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PhD Program 'Biomedical Ethics and Law' Medical Track

Application Process


Medical doctors, biomedical and other scholars with a strong interest in biomedical ethics are eligible to apply to the medical track. Applicants should have completed a Master’s degree (or equivalent), demonstrated academic excellence and be fluent in English as the PhD BmEL/medical track is an English language program. English proficiency requirement as per University of Zurich regulation

Next Application Deadline:

Deadline: May 1 and/or November 1

Application Fees:

There are no application fees.

Application Requirements:

You need to submit the following documents by email to
If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 10 days, please resend your application as requested below.

Send as PDF document ONLY each and name the documents as numbered below, i.e.:
"1. PhD BmEL Applications form_YourLastName.pdf", "2. Copies of academic degrees_YourLastName.pdf" etc.

1. PhD BmEL Application form: Please complete the form in English. All additional documents can be uploaded to this application form.

2. Copies of academic degrees: Please provide official transcripts of diplomas and grades from all academic institutions of higher education you have attended including secondary school degree. Certified translations of diplomas and grades into English if not originally in French, German, Italian or English. If you are sending your application by email, please scan all the above documents. Scanned documents should not exceed 2 MB in total (usually 150dpi resolution is sufficient).

3. Proof of English proficiency: The following tests are not required if the applicant provides: proof of completion of a previous degree program in an English language university; or proof of prolonged residence and exercise of a profession in an English speaking country. If you cannot provide such proof, please see requirement here:

4. Publications: Please provide us copies of maximum 3 of your publications.

5. Short Essay: Please provide a short essay of max. 2 pages describing a research idea that you would be interested in working on. Include also a section on the methodological approach that you would consider most suitable for addressing your research question.

6. Two letters of recommendation: We request letters of recommendation from two scientists who are familiar with your previous academic work and who can judge your potential as a Ph.D. student.
Note that we will be unable to process your application without two letters of recommendation.

7. Submission of proof of individual funding: the Admissions of the IBME will request you to submit a proof of your individual funding (e.g. scholarship, working contract, self-funded etc.). Admissions needs a written statement on how your individual funding (to cover your living expenses) is intended to be assured. (Information regarding living costs in Zurich can be found here).


Short listed applicants will be invited for an interview. The invited applicants will be interviewed by the admission committee. The interview will be held in English. The aim of the interview is to allow the committee to make a better assessment of the applicant’s motivation, commitment to the completion of his/her studies and research project as well as his/her expectations. If it is not possible for the applicant to travel to Zurich for the interview, an interview can be held by teleconference.

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