloh, ZHAW School of Health Professions (Website)
Prof. Dr. Karin Niedermann Schneider, ZHAW School of Health Professions (Website)
The ZHAW School of Health Professions makes a preselection of applicants using the admission criteria and quality standards which have been laid down by the doctoral program commission.
All applicants go through the same application procedure, whether they have a Master's degree with 120 or 90 ECTS credits. To apply, please use the application form.
The application must include the following documents:
- curriculum vitae,
- academic transcripts,
- Letter of motivation describing the applicant's interests within the filed of research as well as proposed research questions which the applicant would like to address, as well as the applicant's reasons for applying and future career plans,
- project outline of no more than two pages describing the planned PhD project including the following sections: background, research questions, methods, relevance of the expected results for research or care practice,
- two letters of recommendation describing the applicant's qualification and potential,
- if possible: a suggestion of a potential supervisor from the Faculty of Medicine for the University of Zurich,
- if possble: a suggestion of a potential supervisor from the cooperating university of applied sciences, and
- proof of a funding plan for the applicant covering a period of at least 3 years, the funding must be confirmed in writing by the funding provider.
PhD preparation phase
Applicants with a 90 ECTS credit Master's degree can apply for the program as described above. Applicants who have successfully passed the selection procedure and the interview are admitted to the program. Those who must acquire an additional 30 ECTS credits first enter the PhD preparation phase. In this phase, students have 4 semesters to acquire the 30 ECTS credits. Students in the PhD preparation phase cannot yet start with the PhD program or take courses in the PhD program curriculum.
ECTS credits required
PhD students with a 90 ECTS credit Master's degree must acquire an additional 30 ECTS credits at a Swiss university or federal institute of technology (e.g. ETH). It is also possible to acquire all or some of the 30 ECTS credits at an university abroad.
The following are not counted towards these 30 ECTS credits: CAS, DAS, MAS, summer schools, language courses etc.
Ordinance on doctoral studies
The PhD program in Care and Rehabilitation Sciences is regulated in the Ordinance on doctoral studies, Care & Rehabilitation Sciences. It formalizes the promotion regulation for the title Dr. sc. med. (equivalent to a PhD) from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich.
Frequently asked questions
University of Zurich
Faculty of Medicine
Division of Research, Teaching and Faculty Affairs
Phone: +41 44 634 41 80