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LIVES doctoral programme - 2023-2025 cohort

The LIVES Centre holds a doctoral programme intended for early-stage doctoral students in the social sciences, psychology, health sciences or related disciplines whose thesis includes a life course / lifespan perspective.

As part of the ProDoc, gender issues are tackled at all levels of research activities and organisation, and thus, also in questions and methods of research. As a matter of fact, one of the aims of the LIVES Centre is to ensure that the issue of gender is addressed in scientific activities and this is why it is integrated into all the modules of the Doctoral Programme. Research has shown that the advancement of women in academia comes hand in hand with an increased awareness of the gender processes that underlie social life. 

A few places are available for continuous education for each workshop. In case of interest, please send an email to lives.scientific@unil.ch 

Programme outline

LIVES ProDoc described by PhD alumni

Session 1 – December 4-6, 2023

Workshop: Introduction to life course theories, life span theories and life course methods

Objective: This first session provides an introduction to life course (demography and sociology) and life span (psychology) theories, and discusses current interdisciplinary integrations, including the LIVES vulnerability/resource framework. Each theoretical session will be followed by a discussion of a key article that participants will read beforehand. The session will end with an overview of methods most often used to study the life course. Most of these methods will be explored in later sessions.

Full programme

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lifecourse

Session 2 - February 12-15, 2024

Workshop: Resources and well-being in a life course perspective

Objectives: Building on the LIVES vulnerability framework presented in Session 1, the interdisciplinary notions of resources/reserves, and their processes of accumulation and mobilization will be developed, with empirical illustrations taken from studies on social capital and cognitive reserves. The complementary interdisciplinary notions of subjective well-being and motivation in relation to life transitions and life stages will then be discussed, with examples from varied areas of studies and disciplines (i.e., work, political participation, emotional regulation).

Full programme

reserves

Doctoriales (1st year)

Objective: All PhD candidates have the opportunity to present their work in front of their colleagues and receive feedback from audience during this annual one-day event

Doctoriales - Programme - Cohort 23-25

Doctoriales - Programme - Cohort 21-24

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doctoriales

Session 3 - June 4-6, 2024

Workshop: Qualitative and mixed methods for life course research

Objectives: This session starts with an overview of the epistemological and methodological foundations of qualitative data collection and analysis. The qualitative approaches developed for longitudinal and life course research will then be discussed. The different combinations of qualitative and quantitative research will be covered, with special attention to longitudinal designs. Examples of qualitative/mixed research in life course studies will be presented, with hands-on sessions to discuss participants' own research.

Full programme

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mixed methods

Session 4 – September 9-11, 2024

Workshop: Multilevel models, structural equations and longitudinal data

Objective: This module introduces and develops a number of quantitative methods for life course research. It addresses the theory and methods of multilevel modelling and structural equation modelling for longitudinal data. Hands-on practice helps participants integrate the various notions.

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longitudinal

Session 5 - February 10-13, 2025

Workshop: Fixed-effects models, event-history and sequence analysis

Objectives: This workshop addresses the principles and methods of fixed-effects models (within estimators), event history and sequence analysis (a method developed by a team of LIVES researchers). Examples will support the presentations, and exercises will help participants integrate the notions.

sequence analysis

Doctoriales (2nd year)

Objective: All PhD candidates have the opportunity to present their work in front of their colleagues and receive feedback from external experts during an annual one-day event.

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doctoriales

Session 7 – September 1-3, 2025

Workshop: Social policies in a life course perspective

Objectives: Introduce the study of social policies in a life course perspective (long term versus short term impacts, coordination between actions etc.) with examples of applications in varied fields

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social policy

Session 6 – June 23-25, 2025

Workshop: Causal analysis

Objectives: This session provides an introduction to statistical methods of causal inference. It starts with different types of experiments, including natural experiments and survey experiments, and then discusses other methods such as instrumental variables, difference-in-differences, and regression discontinuity designs. All these methods try to control for unobserved variables and aim to identify causal effects. Practical exercises help participants integrate the notions.

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cause

Session 8 – February, 2026

Doctoriales (3rd year)

Objective: All PhD candidates have the opportunity to present their work in front of their colleagues and receive feedback from external experts during an annual one-day event.

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doctoriales

About LIVES Doctoral programme

Since 2012, the LIVES Centre offers a doctoral programme, followed by 105 PhD graduates so far, intended for early-stage doctoral students in the social sciences, psychology, health sciences or related disciplines whose thesis includes a life course / lifespan perspective.

Past instructors include Francesco Billari (Bocconi University, Milan), Felix Bühlmann (University of Lausanne), Claudine Burton-Jeangros (University of Geneva), Alexandra Freund (University of Zurich), Oliver Lipps (FORS, University of Lausanne), Daniel Oesch (University of Lausanne), Clémentine Rossier (University of Geneva), Núria Sanchez Mira (University of Neuchâtel), Dario Spini (University of Lausanne), Matthias Studer (University of Geneva), Eric Widmer (University of Geneva), Tania Zittoun (University of Neuchâtel) and many more. 

Full information about past doctoral programmes