Cell and Molecular Biology
Tor Vergata Doctorate School
Roma Tor Vergata
Course Coordinator & Office of Graduate Studies
Students' Office
Thematic Areas
The program in Molecular and Cellular Biology offers a unique multidisciplinary training experience leading to a Doctorate degree. The Biology Department in partnership with several private and public institutions in the Rome area have formed a Program that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries to offer the student research training in nearly 20 different laboratories. Graduate students can select from research opportunities in areas as diverse as gene expression, cell biology, developmental biology and bio-informatics.
Selection & Admission
Students considering graduate work should contact the research groups they may be interested in joining well in advance with respect to the deadline of the official application. Candidates are expected to submit a complete CV including a short description of their past research experience and a statement describing their broad interests. Two reference letters by academic referees are also requested.
Applicants are expected to have obtained a second level degree in Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics , Bio-informatics, Mathematics or Computer Science. Ideal candidates are young recently graduated motivated students. The official language of the PhD program is English.
Students' Monitoring
Each student is assigned to a supervisor that discusses regularly with the student the progress of her/his project. In addition a "tutor" independently monitors the advancement of the project by discussing with the student at least once a year. Students report their progresses once a year by submitting a report and by presenting the results in a public seminar attended by students and supervisors.
Training & Education
During the first year, students with different backgrounds (physics, computer science, chemistry ) are required to attend biology courses, while students with a biology background will be trained in disciplines such as statistics or bio-informatics. In addition, students participate in Journal Clubs in which they learn to critically evaluate original research articles. In the second and third years, graduate students present their research progress to other students and faculty. The Graduate Student Seminars are an opportunity to gain communication skills and to learn about ongoing research of other students and research laboratories. Professors from outside the institution are invited for monthly seminars and symposia. Graduate students are expected to devote their full time to research and study. The main goal of our program consists in enabling students to become independent, creative, and productive researchers by cultivating their skills in a multidisciplinary environment.
Doctoral Thesis
Students that during the three year program have at least one first author paper accepted in an international refereed journal are admitted to submit their thesis. Students that have not met such a requirement are requested to submit to the thesis committee a manuscript, ready for submission to a journal, where their contribution is recognized with the first position in the author list.
After submission, the thesis is reviewed by an external academic that is expert in the specific research area. After the necessary rounds of revision, the reviewer, if appropriate, admits the student to thesis defense. Finally the thesis work is presented in a public lecture attended by a Commission nominated by the Program coordinator and including up to two members of the Board of Teachers and at least two external examiners.
For the academic year 2011-2012 the program of Cellular and Molecular Biology of Tor Vergata offers 7 fellowships. Additional fellowships may be added depending on results of grant applications.
The gross yearly amount of the fellowships provided to the students is approximately 15,886 Euros. An additional yearly allowance) is provided for the period (maximum 18 months during the three years) spent abroad by the students during the completion of the thesis work.
A new structure offering accommodation for approximately 1400 students was recently inaugurated in the campus of the University. Apartments of various types and sizes will be available to students and researchers who will have access to a wide range of local services including laundries and supermarkets, as well as a gym, auditorium and restaurant. At approximately € 350 a month, the cost of staying on campus is markedly less than the average price of alternative student accommodation.