Doctorate Organization

During the 3 years, each student must acquire 180 credits (60 per year). These credits are of two types:

  • a) credits for research activity (between 150 and 160)
  • b) credits for courses/seminars (between 20 and 30)

Research Activity

Research activity is the most important and significant part of the overall training. It consists in the development of an original research on one of the various themes indicated by the specific curriculum, under the guidance of a tutor, assigned by the Academic Board, who can also be joined by one or more co-tutors, provided that at least one is of academic origin and at least one is in possession of the requisites required for the members of the Board itself. In assigning the tutor, the College will take into account the constraints imposed by any thematic scholarships on specific projects. 1 credit corresponds to a work time of 25 hours, including all the practical activities, but also bibliographic searches, study related to research activity, the draft of papers, mid-term reports, or of the final thesis, participation in group meetings or conferences). The credits will be acquired at the end of every year, after certification by the tutors of the regular frequency, and after approval, by the Doctoral Board, of the annual written report and of the oral presentation of the results of that year. In the case of research involving collaborations with other researchers/students or other groups, the student must put in clear evidence of his/her own contribution to the overall research. The publication of papers, patents, and communications at congresses will be welcome, but it will not be mandatory for credit acquisition, in light of the fact that the publication of results is often done only after some time.

The research activity must be carried out in the research structures of Genova university or of the other organizations participating in the doctorate (IIT, CNR). It can be also carried out in a private company, in another research organization, or in another university, especially when they finance the grant. The tutor(s) will follow closely the research work and check the actual full-time frequency of the student to the laboratories. Apart from reasonable exceptions, every student must acquire at least 20 credits through research periods abroad, while stages in private Italian or foreign companies are strongly encouraged.


The credits relative to courses and seminars are divided into these types:

  • A) Attendance to short courses (4-6 h) given by Italian of foreign outstanding experts. These short courses are scheduled on an annual basis by the Doctoral Board. Every course of this kind is worth 1 credit. You may find here specific informations.
  • B) Attendance to specific courses offered by the involved university departments or the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) or the Genova Research Area of the National Research Council (CNR) with their own teachers (or activated by other Doctorates of the University of Genova). In this case 1 credit corresponds to 7 hours of lessons. There will be a final verification of knowledge (exam). These credits will be normally acquired in the first two years. You can find below a list of currently activated units.
  • C) Attendance to seminars (at least 16 in 3 years), corresponding to 2 total credits. There is no final verification of knowledge. The attendance to the seminars must be certified.
  • D) Attendance to national or international schools for Ph.D. students, or workshops. For each school or workshop, the number of credits will be decided by the Doctoral Board, depending on the duration and the level.
  • E) Thematic seminars (1 or 2) given by the PhD student. Each seminar corresponds to 2 CFU.
  • F) Attendance to courses (or part of them) offered by University Master Degrees. These courses are recommended for candidates that need to overcome cultural gaps which could adversely affect the performance of the thesis or the successful attendance of specific doctorate teachings. These courses will normally be followed during the first year. There will be a final exam.



Last update 18 June 2024