Doctorate-Granting Partner Universities & Cooperation Agreements
Doctoral students are responsible for finding a doctorate-granting partner university for the primary PhD supervision. The Lucerne School of Design, Film and Art is part of a network of many partner universities, some of which offer doctoral programmes. However, other universities outside the existing network can also be requested. The Lucerne School of Design, Film and Art can accompany this process in an advisory capacity.
Together with the National Institute of Design (NID), the Lucerne School of Design, Film and Art offers the PhD programme “Eco-Social Innovation by Design”, a doctoral cooperation with a focus on practice-based research in the context of eco-social innovation.
Our doctoral students pursue their doctoral at the following universities: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, ETH Zurich, Filmuniversität KONRAD WOLF Babelsberg, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, HafenCity University Hamburg, Kingston University London, Kunstuniversität Linz, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dresden, University of Basel, University of Zurich, University College Dublin, University of Reading, University of Western England (UWE).
- completed four-semester MA/MSc programme (120 ECTS credits) in a relevant or adjacent discipline
- several years of creative practice with an artistic/design focus in a relevant or adjacent discipline
- the dissertation project matching with the focal points or projects of one of the School of Design, Film and Art’s four research groups
- Some partner universities may have additional admission criteria and/or require additional academic achievements. Prospective candidates are advised to consult their university of choice on this topic.
The Lucerne School of Design, Film and Art does not award doctoral grants. Doctoral candidates usually work on their dissertation project as part of one of the School’s research groups’ research projects funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Innosuisse or other third-party funding body. They are employed by the HSLU as research associates with fixed-term contracts lasting three to five years maximum. Learn more about the different funding schemes:
- Employment in Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Projects
The SNSF funds doctoral dissertations in the framework of research projects. Doctoral candidates are employed by the HSLU for four days per week (0.8 FTE), according to the SNSF’s funding regulations. The SNSF expects doctoral candidates to dedicate between 0.8 and 1.0 FTE to their doctorate (“protected time”) and to complete their dissertation within the maximum funding period of four years. Corresponding positions for doctoral students are advertised on the HSLU job portal.
Further information for doctoral students in SNSF projects:
Support for project team members
- HSLU Working Time Model
In this funding scheme, doctoral candidates are employed by the HSLU for 3.5 days per week (0.7 FTE) and three years, with tasks in the areas of teaching, research and/or university administration taking up 2.5 days (0.5 FTE) of their weekly workload and one working day per week (0.2 FTE) dedicated to the dissertation. In addition, doctoral candidates spend 1.5 days per week (0.3 FTE) of their private time working on their dissertation, i.e., some of the doctorate is completed without compensation (it being a personal qualification).
- Incentive Payment Model for Dissertation Projects
Upon completion, the HSLU can support dissertation projects by its employees not funded under the working time model or the SNSF funding schemes with an incentive payment. Typically, a fixed sum will be paid towards the dissertation’s publication.
- Independent (Self-Funded) Dissertation Project
The Lucerne School of Design, Film and Art will help prospective candidates wishing to pursue a doctorate unaffiliated with ongoing research projects to secure funding and find a doctoral supervisor. They will, however, not receive a paid employment as doctoral students. The courses offered specifically for doctoral students at the HSLU and within the framework of Campus Luzern are also open to self-financed doctoral students with or without employment at HSLU, provided there is a relation to any research activities at HSLU.
Further information on scholarships & funding opportunities:
Grants Office (HSLU)
Scientific Exchange (SNSF)
PhD Partnerships (swissuniversities)
Government Scholarships (swissuniversities)
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (SERI)
Prospective doctoral candidates who have developed an idea for a dissertation that aligns with the focal points of the School’s research can apply directly with the heads of the relevant research groups. Open doctoral positions are advertised on the HSLU job board. The School publishes an annual call (from February) for the PhD programme in ‘Eco-Social Innovation by Design’.