PhD programmes - Science and Technology

Details about funded positions - 39th Cycle - Curriculum 7

(7A) Space economy and governance, regulations and resources for the management of Earth Observation - E66E23000170001

Funding institution: Scuola Universitaria Superiore – IUSS
Doctoral site:  Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS - Pavia
Contact: Prof. Andrea Taramelli [andrea.taramelli [at]]
Funds: NRRP, M4C1 – inv 4.1 - Public Administration scholarships
Mobility abroad: compulsory, minimum 6 months
Periods in companies/research centres/public administrations: compulsory, minimum 6 months

The space industry not only continually expand the boundaries of exploration, but it enables growth at home. From communications to meteorology to engineering, it has an outsized impact on our economies, adding high-value services and creating skilled jobs. Space exploration and the use of Earth observation (EO) data has therefore been transformed into a global, highly dynamic industry. Space governance encompasses the laws, rules and institutions that structure interactions in space and in the downstream level. The concept of space economy includes the entire chain of activities from technological and scientific upstream research to the development of services and applications. The research aims at a) analysing current space governance systems and understanding the role of law for the development, distribution and use of EO services and b) explore economic trends in the space sectors, challenges and needs belonging to the space business. In particular the PhD should 1. Collect and analyse users’ needs for the development of tailored EO services 2. Identify economic, legal and social enablers and barriers that contribute to the systematic use of satellite data and related services 3. Understanding of the role of the public and private investment and political involvement in the national and international space sector and industry associations 4. Analyse operating and business models for the development of services’ chains and the definition of a technology transfer program.

(7B) Law perspectives for sustainability in space science, technology and economy - E66E23000190001

Funding institution: Sant’Anna School of Advances studies - Pisa
Doctoral site: Sant’Anna School of Advances studies - Pisa
Contact: Prof.ssa Maria Gagliardi [Maria.Gagliardi [at]]
Funds: M4C1 – inv 4.1 - Cultural heritage scholarships
Mobility abroad: compulsory, minimum 6 months
Periods in companies/research centres/public administrations: compulsory, minimum 6 months

Space activities can be understood as the future of our human and terrestrial culture. In this sense space activities can be conducted and used in different ways, only some of which can contribute to preserve and save human and terrestrial life and ecosystem. For instance, Earth observation technologies are constantly helping humankind to address many pressing challanges as environmental protection. The complex legal and regulatory landscape surrounding these technologies aims at fixing rights and managing risks.
The research will analyse the legal impact of Earth Observation, of extra-terrestrial human and robotic exploration, and of extra-terrestrial habitat services through the study of the several technological solutions and practical applications from the legal perspectives at least of: data governance and data protection; risk management and insurance/reinsurance; liability models; AI regulation; security issues.

(7C) Technologies and methodologies for Earth observation and policies of inclusion, competitiveness, and socio-economic and environmental resilience

Funding institution: University of Bari “Aldo Moro”
Doctoral site: University of Bari “Aldo Moro” - Bari    
Contact: Prof. Domenico Capolongo [domenico.capolongo [at]]
Funds: Own Funds
Mobility abroad: compulsory, minimum 6 months
Periods in companies/research centres/public administrations: optional

The Ph.D. research will focus on novel applications of Earth Observation (EO) technologies aimed at boosting inclusion, competitiveness, and socio-economic and environmental resilience at different geo-graphical scales. The research activities will be structured in multiple steps: data collection, processing, and interpretation methodologies, especially focusing on AI and machine learning's role in data analysis. The research will evaluate how inclusive and competitive policies can foster equitable access to technology and drive sectoral innovation. It will examine how Earth observation technologies contribute to developing resilient societies capable of managing socio-economic and environmental challenges. Through case studies, the research will derive insights on the successful application of these technologies and associated policies. Case studies will have twofold objectives: i) develop new metrics based on EO that would allow the monitoring of key socio-economic and environmental dynamics; ii) develop new techniques based on EO data and methods for evaluating the impacts of public policies for inclusiveness and resilience. The findings will offer valuable knowledge for stakeholders, policymakers, and future research.