International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Introduction

About SISSA

A school where training means research

SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies, was founded in 1978 and is a scientific center of excellence within the national and international academic scene. Located in Italy, in the city of Trieste, it features 67 professors, about 130 post-docs, 245 Ph.D. students and 95 technical-administrative staff. Situated on the scenic Karst upland, the School is surrounded by a 25-acre park and offers a stunning view of the Gulf of Trieste. The three main research areas of SISSA are Physics, Neuroscience, and Mathematics. All the scientific work carried out by SISSA researchers is published regularly in leading international journals with a high impact factor, and frequently in the most prestigious scientific journals such as Nature and Science. The School has also drawn up over 150 collaboration agreements with the world's leading schools and research institutes. The quality level of the research is further confirmed by the fact that within the competitive field of European funding schemes SISSA holds the top position among Italian scientific institutes in terms of research grants obtained in relation to the number of researchers and professors. Such leadership should also be seen in terms of SISSA's ability to obtain funding, both from the private and public sectors, such as SIR and PRIN. As for the National assessment of research quality involving all Universities and scientific institutes, SISSA got top marks in mathematics and neuroscience and came first among medium-sized departments in the field of physical science.

Facilities

Thanks to its outstanding setting in the unspoiled countryside of the Trieste Karst, the wonderful park around the School is a lovely place to go for walks and to enjoy the view over the town and on the Trieste Gulf. On the SISSA campus, you can find some amenities, such as the theater/auditorium, the gym and much more, which will make your stay in the School even more pleasant. All students and researchers are also entitled to use facilities which are extremely important for their work. One of those facilities is the library, which gives access to all the most important scientific publications covering all research fields at SISSA. On the campus, journals are also freely accessible online in their electronic version.

Research Laboratories

For their research activities, the experimental groups of SISSA can use several laboratories. The Neurobiology laboratories use advanced tools for physiological research, DNA sequence analyzer, and molecular biology instrumentation. This Area also uses advanced computers and software for molecular modeling, and for the study of hybrid bio-electronic devices. Advanced types of software for the study of biology-inspired machine vision are in use. The microscope facilities of the Neurobiology Area are an electron microscope, two confocal microscopes, and numerous fluorescence microscopes. The facilities of the Cognitive Neuroscience laboratories are test cabins for psycholinguistic experiments with adults and children using sophisticated artificial speech; a virtual theatre for presenting visual scenes to test reasoning processes in children; high-density evoked potential recording to carry out neuroimaging on children and adults; a neuropsychology laboratory equipped for transcranial magnetic stimulation. Other methodological highpoints include the tactile perception laboratory, which examines the neuronal basis of sensation using a 100-microelectrode matrix implanted in the cerebral cortex; this group also monitors neuronal activity underlying perceptual decisions in behaving animals.

Information Technology and Computing Services

Huge resources for scientific computing are available at SISSA. Services include e-mail, web hosting, distributed file systems, wireless and remote Internet access, courseware and research and high-performance computing facilities. SISSA maintains a large number of interconnected number-crunching servers that communicate with each other. SISSA is connected to GARR, the Italian research network, and communicates with the main national and international super-computing centers.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View PhDs »

Programs

This school also offers:

PhD

Joint PhD Program in Molecular Biology (JuMBO)

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the International Center for Genetic Engineering Biotechnology (ICGEB), the University of Trieste and the University of Udine offer a new Joint Ph.D. Program in Molecular Biology (JuMBO). [+]

The International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the International Center for Genetic Engineering Biotechnology (ICGEB), the University of Trieste and the University of Udine offer a new Joint Ph.D. Program in Molecular Biology (JuMBO).

The main mission of JuMBO is to train enthusiastic young scientists from developed and developing countries to use advanced molecular tools with a deeper understanding of their scientific and technical opportunities and limitations. Students who complete this Ph.D. program will have a solid background in the various aspects of Molecular Biology and related methodology, including bioinformatics and structural biology, to efficiently exploit new functionalities for scientific and technical research purposes. Students will benefit from receiving their training in Molecular Biology in the active and exciting research environment of the four prestigious institutions.... [-]


PhD in Astroparticle Physics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

Astroparticle Physics represents one of the preeminent interests of SISSA and has been singled out as one of the areas that SISSA will further strengthen in the near future. It is a young and interdisciplinary field, [+]

Astroparticle Physics represents one of the preeminent interests of SISSA and has been singled out as one of the areas that SISSA will further strengthen in the near future. It is a young and interdisciplinary field, at the frontier among Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Particle Physics, addressing some of the most pressing and fundamental questions in Science today, such as understanding the nature of gravity, explaining the origin and evolution of the Universe and identifying the nature of its constituents, including dark matter and dark energy.

In recent years the field has witnessed a rapid growth, also in connection to the wealth of new data and the rich experimental programmes in progress. The focus at SISSA is to connect the new insights offered by these exciting phenomenological developments to the forefront of the theoretical research in the field.... [-]


PhD in Astrophysics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

There has never been a better time to work in Astrophysics, a vibrant and competitive discipline in frontier research. Applicants to the Ph.D. program in Astrophysics will first be assessed on the basis of their CV and reference letters. [+]

There has never been a better time to work in Astrophysics, a vibrant and competitive discipline in frontier research.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program in Astrophysics will first be assessed on the basis of their CV and reference letters. A number of candidates will be invited for an interview on one of the two announced dates.

