FAQ

Departement: Doctoral Program
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

PROGRAM

– Could you give me some additional information about the doctoral program?

The Doctoral Program in History and Theory of Architecture at the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich runs since October 2012. Two scholarships are awarded each year.
The program’s focus is on the students’ independent thesis research. There are no preset research lines to be followed. The written doctoral thesis should be handed in at the end of the residency. The degree earned is: Dr. sc. ETH Zürich.
All members of the doctoral program committee (i.e. all professors at gta Institute) will co-supervise the students’ individual research in graduate colloquia, methods seminars and similar formats. One principal supervisor will be assigned before the end of the first year (see section Application Precedure).

ELIGIBILITY

– I’ve graduated from university XYZ. Does my degree allow me to apply for a doctoral position at ETH?

As a prerequisite to start a doctorate, ETH Zurich demands a diploma or Master’s degree of a minimum of 270 ECTS (https://www.ethz.ch/en/doctorate/registration-admission.html - "Admission"; contact: Mr. Picariello Alfredo, alfredo.picariello@akd.ethz.ch.)

– I’ve already obtained a doctorate from university XYZ. Am I still eligible to apply for a doctoral position at ETH?

The programme is aimed at those wishing to obtain a doctorate and therefore does not support people who have already obtained a PhD elsewhere. We would recommend you consider research positions at postdoctoral level.

FEES

– What are the fees for the doctoral course?

The programme is offered through a limited number of competitive fellowships, for which the tuition fees will have been waived.
For other financial considerations, please consult the ETH webpage: https://ethz.ch/en/doctorate/financial.html.

LANGUAGE

– In which language is supervision available and in which language are courses taught?

Courses at ETH are taught in English or German, and doctoral seminars are usually held in English. Supervision for doctoral students is generally available in English and/or German (and possibly other languages such as French or Italian, depending on the professors involved).

– Do I need to present a language certificate?

No, a language certificate is not required. However, we expect successful candidates to be able to follow – and participate in – discussions held in English and we strongly suggest to learn German during your stay at ETH. You should have an excellent competence in the language that you choose for writing your thesis.

– Should I apply in English or German?

Applications in both languages will be accepted.

EMPLOYMENT

– What are the terms of employment?

The positions are available for a duration of 3 years. There will be an assessment at the end of the first year. 100% is the standard employment of doctoral students at ETH. The salary should be high enough to fully support you for the time of the employment. Individual adjustments will take into account professional experience, children, etc.

– Is there a teaching assignment linked to the employment?

Generally, doctoral students should devote their full working time to their doctoral research. However, if desired, they may assist in teaching one or two courses during their appointment.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURE

– What is the exact deadline for applications?

The call opens in mid-November 2020, with the deadline in mid-February 2021. The exact date and procedures will be announced as part of the open call.

– May I arrange a meeting with one of the professors at gta Institute prior to the submission deadline?

Please understand that, for reasons of equal chances among all the candidates, we cannot discuss individual projects or conduct personal interviews before our application deadline.

– Do I have to name a supervisor/tutor in my application?

No. Even though every doctoral candidate will be assigned to one principal thesis supervisor at the end of the first year, you don’t need to choose your supervisor prior to applying. All professors of the gta will be involved in the selection process and will participate in doctoral colloquia and offer supervision.
Information about the professors and current research projects at gta is available on our respective websites: http://www.gta.arch.ethz.ch/chairs-and-departments/overview

– How do I apply?

A link will be provided when the call opens in mid-November 2020. The procedures and documentation will be announced as part of the open call.

– Do I have to pay a fee for applying?

There is no application fee.

- May I arrange a meeting with one of the professors at gta Institute prior to the submission deadline?

Please understand that, for reasons of equal chances among all the candidates, we cannot discuss individual projects or conduct personal interviews before our application deadline.

- I am confused. The department website lists finding a supervisor as a prerequisite for application (https://arch.ethz.ch/en/doktorat.html). Which is right?

There are two different paths into the PhD: one general at the level of the entire Architecture Department, the other specific to the gta Institute Fellowship programme advertised here. The gta Fellowship is by application only, it has a separate budget and rules of entry. Therefore, the rule stated in the previous question (i.e., no contact with potential supervisors) is valid for this call.

- May I take a doctoral position of less that 100% and thus prolong the gta fellowship accordingly? May I work part-time?

The gta doctoral fellowships are only given as 100% positions.

- Can I start a gta doctoral fellowship and reside elsewhere, with occasional travels to ETH?

As ETH employees on 100% positions, doctoral students are required to reside in Switzerland. Exceptions may be made, upon agreement, for residents in the adjoining countries (France, Italy, Germany or Lichtenstein). Nevertheless, doctoral mobility is encouraged. From the second year onwards, periods of more prolonged absence for academic transfers, archival or fieldwork travel are fully expected and may be agreed with supervisors.