The Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) is an international PhD school and a center for research and higher education. The GSSI aims to create a new center of scientific excellence in L’Aquila fostering the skills and highly specialized structures already present in the area, such as the Gran Sasso National Laboratories of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the University of L'Aquila, facilitating the attraction of high-level resources in the fields of natural and social sciences.
All the GSSI areas are encompassed by the awareness of the complexity of today's world, where the ability of interpreting large amounts of data is increasingly critical for making correct and timely decisions. This is why no barriers stand between our areas of study and research, as it always should be between different fields of knowledge. Cross-fertilization, leading to the contamination of interests and study methods typical of different disciplines, is a feature that we want to be present in our activities.
The PhD program (started in the academic year 2013-2014) is organized in the scientific areas of physics, mathematics and computer science and social sciences (management of innovation and regional development).
Professors, researchers and students from all scientific areas are selected internationally, following the standards of the best graduate schools worldwide.
Research and learning at the GSSI are grounded on firm epistemological and methodological bases. Through a day-to-day collaboration and interaction, researchers and doctoral students of the three research areas of the GSSI have the opportunity to build a sound knowledge of the methods of scientific research and to acquire a familiarity with the history of science.
The GSSI is a project supported by the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD); it was presented for the first time in July 2009 in Rome at the meeting organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs with the OECD. In 2012, the Italian Government, on the basis of the Law 35/2012, established the GSSI and assigned INFN the responsibility of establishing it. INFN has framed the GSSI in its organizational structure, for the first three years of activity, as a National Centre for Advanced Studies.
The PhD degree is released jointly with prestigious educational institutions such as the post-graduate School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste (Physics and Mathematics), the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa (Social Sciences) and the institute for advanced studies Institutions Markets Technologies (IMT) of Lucca (Computer Science).
In addition to the three-year PhD program, the GSSI aims to activate and develop additional courses for students enrolled at the University of L'Aquila, research projects involving professors, researchers, students of the GSSI and professionals of the private sector and training courses for the staff of the Public Administration to promote the development of the local area.
What we offer to our students
We want our students get the best possible experience during their time at the Gran Sasso Science Institute. That's why we decided to provide them free housing plus the standard three years PhD grant. Meals expenses will be partly covered with luncheon vouchers and other recreational and cultural services will be offered.
So, whatever you want from your graduate experience, we offer the perfect environment in which you can learn, develop your skills and have a great time.
The standard italian three years PhD grant can be found in the following table
|health insurance option||yr net income||tax and health insurance||yr gross income|
|including health insurance||€ 13.638,00||€ 2.522,00||€ 16.160,00|
|health insurance from third parties||€ 13.638,00||€ 1.638,00||€ 15.276,00|
Knowledge, education and research are always drivers of economic growth but in the case of GSSI the socio-economic return has, and always will have, a special place among our goals.
First of all, the GSSI will attract Italian and international students, thereby contributing to making the city of L’Aquila an internationally recognized location for high-level education. This will be further enhanced by strong links with the local University, whose students will have the possibility to attend courses for undergraduates at the Institute. A fraction of the young and talented individuals that the GSSI will play a role in attracting may eventually choose L'Aquila as their residence, enriching the knowledge capital of the area in a more permanent way. They will add economic value to the area by working in existing organizations or creating new ones. The research carried out at GSSI will have a high potential of socio-economic impact: by addressing topics such as Urban Studies or studying complex systems from different approaches (physics, computing or mathematics); our aim is to create usable knowledge that can be shared with the local policy makers and contribute to make L’Aquila a better and “smarter” place to live. Moreover, the GSSI has a dedicated service, the Industrial Liaison Office (GSSI-ILO), that will foster links between research and the productive sector.
Finally, we want our headquarters to be a welcoming place for all visitors. We will organize open workshops, public conferences and art exhibitions, to share with everyone our passion for knowledge and the findings of our research.
L’Aquila as a knowledge-driven city: higher education and research
The economic base of the city, the presence of the University and other cucltural and research centers allow to revision L’Aquila as a knowledge-drive city.
The economic and social structure of L’Aquila allows to revision the city a knowledge-driven city of national and international significance, as already stated in previous OECD work (OECD 2009). First, it hosts a large university; second, it hosts the word-renowned Laboratory of Gran Sasso and the newly established Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI doctoral school); third, as any other capital city hosts the production of services with a high content of human capital.
With a knowledge-driven city we mean a city in which a significant share of employment is directly or indirectly accounted for by production processes that use highly skilled human capital. Yet knowledge goods are very complex to produce, and their production, as private or public goods, requires to be supported by long-term policies, and the knowledge sector is very much sensitive to the general condition of the city, in particular quality of life, environmental sustainability, and cultural openness.
In the case of L’Aquila, the knowledge sector has a key position in the economy of the city. The university sector was, before 2009 earthquake, one of the most important components of the economic base and its expansion should be considered of the over-riding importance. That L’Aquila should re-brand itself as a knowledge-driven city is also confirmed by citizens’ preferences, as expressed both in the OECD-University of Groningen Community Survey and in public meetings.
The recently established doctoral school linked to the Gran Sasso National Laboratory can make the city even more identifiable as a place of research.
The presence in the city of the world-renowned Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics significantly adds to the reputation of L’Aquila as a city of research. Over the years, and against the background of the internationally recognised excellence of the physics community, the Gran Sasso national Laboratory has established itself as a research premise of undisputable significance, giving to L’Aquila a very special signature. The National Institute of Nuclear Physics has recently launched a new-interdisciplinary research center and international doctoral school – the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) – that the three years will have about 100 doctoral students and more than 20 post-doctoral researchers. The GSSI will be located in L’Aquila, and it will make the city even more identifiable as place of research in the world, generating strong synergies with the university.
This school offers programs in: