Application and admission

Candidates can apply to the program without any restriction of age or citizenship. Requirements for admission to PhD programs are specified by national laws. Application deadlines are established on a yearly basis and are given high visibility through the appearance of advertisement on major specialized international journals and the publication of an official call on the website of the University of Bologna ( Applications can be filled out either in English or in Italian. To apply for the program, candidates should follow the detailed instructions in the official website of the University of Bologna.


Mandatory documents to be enclosed to the application:

See list here


Application must be sent by May 29th 2017. The admission exam (interview) will take place on July 18th 2017 at Dipartimento di Psicologia, University of Bologna, viale Berti Pichat 5, Bologna. JICN program will start by November 1st 2017.



An Italian university degree (laurea specialistica/magistrale - 3+2 years) or pre-reform degree (vecchio ordinamento - 4 years) or an equivalent degree obtained abroad.


Candidate selection and assessment criteria

1. Assessment of qualifications and research project

- minimum for being admitted to the oral exam: 30 points

- maximum: 50 points

Only qualifications no older than 5 years (up to the deadline of this call for applications) - Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees excluded - and deemed congruent with the research topics of the PhD programme will be assessed.

The assessment of qualifications grade will be given based on the following criteria:

- degree mark, and for those who are undergraduated students on the date this Call for Applications expires, the weighted average of marks of the exams: up to 10 points

- reference letters: up to 2 points

- personal statement: up to 1 point

- scientific publications: up to 4 points

The assessment of the research project grade will be given based on the following criteria:

scientific value and originality of the proposal: up to 13 points

- structure of the proposal: up to 10 points

feasibility of the proposal: up to 10 points


2. Oral exam

- minimum to be placed on the list of qualified applicants: 30 points

- maximum: 50 points

The oral examination will focus on the explanation and discussion of the applicant’s research project and will assess his/her aptitude for scientific research and his/her overall preparation on subjects regarding the research topics of the PhD programme. Knowledge of the English language will be ascertained during the oral exam.

The oral examination will be held:

- either in Italian or English, depending on the applicant’s choice, in case of applications for the “Psychological Sciences” curriculum

- in English, in case of applications for the “Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience” curriculum

Scores will be assigned according to the following criteria:

- knowledge of foreign language: up to 10 points

- good argument regarding the project: up to 35 points

- grounding on the PhD programme topics: up to 5 points

If the Admission Board should establish any sub-criteria for assessing the exams before the exams are held, and in any case before having the applications submitted by the applicants at their disposal, they can be consulted on (select: ‘summary of the requests in progress’  ‘see detail’ and open the pdf file named ‘sub-criteri di valutazione’)


Candidate selection and project's assignment

Candidates are selected through an interview by the selection Committee (in English). Each selected candidate indicates preferences among the thematic sections offered to the students. The assignment process will be carried out by the Steering Committee, taking into account individual preferences expressed by the selected candidates, their scientific and academic background and the specific areas of interest of the participating institutions, to obtain the best possible match between the candidate and the participating investigators.



Students entering the program will be granted a three year institutional fellowship, either provided by the Italian Ministry of Education and Research or, whenever available, by any of the participating institutions or by private institutions. Additional monthly allowances are provided for the period spent abroad by the students.


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