The Ph.D. course consists of 3 to 4 years of study and research. First-year students are required to attend several courses spanning a period from November to May and to take exams in a selection of those courses. At the beginning of the first year, students are assigned a tutor, a SISSA staff member who will advise them on selecting exams and will provide guidance on choosing a research project for their Ph.D. thesis. After completion of the courses, students will start working on their research project under the supervision of one or more SISSA staff members.... [-]


PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA aims at providing students with the fundamental knowledge and skills for conducting cutting-edge research in the field, covering topics as diverse as perception, language, memory, action, and social behavior. [+]

The Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA aims at providing students with the fundamental knowledge and skills for conducting cutting-edge research in the field, covering topics as diverse as perception, language, memory, action, and social behavior. Some of our research is also translational in nature (e.g., cognitive neuropsychology), thus offering the opportunity for a career outside academia.

The School is strongly research oriented. Our faculty dedicates most of their time to research, thus offering exceptional tutorship. This substantial investment in research is reflected in our ability to attract highly competitive funding (there are five on-going ERC grants in the group, several Human Frontier projects, and so on); develop strong research ties, both locally (e.g., the Healthcare system of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, the Unione Italiana Ciechi, the University of Trieste) and internationally (e.g., NTNU, Harvard, Oxford); and publish in leading journals such as Current Biology, PNAS, Science, and Nature.... [-]


PhD in Condensed Matter Physics

Campus Full time Part time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste + 1 more

SISSA has just launched a new program for faster access to a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics. The best students will be able to attend lectures at SISSA while still attending their last year of the Master course in Physics at the University of Trieste. [+]

SISSA welcomes applications for up to 6 positions for a new Fast Track Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics starting in October 2016

SISSA has just launched a new program for faster access to a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics. The best students will be able to attend lectures at SISSA while still attending their last year of the Master course in Physics at the University of Trieste.

The Ph.D. course in “Theory and numerical simulation of condensed matter” is a rich and complete post-graduate program of up to 4 years of training and research covering the various aspects of the field. The fast-track program allows students to start their research careers one year earlier, studying and working in a vibrant international environment. Students at SISSA have ongoing close interaction with their supervisors as well as with several scientists and specialists in their field of study.... [-]


PhD in Geometry and Mathematical Physics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The Ph.D. program in Geometry and Mathematical Physics focuses on the study of analytic and geometric aspects of physical phenomena that are of fundamental interest in both pure and applied sciences and covers wide spectrum of topics [+]

Purpose of the Ph.D. Course

The Ph.D. program in Geometry and Mathematical Physics focuses on the study of analytic and geometric aspects of physical phenomena that are of fundamental interest in both pure and applied sciences and covers a wide spectrum of topics in modern algebraic and differential geometry and their applications.

Research Topics Integrable systems in relation to differential, algebraic and symplectic geometry, as well as with the theory of random matrices, special functions and nonlinear waves, Frobenius manifolds Deformation theory and virtual classes moduli spaces of sheaves and of curves, in relation to supersymmetric gauge theories, strings, Gromov-Witten invariants, orbifolds and automorphisms Quantum groups, noncommutative Riemannian and spin geometry, applications to models in mathematical physics Mathematical methods of quantum mechanics Mathematical aspects of Quantum Field Theory and String 
Theory Symplectic geometry, sub-Riemannian geometry Geometry of quantum fields and strings Seminar on Hodge theory ... [-]

PhD in Mathematical Analysis, Modelling and Application

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years August 2019 Italy Trieste

The aim of the Ph.D. Course in Mathematical Analysis, Modelling, and Applications is to educate graduate students in the fields of mathematical analysis and mathematical modeling, and in the applications of mathematical and numerical analysis to science and technology. [+]

Purpose of the Ph.D. Course

The aim of the Ph.D. Course in Mathematical Analysis, Modelling, and Applications is to educate graduate students in the fields of mathematical analysis and mathematical modeling, and in the applications of mathematical and numerical analysis to science and technology. The goal is to enable PhDs to work as high-level researchers in these fields in universities, research institutes, and private companies.

Research Topics

The activity in Mathematical Analysis is mainly focused on ordinary and partial differential equations, on dynamical systems, on the calculus of variations, and on control theory. Connections of these topics with differential geometry and reduced order modeling are also developed.... [-]


PhD in Neurobiology

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The aim of the Lectures of the Ph.D. program in Neurobiology is to provide students with a common framework starting from different backgrounds. [+]

The aim of the Lectures of the Ph.D. program in Neurobiology is to provide students with a common framework starting from different backgrounds.

Lectures will take place at the beginning of the Ph.D. Program, so to have more time to focus on the scientific research project that will be carried out during the Ph.D. There will be two main scientific modules complemented by a module dedicated to specific experimental methodologies and safety procedures. All the lectures will be in English and will be held by an expert in the field.

