Evaluation and Selection
5 Steps toward a GlobalP3HS fellowship: from the application up to the registration
Making an Application to the GlobalP3HS Application Platform
To apply to GlobalP3HS, you must first submit your candidature through the GlobalP3HS online application platform. Submissions can only be made during the call. However, until the deadline, you can work on the platform, save information, and return and change whenever you want to complete your proposal. Once the deadline for submission has arrived, no changes can be made anymore. Please note: there is no final submit button. The application platform will simply close. Here you will find instructions
To facilitate the application process, we highly suggest that you do not act in “last minute mode” but upload your application instead at least 10 days prior to the formal deadline.The GlobalP3HS program manager will only help you with requests until 3 (three) days before the deadline for application.
You are fully responsible for the preparation and submission of all material and information as defined on the GlobalP3HS website and in the application platform. This includes the information required from the referee, allowing him/her to submit a letter of recommendation in time within the deadline. For candidates applying under the sandwich model one letter of recommendation has to be submitted by the (potential) co-supervisor from the low/middle income country (LMIC).
If you already found an SSPH+ Faculty member interested in supervising your PhD studies, feel free to indicate her/him as ‘contact for referee’, inviting her/him to submit a letter of recommendation.
The GlobalP3HS program manager will check submitted dossiers for completeness and adherence to the application rules.
Delayed, incomplete or formally incorrect applications will not be considered in STEP 2 (see below). Candidates who do not enter STEP 2 will be informed by the end of STEP 2.
GlobalP3HS Review Process
All applications approved in STEP 1 will enter the formal review process. This evaluation has two successive phases:
Phase 1 of STEP 2
All proposals will be evaluated by three experts in public health sciences.
At least one of the three experts is recruited from the International Review Panel, selected based on the content and methodological focus of the proposal.
Each reviewer will score the level of excellence of the proposal and the candidate in five dimensions, namely:
- Background and objective of proposal (weighted: x2)
- Innovation and methodological quality of the proposal (weighted: x2)
- Public health relevance of the proposed research (weighted: x1)
- Feasibility of study in the context of a 42 month PhD thesis (weighted: x1)
- Motivation and expertise of the student (weighted: x2) (based on Motivation letter and CV)
Each criterion will be scored on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (best). Scores ≥6 correspond to “passed”, whereas <6 means “failed”.
Phase 2 of STEP 2
The SSPH+ Steering Board of the GlobalP3HS will select the top ranking candidates to be approved for promotion into STEP 3. All evaluated candidates will be informed about the results at the end of phase 2.
STEP 3Candidates approved by the SSPH+ Steering Board (thus, promoted to STEP 3) will engage in selecting the primary supervisor of the PhD studies in STEP 3. The aim of this step is to determine a fitting match between an SSPH+ Faculty member and a GlobalP3HS PhD candidate.
Matching Process Between Applicant and Supervisor – Interviews
To come to an agreement, candidates are required to arrange at least one interview (either in person or via skype) with one potential supervising SSPH+ Faculty member. SSPH+ Faculty members will also have access to the list of STEP 3 candidates and may contact them as well.
Please note that a letter of recommendation from a supervisor that you received for your application (STEP 1) is no guarantee to succeed in STEP 3. At this stage, both, candidates and supervisors, still have the right to modify pre-selections or to retract from the supervision.
Registration as PhD student at the chosen Swiss university and signing a employment contract
Phase 1 of STEP 4
In a first phase of STEP 4 and once an SSPH+ Faculty member agrees with the supervision, you will need to apply to the University Admission Office to formally approve the eligibility to register as a PhD student at the chosen university.
Please note that each university – in many cases also faculties or graduate schools of the university – has its specific regulations and procedures for this official, administrative application process, which you must comply with. The eligibility criteria are set by each university independently from SSPH+ and do vary among Swiss universities. At this point, please refer to the admission office of your chosen university to learn about their eligibility criteria and the documents you will need for this step. Your supervisor and host institution will assist you in the locally defined registration procedures.
Your university may ask for additional documents such as a student visa (from the Swiss Embassy or Consulate). Hence, plan the student visa application early on as this may take 2-3 months. Other documents you might need and want to plan to acquire beforehand (apart from those submitted with your application to GlobalP3HS) are a copy of your Bachelor’s Degree Diploma and your Transcripts of Records (and if necessary their certified translations). Each university may also want to verify or reject the authenticity of degrees, documents and/or translations.
Phase 2 of STEP 4
Once the registration at a Swiss university is done, you will be able to sign your employment contract. A copy of the employment contract needs to be provided to the GlobalP3HS manager no later than two weeks after the PhD thesis start date.
Once accomplished STEP 4, candidates move into STEP 5. Candidates who fail approval of STEP 4 will be informed by the university they have applied to.
Grant and Researcher Declaration signed – Funding starts
In this step, the following two documents need to be signed as last formal criteria so that funding of your PhD can commence:
The Grant Declaration
The Grant Declaration is a contract between the recruitment institution and SSPH+. This agreement lies in the responsibility of your supervisor and s/he will be informed by the GlobalP3HS program manager in due time about this step. The start of the GlobalP3HS stipend cannot be earlier than the month the Grant Declaration has been signed. It defines all responsibilities of the recruitment institution for hosting a GlobalP3HS student.
The Researcher Declaration
To ensure the principles and requirements of GlobalP3HS are fulfilled, a Researcher Declaration must be signed by a) the supervisor as the primary responsible contract partner, b) the PhD student, c) one member of the recruitment institution (e.g. the Director or the Department Head), and d) the SSPH+ Directorate (MSCA beneficiary). The Researcher Declaration must be signed no later than 20 days after the start date of the GlobalP3HS fellowship. It defines all responsibilities of the recruitment institution for supervising a GlobalP3HS student.
Appeal and redress
Appeal and redress of STEP 2
Anonymous scoring sheets of the reviews will be provided to applicants upon request. To contest decisions of the Steering Board, students must submit a letter in PDF, co-signed by the supervisor (if any), within 14 days of the date of notification. The Steering Board will re-evaluate the case within 14 days. The re-evaluation will include an independent assessment by two additional reviewers (i.e. not previously involved with the proposal). The weighted average score of the first and the second (weighted twice) evaluation will form the basis for a final decision, which cannot be further appealed.
Appeal and redress of STEP 3 and 4
STEP 3 and 4 lie within the responsibility of the local universities, thus, the rebuttal regulations of the universities apply. These steps are not the responsibility of SSPH+.
Dr. Marion Schulze
Useful links for application
- GlobalP3HS online application platform
- SSPH+ Faculty members as potential supervisors
- Overview of structured PhD programs led by SSPH+ partners
- SSPH+ course platform
- 1st Call closed on 12 October 2018
- 2nd Call closed on 1 February 2019
- 3rd Call is open from 1 April 2019 until 28 June 2019; link to application platform
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801076.