Exams & general information during the COVID-19 period

In light of the rise in cases of Covid-19, you will find hereunder the latest recommendations from the Doctoral school for PhD / MD-PhD / PhD in Neurosciences’ exams, as well as additional information:

PhD: Mid-thesis exam and private exam

Section updated on 13.12.2021 and still applicable from January 10, 2022


The Doctoral school recommends the physical presence of all committee/jury members at the mid-thesis and private exams. This evidently has to be done in compliance with the sanitary requirements in force at the time of the exam.


For exams organised on UNIL campus, please please visit this page: link (section "Organisation of professional, research or associative events"): mid-thesis and private exams abide by the same conditions as thesis defenses.


However, if it is presently difficult for any reason to all meet in person and if agreed by all members of a committee/jury (including the president), hybrid mid-thesis and private exams are permitted. Please inform the doctoral school in advance by email.

  • For hybrid exams, where some people are present in person in the same room – at least the president, thesis director and PhD student – and others remotely: please refer to the corresponding guidelines and user guide for further information.

The president is responsible for deciding whether the quality of the connection was sufficient or whether the exam has to be held again - this decision has to be communicated to the Doctoral School by e-mail.


Fully virtual exams are in principle not allowed anymore, unless they are justified (i.e. if a quarantine is imposed on the PhD student, the president and/or the thesis director). A request has to be made as soon as possible to phdthesis@unil.ch who will consider the request and confirm if an exception is granted.


Regarding documents that have to be provided five weeks before the private exam (cf. check-list), please note that they can be sent by email to phdthesis@unil.ch (no need to deposit paper versions at the office). If the president still requires a printed copy of the thesis, you can send it by post to: École doctorale FBM, Bureau 324, Amphipôle, quartier UNIL-Sorge, 1015 Lausanne.


PhD: Public defenses

Section updated on 13.12.2021 and still applicable from January 10, 2022

Students who successully passed their private exam have to organise a public defense, in compliance with health measures applied by UNIL or CHUV (depending on where the public defense is organised). We remind you that it is the responsibility of the PhD student to check the feasibility, to ensure the safety measures are communicated to participants before the event and respected during the public defense.

CHUV: For the latest information on the organisation of public defenses at CHUV, please contact gestion.locaux@chuv.ch. This service will provide you with the most updated information on the feasibility and conditions to hold public defenses at the CHUV.


UNIL: For updates on thesis defenses on the UNIL Campus, please visit this page: link 


However and at least during the Autumn 2021/2022 semester, the Doctoral school will show flexibility and may grant exemption of public defenses, for justified reasons that have to be communicated in writing to phdthesis@unil.ch (for MD-PhD students, please write to Md-Phd@unil.ch / For Nursing Sciences students, please write to Catherine.Broye@chuv.ch).


The Doctoral school FBM does not condone public defenses by videoconference. Live retransmission of a public defense can yet be authorised under certain circumstances, i.e. in case people of importance to the PhD student cannot participate in person due to the current sanitary measures. However, it is expected that (in addition to the PhD student, the president of the thesis jury and the thesis director whose presence in person is mandatory) other participants are also physically present in the room. Live retransmission details have to be organised and communicated by the PhD student directly, only to people who cannot attend in person. NOTE: Live retransmissions are only authorised temporarily; once the sanitary situation has further improved the measure will be abandoned. 


MD: Thesis submission

Thesis in Medicine: the thesis submission procedure remains unchanged.

For more information

E-learning & courses

The protection plan for bachelor's and master's level courses in order to respect the sanitary measures prescribed at the federal and cantonal levels in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic also applies to doctoral students. The COVID certificate is therefore necessary to take part in courses and tutorials organized by the Doctoral School. 

UNIL offers also an access to on-line courses so that you can continue your doctoral program from home. For more information, click here.

Doctoral school offices

The Reception desk of the Doctoral school located in office 324 of the Amphipôle building is open from Monday to Friday, 9h30 to 12h00. Outside of these hours, please contact our office in advance to plan a meeting: please refer to this page to contact the person you wish to meet.


If you have to provide us with paper documents, you can deposit them during the opening hours in office 324, leave them in the mailbox that can be found on your right, just before entering the corridor leading to the Reception of the Doctoral school FBM or send them by post (École doctorale FBM, Bureau 324/304, Amphipôle, quartier UNIL-Sorge, 1015 Lausanne).

Other general information

For any other general information on the Covid-19 situation on the Campus, please consult the dedicated section of UNIL website.

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