Thesis from A to Z

| Getting your PhD off to a good start | Prepare your thesis defence | How to express my supervision needs to my supervisor | Writing Retreat for PhD students

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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 discussion:

  • The key stages of a doctorate at UNIL and the Code of Practice for the Doctorate.
  • The rights and obligations of doctoral candidates and their supervisors, and the ways in which we can establish effective and adapted communication.
  • The challenges doctoral candidates can encounter, and how to deal with them.
  • Methods for time and task management.
  • Professional paths and futures for doctoral holders (careers within and beyond academia).

Target group: new doctoral candidates (first or second semester) from all faculties

Facilitator: Dr Pauline Fritsch, Graduate Campus

⇒ Registration


Prepare your thesis defence

A one day (9am - 5pm) interactive workshop to help you prepare for your thesis defence, practice your communication skills and getting ready to answer questions.

Goals of the workshop:

  • What are the different expectations between the jury examination (private defence) and the public presentation (public defence)?
  • How to prepare your presentation?
  • How to communicate effectively in these circumstances?
  • How to prepare for the jury's questions?

You will be able to practice your communication skills by presenting a part of your thesis in the language of your choice (French or English) for 5 minutes.

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

Facilitator: Dr Pauline Fritsch, Graduate Campus


How to express my supervision needs to my supervisor

In order to built a good relation with your supervisor, you can contact the Graduate Campus to discuss topics as:

  • The doctoral supervision process
  • Your role and the role of your supervisor in this relationship
  • Tools to analyse your needs and express them to your supervisor

Contact: Dr Pauline Fritsch,


Writing Retreat for PhD students

In French

In collaboration with the HES-SO.

A 3-day retreat 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!

The first edition of this retreat was held from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July 2022 at Crêt-Bérard between Lausanne and Palézieux.


Next retreat : from Thursday, December 1st to Saturday, December 3rd 2022 at Crêt-Bérard between Lausanne and Palézieux.


Our retreats are inspired by those organised for several years in Canada by " Thèsez-vous ? "

During such retreats, we combine the Pomodoro, SMART-ER goal and Kanban board methods, and boost them with a collective approach to writing inspired by " Thèsez-vous ? "

We take care of everything, accommodation, meals, activities, you focus on your writing goals!


Target group: Considering the limited number of places, priority will be given to doctoral candidates at the beginning or end of their thesis who have precise and realistic writing objectives (e.g. writing a section of the thesis project/plan, first version of a thesis chapter, writing the results part of a thesis article, etc.).

Contact: Dr Pauline Fritsch,, 021.692.21.29

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Calendar & Registration


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