Doctoral programme in English Language and Literature

The doctoral programme in English Language and Literature, sponsored by the Conférence Universitaire de la Suisse Occidentale (CUSO), officially began its activities in 2009. The programme brings together the talents and resources of faculty and doctoral students from the CUSO universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel, as well as the associated university of Berne. The purpose of the programme is to provide the best possible environment for doctoral study by creating an active, collaborative, and lasting research community in English studies.

The most visible form of this collaboration consists in a set of seminars and workshops throughout the year designed to appeal to a wide range of intellectual interests, while also demonstrating how research is conducted at the highest level. Faculty members also offer practical advice to doctoral students on the organisation, composition, and eventual publication of their theses. The aim of the programme is also to prepare doctoral students for professional life, whether in academia or elsewhere, through research.   

While recognizing the thesis as the substance of the doctorate, the doctoral programme is based on the conviction that better doctoral theses are written when the writer is in contact with other researchers with whom to share questions of methodology, theory, and scholarship. In keeping with the spirit of a research community, therefore, the programme is designed to be a laboratory for new ideas where doctoral students and other researchers come together on an equal footing, away from the institutional structure of examinations and course requirements.

In addition to faculty members from Switzerland, other internationally-recognised scholars are regularly invited to participate in doctoral programme events. It is hoped that every doctoral student in Switzerland will take part in at least one workshop every year.

The programme is overseen by a Comité scientifique consisting of one member from each of the four CUSO universities (Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel) as well as the University of Berne. The programme director is Prof. Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet, from the University of Lausanne, who is assisted in this capacity by the programme coordinator Audrey Loetscher.