The doctorate is situated at the intersection between teaching and research. The core of the doctorate is to gain scientific competence by means of a personal and original contribution to research. The central objectives of the doctorate are acquiring subject-specific, methodical and transferable knowledge and skills, as well as academic collaboration and network building.
The doctorate is structured by individual universities, taking account of institution- and discipline-specific conditions. They support collaboration with other types of higher education and research institutions, depending on the research areas and specialisations of the institutions concerned. Admission is the responsibility of the individual universities and is decided case-by-case on the basis of individual qualifications.
swissuniversities supports universities in their efforts at the doctoral level through the "PhD programmes and development of third-cycle education (2017–2020)" and "Mobility Promotion for Doctoral Students and Further Development of the Third Cycle (2021–2024)" programmes. Furthermore, on behalf of the Confederation, swissuniversities awards funding to cotutelle de these projects or PhD partnerships.