Academic Year 2023-2024
Subject area Humanistic Studies
Cycle 39
Coordinator Prof. Elisabetta Crocetti
Language English
Duration 3 years

Application deadline: Jun 20, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

PhD Call for Applications, with scholarships funded by NRRP and other funds

Enrolment: From Jul 28, 2023 to Aug 21, 2023

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2023

39 PNRR PhD Call for Applications
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari" - PSI
  • Psychological Sciences
  • Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience
Research topics

Psychological Sciences:

General Psychology

  • Emotions, attention and learning
  • Psychophysiology of sleep and dream
  • Chronopsychology and chronobiology
  • Perception and decision making
  • Body action and cognition
  • Spatial cognition, memory and individual differences


  • Psychometric methods in cognitive and clinical assessment
  • Advanced inferential statistics
  • Qualitative methods for psychological research
  • Bayesian Inference in Statistical Analysis

Developmental and Educational Psychology

  • Typical and atypical development from early childhood to adulthood
  • Risk and protection factors in development
  • Development in the life cycle and technologies for information and communication
  • Teaching, learning and social processes in educational settings

Social Psychology

  • Gender inequalities and prejudices reduction
  • Personal and social identity
  • Equal opportunity and community participation
  • Psychosocial factors in risk and safety

Work and Organizational psychology

  • Diversity management in organizations
  • Organizational change and development
  • Employability and new careers
  • Psychosocial factors in the workplace

Psychodynamic psychology

  • Perinatal psychopathology
  • Developmental psychopathology in childhood
  • Child and parents psychotherapy research
  • Emotional intelligence in clinical and educational settings

Clinical psychology

  • The use of new technologies in clinical psychology
  • Clinical assessment of psychological distress/well-being/adjustment/attachment
  • Psychosomatics
  • Applications of new technologies in clinical psychology
  • Psychological interventions

Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Action, motivation and decisions
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Representation of space and time
  • Representation of the body
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
PhD graduates will be able to obtain research positions or jobs related to applied Psychology or Neuroscience in variuos domains: national and international Universities, national and regional health service, social services, rehabilitation centres, private organizations. In particular, the period spent abroad can clear the way for the establishment and consolidation of international collaborations, facilitating the international mobility. Thanks to the PhD program, PhDs will be able to apply for calls in national and international research projects, improving their area of research. In addition, PhDs can collaborate with the Psychological Counselling Services which are located in the two sites of the Department, that is, Bologna and Cesena in relation to their field and competence.
Admission Board

Appointed by RD n. 709/2023 Prot n. 149534 on Jun 02, 2023

Surname and Name University / Institution Role email
Albanesi Cinzia Università di Bologna Member
Carrozzino Danilo Università di Bologna Member
Chattat Rabih Università di Bologna Member
Di Pellegrino Giuseppe Università di Bologna Member  
Tessari Alessia Università di Bologna Member
Ciaramelli Elisa Università di Bologna Substitute
Mariani Marco Giovanni Università di Bologna Substitute
Nori Raffaella Università di Bologna Substitute
Pietrantoni Luca Università di Bologna Substitute
Prati Francesca Università di Bologna Substitute
Zappalà Salvatore Università di Bologna Substitute
Learning outcomes

The PhD programme aims at training candidates in innovative basic, field, applied, clinical and rehabilitative research in Psychology. This goal is achieved by training candidates in basic skills concerning comprehension of scientific texts, scientific writing, presentation skills, oral communication of scientific results in national and international conferences, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis. When basic research skills have been acquired, PhD candidates will be able to pursue their research goals in one of the fields of Psychological Sciences or Cognitive Neuroscience. They will then review the relevant scientific literature pertaining to their topic, formulate a clear research hypothesis, adopt a method fitting their research design, run the appropriate data analyses and provide discussion and interpretation of findings in the light of the relevant, available literature.

Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates

The PhD programme is based on the integration of training, individual study and research activities. Thanks to their training, PhD candidates will acquire basic research skills related to academic writing and scientific dissemination and mastery of research methodologies and techniques of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. This knowledge will be completed by the individual study on the specific field of investigation, in agreement with the tutor. After the consolidation of basic research skills, PhD candidates will carry out their scientific project on a topic of Psychological Science or Cognitive Neuroscience with characteristics of innovation and originality both at a theoretical and a methodological level. The Curriculum in Cognitive Neuroscience emphasises the "hypothesis driven" approach to scientific research. Lab activities form the main commitment of PhD candidates and imply training in neuroscientific methods, techniques data handling and theoretical reasoning.

Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes

PhD students are required to attend seminars and courses for acquiring the skills necessary for designing and implementating a research project. The courses introduce and deepen issues related to scientific communication, research methodology, and statistical models. Alongside these specific courses, seminars and workshops will be offered by national and international experts. Furthermore, PhD students have the opportunity to participate in international summer schools and seminars at other universities, which offers topics relevant to their research. The specific training for the research field of each PhD student will be carried out in the reference laboratory and supervised by the tutor. PhD candidates will present to the Academic Board and to the Department of Psychology their research during the three years, implementing oral and written communication skills of their research activities. The Curriculum of Cognitive Neuroscience offers training in Journal Club, Article reviewing, Programming Language, Statistics in Neuroscience, Theoretical neuroscience, training in Neuroscientific techniques (such as recording of EEG signals, psycho-physiological indices eye movements, transcranial stimulation, damage mapping).

Internationalization features

During the period abroad PhD students will be able to consolidate international collaborations, integrating their training with theoretical insights, new research methods and procedures of data analysis, in order to formulate theoretical and practical implications of their research results.
Moreover, the PhD program includes seminars and courses taught by international experts. English is the official language and it characterizes all the activities of the PhD program.
The PhD program is visible in the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window program. The PhD program is also sent to several national and international psychological associations to promote the attractiveness of the PhD program for students from other Italian and international Universities.
The curriculum of Psychological Sciences which relies on colleagues belonging to seven areas of psychology offers the possibility to spend visiting periods abroad in prestigious academic universities where scientific collaboration among colleagues are productive. Moreover, there are agreements of co-tutorships between the program and international Universities.
The Cognitive Neuroscience curriculum is held in collaboration with the University College of London (UCL), which has signed an official agreement for possibly jointly conferring doctoral title recognized both in Italy and UK. In this case students can complete their doctoral thesis at 2 institutions (typically, 2 years at UNIBO and 1 year at UCL), discussing potential projects and selecting an advisor at the 2 institutions and members of the curriculum include experienced Italian and UK academics who have conducted research at International institutes, are supported by International funding agencies and can provide students with an International environment for conducting scientific activities.

Expected research results and products

At the end of the program, PhD candidates are expected to have acquired evaluative and critical capacities in regard to the research topics addressed, communication skills of scientific findings, mastery of research methodologies in the field of Psychological Sciences or Cognitive Neuroscience. During the three years program, the advance of each candidate is systematically assessed. At the beginning of the program, a tutor is assigned to each candidate. At the end of the first year, the PhD candidates will submit a research project to the Academic Board for evaluation. The research project will be orally presented to the Academic Board and to the other PhD candidates and to the members of the Department, and it will be evaluated by two reviewers who will provide the candidate with a written evaluation and guidance in revising the research project. In the second year, the ongoing research will be presented to the Academic Board and to all other PhD candidates. The Academic Board will give an evaluation of the research advances. In the third year, a draft of the PhD dissertation must be submitted to the tutor for evaluation. At the end of the PhD, students are expected to have published at least one paper, and to have at least one more paper submitted. This is achieved throughout the three years, under the guidance of the supervisor.