PhD in Philosophy, Science, Cognition and Semiotics (PSCS)

Academic Year 2014-2015
Subject area Humanistic Studies
Cycle XXX
Coordinator Prof. Giuliano Pancaldi
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions and scholarships 5 positions, of which 4 with scholarship
Call deadline May 30, 2014 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Final ranking list Final ranking list available on Studenti Online
Enrollment period From Jul 01, 2014 to Jul 11, 2014 - After the enrolment period, applicants replacing dropouts will be contacted in order to complete their enrolment
Doctoral programme start date Oct 01, 2014
Main Department
Dept of Philosophy and Communication Studies
Associated Departments
Dept of Psychology - PSI
Dept of Education Studies «Giovanni Maria Bertin» - EDU
Mobility abroad
yes (6 months)
Curricula and Research topics

1. Philosophy and Science Studies
It is well-known that ca. 1830 the domain of philosophy and the domain of science began parting ways. Before that date, philosophy included also the kind of natural philosophy that we would now call science, and philosophers had often a training allowing them to excel in the sciences. After that date, science and scientists grew increasingly autonomous, and began establishing new specialties, new languages, and robust ties with technology in ways that have estranged many subsequent generations of philosophers up to this day. While acknowledging the substantial autonomy of philosophy and science in present-day research and educational institutions, the curriculum in Philosophy and Science Studies will provide a training allowing doctoral students to explore both the conflicts and the persistent links characterizing the relationships between philosophy and science. The curriculum will combine fields like analytic and continental traditions in philosophy, the history and philosophy of science, logic and the philosophy of language, science and technology studies. There is a growing awareness that the humanities can provide important cultural, historical and philosophical perspectives on questions affecting citizens living in a world largely shaped by science and technology. Reciprocally, there is a growing awareness in scientific circles that a clearer understanding of the intellectual, philosophical, social, and moral issues at stake in science and technology may benefit science itself. The curriculum aims at training PhD students who will develop fresh insights into a range of issues that defy the traditional partitions among philosophy, science, and technology.

2. Semiotics
The educational goals of the curriculum in semiotics are to develop theoretical and practical competencies in semiotics both from a theoretical-philosophical perspective, and in terms of their practical-methodological application. In particular, from a theoretical perspective, we shall examine relevant themes related to the development of philosophical and linguistic theories of signs and semiosis, key elements in the history of semiotics, as well as comparisons between different sign systems: linguistic, visual, multimodal, etc. On the application plane, necessary methodological tools will be provided to carry out in depth analyses of different types of textual objects: verbal, visual, behavioral, musical, audiovisual, etc. To this end the principal theoretical and ethodological currents characterising the semiotic tradition, from structuralism to interpretational semiotics, will be examined in depth.

3. Cognitive Science
The main research topics of the curriculum on Cognitive science are:
- Attention
- Objects and action
- Affordances
- Role of the body in cognition
- Sense of body Language grounding in the perception a
- Action and emotion systems
- Emotions and sensorimotor system
- Numerical cognition and its relationship with embodied cognition
- Social cognition

Students are required to learn to perform experiments in the lab - they will have to learn to plan them, to execute them and to analyze the data. They will be required to learn to realize classical behavioral experiments, in which reaction times and errors are recorded. In addition, they will be invited to learn to use at least one of the three instruments that we possess - eye tracking, motion tracking or TMS. In order to discuss with students the experiments they are conducting, from their planning to the data analysis, we will organize a lab meeting to be held every month. Students and professors will discuss together research projects, and students will have the opportunity to learn how to present a study. We will also organize periodical meetings to discuss some scientific papers. Students will be invited to present to the others an overview of the main topics and open issues in their area. Compared to other doctoral curricula in cognitive science, our curriculum is characterized by a higher attention paid to psychology (especially cognitive psychology and communication psychology).

