PhD Program in Science & Policy


The PSC PhD Program in Science & Policy is designed for researchers in life, earth, agricultural and engineering sciences wishing to acquire additional tools at the interfaces of research, policy, and diverse stakeholders.

Students in the program will obtain their PhD from the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich or the University of Basel; they will receive additional certification and a diploma supplement from the PSC for completion of the PhD program in Science & Policy requirements. The PhD program is fully accredited within the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.


Registration (to the PhD Program in Science & Policy)

Procedures and Important Documents

Curriculum for Science & Policy

Course Catalogue ► specific for Science & Policy

Terms and Conditions (regarding PSC PhD course participation)

Why a PhD in Science and Policy?

The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) has created a PhD program that combines life, earth, agricultural and/or engineering sciences with policy studies. It is based on a current societal demand for young scientists, able to effectively translate scientific results into the public discourse. It correlates with the PSC's view that scientific progress requires not only specialization –  in the context of a research discipline – but also the ability to interact and collaborate with society. The next generation of scientists must be able to act as experts and advocates in their fields.

The PSC PhD in Science & Policy

This 3-year PhD program, introduces students in block courses and workshops to theory, tools and skills for advancing policy and then applying these in various case studies. Each course is organized as a series of lectures, literature studies, and group work. Real-life case studies and exchange with external experts, policy-makers and politicians provide hands-on experience. Opportunities and expectations for networking are central to the training program. Students are further encouraged to attend at least one national or international conference addressing policy topics in life, earth, agricultural and engineering sciences.

This initiative has received support from the SNSF ProDoc (grant no. PDAMP3-127227/1) from 2009–2012 and from the SUK Doktoratsprogramme between 2013–2020, as well as from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich through the Life Science Zurich Graduate School. Further support comes from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. PITN-GA-2013-608422 – IDP BRIDGES (2013–2017), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 847585 - RESPONSE (2020-2025) and the Mercator Foundation Switzerland.

Program Contact