PhD in Mathematics in Natural, Social and Life Sciences


Program Description

The GSSI – Gran Sasso Science Institute, based in L’Aquila (Italy), offers 30 PhD scholarships in the following fields:

  • “Astroparticle Physics” (8 scholarships) 
  • “Mathematics in Natural, Social and Life Sciences” (8 scholarships)
  • “Computer Science” (7 scholarships)
  • “Regional Science and Economic Geography” (7 scholarships)

The official language of the PhD programmes is English. The fellowships are awarded for 4 years and their yearly amount is € 16,159.91 gross. All PhD students have free accommodation at the GSSI facilities and use of the canteen.

The application must be submitted through the online form available at by 11 June 2020, 5 pm (Italian time zone).

For more information, please consult the Call for Applications at or write an email to

Program Highlights

Mathematics in Natural, Social and Life Sciences (8 scholarships)

  • 6 scholarships;
  • 2 scholarships for the research project "GrowBot – Towards a new generation of plant-inspired growing artefacts". The positions are half supported under the Grant Agreement n. 824074 (Call: FETPROACT-2018-2020) of the Horizon 2020 Framework Program. The project is directed by Prof. Pierangelo Marcati and will address the following research topics: mathematical models for the growth and movement of climbing plants, and their relationship with experimental data existing in the literature. Control problems originating from bio-inspired robotics. The main mathematical techniques are related to Numerical linear algebra, scientific computing, network analysis and machine learning and their applications to plant biology. Deterministic and Stochastic Models for Plant Communications and Interactions.

It is possible to apply both for GrowBot Project and for GSSI scholarships, by submitting two different applications.

Within the PhD course in Mathematics in Natural, Social and Life Sciences a priority has been established on mathematical modeling, both towards the traditional areas of application, such as Physics or Engineering, and towards emerging issues in Biology and in the Social Sciences. An emphasis will be given also to numerical methods, high-performance computing techniques, stochastic analysis and partial-differential-equation methods, in particular those related to fluid dynamics and quantum physics. Numerical and stochastic methods for mathematical models in seismology will be of special interest.

The PhD curriculum in Mathematics of Natural, Social and Life Sciences at Gran Sasso Science Institute will lead the students to deal not only with the more traditional aspects of this discipline, such as Pure Mathematics, Partial Differential Equations and Mathematical Physics, but also with entirely new problems, requiring the development of the most appropriate tools to deal with the complexity, such as stochastic analysis and computational mathematics.

The curriculum consists of 4 years of study and research. During the first year, after initial training classes, students will be offered three main courses and a wide number of short courses, covering a large spectrum of topics. By the beginning of the second year students select a research project under the supervision of one (or more) of the mathematicians affiliated to GSSI.

Governing Board

Paolo Antonelli (GSSI), Piermarco Cannarsa (Università Roma TorVergata), Gianluca Crippa (Universität Basel), Camillo De Lellis (Universität Zürich), Nicola Guglielmi (GSSI - Università L'Aquila), Pierangelo Marcati (Chair, GSSI), Errico Presutti (GSSI), Gigliola Staffilani (MIT), Angelo Vulpiani (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Past Committee (2013-2016)

Paolo Antonelli (GSSI), Stefano Bianchini (SISSA), Gianni Dal Maso (SISSA), Camillo De Lellis (Universität Zürich), Antonio De Simone (SISSA), Pierangelo Marcati (Chair, University of L'Aquila and GSSI), Errico Presutti (GSSI), Gigliola Staffilani (MIT)

University profile

The GSSI – Gran Sasso Science Institute ( is an international PhD school and a center for research and higher education in the areas of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Social Sciences. It was founded in 2012 in L’Aquila (Italy) as a Center for Advanced Studies of the INFN – National Institute for Nuclear Physics and then established in March 2016 as a School of Advanced Studies providing post-graduate education.

Through a day-to-day collaboration and interaction, researchers and students have the opportunity to build a sound knowledge of the research methods and to experiment contamination of interests, innovative approaches and multicultural exchanges in all the GSSI activities. In addressing the complexity of today’s world, we are committed to removing all barriers between the GSSI areas of study and research, where interdisciplinarity and cross-fertilization underlie everything we do. Among our goals are the dissemination of scientific results towards society and the promotion of cultural events for generic public, citizens and schools.

Last updated Mar 2020

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About the School

The Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) is an international PhD school and a center for research and higher education.

The Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) is an international PhD school and a center for research and higher education. Read less