PhD programme degree with firms and bodies

The PhD programme degree may well be a preferential tool for scientific collaboration with the University of Bologna and for exchanging the knowledge and competencies that underpin innovation.

The PhD programme degree builds the competencies needed to carry out advanced research at public and private bodies, as well as to work as an independent professional. It may well be a preferential tool for scientific collaboration with the University of Bologna and for exchanging the knowledge and competencies that underpin innovation and add value to firms and bodies by:

  1. making high qualified and innovative competencies available to them on topics of interest;
  2. increasing their competitiveness via product and process improvements that derive from R&D, innovation and the transfer of technology;
  3. strengthening university-business collaboration at regional level and developing the results of innovative research

Characteristics of PhD programmes at the University of Bologna

Frequency of calls:  annual

Publication of calls: 

during the first quarter of the year

Deadline for applications: 

about one month after publication

Admission procedures: 

June-July each year

PhD programme start date: 

1 November

Duration: 

three years for the majority of University of Bologna PhD programme degrees
Amount:  about € 68,000 (for the entire 3-year programme), part of which covers the actual scholarship and part the periods of study and research carried out abroad

Collaboration with the PhD programme

It is possible to collaborate with the PhD programme in various ways:

  • funding a PhD student scholarship
  • PhD programme degree for employees
  • joint PhD programmes with Universities and research institutions

Funding a PhD student scholarship

Firms and bodies can benefit from long-term scientific collaboration with a University of Bologna PhD student who is carrying out research of common interest. Funding bodies can specify the research area of interest and participate in selecting the PhD student who will benefit from the scholarship. The firm may assign an internal supervisor to the PhD student.

Procedure:
In order to activate this opportunity for collaboration, firms and bodies must express their interest in funding one or more scholarships by signing a “letter of intent”, on the basis of which the related calls for applications are published. The letter of intent is followed by the signature of a contract between the University and the firm/body. 
Contact the PhD Programme Unit for further information and to request a draft letter of intent.

PhD programme degree for employees

By following a PhD programme, firms and bodies can train their employees via the development of a research project of joint interest in the context of a personal training plan. This plan establishes the programme to be followed, how the research will be carried out at the firm and how the time of the employee will be allocated.

It is also possible to employ PhD students below the age of 30 under apprenticeship contracts that envisage work-study programmes leading the award of a PhD programme degree. Apprenticeships leading to a PhD programme degree:

  • are signed between the PhD student and firm
  • may have a duration of 24-48 months
  • must terminate on award of the PhD.

Even for SMEs, the PhD Programme Apprenticeship represents an opportunity to carry out research and employ highly-qualified young persons, designing a training path consistent with the needs of the firm while also benefiting from the related tax advantages. The firm may participate in selecting the PhD student who will benefit from the apprenticeship contract.

Procedure:
In order to activate this opportunity for collaboration, firms and bodies must submit a “letter of intent”, on the basis of which the related calls for applications are published. The letter of intent is followed by the signature of a contract between the University and the firm/body. 
In order to gain admission to the PhD programme, the employee of the firm/body must participate in the call for applications and pass the selection procedure. 
Contact the PhD Programme Unit for further information and to request a draft letter of intent.

Joint PhD programmes with Universities and research institutions

It is possible to activate accredited PhD programme degrees under agreements (covering three consecutive PhD programme cycles) or consortium arrangements (covering just one PhD programme cycle) with:

  • other Universities: in which case a double or joint degree is awarded;
  • public or private research bodies: in which case the University of Bologna awards the PhD.

These PhD programmes envisage inclusion of the contracted bodies on the Academic board, as well as provision by them of the funds and operational/scientific structures needed to ensure programme sustainability.

Tax benefits

Natural and legal persons may fund PhD programme scholarships by making donations to the University of Bologna. The tax benefits associated with donations made to the University of Bologna are described in the University tax benefits section.