PhD programme in Sociology and Social Research - 2018
Call for 6 PhD positions with starting date November 1st 2018

Doctoral Programme in Sociology and Social Research - Doctoral School of Social Sciences – University of Trento, Italy 


May 22, 2018 4pm Italian time (please check carefully the official call). 

Online application



The doctoral programme in Sociology and Social Research is part of the Doctoral School of Social Sciences at Trento University (Italy), a multidisciplinary and lively international environment, providing its doctoral students with advanced training and guiding them towards cutting-edge social research. 

The PhD programme has duration of four years and is fully funded. We actively promote interdisciplinary exchange on relevant topics within the social sciences and on different methods and approaches. We foster internationalization and students are encouraged to spend research periods abroad, participate in international conferences and supplement their training by specific summer schools. The PhD programme also offers the possibility of joint or double degree programmes with top-level European universities as well as many other opportunities for exchange. 

The doctoral programme in Sociology and Social Research (PhD-SRS), sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Social Research, was established in 1983 and joined the Doctoral School of Social Sciences in 2011. PhD-SRS provides state-of-the-art research training and teaches advanced professional skills in sociology and social research. Besides providing a solid foundation in the discipline, including a broad range of quantitative and qualitative methods, the Programme places strong emphasis on theoretically driven empirical sociology.
The programme is open to proposals on all kinds of topics related to Sociological research. Particular attention will be paid to proposals fitting in the following research areas:
the study of social and demographic change; comparative sociology; welfare and social policies; social inequality studies and stratification research (class, cohort, gender, sociology of education); economic sociology, labour market and organizational studies; migration studies; political sociology (political participation, social movements, public opinion research); digital sociology; communication and culture; cognitive sociology. Please refer to our webpage to learn about the composition of the PhD board
The official languages of the doctoral programme are English and Italian. Language of instruction is English. 

The international research environment 

The PhD programme offers students a stimulating research environment and important opportunities to skills and career development. The SRS faculty has developed an extensive network of high-quality international relationships that can help students to visit foreign institutions and to get in contact with external experts. Almost all our PhD students spend a longer period abroad. 
The department of Sociology and Social Research is a multidisciplinary entity and is regularly ranked among the top social science departments in Italy, according to newspapers’ university rankings and the official assessments of the quality of research. It recently won a grant from the ‘Departments of Excellence Scheme’ of the Ministry for University and Scientific Research-MIUR. The faculty of the department has consistently carried out high-quality research, often within larger international comparative studies and has successfully attracted both national and international funding. The department is associated with the European Consortium of Sociological Research (ECSR), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). 


The PhD-SRS programme consists of a set of common mandatory courses in the first year and a series of specialized courses and elective seminars in the second year. Topics covered include classical and contemporary sociological theories, various statistical and research methods, as well as substantive issues. Courses on academic writing are offered as well. The course programme involves international visiting scholars, we offer the opportunity to participate in various summer/winter schools and there is a rich programme of seminars and conferences organized by the department or school. 

The offer 

Doctoral scholars are provided with office space, IT equipment, conference and summer school travel support. Trento University provides also help finding an accommodation. Scholarships are about 1,200 EUR net a month, with a possible 50% surplus for research stays abroad. The PhD programme does not charge a tuition fee, but students are required to pay an annual administration fee of about €150. 


We invite applications from qualified graduates (Master’s degree or equivalent) in one of the social sciences (Sociology, Economics, Demography, Anthropology, Political Science, Social Statistics or related fields). Students need to have obtained their master degree by October 31, 2018. In this case full documentation needs to be provided by early November 2018. 
The programme is conducted in English and a very good working knowledge of that language, including a proven writing ability, is required.
Admission is on a competitive basis and promotion to a following year is based on a satisfactory academic appraisal. Please check our website for details. 
Closing date is May 22 2018, 4pm Italian time (please check carefully the official call). To participate in the selection process a non–reimbursable application fee of €15.00 has to be paid, by bank transfer or credit card, as indicated in the appropriate section of the on-line application. 

Please, read carefully the official call! The link will also be available on the Doctoral School of Social Sciences and University of Trento websites. For questions please contact us (see below). 

The selection procedure consists of three stages.
On the basis of the assessment of the CV, research proposal, and possible reference letters a shortlist will be compiled. Shortlisted candidates will be required to take a multiple-choice test. Candidates that passed the test will be invited to an interview in Trento (in some cases candidates may be interviewed by phone or video conference). 

Documents to be submitted 

  • Photocopy of the applicant’s identity card or passport
  • Degree certificates: Italian “laurea specialistica” or “magistrale” according to Ministerial Decree no. 509 of 03/11/1999 and subsequent amendments, or equivalent titles obtained abroad.
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Research proposal in English of about 3000 words, excluding bibliography and abstract, and an abstract of about 150 words. The research project is used for evaluation only and does not necessarily determine the final PhD project
  • Maximum two reference letters (not mandatory) and a brief letter of motivation (not mandatory)

For further information please contact

Doctoral School of Social Sciences Via Verdi 26 - 38122 Trento - IT
Phone: + 39 0461 282290/3756 - Fax: + 39 0461 282335
E-mail: school.socialsciences [at] Website: