The Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) and the Universities of Bern, Lausanne and Lugano have built a training and academic research network in public administration (www.swipan.ch). Besides this collaboration, these institutions have developed a doctoral programme (ProDoc in Public Administration) and a related research programme.
The doctoral programme is based on two mandatory educational parts, valued through ECTS credits (total of 24). The first part contains courses and seminars, the aim of which is to increase knowledge and research skills of PhD candidates. This part is organized through three axes. The first includes courses on public administration. Courses offered in the frame of the second axis provide methodological and technical knowledge necessary for doctoral research. These courses are compulsory and can be taken either as part of the Prodoc programme or through similar curricula. The third axis is based on specific courses related to the research modules. To fulfill credits in this area, students can choose courses either in external programmes or those organized within the ProDoc research modules. PhD candidates have to obtain 12 ECTS credits, choosing the most useful courses according to their research needs, in the frame of the defined three axes.
The second part of the programme, organized through axes four and five, focuses on individuals outcomes of PhD candidates. As part of the fourth axis, candidates must report on the status of their research in symposiums. The objectives of the fifth axis are active participation in conferences as well as publications in academic journals. Additional training related to complementary skills development is encouraged but there are no credits attached. In order to ensure the highest possible academic level of participants, candidates must meet two requirements: basic (registered as doctoral student in one of the partner universities, hold a Master’s degree in public administration, and have a preliminary draft dissertation proposal accepted) and additional requirements (have a learning agreement accepted). Detailed information and entry requirements to the ProDoc doctoral programme are available at: http://www.swipan.ch.