General information on positions in the Chair of Algebraic Geometry
Post-doc positions can dynamically range from 1 year to many years, depending on the circumstances and the excellence of the applicant. Teaching duty is light: post-docs have to be assistants for one course per semester, and help with the advising duties of the Chair of Algebraic Geometry. Being assistant means assembling the exercise sheets, facilitating the exercise sessions (meet once per weeks for a 2 hours long class), contributing to the exams and grading the exams. There is only one exam per course per semester, with the possibility of an extra make-up exam. Advanced post-docs can sometimes also teach their own masters or PhD level courses, and be their own assistants, which then guarantees a teaching free semester afterwards. Advising duties fluctuate largely depending on demand and the number of post-docs in the group, but in general it may involve students of any level: bachelors, masters or PhD, with usually at most one or two meetings per week. Teaching can be done purely in English, no knowledge of French is required.
Post-docs are also expected to participate in all seminars that the Chair participates in, as well as help with some organizational work if necessary, such as organizing a seminar or a conference. The Chair has funds for travel and equipment, so post-docs can expect that the necessary funds for (sensibly) attending conferences or collaborating will be available. The salary is very competitive. According to the experiences, it is comfortably enough for living in Switzerland, possibly even for a small family.
PhD positions are expected to be for 4 years, with the possibility of extending with 1 year, if it is needed for the completion of the thesis. During the PhD program, the PhD candidate should first familiarize herself/himself with the modern advanced tools of algebraic geometry by reading graduate books and solving (and typing up) many exercises. Later the candidate will read more specific literature, and start to think about introductory research problems. This will lead to the finding and the solution of the actual thesis problem. The problems can be found either through her/his own reading, through the preprint seminar, or by Zsolt Patakfalvi’s suggestion.
Most PhD candidates are also expected to teach. The teaching assignments are roughly the same as the assistant teaching assignments described above for post-docs, although usually with less responsibility than for a post-doc. In particular, teaching duties are light. As in the case of post-docs, PhD students can expect that funds for conference and summer school attendances are available. The stipend is very generous, especially compared to PhD stipends in other countries.