Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – COFUND FutureData4EU Programme - 53 PhD positions to train new Big Data talents

Doctoral programme 40th cycle a.y. 2024/25


Do you whish to pursue a PhD in the field of Big Data? Thanks to the FutureData4EU program - Training Future Big Data Experts for Europe, you can participate in an international call for applications through which 53 candidates will be selected for an equal number of research fellowships.

Co-funded by the European Commission for a total of 9 million euros, FutureData4EU is coordinated by the University of Bologna in collaboration with the Emilia-Romagna Region and all other universities in the regional territory.

Designed to create a “regional doctoral school,” the FutureData4EU project will train qualified experts on several Data Science topics. 

Admission requirements

On the deadline for applications, all candidates of every nationality must meet the following requirements, failing which they will be excluded: 

  • mobility: candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the deadline of this call for applications, i.e., from June 29th, 2021 until June 28th, 2024. Compulsory national service and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not considered; 
  • qualifications: candidates must be in possession of a second-cycle academic qualification (e.g., two-year master’s degree, degree of the previous degree programme system, equivalent Advanced Artistic and Musical Training – AFAM qualification).
  • Doctoral Candidate stage: candidates must not be already in possession of a doctoral degree.

Which activities take place during the PhD

The training provided within the FutureData4EU project consists of three dimensions:

  1. the first dimension of training concerns the disciplinary and multi-disciplinary domains of the research projects and the development of specific knowledge, methods and skills by attending courses, seminars and workshops;
  2. the second dimension of training refers to transferable skills, including the ability to write and present scientific articles and reports at seminars, workshops and conferences; how to manage research data and open science; how to file a patent application and manage intellectual property; fundamentals of technology transfer and entrepreneurship; how to do scouting for research funds and how to prepare successful applications for funding. Transferable skills training will be provided both locally and during international and/or intersectoral secondments; 
  3. the third dimension of training covers international/inter-sectoral secondments. two secondments will be arranged – one at an international academic institution and one at a non-academic organisation – fostering inter-sectoral mobility.

Duration of the PhD Programme

All doctoral positions are developed within three-year doctoral courses.

PhD Thematic Areas

There are 7 Thematic Areas:

  1. Health;
  2. Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society;
  3. Civil Security for Society;
  4. Digital, Industry and Space;
  5. Climate, Energy and Mobility;
  6. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment;
  7. Enabling Technologies.


The university involved in FutureData4EU as an Implementing Partner who offered the position will enter into a three-year (36-month) employment contract with the corresponding successful candidate. The contract will be in the form of a Research Fellowship (Assegno di ricerca), in wich it will be specified the working conditions of the PhD student, their obligations under FutureData4EU and the regulations in force at the host university. The signing of the contract implies an exclusive and full-time commitment.

The annual salary paid to researchers is of €27,238.83 (gross salary excluding employer’s contributions to tax and social security). This annual amount consists of a living allowance and a mobility allowance, which covers mobility expenses (e.g. relocation, travel expenses).

Researchers with dependents at the time of recruitment, or who acquire dependents at any time during the course of the project, will be entitled to a family allowance.

How to apply to the PhD programme

On the FutureData4EU website you will find the call for applications and important information about the admission procedure.

The application for admission to the selection must be submitted using only the appropriate procedure made available at (Online Students platform). The deadline for submitting the application is 28 June 2024, 14.00 hours (CEST Italian time).

In order to be selected for a doctoral course, it is necessary to pass a selection process, which is described in the admission notice. There is an assessment of the qualifications and the research project, as well as an oral test.

For more information please contact

Loghi COFUND FutureData4EU