The JICN is based on an official agreement between the University of Bologna and two prestigious UK institutions, namely the University College of London and Bangor University, Wales. As a result of such agreement, the Program confers a Ph.D. title that at the moment is recognized in Italy (“Dottore di Ricerca”) and UK ("Ph.D.").
Structure of the JICN Ph.D. Program
Graduate students training and research activity will take place both in the University of Bologna (Dipartimento di Psicologia, Bologna and Centro studi e ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive, Cesena) and in one of the partner Institutions, which will be chosen according to the student interests, competences and research field of the thesis work. Students will discuss potential thesis projects and select an advisor and lab at the University of Bologna and partner Institution upon entering the program.
Courses, seminars and other cultural activities
The goal of JICN Ph.D. Program is to prepare doctoral students for research careers in cognitive neuroscience. Students develop and pursue individually tailored course curricula to provide a broad knowledge of cognitive neuroscience as well as to focus on areas of particular interest.
Residential courses dealing with broad topics in the thematic areas of the program are organized by all participating Institutions. The courses will contain formal lectures by staff members and invited guests, including lectures on research methods and specific topics in cognitive, social and affective neuroscience, as well as interactive tutorial activities in the form of journal clubs, seminars, practical work, etc.
In addition to attending the courses, students are expected to attend and participate actively in all the major cultural activities taking place in the host Institution. The Steering Committee will pay particular attention to surveying that the students rapidly acquire the competence and confidence required to be actively involved in the cultural activities of the Institute (preparing journal clubs, asking questions at seminars, requesting time to discuss individually with visiting scholars, etc.).
The monitoring process
Students will be subjected to a tight monitoring of their training and research activity once or twice a year during the entire duration of the Program. Monitoring of progress will be carried out mainly by the direct supervisor (in addition to one supervisor in the host Institution), having specific expertise in the research field concerning the thesis work. Once a year the students will be asked to present and discuss their progress in the thesis work to the Steering Committee. Special care will be devoted to identifying as early as possible potential problems in the implementation of the thesis work by individual students, to avoid late-stage discontinuations of such works.
The Ph.D. Thesis
The culmination of the Program is the submission of a written doctoral thesis, written in English, which is evaluated by several expert readers officially submitted to a Commission nominated by the Dean of the Bologna University. The Commission will include at least an examiner from each University, and an external examiner. A successful thesis defence is required to obtain the “Dottore di Ricerca” title by the University of Bologna and the Ph.D. title by the host foreigner University.
The Steering Commitee
The Steering Committee is the executive and managing body of the PhD Program. The Steering Committee is composed by scientists from each participating Institution.