2015 PhD Scholarships for International Students by Scuola Normale Superiore


Scuola Normale Superiore is awarding up to 86 fully funded PhD scholarships for Italian and International citizens at university campuses (Pisa and Florence). Scholarship includes tuition, fees, and a cost-of living stipend (14,187 euro per year, plus free meals). The PhD courses have a duration of three years, except for those in “Biophysical Sciences” and in “Neurosciences”, which have a duration of four years. All courses will start on 1st November 2015. Admissions are based on students’ academic work and interviews. The application deadlines are 28 February 2015 for the spring session and 31 August 2015 for the autumn session.

Study Subject(s): Scholarships are awarded in the following fields: Philosophy, Modern Literature and Philology, Classics, History of Art, Modern and Contemporary History, Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Mathematics, Financial Mathematics, Methods and Models for Molecular Sciences, Neurosciences, Biophysical Sciences, Florence, Renaissance Studies (joint degree with the National Institute for Renaissance Studies) and Political Science and Sociology (joint degree with the University of Bologna).
Course Level: Scholarships are available for pursuing PhD research programme.
Scholarship Provider: Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS)
Scholarship can be taken at: Italy

Eligibility: Applications for admission are invited from candidates who, irrespective of their citizenship, have an Italian laurea magistrale or an equivalent degree from outside Italy, or who expect to have obtained the degree required for admission by 31st October 2015: failure to obtain the degree by this date will disqualify the candidate for admission. Degrees from outside Italy will be checked, merely for the purposes of the  selection process, by the call commission, in accordance with the prevailing legislation in Italy and in the country where the degree was issued and with any international treaties or agreements for the recognition of degrees for the continuation of studies. Admission to the call is restricted to candidates who:
-were born after the 31st October 1985;
-have no past criminal charges against them resulting in a prison term of more than three years;
-have not been subject to the disciplinary measure of “expulsion” as specified in article 20 of the didactic and internal regulations of the SNS;
-are not in possession of a research doctorate issued by an Italian university, and in any case have never  benefitted from a scholarship to attend a research doctorate course in Italy.
-The admission interviews can be done in Italian or English; the candidate’s level of competence in the language he is to be tested in must be stated in the application, with reference to the EUROPASS language grid.

Scholarship Open for International Students: International and Italian students can apply for these PhD scholarships.

Scholarship Description: Since its foundation in 1810, the Scuola Normale Superiore has built a reputation as one of the most successful universities – not only in Italy, but at an international level– in terms of offering to its students ideal conditions to train and develop skills in the field of scientific research. Enrico Fermi is but one of its famous alumni that comprise three Nobel prize winners, Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Italian Republic and many successful scientists and professionals. The Academic Ranking of World Universities rates the school among the top five universities in the world, and the first in Europe according to the per capita performance. The mission of Scuola Normale is to select the best students and provide them with the most favorable conditions to develop their talents. They will join researchers and the Normale academic staff to form a community characterized by a constant exchange of ideas, skills, and expertise through an open dialogue both in Pisa and in Florence, the SNS headquarters. Students who choose to complete their education at the Scuola will find state-of-the-art facilities in the laboratories plus a unique combination of research groups, dedicated faculty, and one of the largest open-shelf libraries in Europe.

Number of award(s): Total of 86 posts for PhD courses are available as follows:
-Pisa site: Philosophy – 7 posts, Modern Literature and Philology – 8 posts, Classics – 6 posts, History of Art -5 posts scholarships, Modern and Contemporary History – 5 posts, Physics – 7 posts, Condensed Matter Physics – 6 posts, Mathematics – 6 posts, Financial Mathematics – 5 posts, Methods and Models for Molecular Sciences –4 posts scholarships, Neurosciences –5 posts and Biophysical Sciences – 8 posts.
-Florence site: Renaissance Studies (joint degree with the National Institute for Renaissance Studies) – 4 posts and Political Science and Sociology (joint degree with the University of Bologna) – 10 posts.

Duration of award(s): The PhD courses have a duration of three years, except for those in “Biophysical Sciences” and in “Neurosciences”, which have a duration of four years. All courses will start on 1st November 2015. The scholarship for the PhD course will be paid in twelve deferred equal monthly installments, subject to the fulfillment of students’ academic duties.

What does it cover? All students admitted to the PhD program receive full financial support. This includes tuition, fees, and a cost-of living stipend (14,187 euro per year, plus free meals). Support is independent of need provided a student remains in good academic standing and is making satisfactory progress towards his/her PhD degree. All students will be assigned further funding for their research activity and travel.

Selection Criteria: For the evaluation of candidates’ aptitude for scientific research and their basic preparedness to tackle the course programme, each admission commission will have a hundred points at its disposal for each candidate, sixty for the evaluation of their qualifications and forty for the interview. Candidates will be admitted to the interview if they receive at least forty points in the evaluation of their qualifications. To pass the interview, candidates must attain at least thirty points. Suitability for the PhD course is subject to passing the interview. The qualifications will be evaluated as a whole.

Notification: The outcome of the evaluation of qualifications and admission to the interview will be published by the  27th March 2015 for the spring session, and by the 16th September 2015 for the autumn session. The interviews will take place at the SNS sites on the following dates: spring session: starting on 8th April 2015 and autumn session: starting on 21st September 2015.

How to Apply: Applications should be submitted online. Candidates must enclose with their application the following documents in PDF format:
-a valid copy of a document of identity (citizens of countries not belonging to the European Union should preferably enclose a copy of a valid passport, including the pages bearing a photograph, personal details, passport number and place and date of issue);
-a curriculum vitae et studiorum in the Europass – CV format, available at the following web site
their thesis for the laurea magistrale or overseas equivalent, accompanied by an abstract in the English language; candidates who do not submit their laurea magistrale certificate by the application deadline for admission must present an extended abstract in Italian or English (of not more than around 25,000 characters); the extended abstract is also compulsory when the thesis is printed in a language other than Italian or English.
-a diploma supplement or equivalent document relating to achievement examinations completed and degree grade obtained; citizens of countries not belonging to the European Union and not resident in Italy must enclose a certificate attesting to possession of the degree, the date it was attained, the university that issued it and the final grade; candidates who have obtained an equivalent degree outside Italy in a country not belonging to the European Union must enclose a certificate of attainment of the degree translated into  English if the original is in another language;
-a copy of any publications;
-the research project as described in article 1.7 of this call.

Scholarship Application Deadline: The application deadlines are 28 February 2015 for the spring session and 31 August 2015 for the autumn session.

Official webpage: http://phd.sns.it/en/

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