Application Summary and Process
PhD Programme in Cognitive and Brain Sciences
2021 Call Summary for 15 Scholarships (4 years)
Deadline: MAY 27, 2021, 4:00 pm (Italian time)
The following guide summarizes the application procedures in the Full Call Reference and is meant to give an overview of the application. It does not replace the full call, and in case of inconsistency, the full call takes precedence.
The PhD Program of the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences provides students with the solid knowledge base and applied skills necessary for careers in academia or related industries. The program is in English. The scholarships are on the order of approximately net 1,200 Euro/month, 12 months a year. PhD candidates are expected to dedicate their time to study and research, reside on-site and not be employed elsewhere during their studies.
Scholarships (Art. 1)
15 PhD student scholarships, beginning Nov 1, 2021:
- n. 5 grants financed by the University of Trento;
- n. 1 grant financed in part by the University of Trento and in part by the CIMeC – Center for
- n. 1 grant financed by the CIMeC – Center for Mind Brain Sciences of the University of Trento, within
the project “SPANUMBRA “Number - Space associations in the brain” – ERC Advanced Grant n. 833504
- CUP E74I19000460006”, funded by the European Research Council on the topic “Numerical and
magnitude representions in the animal brains”;
- n. 2 grants financed by the CIMeC – Center for Mind Brain Sciences of the University of Trento within
the project “Never stop listening! Promoting healthy ageing with enhancements to metacognition and
self-regulation when listening in noisy places” (Project No. 1439), funded by Velux Stiftung on the topic
“Metacognition and self-regulation when listening in noisy places”;
- n. 1 grant financed by the CIMeC – Center for Mind Brain Sciences of the University of Trento on the
topic “Modelling the contribution of cognitive maps in human reasoning”, funded by “FARE MIUR codice
- n. 1 grant financed by the CIMeC – Center for Mind/Brain Sciences and the Department of Physics
of the University of Trento, within the University’s strategic project “TRAIN” and “BACKUP - Unveiling
the relationship between brain connectivity and function by integrated photonics” (E61I18001560005)
financed by the European Research Council on the topic “Neuromorphic photonic circuits to modulate
neuronal excitability in autism and epilepsy”;
n. 2 grants financed by the IIT - Italian Institute of Technology on the following topics:
- Mechanisms of action of noninvasive brain stimulation to support cognitive functioning in humans
(n. 1 grant),
- Neuromodulation of functional connectivity in the mouse brain (n.1 grant);
- n. 1 grant financed by the FBK – Fondazione Bruno Kessler, on the topic “Machine learning for brain
connectivity in clinical neuroscience”;
- n. 1 grant financed by the EURAC Research on the topic “Cognition out of the lab: body perception
and interactions with tools in a simulated real-world environment”.
Who can apply? – Foreign Qualifications (Art. 2)
Italian applicants must hold a Laurea Magistrale/Master’s Degree in a related field. Foreign applicants degree must be comparable to the Italian Laurea Magistrale in terms of duration, level, and content and follow the procedure detailed in the Full Call (Art. 2). A bachelor’s degree alone (3 or 4 year) is typically not sufficient for applying. Current M.A./M.Sc. students who expect to be awarded their degree by October 31, 2021 can apply but should follow the procedure in the Full Call very closely (Art 2).
PhD Programme: Coursework and Research Activity (Art. 3)
The PhD Program requires full-time effort during the 4-year duration of the scholarship. There is a mandatory number of course hours to be completed. A core set of courses is compulsory, and the remaining courses are selected by each candidate according to their interests and needs. Admitted applicants may inquire into the possibility of ‘pre-doc’ funding that can allow a limited number of applicants to begin practical training prior to the commencement of studies.
Online Application (Art. 4)
We encourage applicants to finalize the application a few days prior to the deadline.
Register using the link http://www.unitn.it/en/account to obtain a username and password for accessing the UniTN reserved area. Up to 2 working days may be necessary to obtain these credentials;
Apply using the link http://www.unitn.it/en/apply/dott;
The application process (along with uploading documents) can be saved at an intermediate stage before submitting the application.
Documents for a complete application:
Passport (page with photo, personal data, issuing information) or any EU national ID;
Official certificates regarding academic career (see Full Call Art. 4);
CV in English including a list of scientific papers, or related qualifications (e.g., training, presentations);
A Research statement in English, consisting of motivation and background information, statement of interest and research project proposal (see Full Call Art. 4);
English language knowledge statement declaring it equal to or above CEFR B2 level. Advanced knowledge of the English language is a fundamental prerequisite in order to participate in the PhD programme.
In addition, the following documents may be submitted in the application:
Names of 2 referees with full contact details, who will be automatically contacted to provide a structured reference letter.
English language certification.
IMPORTANT: it is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all documents have been uploaded on time, that these precisely satisfy the request in the Full Call and that the reference letters arrive in a timely manner.
If in doubt, please contact CIMeC administration (phd.cimec [at] unitn.it, +39 0464 808617) prior to the application deadline to verify that your application is complete.
Application evaluation (Art. 5)
The application involves a non-refundable €15.00 application cost, payable via credit card.
The selection procedure consists in:
evaluation of the qualifications and the Research Statement presented by the candidate in the application;
shortlisted candidates are invited for an interview in English that will address the research statement provided as well as English language ability and general aptitude. Candidates residing abroad at the time of the examinations may be able to interview via videoconference or phone (see Full Call Art. 6);
a final ranking of shortlisted candidates that is based on both the assessment of their applications and performance during the interview.
Deadline for applications 27 May 2021, 16:00 Italian time
Assessment of qualifications TBD in June, 2021
Interview for shortlisted candidates By 10 July, 2021
Admission to the PhD Programme (Art. 7)
Successful candidates will be admitted to the PhD programme according to their position on the list of the final ranking until all available positions are appointed. If a selected candidate declines, the next person on the list who qualifies may be admitted to the program.
Selected candidates are required to enrol within 8 days after being notified of their admission.
The conditions for acceptance of the scholarship are in the enrolment form, available at: http://www.unitn.it/en/ateneo/2696/enrolment-and-extension.
PhD scholarships may not be combined with other scholarships of any nature, apart from those assigned by Italian or foreign institutions, which may support the PhD student's research activities abroad. More information about UNITN scholarships may be found at the doctoral scholarships page.
Rights and Duties of PhD Students
PhD students are considered as autonomous researchers and expected to actively participate in all activities. Advancement to the following year is based on a yearly evaluation of performance by the PhD Program Committee. PhD students can be involved in supplementary teaching activities; any other working activities are subject to authorization.
This is an executive summary of the information and requirements that are detailed in
the full Call for Application available at: http://www.unitn.it/en/ateneo/1942/announcement-of-selection
Contact: PhD Administration Email: phd.cimec [at] unitn.it Homepage: http://www.unitn.it/drcimec