PhD in Astrophysics

Academic Year 2017-2018
Subject area Mathematical Physical, Chemical and Astronomical Sciences
Coordinator Prof. Francesco Rosario Ferraro
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 9 positions with scholarship
Application deadline May 29, 2017 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Final ranking list Final ranking list available on Studenti Online
Enrollment period From Aug 23, 2017 to Sep 01, 2017
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2017
Main Department
Department of Physics and Astronomy - DIFA
Doctoral Programme in collaboration with research institutions (art. 2, comma 2, lett. a) del D.M. n. 45/2013)
Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF)
Curricula and Research topics
  • Stellar populations in the Local Group
  • Populations, chemistry and dynamics of stellar clusters
  • Stellar and chemical evolution of galaxies
  • Formation and evolution of galaxies and AGN
  • Radioastronomy
  • High energy astrophysics
  • Astronomical technology
  • Galactic dynamics
  • Galaxy Clusters, large-scale structure of the Universe, Cosmology
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
- research and teaching activity at (national/international) Universities, research centres and industries
- educational activities at high schools
- software development
- activities related to scientific publishing trade
- research and development activities in private and public organizations for handling of large databases
- analysis and forecasts for complex systems in public and private institutions
- more in general, activities related to research, innovation, education, production, forecast and prevention in the sector of advanced services
Admission Board

Annalisa Bonafede INAF Istituto di Radioastronomia
Francesco Ferraro Università di Bologna Dip. Fisica e Astronomia Docente di I fascia
Roberto Gilli INAF Osservatorio Astronomico - Bologna
Lauro Moscardini Università di Bologna Dip. Fisica e Astronomia Docente di I fascia
Piero Rosati Universita di Ferrara Dip. Fisica Docente di I fascia
Barbara Lanzoni Università di Bologna Dip. Fisica e Astronomia Docente di II fascia
Nicola Masetti INAF Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica - Bologna
Carlo Nipoti Università di Bologna Dip. Fisica e Astronomia Ricercatore
Livia Origlia INAF Osservatorio Astronomico - Bologna
Learning outcomes
This PhD course aims at training young researchers to carry out independent research activities in different fields of astronomy and astrophysics (stellar and extragalactic astrophysics, cosmology, technological and computer applications in astrophysics). In general, our PhD students are expected to become familiar with scientific methods that could potentially be used also in frameworks not necessarily related to astrophysics, like for instance executive cadres in private/public organizations and to treat complex systems.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
Fundamental research (both theoretical/modeling and experimental/observational), focused on:
- Stellar Clusters (their formation and evolution, Populations, chemistry and dynamics of stellar clusters)
- Galaxies (single objects, galaxies with AGN, dynamics and formation, galaxies in groups and clusters)
- Cosmology (models, large scale structure, cosmic microwave background radiation). Applied research, related to the development of numerical codes and/or astrophysical instrumentation in different wavebands, ranging from radio to X- and gamma-rays. The activity can include the acquisition of data at the main national and international facilities (INAF, ESO, ESA, EVN, NRAO, etc.) and the preparation of proposals for observations with ground-based and space telescopes or for supercomputers. The research activity requires the development and/or usage of numerical codes to model and analyze the data, the extensive usage of databases, and the bibliographic research.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The main goal of the PhD course is the training of the students in the most modern areas of the astrophysical research, both theoretical/modeling and experimental/observational. According to the specific subject of the thesis, the students, thanks to their immediate inclusion in the research groups, develop their capabilities to acquire and analyse observational data obtained using the best international instruments in the different bands (optical, millimetric, radio, X-rays, very high-energy) and/or to develop numerical codes or models and/or astrophysical technologies. Fundamental part of the training is to write scientific papers and reports, to publicly present the results, to write applications for computational or observational time. Moreover the PhD students develop the necessary knowledge about the national and international system for financial support to the research. Finally, thanks to the internal courses and seminars, and the attendance to National and international schools, the PhD students extend their general culture in fundamental Astrophysics and Physics.
Internationalization features
The PhD students participate actively to research projects of international value, often in the context of extended international collaborations. Almost all the observational activity is based on the most advanced ground-based and space instrumentation, the access to which is guaranteed by the direct participation of INAF, by the italian presence in european organizations for astronomy (ESO, ESA) and by specific international agreements (LBT, EVN, ASTRONET, etc). The research activity for PhD theses are acknowledged by different international institutions (like NRAO and EVN). All the internal activities (courses, seminars, reports, etc.) are given in english, as well the written final dissertation. Foreign researchers are regularly members of the defense committee. Long visits (3-6 months) to foreign scientific institutions are recommended: to this goal a dedicate grant (Marco Polo Program) is reserved for PhD students. Moreover theses in the framework of international joint supervision (cotutela) or for european degrees are strongly supported. The attendance to international meetings (with presentation of results) are strongly encouraged. Different Ph doctors or current students come from foreign countries. The participation of foreign candidates to the selection process is helped thanks to the use of videoconference (i.e. skype) for the interview.
Expected research results and products
Thesis written in english, talks at (national/international) meetings, publication of the results extracted from the thesis (at least two by three years after the defense) on international refereed journals or at least one patent request; reports on possible technological and/or computational applications.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
BRUSA MARCELLA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
CIMATTI ANDREA Università di Bologna Professore ordinario
CIOTTI LUCA Università di Bologna Professore ordinario
DALLACASA DANIELE Università di Bologna Professore associato confermato
FERRARO FRANCESCO ROSARIO Università di Bologna Professore ordinario
FRATERNALI FILIPPO Università di Bologna Ricercatore
GIOVANNINI GABRIELE Università di Bologna Professore ordinario
LANZONI BARBARA Università di Bologna Professore associato
MOSCARDINI LAURO Università di Bologna Professore ordinario
NIPOTI CARLO Università di Bologna Ricercatore
POZZI FRANCESCA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
VIGNALI CRISTIAN Università di Bologna Professore associato