PhD in Cultural Heritage in the Digital Ecosystem

Academic Year 2022-2023
Subject area Humanistic Studies
Cycle 38
Coordinator Prof. Francesca Tomasi
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years

Application deadline: Dec 14, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

2nd NRRP Call for Applications - Further PhD positions

Enrolment: From Feb 02, 2023 to Feb 12, 2023 - On, PhD candidates awarding NRRP positions should use NRRP forms only

Doctoral programme start date: Mar 01, 2023

NRRP loghi

Application deadline: Aug 02, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

NRRP Call for Applications

Enrolment: From Sep 21, 2022 to Sep 29, 2022 - On download NRRP forms only

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2022

NRRP loghi

Application deadline: Jun 09, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

Call for Applications

Positions: More information in the PhD Programme Table

Enrolment: From Aug 04, 2022 to Aug 29, 2022

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2022

Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies - FICLIT
Associated Departments
Department of Architecture - DA
Department of Cultural Heritage - DBC
Department of the Arts - DARvipem
Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies - FILCOM
Department of Computer Science and Engineering - DISI
Department of Interpreting and Translation - DIT
Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - LILEC
Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari" - PSI
Department of Education Studies "Giovanni Maria Bertin" - EDU
Department of Economics - DSE
Department of History and Cultures - DiSCi
Research topics

The course is focused on those topics related to the study of cultural heritage (as an environment made of objects, actions and technologies), in its broad and multifaceted meaning: texts and related material supports, historical and contemporary documents, artifacts and material objects, musical assets, productions related to all visual and performance arts, monuments, architecture and historical spaces, landscapes and immaterial resources, tangible and intangible. The core of the research is the enhancement of this heterogeneous heritage through new methodologies and digital technology, but the course also focuses on the notion of digital culture in a broad critical-epistemological perspective. The idea is then to reflect on cultural heritage - from antiquity to the contemporary -, innovating through computational and digital methods, in a context of transversality and trans-disciplinary knowledge.

Starting from the reasoning on the traditional scientific-disciplinary field within the humanities discipline as well as the IT discipline, it's possible to identify the following methodologies and technical applications: Digital Humanities; Digital Cultural Heritage; Cultural Heritage Studies and Management; Digital Museology; Media Art; Information Science; Computational Thinking; Open Science; Scholarly Digital Editing; Digital Libraries; Citizen Science; Critical Archaeology and Heritage; Personal Digital Memories; Digital Cultural Communication; Transmedia Storytelling; Virtual Environments; Augmented Reality; Gamification; Virtual Reality; Virtual Museums; Virtual Exhibitions; Social Media Ethnography.

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The highly interdisciplinary and international profile of those who obtain this title can find employment in:
1. Superintendencies, museums and other national and international cultural institutions (libraries, archives and cultural centers in general), non-governmental agencies related to the management of cultural heritage, international organizations for the study and conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and its advisory bodies;
2. The high-level profile can work in the publishing domain, not only for traditional "editing" actions, but in those publishing houses that want to experiment new approaches in the production of knowledge through innovative and transmedia forms of cultural content production, such as systems of “data stories” and new narratives for the transmission of knowledge;
3. Private companies that work in cultural heritage, and in particular for the creation of environments and infrastructures, including Web-based applications, for the enhancement of cultural resources, also reflecting on users' profiles, as "personas" and devices for access;
4. Communication agencies, non-profit organizations for the production of transversal cultural strategies and artistic projects, tourism industry, cultural and creative industries (ICC);
5. University research, which increasingly requires interdisciplinary skills and hybridization of knowledge between different fields and disciplinary areas, also reflecting on the research and third mission actions carried out by the centers involved in the training project: ADLab, DH.ARC, FRameLab, ARCE, OpenAire nexus, LUDI, CRICC, Clust-ER CreAte by ARTER.
Admission Board

NRRP Call - Further PhD Positions
Appointed by RD 952/2022 Prot. n. 0357333 of 02/12/2022

Surname Name University / Institution Role Email
Marmo Costantino Università di Bologna Member
Panciroli Chiara Università di Bologna Member
Peroni Silvio Università di Bologna Member
Tomasi Francesca Università di Bologna Substitute

NRPP Call Admission Board
Appointed by RD 1103/2022 Prot. n. 0162873 of 17/07/2022

Surname Name University / Institution Role Email
Italia Paola Maria Carmela Università di Bologna Member
Tomasi Francesca Università di Bologna Member
Vitali Fabio Università di Bologna Member
Domenici Davide Università di Bologna Substitute
Iannucci Alessandro Università di Bologna Substitute
Marmo Costantino Università di Bologna Substitute

