The duration of PhD programs at the Feinberg Graduate School is 54 months. The Direct PhD Track lasts 42 months.
Potential Research Groups and Research Areas
Every PhD student must belong to a research group. The Head of that research group is appointed as your advisor. It is possible to appoint two advisors. Switching to another research group requires approval by the Board of Studies and the Dean of Feinberg Graduate School.
Information on potential research groups
Switching Research Groups
A student is entitled to move from one group to another only once during studies for a degree - subject to the approval of the FGS and the following guidelines (except in Life Sciences - see Trial periods during Ph.D. studies in Life Sciences below).
A student is strictly forbidden to contact another PI at the WIS before the FGS provides them with explicit approval to find another research group.
First step: Contacting the FGS
A student wishing to switch to another research group on their initiative or after the PI notified them of the termination of their mentorship must immediately contact the relevant faculty coordinator at the FGS to consult and receive instructions on how to proceed.
FGS review and decision
The relevant Board of study will review the circumstances (through conversations with the student, the mentor, and others) and forward its recommendation to the Dean of the FGS.
If the request is approved, the FGS will inform the student in writing that they have several weeks to approach potential mentors and find another research group. If the search is fruitful and both the relevant Board of studies and the FGS Dean approve the transfer to the new group, the FGS may consider updating the student's schedule to submit progress and thesis reports.
Should the search for a new group fail or the requested transition to the new group is not approved, the FGS will notify the student and all parties concerned, in writing, of the termination of the student's studies.
Switching Research Groups in Life Sciences
The first year for all PhD students in Life Sciences is considered a trial period. Before the end of the trial period, students are expected to meet with their PI and discuss mutual expectations to ensure they see eye to eye on continuing their research in the group. If one of the sides decides to terminate this engagement, they must notify the FGS before the end of the trial period and may get approval pending review by the Board of Studies and the FGS Dean.
In addition, students whose PhD lab is different from their MSc lab have a checkpoint after their first four months. Before the checkpoint passes, both the PI and the student are requested to notify the FGS that they intend to continue their current engagement. If one of the sides decides to terminate this engagement, they must notify the FGS before the end of the checkpoint and will have one month to find another group and reset their Ph.D. clock. Hence, students whose PhD lab is different from their MSc lab are allowed to switch research groups up to two times, if needed.
In case of termination of studies
Upon termination of studies, a student must obey the following instructions:
- Deposit all laboratory notebooks used during their stay in the group with the PI in an organized and orderly manner.
- Deposit all digital data and files accumulated during their stay in the group with the PI in an orderly and organized manner. Furthermore, departing students must ensure that the PI has direct access to all relevant drives, folders, and files.
- Return to the PI any item of equipment belonging to the group placed temporarily with them.
- Clear all their personal belongings.
- Leave their work area clean and tidy.
- Hand over duties responsibilities to the person appointed by the PI orderly and willingly.
Courses and credit points
During your studies, you must accrue credits according to the requisites of the pertinent Board of Studies. Please note:
- In special cases, the Board of Studies may require that you accrue an amount of credits greater than those required in that specific field of study.
- The Board of Studies may require that you participate in specific courses.
- Half of your required credit points or courses must be accumulated by the deadline for the Interim Report.
- All of your required credit points must be accumulated by the deadline for your Final Report.
- Any deviation from the official curriculum requires prior approval from the pertinent Board of Studies.
- Unless there is an obvious continuum of studies as a full-time FGS student, FGS will not recognize credit points from courses which are from five years ago or older, including FGS courses.
- For further information, see Courses.
Please note that approved external courses will not be recorded in your FGS grade transcript. This is also true for intensive courses offered to participants at international conferences. If you wish to provide proof to a third party of your participation in external courses, you must request a transcript from the external institution, and keep it for future reference
Progress Reports and Thesis
It is mandatory that you submit all reports on time, according to your set deadlines. For your convenience, you may view the deadlines for your reports at any time through the online service. Requests for extensions must be sent by email, a month before the deadline, to your FGS Faculty Coordinator.
- Research Proposal: Month 12 (Direct Track:Pre-condition to start)
- Interim Report: Month 30 (Direct Track: Month 18)
- Final Report: Month 48 (Direct Track: Month 36)
- Thesis: Month 54 (Direct Track: Month 42)
Approval of Your Degree
Once your degree is approved by the Institute’s Scientific Council, you may receive official confirmation of Degree Eligibility from the FGS.
Degree Eligibility Date
The date of your degree is the date on which the WIS Scientific Council approved the degree. Your physical degree will be awarded at the graduation and awards ceremony that takes place once a year in the spring.
Receiving Your Degree
PhD degrees are awarded at the graduation and awards ceremony that takes place once a year in the spring.
Distinctions and Awards
The Scientific Council of the Weizmann Institute of Science does not award degrees with distinctions such as Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude.
The FGS does, however, award several prizes to outstanding PhD students every year for remarkable achievements. The FGS prizes for excellence in studies and research are awarded at the graduation ceremony in the spring.