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The job opportunities envisaged for our doctoral students fall under different headings:
- academic and research jobs in the disciplinary areas pursued within the three curricula of the programme
- management work in academic, research, and public institutions of education and higher learning
- jobs connected with the communication and popularization of philosophy and of science
- publishing
- counseling and planning for public and private institutions
- design of media content (tv, radio, web …)
- human resources managers in public and private firms
Requirements
Applicants of any Country and age holding a Master’s degree (second cycle) can submit their application. Such degree must be either:
- an Italian university degree pre-reform system (“vecchio ordinamento”);
- an Italian university degree (laurea specialistica/magistrale - 3+2 years or combined degree BA+MA);
- an academic Master’s degree conferred by foreign institutions/Universities, validated as equivalent (equipollente) to an Italian degree by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) or acknowledged as equivalent by the Admission Board for the sole purpose of the selection.
Applicants whose degree are to be awarded after the deadline of the call can participate in the selection but the admission is conditional on obtaining a Masters’ degree before the official start date.
Documents to be attached mandatorily
  • copy of a valid ID with photo
  • Curriculum Vitae in English
  • Degree transcripts of both BA/BSc and MA/MSc:
    - for degrees obtained in Italy, please submit a signed self-declaration (autocertificazione);
    - for degrees obtained in non-EU countries, please submit the degree certificate issued by the relevant university;
    - for degrees obtained in EU countries (except Italy), you can do either.
    The document must, in any case, contain the following information:
       - personal data
       - University details
       - degree name
       - final score
       - transcript of results obtained.
    For degree transcripts from outside of Italy, an official translation into Italian or English must be attached.
    Graduands have to submit the document(s) as above except for the Master’s degree and final score.
  • Title, index and abstract in Italian or English (max 2000 characters not including bibliography and illustrations) of the graduation Master’s thesis;
    for graduands: title, index and abstract of the graduation Master’s thesis’ draft approved by the Supervisor
  • At least one and no more than two letters of reference from national or international academic referee and/or research professionals declaring the applicant’s interest and skills in research. Please do not attach the letters to the application: the instructions available on Studenti Online (http://studenti.unibo.it) shall be followed;
  • Research project, in Italian or English, emphasizing the activities to be carried out during the first year and containing:
    - clear indication on the frontispiece of the research topic
    - no more than 10000 characters, spaces included but index and bibliography excluded (if more than 10000 characters, the exceeding part will not be considered)
    - state of the art
    - description
    - expected results
    - project phases and time scheduling
    - criteria for the verification of results
    - bibliography
    The research project submitted with the application, however, may not be the one the successful applicant will carry out during the doctoral path. Supervisors and Academic Board can propose a different one.
  • Statement of purpose (max 1800 characters, in Italian or English)
  • Summary of the applicant’s interest in research (max 1800 character, spaces included)
Other attachments, if any
  • Publications (monographs, articles on scientific magazines, etc)
  • Other Master’s and/or specialization degree in subjects consistent with the research topics of this PhD programme
  • Research and working experience
  • Summary of the specialization thesis (max 2000 characters)
  • Language certificates 
  • Any other document certifying the applicant’s excellence (prizes, fellowships and grants)
Selection procedure

Evaluation of qualifications and research project
Applicants’ presence is not requested.
The evaluation of qualifications and research projects results will be available from 19/06/2014 on http://studenti.unibo.it (select: sintesi delle richieste in corso - vedi dettaglio).

Oral examination
When   25/06/2014
Where  Dept of Philosophy and Communication Studies - Via Zamboni 38 - Bologna 
Time    10:00 (CET)
Please note that the oral examinations might take more than one day. In this case the relevant timetable will be published on http://studenti.unibo.it together with the evaluation of qualifications and research projects results.
The oral examinations results will be available both in paper copy on the Department bullet board and, starting from 30/06/2014, on http://studenti.unibo.it (select: sintesi delle richieste in corso - vedi dettaglio).
For applicants residing abroad, the oral examination can be conducted at a distance through video-conference based on the IP protocol (such as through Skype with webcam).
Applicants must clearly indicate such choice and provide their own ID when applying for the call. The request must, nonetheless, be approved by the Admission Board which will make sure that the examination is carried out correctly and upon verification of the identity of each applicant.
A specific timetable regarding distance oral examinations will be available on http://studenti.unibo.it together with the results confirming the admission to such examination.
Applicants must guarantee their availability for 3 hours, starting from the time indicated in the above mentioned timetable.
In case of unavailability, after 3 attempts from the Admission Board in establishing a contact during the agreed timeframe, applicants will be excluded from the oral examination.
All oral examinations, included the remote ones, are public.

Evaluation criteria
Scores will be expressed in points out of 100, as follows:

1. Evaluation of qualifications and research project
   - Minimum score: 30 points
   - Maximum score: 50 points
Only qualifications and documents consistent with the research topics and no older than 5 years (up to the deadline of this call for applications) - Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees excluded - will be taken into consideration.
Score will be assigned as follows:
   - Evaluation of the degree mark (for applicants who have a university degree at the time of submission of the application) or evaluation of the university exams taken with grades (for applicants who still not have a Master’s degree at the time of submission of the application): max 10 points
   - Research project: max 30 points
   - Publications: max 10 points

2. Oral examination
   - Minimum score: 30 points
   - Maximum score: 50 points
The oral examination will focus on the explanation and discussion of the applicant’s research project and will assess his/her aptitude for scientific research, as well as her/his knowledge of the research topics related to the Curricula of the doctoral programme.
During the oral examination, the applicant’s knowledge of English will be assessed.
The oral examination can be held either in Italian or English.
Scores will be assigned according to the following criteria:
   - knowledge of foreign language: max 10 points
   - knowledge of topics connected to the curricula: max 40 points

The Admission Board might add other sub-criteria before the assessment process. In this case, a proper announcement will be posted on http://studenti.unibo.it