Call for Application Admission Board

Appointed by RD 830/2022 Prot. n. 0127511 of 30/05/2022

Surname Name University / Institution Role email
Iannucci Alessandro Università di Bologna Member
Italia Paola Maria Carmela Università di Bologna Member
Marmo Costantino Università di Bologna Member
Peroni Silvio Università di Bologna Member
Domenici Davide Università di Bologna Substitute
Sabba Fiammetta Università di Bologna Substitute
Tomasi Francesca Università di Bologna Substitute
Learning outcomes

In the scenario of the digital transition, techniques and methodologies for management of data and information, objects and themes related to cultural heritage, in the whole lifecycle, represent a fertile field of research, in which traditional knowledge and disciplines interact with the new approaches of digital humanities. The aim of the PhD is to encourage the growth and development of new specialized skills in which digital tools produce renewed interpretative and analytical approaches and, at the same time, allow the creation of knowledge (also in a social and collaborative dimension), in the direction of a new and wider valorisation, dissemination and public use of the heritage, also through the meta-disciplinary interaction of scholars from different fields and the dialogue with all the institutions active in the field of cultural heritage.

Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates

PhD students will have to follow a training course, organized according to the following model:

  • Attend the lessons that will be delivered ad hoc and which will be organized in seminar packages with respect to the (transversal) disciplines and the digital and computational methods necessary for the construction of the identity of the PhD students, as designed by the course (minimum attendance 20 hours per year);
  • Attend some courses in other higher education realities (e.g. LM degree courses), which will be agreed with the tutor and which will be useful in filling the gaps, both on the basis of the original training (second cycle degree/master achieved), and of the research project that each PhD student intends to carry out (minimum attendance 10 hours per year);
  • Attend the lessons that will be held by foreign colleagues, both intended as the international members of the College and other guests, invited by the members of the College or by the Didactic Commission of the Doctorate (minimum 3 seminars per year to follow).

PhD students will also be required to:

  • Participate in conferences, seminars, and other cultural initiatives, national or international, that will be agreed with the tutor (at least one event per year);
  • Participate in the activities of the research centers in which the professors of the College are involved (at least 10 documented hours);
  • Carry out practical laboratory activities (at least 20 hours);
  • Optionally carry out an activity, in the form of an internship, in one of the companies identified by the College - see PE5 of the PNRR - (at least 3 months).
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes

The activities will be organized in order to guarantee knowledge and skills necessary to manage the huge domain of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, adding actions to acquire the necessary critical awareness of the "workflow" of digital systems, or also the "lifecycle" of heritage objects (acquisition or capture, creation, enrichment, analysis, interpretation, conservation, dissemination).
To enrich the disciplinary training, other courses for the acquisition of transversal skills on some important topics, will be delivered: e.g. project management; data management plan; culture and creativity; self-employment; public speaking; communication; project work; collaborative work; critical thinking; dialogical literacy; community engagement.

Internationalization features

The course is qualified for the highly interdisciplinary path it undertakes, both in the choice of topics and in the selection of College members, following the international guidelines for research on cultural heritage in the digital ecosystem. Some parameters identify the internationalization features of the PhD:

  • Close collaboration with the Una Europa consortium (European Doctorate on Cultural Heritage), already involving colleagues from the Consortium universities among the members of the college;
  • An offer intended as a natural continuation of training in interdisciplinary fields already well-known by students coming from abroad, where cross-disciplinary training is the added value of the profile;
  • The personal relationships of the College's members with international colleagues, with whom a collaboration is already in place; Erasmus conventions and exchanges already active; contacts with international research centers: e.g. for DH, the EADH and ADHO Associations, the DARIAH infrastructure, the Center for e-humanities (Cologne), the Department of Digital Humanities of King's College (London), ITEM (Paris), Octet (Oxford), Mundaneum (Mons), Bibliotheca disciplined International Forum (Brazil), Center for the Fine Print (University of West England - Bristol), WAB (University of Bergen), University of Haifa, The Stirling Center for Publishing and Communication (Stirling Univ.), South African Department of Computer Science.
  • The precious and vast cultural heritage preserved in Italy, leveraging its high level of interest in the international environment;
  • The development of innovative research methods and digitization models, potentially replicable in other countries, designing new systems, environments, solutions, in the domain of "FAIRification", with a widely reuse approach in an Open Science context.
Expected research results and products

Doctoral students will be required to present the results of their work year by year to the College, during a joint meeting of the College and the Didactic Commission.
PhD students will also be encouraged to organize internal seminars for sharing projects, research lines, and potential outputs.
The final work of the PhD students will consist in writing a thesis, in Italian or in English, preferably of an experimental nature and which can also foresee practical implications - such as modeling, development, implementation or prototyping of environments, tools, models, architectures or applications.
PhD students are also required: 1) to participate in at least one conference as speakers starting from the second year of the Doctorate and 2) to write at least two scientific papers over the three-year period, preferably as articles a) in conference proceedings or b) in Class A journal with respect to the scientific field of reference.