About us


Doctoral training specializing on democracy research in Zurich was originally established in 2006 as a Swiss training centre for young scholars leading to high-quality doctoral research and outstanding dissertations. In 2013, the training was institutionalized as a multidisciplinary doctoral programme at the University of Zurich, and it became part of the Graduate School PhF in 2019. The new Doctoral Programme Democracy Studies for new PhD students builds on these very strong foundations.

What is Democracy Studies?

Democracy Studies offers a transdisciplinary, integrated curriculum comprising high-level courses, seminars, colloquia and transferable skills modules. These modules are led by UZH faculty members and leading international scholars aiming to provide a solid basis on the theory, methods and empirical approaches to democracy. Additional training opportunities are tailored to the doctoral students' individual research needs.

Doctoral studies financial assistance is possible through the University of Zurich and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Whome is this for?

Democracy Studies is open to graduate researchers from all the social sciences and related disciplines and seeks to encourage diverse and multifaceted, qualitative and quantitative, approaches to the phenomenon of democracy and its manifestations.

Democracy Studies Certificate

Successful participants completing the Democracy Studies curriculum receive a certificate awarded by the Graduate School PhF at the time of their PhD graduation. Conferment of the certificate recognises the transdisciplinary training received by the participants as well as the contribution of their doctoral research to existing scholarship on democracy.


To maintain and further develop their unique character, previous programmes successfully applied for third-party funding including Mercator Foundation Switzerland ( 2018-2023),


Swissuniversities Doctoral Programmes TP 2 Cooperation Project with a focus on Civic Education for the phases: 2017-2020 and 2021-2024, SUK Doctoral Programmes 2013-2020 with an extension till 2022 and ProDoc 2009-2013.