What steps can PhD students take to become graduate assistants (assistants diplômés)?
The first thing to do is to check the University of Lausanne’s job vacancies regularly and apply as soon as a position interests you. You can also apply directly to the unit you work in or intend to work in.
Are graduate assistant expected to teach seminars?
Nothing prevents graduate assistants from teaching a seminar as long as their job description (cahier des charges) clearly mentions this task, takes up a realistic amount of their working time, and their teaching role is fully recognised. It should be assumed that teaching a seminar implies a greater workload for graduate assistants than for more experienced researchers/lecturers.
How much time do graduate assistants have for their personal research?
Graduate assistants must spend at least 50% of their working hours on their personal research (thesis or other), including time spent at their doctoral school. This percentage must be clearly stated in the job description (cahier des charges). The same goes for first assistants (premiers assistants).
Must the University provide a computer for my work or must I use my own?
As all employers must provide the tools of production (art. 327 of the Swiss Code of Obligations), the University has to provide each member of its academic and teaching staff with a workplace and a computer.
If a graduate assistant goes abroad during their thesis, does this time count towards the five-year contract? No, as long as the assistant’s contract is suspended for the period in question.
Can an assistant who has held other assistantships at other universities (Swiss or not) be hired for five years at UNIL? Yes, only the years spent as an assistant at UNIL are counted.
Do the funds granted by the SNSF count towards the five-year period? Yes, the position of doctoral student on external funding (SNSF or other) is similar in this respect to that of graduate assistant.