PHD Physics



PhD in Physics : Boost your Future 


List of PhD Courses
a.a. 2020/2021

Dichiarazione per l'accesso alle strutture universitarie
(da rilasciare in portineria al primo accesso in Dipartimento)

Richiesta accesso al Dipartimento di Fisica (da consegnare firmata dal supervisore o dal coordinatore in Segreteria di Direzione st. 205 II° piano)




Avviso di selezione 2020/2021

The rankings will be made public from August 3rd 2020 through:


• Publication on the University’s official register;
• Publication on the University of Padova website:

Successful candidates must enrol by September 10th 2020. Information on enrolment procedures will be
published at the same time as the rankings.
Publication of enrolment deadlines are to be considered as official notification for all intents and purposes.
No personal communication will be sent to the candidates. Candidates granted admission to the
Courses are responsible for checking enrolment dates and procedures.

Our PhD-program in Physics aims to train you in applying the scientific approach wherever you are, the problem to face, from the smallest to the largest scale in the Universe. It goes far beyond to become expert in a scientific discipline.


The University of Padova (UniPD) offers 39 PhD Courses amongst which the Physics course is managed by the Department of Physics and Astronomy “Galileo Galilei” (DFA). Organized by DFA faculty members and their national and international collaborators, it offers the students a world-class academic training in several fields of experimental and theoretical Physics by exploiting the opportunities emerging from interdisciplinary approaches. Our PhD school trains new researchers who can either pursue an academic career in top level international institutions or join private companies and contribute significantly to their growth.

The DPhil in Physics is a research-based course of three years in duration: PhD students are supervised throughout the entire duration of the course and join the supervisor's research group.

The research activity is complemented by academic training activities including the attendance to internal courses as well as national and international schools to increase your basic and specialist physics knowledge.

At the end of the course, PhD students are expected to submit a written thesis that will be reviewed by two experts and defend it in an interview with a Panel of other specialists, either from the host and other (inter)national institutions.

The research program

Each PhD student may choose a research topic among the very wide set of fields of competences of the DFA members:

Applied Physics, Astrophysics, Biophysics, Cosmology,  Gravitational Waves Physics,  Multimessenger Astroparticle, Neutrino Physics , Nuclear Physics, Physics at  Colliders, Physics of Data and of Complex Systems, Physics of Matter, Quantum Technologies, Theoretical Physics.

The PhD candidate will be assigned a supervisor according to the research topic who will supervise her/his research and training activities. PhD-students join research groups and will work in teams including undergraduate students, post-docs, researchers and faculty members. The team-work experience is in fact an important opportunity for the PhD candidate to be involved and committed in international collaborations.

As part of the research activity, candidates are suggested to spend a research period abroad (up to 18 months) also taking advantage of dedicated funds. The final destination can be chosen by the PhD student upon agreement with the supervisor. Periods of permanence abroad will be funded by the PhD-school and/or by the research group. Although not formally required,PhD students are encouraged to publish the results of their research in at least one publication on peer-reviewed journals before the end of the PhD program.


Academic training

The Academic Year starts on October the 1st. The school provides a wide academic educational offer in all the disciplines related to the research fields listed above. Students have to select four or more lectures each completed with a dedicated exam. It is compulsory to pass at least four exams during the first two years (three of which during the first year). The educational program is complemented by a compulsory soft-skill training; it is organized in two three-credits courses (24 hours front lectures each), meant to introduce students to the preparation of research proposals and to teaching techniques.

In case of not compliance, the PhD student will be excluded from the PhD-school. Derogations can be considered only in case of submitted evidences of the force majore that has prevented her/his compliance. In any case it is upon the PhD school management to accept or reject the derogation’s request.

All lectures are held in English: here you can find the complete list of the courses offered in AA 2019/2020.

Upon agreement with the supervisor, and approval of the PhD-school panel, PhD students may propose to substitute one of the offered courses with a course chosen among the programs of other doctoral-schools, either within the wider UniPd academic program, or at international institutions, as well as at topical international training events dedicated to PhD scholars.

