PhD Support

The Research Office offers a series of services designed to support PhD students in their research-related activities, such as identifying grants, doctoral schools, and publication opportunities for students and postdoctoral researchers. This page also gives advice on how to write a successful grant proposal and communicate your findings, a list of academic awards and other resources and tools. In addition, access to upcoming PhD defences, recent PhD theses and related news is provided.

Grants for PhD Students

Career-funding instruments

Career-funding instruments are designed to support individual researchers at different levels of their professional trajectory. The document below lists the major mobility and project grants that will allow PhD students to strengthen their research curriculum, develop their publication portfolio and build networks.


Career funding instruments for PhD students

Funding opportunities abroad

SwissUniversities has an extensive list of funding programmes for students who are interested in conducting research or studying abroad.

Doctoral Schools

Doctoral schools are a great way to participate in national research networks, to exchange views and test your findings with fellow PhD students and researchers from Swiss universities working in your field. Taking part in a doctoral school will allow you to deepen your expertise in your field of specialisation and to strengthen your career skills (presenting, publishing, identifying career paths, etc.).


The Conference of Western Switzerland’s Universities (CUSO) organises a series of doctoral programmes across a broad range of disciplines and campuses (Lausanne, Geneva, Neuchâtel and Fribourg). Participants in the programmes remain enrolled in their universities and continue to receive their supervision and degrees from their home institution.

The Graduate Institute is an associated member of CUSO and its students are entitled to participate in its doctoral programmes. CUSO offers both career skills courses (e.g. on scientific writing) and specialised programmes (e.g. in contemporary history, law, political science, anthropology, sociology and gender). The language of the course may be French or English. For more information, please refer to this page (in French), and to the presentation (in English) and flyer below.




Publication Opportunities for Postdoctoral Researchers

External Publishing Grants.

  • SNSF book publication grants – The SNSF awards grants to cover the costs of digital book publications of research results, whether they result from an SNSF-funded project or not.

Getting Your Thesis Published

Once you will have completed your PhD, you will perhaps want to adapt it for publication. Visit our Academic Publications page under “From Dissertation to ​Book”, which provides general guidelines and resources about the quite lengthy process of turning your dissertation into a book.

More Useful Information

For further advice on publishing an article, selecting the right publisher, writing a book proposal, open access resources and repositories, please refer to our Academic Publications page.

Publication Opportunities for Graduate Students and PhD Candidates 

These  journals specifically dedicated to publishing the research results of graduate students and PhD candidates:

  • JPIA (Journal of Public and International Affairs) – Premier student-run journal of policy studies, JPIA is an annual publication of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) and the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. It publishes both scholarly and expository articles on a diverse range of subjects, covering the areas of international affairs, development studies and domestic policy. Submissions are reviewed in a blind-screening process by an editorial board composed of students and by contributing editors from the APSIA schools.
  • RITA (Revue interdisciplinaire de travaux sur les Amériques) – Née au sein de l’association des étudiant·es de l’Institut des hautes études de l’Amérique latine (IHEAL), cette revue scientifique interdisciplinaire porte sur l’ensemble du continent américain et a pour vocation d’accompagner et promouvoir les travaux des jeunes chercheurs et chercheuses en sciences humaines et sociales devant souvent affronter l’angoisse des premières publications. Les articles peuvent être rédigés en français, anglais, espagnol et portugais.

Research Awards

Research awards are a great opportunity to get your research recognised and boost your academic career. Below are awards attributed to outstanding doctoral research by the Institute as well as by external foundations and institutions.

  • Graduate Institute’s awards and prizes.
  • Prizes of the International Latsis Foundation – The four University Latsis Prizes, each worth CHF 25,000, and the Swiss Science Prize of CHF 100,000 are awarded annually. Their purpose is to encourage and recognise outstanding work by young researchers under the age of 40 working within the Swiss higher education system. The University Latsis Prizes are awarded by the Universities of Geneva and St. Gallen and by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The laureates are selected by the research commissions of each institution. Applications must be submitted directly to these bodies.
  • Prix de la relève/ASSH – This CHF 18,000 award (divided into three sub-awards of CHF 10,000, 5,000 and 3,000) of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS) is granted annually by the General Assembly of the SAHS to three young researchers in the humanities or the social sciences who have published an outstanding article.
  • SNIS Award – This CHF 10,000 award of the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) aims to encourage outstanding young research scientists at the beginning of their careers. It prizes the best PhD thesis received in a Swiss university on a subject related to International Studies.
  • SNIS International Geneva Award – This award is attributed to the three best papers published on a subject related to International Studies. The three awarded publications are prized up to CHF 5,000 each.

