Call for applications for LIVES Doctoral programme



Join the new cohort of LIVES PhD candidates!

Since 2012, the Swiss Centre of Expertise on Life Course Research LIVES offers a doctoral programme, followed by 105 PhD graduates so far. 

The Centre LIVES is now welcoming applications for its 2023-25 doctoral programme (December 2023 - February 2026. See application form at the bottom of the page). This call is intended for early-stage doctoral students in the social sciences, psychology, health sciences or related disciplines whose thesis includes a life course / lifespan perspective.

Their work can focus on

  • the effects of early events or the later life course
  • biographies and trajectories in different life domains
  • events which constitutes a turning point in life course
  • processes of accumulation / depletion over the life course
  • longitudinal methods
  • the evolution of norms regarding age
  • life course in social policies
  • etc.

The programme is open to PhD students internationally.

The LIVES doctoral programme aims to promote high-quality doctoral research in life course analysis. It provides PhD students with a thorough and up-to-date theoretical and methodological grounding in this interdisciplinary field of study. The participation in the doctoral programme allows PhD students to develop a network of peers with similar research interests.

The LIVES doctoral programme is organized over two years, takes place at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, and includes 7 sessions (see detailed programme):


The deadline for applications is 30 September, 2023.

Admissions will be confirmed no later than mid-October, 2023.

The new cohort of the LIVES doctoral programme will begin in December 2023.

Find here additional information on the programme 2023-25 (workshops and events) or contact the programme officer:

Committing to this programme means:

  • Attending at least 5 out of 7 workshops.
  • Session 1 (December 2023) as well as all three LIVES Doctoriales are compulsory.
  • Taking part in the selected workshops and Doctoriales in person (in principle).

What the LIVES Doctoral Programme supports:

  • For Swiss-based PhD candidates, travel is reimbursed on the basis of a half-fare 2nd class ticket.
  • For other PhD candidates, LIVES offers financial assistance (travel) of up to 200.-CHF per session (up to 5 sessions). For expenses on accommodation, LIVES subsidies are available for a few students. Please contact us for details.
  • During workshops, coffee breaks are covered.
  • During the LIVES Doctoriales, lunch and coffee breaks are covered.

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

  • The PhD thesis should include a life course / life span perspective, with a disciplinary background in sociology, demography, psychology, epidemiology, economics, political science, history or gender studies.
  • The PhD candidate must already be affiliated to an academic institution.
  • The PhD thesis must be funded for the length of the PhD programme by an academic institution or by third-party funding.
  • The PhD candidate must be able to speak and write fluently in English (at least B2 level).

Candidates are asked to provide the following documents, along with the application form:

  • A cover letter expressing their motivation for this PhD training programme
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A title and abstract of 500 words maximum of their PhD project
  • A one-page letter of support from the PhD supervisor(s)
  • An official document certifying the affiliation to an academic institution.

An agreement will be signed between the PhD candidate, his or her supervisor(s) and the doctoral programme.