Participation to national or international schools focused on the student’s research program is encouraged and supported by the PhD-school or the research group budget.

All candidates of the PhD school at DFA are eligible for the additional mention of Doctor Europaeus: this title is subject to special requirements to be observed during the three-year research and at the final stage of thesis evaluation. More details can be found here (see the section Doctor Europaeus for guidelines)

Admission to the School


Applicants need to hold or to expect to hold by Oct 1^st 2020 the equivalent of the following Italian qualifications: second-class undergraduate degree (laurea magistrale or laurea magistrale a ciclo unico).  Bachelor's degrees with a minimum four years' standard duration may satisfy the entry requirements, the equivalence will be assessed case by case using the ECTS tables.

·         Application

Students may send their application in Spring (actual dates vary year by year but are announced with due advance). The application package usually includes: Curriculum Vitae and Studiorum, academic records, master thesis, recommendation letters, and other documents/material, according to the rules indicated in the call. 

      You can find here the technical guidelines for the submission of the application form for the PhD Course in PhysicsAn overview of all the calls from all the schools in Padova can be found at this other URL.

·         Selection . Admission is subject to a two-steps selection procedure :

o    Step 1: a Selection Committee formed by experts chosen among the faculty and staff members of the DFA as well as of other Italian or International Institution evaluates the application material, and selects a short list to be the interviewed. The number of interviews depends on the available number PhD-scholarships.

o    Step 2: Interviews aimed to overview the application material and the candidate’s scientific competences. They can be held by using remote connections tools provided that they guarantee video recognition. At the end of the interview process, the Selection Committee publishes a list where the interviewed candidates are ranked, according to the obtained total score.
The selection procedure usually ends before the end of July, and afterwards, the top ranked candidates are offered a position. The others are automatically included a waiting list, and might be later offered a position, according to the withdrawal of the candidates appearing at earlier positions.

·         Important dates for 2020 call :

o    Call opening /closing : May7th – June 16th

o    First step completion and publication of the interview list : July 7th

o    Start of interviews : July 14th, 2 pm. This might take up to three days.

o    The final list of those candidates who are be admitted to the PhD-school is expected to be completed by the end of September. The PhD program begins in October.

·         PhD-scholarships
The actual number of PhD-scholarships may vary on a year-base. For 2020 call (36th cycle) there are:

o    Thirteen open topic scholarships (“tema libero”) granted by the DFA and partner institutions as National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and CARIPARO. Open topic scholarship refers to the position in which the PhD student can choose the topic of his research among those offered.

o    Ten additional positions financially supported by partner institutions or private companies/funds: in this case the PhD grant is linked to the execution of a specific research topic. Such positions are called constrained-topic (“tema vincolato”)scholarships and are usually offered according to special funding schemes and special research frameworks which are active within a dedicated period of time. Please note that applications to the constrained-topic are independent of those provided in the open-topic framework. Therefore applicants are strongly encouraged to follow the details provided in the corresponding calls.

o    Two additional positions are reserved to students who did not earn their degree in Italy. Students fulfilling this requirement are encouraged to apply to this call and to the open topic scolarships as well.

PhD-scholars are provided with a three-year grant. European citizens are granted by the Social medical insurance by way of the TEAM Systems. Otherwise, specific rules hold and are country dependent and must be verified accordingly.

o    Two un-granted positions are offered as well. Candidates must specify if they want to apply for both granted and un-granted positions or to just one of the two.

Additional funds are foreseen for scientific missions and in case of long permanence abroad both for granted and un-granted positions.
Details about UniPD PhD Courses and admission rules are given at


Each PhD student has right to an equipped desk in the PhD-students room. A desk, PC and/or a Laptop may also be provided by the research groups. Access to DFA and INFN computing resources are granted upon request. Students involved in experimental activities have access to the DFA laboratories, and/or to the facilities of many national (LNL, LNGS) and international labs (CERN, GANIL, KEK, etc.) collaborating with our research groups. A list of UniPd and DFA Facilities can be found here.


In case of questions or doubts, please do not hesitate contact the PhD-school secretary at:
Cristina.Mazzucco [at]