Communicate about Your PhD

The competition Ma thèse en 180 secondes encourages PhD students from all disciplines to present their research projects as clearly as possible… in three minutes. Initiated by the University of Queensland (see Three Minute Thesis), it aims to cultivate PhD students’ communication skills so that they can explain their research both to an international audience of experts and fellow doctoral students as well as to the wider audience.

Since 2016 Swiss Universities have joined the contest, organising local competitions. Finalists participate in the national contest set up by the Conference of Eastern Switzerland’s Universities (CUSO) and the laureate of this competition goes to the international final. Students from the Graduate Institute are encouraged to participate and can count on the support of the Research Office and Communication Services.

Resources and Tools for PhD Students

The following resources, ranging from free software to search engines and blogs offering personalised advice, should help PhD students with their research work. Many are little-known gems that are well worth exploring.

General Resources

  • APSIA – Visit the Fellowships and Scholaships database of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).
  • The Academic Adviser – A blog of the Direction of Studies of the Graduate Institute, with useful news on research calls, funding and job opportunities, etc., available on Pocket IHEID, a smartphone application downloadable from Apple Store and Google Play Store. 
  • Best PhD Blogs and Websites
  • Top 50 Blogs Every Graduate Student Should Read – This page from the blog of PhD Programmes Online is intended “for your sanity, for tools to help you study and stay tech-savvy, and for financial reasons”.
  • Web-Based Reference Tools – This page of the Social Psychology Network allows you to search social science databases, translate foreign language terms or even convert physical measurement units.
  • PhD on Track – A web resource aiming to enable PhD candidates and early career researchers to easily access information on searching and reviewing scholarly literature, on academic writing, and on sharing and publishing reports and data.

Free Software

  • Find and use open research software – The University of Queensland's Library provides a table listing examples of notable software tools that can be used in a variety of research fields.

Search Engines and More

PhD Life

Here are additional resources and tips to achieve your thesis’ objectives. Some of them are dedicated to illustrating the joys and hardships of being a PhD student. They may help you, with a touch of humour, find inspiration and solace when struggling with your thesis.

  • Carnets de thèse – a comic book by Tiphaine Rivière (Seuil, 2015). Borrowable up to seven days at the Graduate Institute’s Library; call number: 378(44) HEIBD 64.
  • EnthèSe and Réussir sa thèse – two resources (a PhD student association and a blog) in French with advice on how to successfully complete your PhD.
  • How to Write a PhD in A Hundred Steps (or More) – useful advice on how to conceive and organise your PhD, workplan, research questions, ethics issues, etc.
  • Managing Your Mental Health During Your PhD: A Survival Guide – This book by Zoë J. Ayres (Springer, 2022) explores the PhD experience as never before and provides a "survival guide" for current and prospective PhD students. It is available at the Graduate Institute’s Library (link in Swisscovery).
  • PhD Comics (“PhD” for “Piled Higher and Deeper”) – classic and unequalled cartoons.
  • PhD Life – a blog from the University of Warwick about the trials, tribulations and triumph of pursuing a doctorate. There are also many helpful posts on how to be better skilled at, for instance, using Facebook as a research tool, managing an academic blog or publishing in journals.
  • The Thesis Whisperer – a  blog newspaper dedicated to helping research students everywhere and edited by Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of Research Training at the Australian National University.

Upcoming PhD Thesis Defences


Latest PhD theses

Support and Contact


The Research Office offers a one-stop information desk supporting researchers at the Graduate Institute. Our mission is to support doctoral researchers by:

  • providing information on external funding available to doctoral researchers and doctoral schools;
  • supporting doctoral researchers formulating funding proposals by offering input on formal requirements and budgets;
  • offering advice on publishing opportunities for PhD students.


Last updated on 2 July 2024.