Applicants obtaining a total score of at least 60/100 are eligible and will be included in the final ranking list.
The Rectoral Decree containing the final ranking list will be published on http://studenti.unibo.it accessible with Unibo username and password.
No personal written communication shall be provided to applicants concerning the final results and the deadlines for enrolment.
Selected applicants will have to enrol by the date indicated in the above mentioned Rectoral Decree.
Admission Board

Appointed by RD n. 449/2014 Prot. n. 29533 on May 22, 2014

Members  
Eva Picardi Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione eva.picardi@unibo.it
Maria   Patrizia Violi Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione patrizia.violi@unibo.it
Giuliano   Pancaldi Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione giuliano.pancaldi@unibo.it
Substitutes  
Franco   Farinelli Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione franco.farinelli@unibo.it
Paolo   Leonardi Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione paolo.leonardi@unibo.it
Roberto   Nicoletti Docente di I fascia Università di Bologna Dip. di Filosofia e   Comunicazione roberto.nicoletti@unibo.it
Learning outcomes
The doctoral programme is aimed at training advanced level experts in the diciplinary fields included in its three curricula, while encouraging a multidisciplinary research agenda and exchanges with different cultural traditions in the same discipinary areas.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
First-year doctoral students are expected to attend at least 120 hours chosen from the teaching and laboratory activities provided by the programme.
They will select the activities with the advice of their tutor, having regard to the needs stemming from their previous training and the research project.
Similarly, in the second and third years students are expected to attend at least 40 and 20 hours, respectively. Each year doctoral students are expected to submit an essay to be discussed with the members of the ‘Collegio dei docenti’, and presented during a seminar attended by other doctoral students. Approval of the essay by the Collegio is mandatory for admission to the next year.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
First year doctoral students are required to attend expressly dedicated tutorials, lectures and seminars for at least 120 hours in areas chosen in agreement with their tutor, having regard to their research topic; in the curriculum on Cognitive science, this will include substantial laboratory work.
In the second and third years doctoral students are expected to attend the same teaching activities for at least 80 and 40 hours respectively, as theyr will focus mainly on their dissertation. For many of the students training will include stages in firms and research institutions, in Italy and abroad. At the end of each year students are expected to submit a paper to be discussed with the Collegio dei docenti and with their colleagues.
Approval of the paper by the Collegio is mandatory for admission to the next year.
Internationalization features
All the faculty belonging to the ‘Collegio dei docenti’ have a vast international experience in their field. Each year the call for applications for new doctoral fellowships is circulated through International networks such as H-Net, the Philos-L (Archives of Philosophy in Europe) newsletter, the Society for the Social Studies of Science, and the newsletters of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy and the History of Science Society (USA). Given the presence of several foreign students, most of the teaching and tutoring activities within the programme are carried out in English. Several final dissertations, both by Italian and by foreign students, are written in English. Several of the seminars organized each year are delivered by foreign scholars, conveying hints of the kind of knowledge and know-how pursued within the research institutions of other countries.
Expected research results and products
By the end of the second year, doctoral students with a fellowship are expected to write, as authors or co-authors, a paper of a quality such as to be considered for publication by an established journal in the field, or as a chapter in a book. Doctoral students not benefitting from a fellowship are expected to achieve the same by the end of their third year. By the end of the second year doctoral, students with a fellowship are expected to attend at least two national or international conferences, submitting posters or papers as authors or co-authors. Doctoral students not benefitting from a fellowship are expected to achieve the same by the end of their third year. The doctoral dissertation, preferably written in English, must possess originality and an overall quality such as to become, after some additional work, a publishable book.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
ANGELINI ANNARITA Università di Bologna PA - Professore Associato
BERETTA MARCO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
BESOLI STEFANO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
BORGHI ANNA MARIA Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
CAMPANER RAFFAELLA Università di Bologna RU - Ricercatore   Universitario
CORSI GIOVANNA Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
COSENZA GIOVANNA Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
DEMARIA CRISTINA Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
FARINELLI FRANCO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
GALATOLO RENATA Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
GALAVOTTI MARIA CARLA Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
GENTILI CARLO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
GUAGNINI ANNA Università di Bologna RU - Ricercatore   Universitario
IOFRIDA MANLIO Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
LEONARDI PAOLO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
LORUSSO ANNA MARIA Università di Bologna RU - Ricercatore   Universitario
MARMO COSTANTINO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
MATTEUZZI MAURIZIO Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
MILANI RAFFAELE Università di Bologna PS - Professore   Straordinario
MORUZZI SEBASTIANO Università di Bologna RU - Ricercatore   Universitario
NICOLETTI ROBERTO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
PANCALDI GIULIANO Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
PAOLUCCI CLAUDIO Università di Bologna RU - Ricercatore   Universitario
PICARDI EVA Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario
POZZATO MARIA PIA Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
SANTORO MARCO Università di Bologna PA - Professore   Associato
VIOLI MARIA PATRIZIA Università di Bologna PO - Professore   Ordinario