Excellence Program for PhD Students

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. 

The DSI Excellence Program must be completed within two years. Participants will receive the DSI Excellence Program Certificate upon successful completion of the program.

The course language is English.

Who is the program 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,…). Candidates who already have a PhD supervisor must discuss their planned participation in DSI activities and the corresponding time resources with the PhD supervisor before applying.

When does the program start?

The DSI Excellence Program starts each fall semester with an approximately three-day block course. 

More information

For more information, contact Nina Cornelius-Malecha at