PhD in Psychology

Academic Year 2021-2022
Subject area Humanistic Studies
Cycle 37
Coordinator Prof. Maurizio Codispoti
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 13 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2021
Operating centre
Bologna
Main Department
Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari" - PSI
Mobility abroad
See the PhD programme Table
Curricula
  1. Psychological Sciences
  2. Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience
Research topics

Curriculum 1: Psychological Sciences

  • General Psychology

  • Emotions attention and learning
  • Perception and decision making
  • Body action and cognition
  • Spatial cognition memory and individual differences
  • Psychometric
  • Psychometric methods in cognitive and clinical assessment
  • Advanced inferential statistics
  • Qualitative methods for psychological research
  • Bayesian inference in inferential statistics
  • Developmental and Education Psychology
  • Typical and atypical development from early infancy to adulthood
  • Risk and protective factors in development
  • Lifespan development and information and communication technologies
  • Teaching learning and social processes in educational contexts
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender inequalities and prejudice reduction
  • Personal and social identity
  • Psychosocial factors in risk and safety
  • Equal opportunities and community participation
  • Work and Organizational psychology
  • Diversity management in organizations
  • Organizational change and development
  • Employability and new careers
  • Psychosocial factors at work
  • Psychodinamics
  • 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
  • Psychological interventions.

  

Curriculum 2: Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Social neuroscience and error monitoring
  • Action control and error monitoring
  • Recognition of erroneous and painful actions
  • Empathy and moral cognition
  • Interoception and autonomic response
  • TMS-EEG, brain connectivity and plasticity
  • Neuroscience of visual awareness
  • Conscious and unconscious visual perception
  • Visual disorders in brain-damaged patients
  • Brain oscillations
  • Eye movements
  • Memory and future anticipation
  • Episodic memory
  • Time perception
  • Mental time travel
  • Delay discounting and future-based choice
  • Fear conditioning and extinction
  • Memory-impaired patient population
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
PhDs 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 organisations. In particular, the period spent abroad can facilitate the establishment and consolidation of international collaborations, facilitating the international mobility. Thanks to the PhD programme, 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

Surname Name University/Institution Curriculum Role email
Avenanti Alessio Università di Bologna Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience Member
Chiesa Rita Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Member
Crocetti Elisabetta Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Member
Guarini Annalisa Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Member
Rafanelli Chiara Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Member
Ciaramelli Elisa Università di Bologna Joint PhD Program in Cognitive Neuroscience Substitute
Rubini Monica Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Substitute
Tomasetto Carlo Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Substitute
Tomba Elena Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences Substitute
Zappalà Salvatore Università di Bologna Psychological Sciences 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 among courses, seminars and summer schools, individual study and research activities. The courses aim at training PhD candidates 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 specialised scientific articles during meeting among the Academic Board and candidates. After the consolidation of basic research skills, PhD candidates 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 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
During the first year, it is mandatory that candidates attend courses and seminars aimed at developing and strengthening the basic skills which underlie the ability of setting and pursuing a research project i.e., Scientific Communication Skills, 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 programme offers also Journal Club ad article reviewing and writing seminars, critical interpretation of research papers. In addition, seminars and workshops by national and international experts will be proposed. Candidates will have also the opportunity to attend international summer schools and seminars in other universities. Moreover, 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 candidates 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 programme includes seminars and courses taught by internationally experts. The PhD programme is visible in the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window programme. The PhD programme is also sent to several national and international Psychological Associations to promote the attractiveness of PhD applicants from other Italian and international Universities. The Curriculum of Psychological Sciences, which relies on academics belonging to seven area of psychology, offers the possibility to spend visiting periods abroad in prestigious academic sites where scientific collaboration among academics are productive. Moreover there are agreements of co-tutorships among the programme 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 recognised both in Italy and UK. The programme shows a high degree of internationalisation:
- English is the official language and it characterises all the activities of the PhD programme
- Candidates 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 Academic Board include experienced Italian and UK academics who have conducted research at International institutes, are supported by International funding agencies, and can provide candidates with an International environment for conducting scientific activities.
Expected research results and products
At the end of the programme, 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 programme, the advance of each candidates is systematically assessed. At the beginning of the programme a tutor is assigned to each candidate. Every three months the candidate will be evaluated by their tutor in regard to their participation to the proposed activities and on the progress in the research project. Moreover, the PhD Coordinator meets the candidates to monitor their progresses every three months. During the first half of the first year, the PhD candidate will submit a brief review and a research project (“research paper”) to the Academic Board for evaluation. The research paper 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 paper. During the second year, the preliminary results will be presented to the Academic Board and to all other PhD candidates. The Academic Board 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 candidates of the Psychological Science curriculum are required to submit at least one article to an ISI-WOS outlet during the Phd programme 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 outlets.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Name Surname University/Institution Qualification
Francesca Agostini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Alessio Avenanti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Cristian Balducci Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Mariagrazia Benassi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Elisa Ciaramelli Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Elvira Cicognani Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Maurizio Codispoti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Elisabetta Crocetti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Andrea De Cesarei Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Giuseppe Di Pellegrino Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Paul Downing Bangor University (UK) Professore Ordinario
Francesca Frassinetti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Paola Gremigni Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Annalisa Guarini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Jenny Guidi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Patrick Haggard University College of London (UK) Professore Ordinario
Elvis Mazzoni Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Raffaella Nori Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Luca Pietrantoni Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Chiara Rafanelli Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Monica Rubini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Chiara Ruini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Alessandra Sansavini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Alessia Tessari Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Carlo Tomasetto Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Elena Tomba Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Elena Trombini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Sara Zaniboni Università di Bologna Professore Associato