Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology
Course Coordinator & Office of Graduate Studies
Students' Office
Thematic Areas
In 2002, the Institute of Advanced Study of Pavia ( and the University of Pavia ( have established a joint PhD program in “Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology”, which has seventeen faculty members including two foreign scientists. The programme has duration of study for three years. Its main aim is to take advantage of the multidisciplinary environment of the Research/University Campus in Pavia to enable PhD students to work at the cutting edge of modern biomedical science with a multidisciplinary approach. Indeed, this PhD program has a unique “inter-faculty” scheme that shifts away from traditional models present in Italian Universities. This scheme provides students with opportunities to work with a number of supervisors who are affiliated with the Medical School and with the Faculties of Pharmacy and of Natural Sciences. The program includes lectures on topics that are relevant for the research projects.
Selection & Admission
Participants are selected on a competitive basis. The selection takes place at the date and location indicated in the call for applications ("bando di concorso" published on the IUSS web site). The selection is a two-tier process which involves the evaluation of the candidate's CV (including mandatory reference letters) followed by an oral interview that is, at least partly, in English. Motivation and general scientific knowledge are the two main elements for the evaluation. Admitted students are free to choose the laboratory/project they are interested in.
Students' Monitoring
Every year, candidates must produce a written report on their activities which are assessed by the PhD faculty members. Approval of such a report is required for the continuation of the PhD course.
Training & Education
Courses dealing with specific topics in the thematic areas of the program are organized. These courses focus on innovative aspects of biomedicine and biotechnology with an emphasis on new methodological approaches. Each course typically encompasses 10 lectures but they can also be full-time courses of 1-3 days. In addition, a series of 8-10 seminars /year is offered to the students.
Doctoral Thesis
The programme ends with the submission of a written doctoral thesis, which is assessed by the coordinator of the PhD programme and three external evaluators. The candidates must provide the evaluators with a copy of the thesis at least one month before the final public exam, which comprises a public seminar followed by a rather intense question time with detailed analysis of the biological impact as well as methodological issues. A high quality publication of the experimental work carried out during the programme, or at least submission of a manuscript concerning such work is required prior to the discussion of the doctoral thesis.
Students entering the program will be granted a three year institutional fellowship, either provided by the Ministry of Education and Research and by University and Departmental funds. The monthly amount of the fellowships provided to the students for this program is 1100 Euros (after tax).
The Campus of Pavia is well known for its excellent network of “Collegi” that host 10-20% of the undergrad students. Most of the “Collegi” also have facilities that are explicitly tailored to the accommodate PhD students (see