Topic specific scholarships

“Human-Computer Interaction: narration and deliberation” financed by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler- FBK

The research project will investigate narration and deliberation as interactive tools for learning in formal and informal settings. The candidate will explore theoretical aspects and design opportunities in different fields.

Skills partially required and partially to be acquired during the research work period): Knowledge about interaction design (user needs elicitation, design concept, ideation, etc.), evaluation of technologies (experimental design, field observations, qualitative and quantitative analysis, etc.) as well as limited but effective programming skills to develop prototypes to test research ideas.

Responsible of the Project:
Massimo Zancanaro: zancana [at]

"Social inclusion and peer support in ICT for physical-mental wellbeing " financed by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler- FBK

A growing body of research suggests that ICT can be leveraged to provide support to different segments of the population affected by medical conditions or that could benefit from prevention programs. The majority of research and innovation initiatives, however, focus on solutions targeting the individual user, often overlooking the importance of the social dimension and support provided for example by networks of peers.  The aim of this PhD project is to explore the role of ICT-supported networks in healthcare and wellbeing. Through the analysis of case studies in the field of active ageing and mental health/wellbeing, the project will focus on personalized plans of care for rehabilitation and cognitive decline prevention. In particular, it will investigate how technologies can offer innovative tools and forms of interventions to key actors involved in the care management and assistance loop, allowing more effective communication and integration over social inclusion and peer support practices, conceived as situated care activities and social processes involving networks of heterogeneous actors.

Skills(partially required and partially to be acquired during the research work period): Knowledge about CSCW and HCI (user needs elicitation, evaluation, etc.) and organizational analysis (context analysis, organizational re-design, etc.). A background of qualitative methodology techniques is a plus. It is essential the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team composed of computer scientists, social and cognitive scientists, clinical experts and software developers.

Responsibles of the Project:
Silvia Gabrielli: sgabrielli [at]
Enrico Maria Piras: piras [at]
Massimo Zancanaro: zancana [at] fbk.ue

”Deep learning for data integration and reproducibility in autism research " financed by theFondazione Bruno Kessler– FBK

The challenge of this project is introducing Deep Learning as a novel modeling framework in Autism research, with a focus on the automatic extraction of complex behavioural patterns and indicators useful to improve interaction, emotional and cognitive development by means of wearable sensors and other signals. The project will develop deep learning methods solutions for tracing fine movements, quantifying stereotypic patterns, identify indicators of sinchrony of key interest to improve treatment and life quality of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A specific attention to reproducible research (e.g. adoption of databases for psychopathological and behavioural data, modular and well described processing methods, automatic association to phenotype data, experimental adoption in real contexts) will characterize the project.
Skills (partially required and partially to be acquired during the research work period): We look for a candidate strongly motivated in interdisciplinary research, with interest both in psychopathology and machine learning methods. Competence in statistical computing and data science methods (e.g. knowledge of Python, experience in interdisciplinary collaborations, data preprocessing) will be required to efficiently analyze psychological data, develop a large scale data collection solution and progressively build the deep learning framework. Skills in statistical machine learning and basic knowledge of deep learning algorithms will also be positively considered. Availability to work in joint assignment at two laboratories (Rovereto and Trento)  is required.

Responsible of the Project:
Cesare Furlanello: furlan [at]
Paola Venuti: paola.venuti [at] 

“Experimentation of inclusive educational and teaching methodologies from a viewpoint of comparing Italy and Brazil (cross-cultural research)” financed by Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson – Trento

Description: The research work will mainly focus on comparing inclusive educational and teaching methodologies which target pupils with disabilities, difficulties and other kinds of Special Educational Needs within two precise school and cultural contexts - Brazil and Italy, and to assess their effectiveness in their reference context and any possibility there may be of ‘transferring’ it in a reciprocal context.

The methodological approaches specifically targeted will be those that not only concentrate on the various kinds of disability/difficulty but that can be “put into effect” at a class and school context level, like, for example, those which focus on working on the cognitive side or the emotional and motivational side, on the use of visual facilitation strategies and strategies centred on organising material to be learnt (diagrams, maps and visual aids), on the adaptation and simplification of textbooks/teaching material, on the use of the “classmate” resource (cooperative learning and tutoring), on aspects related to feedback and assessment, on metacognition and study methods, on the use of technologies from an inclusive perspective, on innovative educational and teaching methodologies etc.

Skills(partially required and partially to be acquired during the research work period): Knowledge of the various kinds of disability and other SEN and of the person’s prospective functioning according to the ICF biopsychosocial model; knowledge of the fundamental principles of pedagogy and special didactics from an inclusive perspective; knowledge of the main inclusive educational and teaching approaches; knowledge of the school environment and the key players of that environment, with particular reference to the Italian and Brazilian school systems; ability to compare different educational and teaching systems and to highlight their strengths and weaknesses / concerns, focusing on potential  aspects for adaptation/improvement; knowing and being able to apply tools for the measurement and (self) improvement of the inclusive quality of schools.

Good knowledge (intermediate level) of Portuguese spoken and written language.

Responsibles of the Project:
Dario Ianes (Free University of Bolzano and Centro Studi Erickson, Trento): dario.ianes [at] 
Lucia De Anna (University of Rome “Foro Italico”): lucia.deanna [at]
Paola Venuti (University of Trento): paola.venuti [at] 

The PhD student awarded the scholarship financed by FBK  and Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson is obliged to maintain confidentiality in regard to the disclosure and use of any information, data, software, discovery, invention, idea, method, process (in any format including the source code) or other knowledge discovered, conceived, developed and/or implemented within the research activities financed relatively not only to the object of the PhD scholarship awarded to the PhD student, but also to possible changes made to the object of the grant as agreed with FBK or Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson.

Doctoral course in Cognitive Science
corso Bettini, 84 - 36068 Rovereto (TN)
+39 0464 808610