PhD program in Neurosciences

XXXIX cycle - a.y. 2023/2024

Duration 3 years
Position 9 position available - 7 scholarships
Director/Coordinator Prof. Sandro Rubichi
PhD website »
Admission Expiration date 27/07/2023 at 13:00
Call for admission
Final ranking Published 22/09/2023
Enrollment deadline 29/09/2023 at 13:00:00

Scientific areas

BIO/09 (Physiology), BIO/11 (Molecular Biology), BIO/14 (Pharmacology), MED/25 (Psychiatry), MED/26 (Neurology), MED/27 (Neurosurgery), MED/39 (Child Neuropsychiatry), MED/48 (Neuropsychiatric and Rehabilitation Nursing), M-PSI/01 (General Psychology), M-PSI/02 (Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience)

Admission requirements

Italian second level degree (laurea specialistica, under D.M. 509/99 or laurea magistrale, under D.M. 207/04) or Italian degree obtained prior to D.M. 509/99 or equivalent qualification obtained abroad. More information available in the Call.


The PhD Program lasts for three years and aims at recruiting and training researchers with update skills and abilities for conducting autonomous, original and innovative researchers in different areas of neuroscience, through the acquisition of scientific knowledge and methodological/technological skills for the multidisciplinary study of the nervous system, from molecular functioning to cognitive and clinical neuroscience, working on humans or animal models. The training and research activities will be divided into the following three macro-areas, including also cross-cutting topics, methodologies and technologies:

- Basic and computational neuroscience: Study of the central and peripheral nervous system in humans through the following techniques: neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, molecular and cellular biology, electrophysiology, behavioral, neurocomputational and brain imaging. Laboratory animals (rodents), and cellular models including induced pluripotent stem cells and organoids are also used.

- Clinical neuroscience: Study of clinical research topics in the field of neurological and psychiatric disorders across the lifespan; particular relevance will be given to genetic and epigenetic risk factors using specific experimental approaches, as well as to broad-spectrum omics methods.

- Cognitive neuroscience and psychology: Study of human cognitive functions through the evaluation of mental operations and their neural substrate, using behavioral and testistic methodologies, as well as psychophysiological and neuroimaging techniques, on healthy subjects or patients with cognitive/affective disorders.


A multidisciplinary approach will be used to address the specific research topics of the PhD course. Methodologies will be cross-cutting with respect to the macro-areas listed above according to the specific aims of the research themes. These include:

- Study of the central and peripheral nervous system in physiological and pathological conditions (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, chronic pain, autism) with different models, from cell cultures to humans, using neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, molecular and cellular biology, electrophysiology, behavioral, computational and brain imaging techniques.

- Study of neural correlates, biomarkers and endogenous (genetic and behavioral) and exogenous (environmental and socio-relational) risk factors in neurological and psychiatric pathologies, in the children, adolescents and adults. The main pathologies under study are: neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders, epilepsy, narcolepsy, chronic pain, sleep disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia, depressive and bipolar disorders, somatic symptom disorders, behavioral disorders, personality disorders, and drug and behavioral addictions. In-depth study of attachment processes, the effect of trauma, and the development of mentalization in relation to the occurrence of major mental disorders and their treatment.

- Study of the relationship between cognitive-emotional functioning and their neural bases through standardized or ad hoc developed psychometric and neuropsychological instruments that investigate mental functioning in conjunction with the detection of brain activity using psychophysiological and neuroimaging techniques.

Career opportunities include:

- Biotechnologist or Medical or Pharmaceutical Biologist, Biophysicist, Bioengineer in the field of molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and computational neuroscience (Professional area: applied research, design, and consultancy; Sectors: Academy, Research Centers, public health, and industry).

- Neurologist Researcher, Clinical researcher in child neuropsychiatry, psychiatry, psychiatric rehabilitation technique (Professional area: applied research, design and consultancy; Sector: Academy, Research Centers, public health industry and national and international organization specialized in clinical research related to the aforementioned fields).

- Researcher in the areas of psychological and neuropsychological research fileds (Professional area: theoretical and applied research; Sectors: Academy, Research Centers, and public health).


Three years (01/11/2023 - 31/10/2026)


The course venue is in Modena and some laboratories are located at the Reggio Emilia campus.


» Call for admission and changes

» Selection committees

» Final ranking

Based on a rigorous selection process, applications are processed normally once a year. The admissions will be open in June or July 2024 (please refer to the Calls).

More documentation

How to apply for the PhD Programmes (pdf)

How to apply for the Italian National PhD Program in Religious Studies (pdf)

Please complete the application form and submit it electronically following the application guide. A non-returnable administrative fee of 25 € will be charged. The decision on admission as well as on financial support is published on the web.

PhD Certificates and Self-certifications

PhD original diploma (Parchment)

Contact office

For further information please contact:
PhD Office
via Università, 4 - 41121 Modena
» Opening hours (italian only)