Module 1 will be devoted to fundamental aspects of Neurophysiology and Neurobiology: we will review basic notions about neurons, synapses and sensory systems. We will also cover properties of neuronal networks underlying perception in the cortex and locomotion in the spinal cord.... [-]


PhD in Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems

Campus Full time 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

Understanding the working principles of living organisms and soft matter systems from the basic equations ruling the dynamics of atoms and molecules was considered science fiction until a few years ago, and biophysics was almost unanimously considered a battlefield for phenomenologists. [+]

Understanding the working principles of living organisms and soft matter systems from the basic equations ruling the dynamics of atoms and molecules was considered science fiction until a few years ago, and biophysics was almost unanimously considered a battlefield for phenomenologists. Nowadays, applying rigorous physics to biological processes is no longer a dream. What’s more, it is becoming clear that the next few decades will be the golden age for the “theory of life”, which is expected to undergo the same accelerating growth experienced by other physics disciplines in the past century.

Young scientists attracted by the opportunity to develop and apply concepts, models and methods to explore the still uncharted territory of quantitative biology can take up this challenge in our Ph.D. programme in Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems.... [-]


PhD in Statistical Physics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

Statistical Physics, together with Quantum Mechanics, is the pillar of our understanding of many physical phenomena, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. The field has recently witnessed a significant and impressive outpouring of experimental and theoretical results, [+]

Statistical Physics, together with Quantum Mechanics, is the pillar of our understanding of many physical phenomena, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. The field has recently witnessed a significant and impressive outpouring of experimental and theoretical results, which have created an ideal physicist’s playground.

Statistical Physics addresses, for instance, crucial questions about the nature of phase transitions and predicts the possibility to forge new states of matter, such as Bose-Einstein condensation in ultra-cold gases. At the same time, it provides a vital source of fresh ideas and inspiration for those who work in more theoretical directions. Its attraction lies in its ability to produce an array of sophisticated analytical and conceptual tools with far-reaching applications. The remarkable blend of mathematical and physical ideas is at the root of the outstanding scientific elegance and extraordinary efficiency characterizing this scientific area.... [-]


PhD in Structural and Functional Genomics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The Ph.D. Course in Structural and Functional Genomics main mission is the training of enthusiastic young scientists focusing their interests in a broad spectrum of biological research disciplines. [+]

Our Mission

The Ph.D. Course in Structural and Functional Genomics main mission is the training of enthusiastic young scientists focusing their interests in a broad spectrum of biological research disciplines.

Projects within the Ph.D. Course Program span from genomics, transcriptomics and developmental genetics to structural biology, molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and developmental neurobiology. Crossing over research such as system biology may have a prominent role within the Ph.D. Course Program. Students are continuously exposed to cutting-edge research through year around classes, seminars, and workshops. The average ratio between supervisor and students is about 1 to 5.... [-]


PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics has always been part of the postgraduate programmes on offer at SISSA. More than a hundred students have obtained a Ph.D. qualification in Theoretical Particle Physics since SISSA started offering the course. [+]

The Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics has always been part of the postgraduate programmes on offer at SISSA. More than a hundred students have obtained a Ph.D. qualification in Theoretical Particle Physics since SISSA started offering the course.

Every year, five students are selected to attend this 3-year programme (plus an extra year, if needed) of study and research. During the first year, students attend about 450 hours of postgraduate courses covering a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from phenomenology to the more formal aspects of theoretical particle physics. Each student has to select a subset of them and pass the relevant exams within the first year.

The main research lines are Physics at the LHC, Physics Beyond the Standard Model, Neutrino Physics, String Theory, the AdS/CFT correspondence and alternative Quantum Theories of Gravity. Students benefit from the rich environment of scientific institutions of the Trieste area, such as the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the Physics Department of the University of Trieste and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN).... [-]


PhD in Theory and Numerical Simulation of Condensed Matter

Campus Full time 3 - 4 years October 2018 Italy Trieste

The PhD curriculum in Theory and Simulation of Condensed Matter is suited to highly motivated students interested in learning how the microscopic constituents of matters self- assemble to bring about the whole complexity of the states of matter, from molecules to complex solids, [+]

The PhD curriculum in Theory and Simulation of Condensed Matter is suited to highly motivated students interested in learning how the microscopic constituents of matters self- assemble to bring about the whole complexity of the states of matter, from molecules to complex solids, and in learning how to model fascinating macroscopic phenomena, from friction to superconductivity and superfluidity, emerging from the collective behaviour of those microscopic agents.

During the first year of their PhD course, students acquire the most advanced tools for modelling and studying states of matter, from ab-initio simulation of real materials and molecules to quantum simulation of lattice models, from the classical statistical theory of many-body systems to its quantum counterpart, and acquaint themselves with the broad research activity carried out at SISSA through more focused and topical courses. This preliminary stage provides students with a common background and all the information they need to decide on the research topic they intend to pursue in their PhD thesis.... [-]


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