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:

1. Scanned copy of a valid ID (e.g. passport, national ID card)
2. CV
3. Self-certification concerning the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, list of exams taken with grades and final mark (see the official call for details)
4. Research project, indicating the choice of a specific curriculum (i.e. the JICN). Max 20.000 characters allowed space included
5. At least 1 and no more than 2 reference letters
6. Motivation letter (max 3.000 characters)

All the documents, including the reference letters need to be sent through the procedure available on the website


Other documents to be enclosed, if available:

  • Publication list
  • For other documents and claims (e.g. courses, research experience abroad etc.) see the official call


Application must be sent by May 18th 2016. The admission exam (interview) will take place on July 19th 2016 at Dipartimento di Psicologia, University of Bologna, viale Berti Pichat 5, Bologna. JICN program will start by November 1st 2016.



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. Evaluation of academic qualifications
− minimum score required for the admission to the oral exam: 30
− maximum score: 50

Score is assigned as follows:

− evaluation of the degree mark (for applicants who have an university degree at the time of submission of the application) or evaluation of the university exams taken with grades (for applicants who still not have an university degree at the time of submission of the application): max 10 points;

− graduation thesis work: max 5 points
− research project: max 35 points
− publications: max 5 points

The research project will be scored as it follows:

− scientific value and originality: max 15 points
− project's articulation: max 10 points
− feasibility: max 10 points

Only candidates who score at least 30 in the evaluation of academic qualifications will be selected for the oral exam.
The list of the applicants admitted to the oral exam will be published on the website, accessible through username and password of the University of Bologna provided at the first registration, and will be posted at the Department of Psychology.
Applicants will not be informed about the outcome of the evaluation of academic qualifications.

2. Oral exam
− minimum score required in order to be listed in the final ranking: 30
− maximum score: 50
The oral exam will focus on the explanation and discussion of the applicant’s research project.
The oral exam will assess the candidate's aptitude for scientific research, as well as his/her knowledge about general topics
related to cognitive neuroscience.

The oral exam will be scored as it follows:

- Critical discussion and defence of the reaserch project: max 35 punti
- Knowledge of the research topics in Cognitive Neuroscience: max 5 punti
- English proficiency: max 10 point


Applicants will not be informed about the outcome of the selection procedures.
The final ranking will be published on the website, accessible through username and password of the
University of Bologna provided at first registration. Information regarding the publication of the final ranking will be available on


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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