Frequently Asked Questions


You will find here some of the most frequently asked questions about the application process. Many more of them can be found within the FAQ section of the LSZGS website.

What are the application deadlines?

You can apply twice per year for the MTB. The application deadlines are:

Track I: 1st July and 1st December

Track II: 15th July and 15th December

How can I apply for the MTB PhD program?

You can apply for the MTB PhD program via the LSZGS online application. There are different application forms for track I and track II, so please check that you chose the right form. After the application deadlines, all complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by the admission committee of the MTB.

I already have a PhD position - how can I apply for the MTB?

If you already have a supervisor and a PhD position, you can apply for the MTB PhD program via track II. The application deadlines for track II are July, 15th and December, 15th every year.

You will have to apply via the track II application form on the LSZGS website. Our admission committee will then review your dossier and eventually invite you for an interview.

I don't have my master degree yet - can I already apply for the MTB?

Yes, you can apply for the MTB PhD program even if you have not yet completely finished your master. Your admission to the MTB will be valid for six months. Please make sure to upload your transcript of records in case yo don't have your master degree yet.

When I try to download my application dossier, it shows an error notice. What should I do?

This is an error which is due to special characters somewhere in your application. Please inform the MTB coordinator about the error.

What happens after I have been accepted to the MTB?

Your supervisor's group will deal with your employment contract and the necessary HR and visa formalities now.

You will additionally have to register for student status with a given faculty of the University of Zurich or a given department at ETH Zurich, depending on the affiliation of your future research group. Permits for foreign PhD students are linked to the registration at a Swiss University, students should therefore start the registration process early on.

Once you have our official UZH / ETH email address, you should send it to the MTB coordinator. She can then create your DissGo profile.

-- DISSGO --

What is DissGo?

DissGo is our PhD database platform which keeps track of your PhD process. You should enter your personal information as well as all information about your PhD project once you have got the login information for DissGo.

It is important to keep your DissGo profile up to date and to upload your milestones once you have achieved them. The MTB coordinator will keep track of your milestones, will accept the achievement of milestones and will remind you when they are overdue. Your supervisor also has a profile on DissGo and will be informed when your milestones are due.

How do I get access to DissGo?

Once you have your official UZH / ETH email address, you should send it to your MTB coordinator. She will then create your DissGo profile and you will get an email with the login information. After you have entered your personal information into your DissGo profile, please "start your PhD process" and check whether the entered dates and deadlines are correct.

What are the "milestones" within DissGo?

Milestones are the different steps of your PhD process which you have to enter into DissGo. The first milestone will be your research proposal including the "working title page" which you have to upload after six months of your PhD. The next will be your first committee meeting which is due one year after your PhD start. The next committee meetings need to take place at east one year after the last one. Additionally, you will have to enter the courses you have attended and upload the course certificates. You will see within your DissGo profile when a milestone is overdue.

Please be aware that you still have to send your milestones to the UZH / ETH registration office as they don't have access to DissGo.


Which courses are obligatory at the MTB?

As written in the regulations of the MTB, there is one compulsory course which you have to attend and four different elective compulsory courses from which you have to choose at least one. Please take a look on the course webpage of the MTB to find out more about the MTB curriculum.

Where do I find courses I can attend?

You will find the courses organized by the MTB on the MTB course webpage. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of courses offered by i.e. the LSZG and the GRC.


What is the MTB retreat?

The MTB organized in cooperation with the Competence Center Personalized Medicine (CC-PM) a yearly two-days Retreat which takes place at the Kartause Ittingen (Kanton Thurgau). National and international keynote speakers will give a lecture on they research field and some internal speakers will present their projects within a talk. All PhD students present their PhD project within either a poster or within a short talk.

An informal get together on the first evening will allow the participants to get to know each other, to discuss about their projects and to initiate new projects and cooperations. The retreat is a unique opportunity to get in touch with the MTB PI's, the CC-PM members and international researchers as well as with other MTB students.

How often do I have to attend the retreat?

MTB students have to attend at least two retreats where they present their PhD project within a talk or a poster. But of course, we highly recommend to join more than two retreats and take the chance to meet with other MTB students and PI's.

How do I have to present my project during the retreat?

All PhD students who attend the retreat have to present their PhD project either within a poster or within a short talk.

Already before the retreat, you will have to send a short abstract about your project to the MTB coordinator. The admission committee then selects some of the PhD students to give a short talk (10 minutes) during the retreat. All others will have to prepare a poster and will present their project within different poster sessions.

All posters and talks will be evaluated by a small committee consisting of several PI's of the program. The best poster and the best talk will be awarded with a price.


How do I get my final MTB certificate once I have graduated?

Once you had your PhD defense, you can send an email to the MTB coordinator. Please attach an attestation or certificate that you passed your defense and all of your course certificates (if you do not have them all uploaded on DissGo).

It will then take some time to prepare the final MTB certificate before you can pick it up at the MTB office.

How can I stay in contact with the MTB after my graduation?

You can keep in contact with the MTB over the LinkedIn and Xing groups of the MTB. Additionally, it would be great if you keep us informed about what you are doing after your PhD and maybe someday come back to tell the younger PhD students about your career path.


Does the MTB provide any travel grants for its students?

Unfortunately, the MTB does currently not offer any travel grants for its students.

How can I get in contact with other MTB students?

The best opportunity to meet other MTB students are of course the MTB courses and events and especially the retreat. But the MTB also offers different other platforms to get in contact:

The MTB has a google+ group where you can exchange information, ask questions and share knowledge with each other. This is a great opportunity to get / keep in contact, so please use it! If you want to get access to the group, please inform the MTB coordinator.

Another way to get in contact with other MTB students is DissGo, especially if you are searching for help on a specific topic.

Additionally, the MTB has a LinkedIn group where you can stay in contact even after your graduation.