Student FAQ

I’m a prospective student, what will be expected of me?

If you’re a student at the UZH or ETH looking for a semester or thesis project, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We have a wide range of potential projects in software, mechanical and electrical engineering, behavioral neuroscience, neural computation and movement science.

All Students

  • There are three compulsory institute events per week for all students: lab meeting (Wednesday 16:00), journal club (Wednesday 13:00) and colloquium (Friday 16:00, during semester only).

PhD Students

  • The salary paid to all PhD students in the Institute is the standard SNF rate, i.e. approx. CHF 44000 in the first year, rising to CHF 48000 in the third year. This is the standard 50% position for UZH institutes; some other labs in the ETH may pay more.
  • All PhD students are required to register with the Zurich Neuroscience Center (ZNZ) and do a certain number of compulsory and elective courses.
  • Every prospective student must register with a department, which may specify courses that must be passed during the first year before the PhD candidacy is confirmed.
  • During the first year an official thesis supervisor (“Doktorvater”) must be found, who may not necessarily be the direct supervisor. The department also requires a thesis proposal.
  • Non-Swiss students require a student work permit, which we can arrange. Processing time can be 2 months.
  • Depending on the department in which you are registered, you may be required to assist with teaching one course per year, or to perform a small equivalent duty to contribute to the life of the institute. Some departments pay for this teaching assistance.

Master’s or Semester Thesis Students

  • Check with your department for the rules regarding your thesis. Typical parameters include start date announcements, time limits, expected hours of work, etc.
  • If you are not from UZH/ETH but want to work on a mutually interesting topic we can probably supervise you, just ask.
  • Non-Swiss residents will need a work permit. This can take >2 months to prepare, so start early. We cannot pay Master’s students, so you will have to prove to the authorities that you can support yourself during your time in Switzerland.
  • We cannot pay salaries or living expenses to Master’s or semester thesis students.

I’m a student moving to Zurich, where can I find an apartment?