PhD in Psychology

Academic Year 2019-2020
Subject area Humanistic Studies
Cycle 35
Coordinator Prof. Maurizio Codispoti
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 7 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 15, 2019 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 30, 2019 to Aug 26, 2019
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2019
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari" - PSI
Mobility abroad
Yes (see PhD Programme Table)
Research topics

Curriculum 1: Psychological Sciences
- Cognitive processes
- Psycho-physiology of emotions
- Statistical Inference
- Visual perception and eye movement
- Typical and  atypical development across the life span
- Learning/teaching processes and tecnology
- Morality
- Intergroup Contact
- Social Prejudice
- Psychosocial factors in political participation
- Health and security at work place
- Work carreer, Psychopathology of infancy
- Infant research, Psychosomatic
- Clinical assessment.

Curriculum 2: Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience
Neural substrates of cognitive and affective processes, with reference to multisensory integration, body and space representation, learning and memory, action and emotion perception, empathy, cognitive control and decision-making.  Alterations of the aforementioned processes and their functional recovery  patients with brain damage.

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 facilitate 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 his/her 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

Surname Name Institution Role e-mail
Avenanti Alessio Università di Bologna member
Chiesa Rita Università di Bologna member
Cicognani Elvira Università di Bologna member
Lamm Claus Università di Vienna member
Tossani Eliana Università di Bologna member
Di Pellegrino Giuseppe Università di Bologna substitute
Frassinetti Francesca Università di Bologna substitute
Pietrantoni Luca Università di Bologna substitute
Rubini Monica Università di Bologna substitute
Sansavini Alessandra Università di Bologna substitute
Learning outcomes
The PhD program aims at training students in innovative basic, field, applied, clinical and rehabilitative research in Psychology.
This goal is achieved by training students 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 students 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 pertainig to their topic, formulate a clear research hypothesis, adopt a method fitting their reserch design, run the appropiate 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 program is based on the integration among courses, seminars and summer schools, individual study and research activities. The courses aim at training PhD students on basic research skills with particular attention to the main theoretical models of Psychological Sciences and Neuroscience, mastery of research methodologies and techniques of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. This knowledge will be completed by individual study on specific field of investigation, according to the tutor. The basic skills will be also integrated by a critical reading of specialized scientific articles during meeting among the PhD program Committee and students. After the consolidation of basic research skills, PhD students will carry out an advanced and scientific study in 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 emphasizes the "hypothesis driven" approach to scientific research Lab activities form the main committment of PhDs students and imply training in neuroscientific methods, techniques data handling and theoretical reasoning.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
During the first year, it is mandatory that students attend courses and seminars aimed at developing and strenghtening the basic skills which underlie the ability of setting and pursuing a research project i.e., Scientific Communication Skills, History of Psychology, Methodology of Research and Information Technology, Statistics. During the second and third year, advanced courses will be offered i.e., Research Methods and Information Technology and Advanced Statistics. During the second and third year, the PhD program offers also Journal Club courses on the critical interpretation of research papers
 In addition, seminars and workshops by national and international experts will be proposed. Students will have also the opportunity to attend international summer schools and seminars in other universities. Moreover, PhD students will present to the PhD program Committee and to the Department of Psychology their research during the three years, implementing oral and written communication skills of their research activities. In the curriculum of Cognitive Neuroscience courses and activities are held in English. 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) courses will be offered to Phd Students.
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 obtained research results.
Moreover, the PhD program includes seminars and courses taught by internationally experts.
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 PhD students from other Italian and international Universities.
The curriculum of Psychological Sciences which relies on colleagues belonging to seven area of psychology offers the possibility to spend visiting periods abroad in prestigios academic sites where scientific collaboration among colleagues are productive.
Moreover there are agreements of co-tutorships among the program and international Universities.
The Cognitive Neuroscience curriculum is held in collaboration with 2 prestigious Universities, namely University College of London (UCL) and Bangor University, which have signed an official agreement for jointly conferring doctoral title recognized both in Italy and UK. The program shows a high degree of internationalization:
- English is the official language and it characterizes all the activities of the curriculum
- Students complete their doctoral thesis at 2 institutions (typically, 2 years at UNIBO and 1 year at UCL or Bangor) discussing potential projects and selecting an advisor at the 2 institutions
- 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 students are expected to have acquired evaluative and critical capacities in regard to the research topics addressed, communication skills of scientific findings, mastery of reserch metholodolies in the field of Psychological Sciences or Cognitive Neuroscience. During the three years program the advance of each students is systematically assessed. At the beginnig of the program a tutor is assigned to each student. Every three months the student will be evaluated by his/her tutor in regard to his/her participation to the proposed activities and on the progress in the research project. Moreover, the PhD coordinator meets the students to monitor their progresses every three months. During the first half of the first year, the PhD student will submit a brief review and a research project (“research paper”) to the PhD program committee for evaluation. The reserach paper will be orally presented to the PhD program committee and to all other PhD students, and it will be evaluated by two reviewers who will provide the student with a written evaluation and guidance in revising the reserch paper . During the second year the preliminary results will be presented to the PhD program committee and to all other PhD students. The PhD program committee will give an evaluation of the proposed project. During the first half of the third year, a draft of the PhD dissertation must be submitted to the tutor for evaluation. PhD students of the Psychological Science curriculum are required to submitt at least one article to an ISI-WOS outlet during the Phd program and to make two presentations to conferences. As far as The curriculum in Cognitive Neuroscience is concerned at the end of the third year students should have two publications on high level International Iournals and 3 presentations to conferences.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
AGOSTINI FRANCESCA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
AVENANTI ALESSIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
CHIESA RITA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
CIARAMELLI ELISA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
CICOGNANI ELVIRA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
CODISPOTI MAURIZIO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
DI PELLEGRINO GIUSEPPE Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
DOWNING PAUL Bangor University Professore Ordinario
FRASSINETTI FRANCESCA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
GRANDI SILVANA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
GREMIGNI PAOLA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
GUARINI ANNALISA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
HAGGARD PATRICK University College of London Professore Ordinario
MOSCATELLI SILVIA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
NATALE VINCENZO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
PIETRANTONI LUCA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
RAFANELLI CHIARA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
RUBINI MONICA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
SANSAVINI ALESSANDRA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
TOMASETTO CARLO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
TOMBA ELENA Università di Bologna Professore Associato