Thesis from A to Z

| Getting your PhD off to a good start | Writing Retreat for Doctoral Candidates | Prepare your PhD defence | Individual advice | PhD

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*During your PhD, you can benefit from courses, workshops and services to develop important skills for your doctorate and your personal development.

Getting your PhD off to a good start

Starting an ambitious project like a PhD requires planning, time management, work discipline and a clear mind around goals, expectations, and respective roles between the PhD candidate and the supervisor.

In this half-day workshop, we cover the following topics through short presentations and group discussion:

  • The key stages of a doctorate at UNIL and the Code of Practice for the Doctorate.
  • The rights and duties of doctoral candidates and their supervisors, and the ways of establishing effective and appropriate communication.
  • The challenges doctoral candidates can encounter, and how to overcome them.
  • Time and project management advice.
  • Career paths and the future of UNIL doctorate holders (careers within and beyond academia).

Target group: new doctoral candidates (first year ideally) from all faculties

Facilitator: Dr Pauline Fritsch, Graduate Campus

No time to attend the workshop ? Have a look at our guide of the same name : Getting your thesis off to a good start 2023.

⇒ Registration


Writing Retreat for Doctoral Candidates

In collaboration with the HES-SO


Three-day retreats with full board in a beautiful place that promotes concentration, allowing you to focus on writing your thesis, or a scientific article, or other writing projects.


Up to 21 hours of productive writing in 3 days!


Retreats in 2024:

  • March 7 to 9 - FULL
  • April 11 to 13 - FULL
  • September 12 to 14 - registration will open on June 17*
  • October 17 to 19 - registration will open on June 17*
  • November 28 to 29 - registration will open on June 17*


Retreats are held at the Crêt-Bérard between Lausanne and Palézieux.


Inspired by the methods and retreats organised for several years in Canada by "Thèsez-vous ?", we combine the Pomodoro, SMART-ER goal and Kanban board methods, and boost them with a collective approach to writing.


We take care of everything: accommodation, meals, activities. You focus on your writing goals!


Example of a typical 3-day retreat schedule here.


Nota bene : this activity is not designed to give writing advice.


Target group & UNIL selection:

  • Considering the limited number of places (10 places for UNIL per retreat) and the very high demand for these retreats, we are sorry that we can offer you to participate only once in your doctorate. In average we receive 40 registration requests for 10 places. If you have already participated once, please do not request to register again. Thanks for your understanding.
  • Priority will be given to doctoral candidates at the end of their doctorate who have precise and realistic writing objectives. Doctoral candidates at the beginning or at the middle of their doctorate can also register.
  • Selection takes into account the status of the doctorate (beginning, middle or end), the faculty and institute in order to have a maximum of faculties and institutes represented, the order of registration and the motivation paragraph in the application form. When there is too many people from a same faculty and it is difficult to select between them, the final selection is done in a random draw.

Contact: Dr Pauline Fritsch,, 021 692 21 29


*Registration for the 3 autumn semester retreats will be open on the HES-SO website from 17 to 30 June!




Prepare your PhD defence

This workshop is available in two formats:

  • a full day version (from 9am to 5pm) in person on site where each participant will be able to exercise their communication skills by presenting a part of their thesis for 5 minutes in the language of their choice (French or English).
  • a half-day version (from 9am to 12:30pm) online without time for participants' presentations.

In any case, this interactive workshop helps you prepare for your thesis defence, practice your communication skills and get ready to answer questions.

Topics of the workshop:

  • The different expectations between the jury examination (private defence) and the public presentation (public defence)
  • Preparing your presentation
  • Communicating effectively in the context of the defence
  • Preparing for the jury's questions

Target group: finishing doctoral candidates (2 to 6 months before the defence) from all faculties

Facilitator: Dr Pauline Fritsch, Graduate Campus

⇒ Registration



Individual advice | PhD

Throughout your doctorate, you can contact the Graduate Campus to request an appointment to discuss the supervision of your thesis.

For more information, visit our "individual consultations" page.



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Calendar & Registration


Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 21 29
Fax +41 21 692 20 15