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PhD Network in Data Science

Students can do a doctorate in Data Science at ZHAW in cooperation with the University of Zurich or the University of Neuchâtel. Doctoral students receive guidance and supervision from distinguished professors from both universities equally.

At a Glance

Title: PhD Network in Data Science

Type of Program: Cooperative Doctoral Pogram

Program Language: English / German

The ZHAW School of Engineering is the leading house of the Swissuniversities-funded PhD Network in Data Science. Three of the departments of ZHAW (the Schools of Management and Law, Life Science and Facility Management, and Engineering), three faculties of the University of Zurich (the Faculties of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Economics, and Philosophy), the Faculty of Science of the University of Neuchâtel, and the Department of Innovative Technologies at SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana) cooperate in this network.

Doctoral students work on applied research projects at the university of applied sciences and receive guidance and supervision from distinguished professors from the partner university and the university of applied sciences equally.

They are enrolled in a regular PhD program at a partner university and must complete its admission process. After completing the program, they receive their doctorate from the respective partner university (University of Zurich or University of Neuchâtel). The PhD network is also open to students with a Master's degree from a university of applied sciences, provided they complete a convergence program (specific to each faculty) to qualify for admission to the partner university.

Thesis topics in the field of data science can come from a wide scope and explicitly include the data-intensive areas of “Industry 4.0,” such as predictive maintenance, data analytics and risk management, and cloud computing.

Who is the program for?

This doctoral program is aimed at interested applicants with a Master’s degree in business information technology, engineering, and natural sciences, who are engaged in data science in the broadest sense.

Depending on the requirements of the participating university faculties, convergence modules must be completed before or while writing the doctoral thesis. The decision on admission and any convergence modules lies with the respective universities.

What are the formal requirements for admission to the program?

The specific admission requirements of the University of Zurich or the University of Neuchâtel.

Additional requirements for employees of the SML requesting time and financial support:

  •     A Master's degree
  •     Several years of related practical experience
  •     As a rule, at least two years as an employee of SML

Are there any restrictions concerning places on the program?

The Institute of Business Information Technology at the ZHAW School of Management and Law currently offers an average of one place on the program a year.

What is the selection procedure?

  • Interested parties should contact the head of the institute.
  • A personal interview with the heads of the institute and the program will take place to confirm the applicant’s motivation and check whether he or she meets the admission requirements
  • The decision to admit an applicant lies with the head of the institute and the Dean of the SML.

Are there any special deadlines to be observed?

  • Basically, applicants can join the program at any time.
  • Enrolment in the PhD program of the Universities of Zurich or Neuchâtel must be in accordance with the time periods and deadlines published on their Intranet pages.

The ZHAW School of Management and Law offers its doctoral students financial and time support. Applications for support must be submitted by 30 June and 31 December, respectively. Details can be found on the SML Intranet page "Doktorandencockpit" (only with ZHAW login).