Excellence Program for PhD Students

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What is the DSI Excellence Program for PhD Students?

Digitalization is fundamentally changing science and society. The Digital Society Initiative (DSI) at the University of Zurich (UZH) offers an Excellence Program for new and beginning PhD students interested in the digital transformation. As a complementary curriculum to a doctoral program, general doctorate or doctoral subject, it prepares students of all disciplines for a world in which interdisciplinary collaboration is a top priority for tackling digitalization topics. In a cross-disciplinary environment, PhD students build up and expand interdisciplinary thinking and skills as well as digital competences at the highest level in the disciplines affected by digitalization. The program promotes interdisciplinary networking across all UZH faculties. It features courses about digital skills and technical knowledge, interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving, and critical reflection on all aspects of a digital society, including ethical, legal, and societal aspects of digital change. Participants will receive a DSI Excellence Program certificate upon successful completion of the program. If you would like to know more about the idea of the program, please go to Background.

Who is the programme intended for?

All prospective or recently enrolled PhD students at UZH interested in the digital transformation process in society and with the expectation that digitalization will have a significant impact on their PhD research are invited to apply. Applicants can come from all disciplines (social siences and humanities, medical sciences, natural sciences, economics, law, computer science,…).

When does the program start and what does it look like?

The DSI Excellence Program kicks-off in every Fall Semester with a one-week block course just before the official semester start. The program can be completed within two years. The language is English. For more information, please go to Program Details.

How to apply?

More detailed information on how to apply for the next start of the program in the Fall Semester 2021 will be published around August/September 2020. The application deadline is planned to be around the end of 2020.

Program coordinator

For more information, contact the program coordinator Dr. Dustin Wüest at