PHD Physics

PHD Physics



The Doctoral program in Physics builds on the strengths of the Department faculty and offers its students a world-class education in several fields of experimental and theoretical Physics, with an eye of regard to interdisciplinary approach. The school forms new researchers who can then  both pursue an academic career in top level institutions and international labs, or join private enterprises and contribute to their growth. Education proceeds through a supervised research program, to be completed in three years and described in the PhD thesis, complemented by an academic training which includes attendance to internal courses and national and international schools. At the end of the three years the student will defend her/his thesis in front of a committee composed by experts coming from different European institutions, to be proclaimed Doctor in Physics.

The research program

 Admission to the school takes place at the beginning of the Academic Year (“Anno Accademico”, AA) on October 1st. Soon after each student chooses a research topic among the very wide set of fields in the competence of the Physics Department (HEP, Nuclear Physics, Solid State, Astrophysics, Quantum, Biophysics, Applied Physics) , and is therefore assigned a tutor who will train her/him in the research activity: usually the student joins a research group and works in a team which might include undergraduate students, post doc, researchers and professors; in most of the cases the students is involved in collaborations with other institutions or laboratories worldwide. Permanence abroad for research purposes is strongly encouraged and funded by the school and/or  the research group. Although not a necessary condition to obtain the Diploma, students are encouraged to produce at least one publication on peer-reviewed journals before the end of the PhD program.

Academic training

The school provides a wide didactic offer  covering all the research field listed above, plus soft-skill training, organized in three-credits (24 hours front lectures) courses. Each course foresees a final exam: the student must pass at least four exams during the first two years, three of which during the first year, under penalty of expulsion from the school (delays for well documented exceptional reasons are submitted to the decision of the school organs . Students can replace at most one of the courses with exams from other PhD schools,  from the UniPd academic program, or from international schools, provided these are pertinent to the student’s career and are at least as intense as those of the PhD school: in any case the substitution must be approved by the competent school organs . Participation to national or international schools focused on  the student’s research program is encouraged and supported with the school or the group budget.

Admission to the school

It proceeds through a selection. Students apply in Spring (actual dates vary year by year but are announced with due advance); they are then evaluated by a committee formed by experts chosen partly in the Department and partly from other Italian institutions. The committee selects for the final interview about one half of the applicants, based on curriculum, presentation letters, and motivations. When all interviews are over students are ranked in a list. The selection ends usually before the end of July, afterwards the top ranked are offered a position. If anybody withdraws, the next in the list is contacted: by end of September the list of new students is completed. The actual number of vacancies varies over years, but on average about a dozen of “general purpose” positions is offered; the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro provide an additional position for research on Nuclear Physics. Few other thematic fellowships are usually offered. Students are provided with a grant allowing for not-lavish life in Padova, plus a budget for travel and further funds in case of long permanence abroad. A couple of un-granted positions are also offered each year. More details are to be found in the yearly call.