The Digital Society Initiative (DSI) offers an Excellence Program for new and prospective doctoral students at the University of Zurich (UZH) who are interested in digital transformation. As a complementary curriculum to a doctoral program, general doctorate or doctoral subject, it prepares students from all disciplines for an environment in which interdisciplinary collaboration on digitalization topics is a top priority.
What is the goal of the Excellence Program?
Doctoral students are the next generation of scientists. It is therefore crucial for their future prospects that their skills are always up to date with the latest developments. What is new is that the combination of digitalization, rapidly growing data volumes and the strategies of Open Science, Open Data and Open Access are creating completely new opportunities in research. Only when doctoral students from all disciplines have new knowledge, skills, and abilities will they become part of a world in which interdisciplinary collaboration, critical evaluation and interpretation of large amounts of digital information, and creative solutions to important epistemological questions are at the core of scientific work.
The Excellence Program has one central goal: to be able to think about digitalization at an academic level across disciplinary boundaries. This requires critical reflection on digitalization, the ability to change perspectives, interdisciplinary flexibility, problem-oriented conceptual work, and research communication and publication that is appropriate for the target audience. Precisely these competencies are acquired in a collegial and creative atmosphere with the DSI Network, expanded in an exclusive peer network and made visible nationally and internationally at a central institution such as the DSI. Graduates of the Excellence Program possess competencies in the context of digitalization on the levels of knowledge, skills and abilities.