Call for applications for LIVES Doctoral programme



Join the new cohort of LIVES PhD candidates!

The Swiss Centre of Expertise on Life Course Research LIVES is calling for applications for his three-year Doctoral Programme (autumn 2021 - summer 2024). This call is intended for doctoral students in social sciences and psychology who include life course issues in beginning their thesis. The programme is open to PhD students worldwide. The cost of the entire programme is 6000 Swiss francs (5600 euros) and is fully supported by the Centre LIVES. This programme integrates round 240 hours of training spread across three years. You can either take part in the workshops in person (in Switzerland, taking place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm GMT+1) or online.

The applications are open until May 31, 2021 through the form below. 

The aim of the LIVES Doctoral Programme is to train PhD students, by providing solid theoretical and methodological grounding in life course analysis. It aims to promote high quality doctoral research in this emerging interdisciplinary domain.

The LIVES doctoral programme is spread over three years, during which workshops, presentations and research seminars will take place as follow:

  • Theories and concepts in life course analysis – 4 workshops
  • Methodologies in life course analysis – 4 workshops
  • LIVES Doctoriales – all PhD candidates are invited to present their work in front of LIVES members and external experts during an annual two-day event
  • Research seminars, to promote exchange between the participants – 4 seminars in Year 3

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

  • The PhD thesis should adopt a life course approach, with a disciplinary background notably in sociology, demography, social psychology, developmental psychology, epidemiology, history or gender studies
  • The PhD candidate must already be affiliated to an academic institution
  • The PhD thesis must be funded for the length of the PhD programme by an academic institution or by a third-party funding
  • The PhD candidate must be able to speak and write fluently in English (at least level B2)

The candidate is invited to provide the following documents, along with the application form:

  • a cover letter stressing their motivation for this PhD training programme
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a title and abstract of the PhD project
  • a letter of support from the PhD supervisor(s)
  • an official document certifying the affiliation to an academic institution and a proof of PhD funding by the host academic institution

The applications are open until May 31, 2021.

Admissions will be confirmed no later than July 31, 2021.

The new cohort of the LIVES Doctoral Programme will begin in September 2021.

For additional information, see the specific page about LIVES Doctoral Programme on our website or contact the Programme Officer:

PhD students give feedbacks on the current LIVES Doctoral Programme

Strongest points highlighted:

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Schedule of the workshops
  • Follow-up
  • Support

“Participating in the programme allows us to adopt a life course perspective from the beginning of the thesis, in integrating its concepts and methodologies into our own research.”

“I really appreciate to have scheduled opportunities for learning. Being exposed to topics and approaches which are not the ones on which I am currently working is enriching.”

“It is very useful to present our work during LIVES Doctoriales and have an in-depth feedback from an expert who has an external view on our work.”

“The best of this doctoral Programme is that we are part of a cohort, so we have close contact with other students, and share our worries, talk about our work and support each other.”

The Doctoral programme:

  • Offers high-quality (methodological and theoretical) workshops related to life course / lifespan.
  • Supports events (invited speakers) or meetings organized by PhD students.

The PhD student agrees to:

  • Attend and validate all the workshops of the LIVES Doctoral programme.
  • Attend the LIVES Doctoriales and present her/his work.
  • Develop a strong focus on life course issues in the PhD.

The PhD supervisor agrees to:

  • Attend the annual LIVES Doctoriales and participate at least once as an expert during the LIVES doctoral programme period
  • Identify, with the PhD student, a schedule of meetings to ensure the progress of the PhD.
  • Support the PhD student in the development of a life course perspective in the PhD.

An agreement will be signed by these three parties and followed-up during the three years.