In addition to the writing of the dissertation, the doctoral program includes academic achievement comprising 18 ECTS (credit points), which can be acquired in accordance with individual doctoral agreements in the three study areas of research content, research methods, and cross-disciplinary skills.

As regards a curriculum, there is a minimum number of credit points for each study area. In particular, there is freedom of choice in the research methods and cross-disciplinary skills modules; in these areas, the doctoral students (in consultation with their Ph.D. committee) independently choose the optimal training for their individual qualification.

Research content (8 credit points)

Doctoral students within the research module acquire expertise in their own research area and adjacent fields. Exchange of research topics is encouraged by participation in research colloquia. Current research work from the different research areas are presented and discussed in the colloquia. Additionally, participation in the doctoral program allows for the exchange of knowledge beyond the University of Basel, by participation in conferences, by establishing contact with researchers within Switzerland and beyond, as well as by research placements abroad.

Research methods (6 credit points)

In the research methods module, we offer doctoral students workshops that allow them to develop a broad and sound repertoire of methods to investigate their own research questions. The focus is on specific research techniques (e.g., cognitive modeling), experimental software (e.g., Inquisit), analysis and statistics programs (e.g., structural equation modeling, R), and neuroscientific evaluation procedures (e.g., FSL).  In addition, methodological and statistical knowledge, such as Bayesian statistics or neuroscientific designs, is also promoted.

Cross-disciplinary skills (4 credit points)

Successful graduation requires a number of scientific skills, such as the professional use of word-processing, bibliographic or presentation software, scientific writing, grant writing, communication skills such as presentational, moderating or teaching skills. Professionalisation of doctoral students in these areas has a high priority within the doctoral program and is encouraged by participation in relevant workshops.