Admission and fellowships

The International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste offers post-graduate training to obtain a

“Doctor Philosophiae” (Ph.D) degree in Neurobiology

The Ph.D programme lasts for four years with the possibility of obtaining the title at the end of the third year, and is based on teaching and research activities, with examinations to determine admission from one year to the next and the attainment of the Ph.D degree. How to apply (deadline to be announced) for the PhD Course In Neurobiology.


Fellowships and other benefits

The School awards fellowships for 4 years. 

The yearly amount of the fellowships is, at the moment, of € 15.343,28 gross (11,41% tax). Candidates may also hold fellowships from other sources that may be increased by School funds up to the aforementioned amount. 

 A contribution towards living expenses of the amount of €100,00 gross per month will be awarded to those who will subscribe a registered rent contract in the Trieste province. 

A “laptop contribution” up to € 400,00 may be granted upon request and presentation of the relevant invoice. 

A contribution towards the expenses to be enrolled in the health insurance system up to € 198,77 will be granted to non-EU students only. 

Students enrolled in the third/fourth year can request a contribution of up to € 1.000,00 for their access to training and/or to create a network of academic contacts to help them in their future career. A contribution (70% of the amount of the fellowship) may be awarded to students who should be 

forced to suspend their activity due to illness, maternity or other serious reasons up to 5 months. 



The School welcomes applications from young candidates who are going to complete or have just complete their undergraduate studies with a strong interest in research. To be admitted to the School, candidates must be in possession of one of the following degrees by 31 October, 2020:

  • Italian laurea or laurea specialistica/magistrale in a scientific subject;
  • A University degree obtained abroad and considered equivalent to the aforementioned Italian degrees by the governing bodies of the School (i.e. M.Sc.).


Online application

An online application must be filled in and sent using the procedure available at the page by the deadlines shown in the schedule of each Ph.D course.

Candidates should upload the following documents in pdf format:

  • curriculum vitae et studiorum;
  • a certificate of University examinations taken (with marks);
  • a final degree certificate;
  • If, at the time of application, candidates should not be yet in possession of a degree certificate, they can submit it at the time of the examination.

European Union candidates can submit a personal declaration instead of the aforementioned certificates.

  • a copy of the diploma thesis (if any).

At the end of the procedure, candidates will have to indicate the names and email addresses of two professors that will receive an email requesting to send a recommendation letter through the same online procedure within two days of the announcement expiry date. 

The candidate will then have to print out the admission request form, sign it and send it through the same online procedure. 


Entrance Exam

All the information about the oral exams (also by videoconference) can be found here.



All students admitted to the School will be notified by email and will be asked to be present at the School starting from 2 November 2020. Failure to do so without a valid reason will result in the loss of the place and fellowship awarded.

In order to be enrolled and to be awarded the fellowship, admitted candidates must pay a “Regional Tax” of the amount of € 120.00 - € 160.00 per year. Information can be retrieved at


PhD course: Neurobiology
Session: Single
Deadline Online Procedure: to be announced
Exams Dates: to be announced

Head of the PhD course: Prof. Paul Heppenstall (

Students’ representative: Francesco Diversi (


Research Fields

Projects available for the first year students:

- Somatosensation

- Peripheral Nervous System

- Olfactory Systems and Ion Channels

- Synaptic Neurophysiology and Neuronal Networks

- Bionanotechnology

- New Materials and Neurons

- Dynamics and time scales of neuronal excitability

- Neuronal networks properties

- Role of noise in the nervous system

- Biophysical modelling of the nervous system

- Spinal networks patho-physiology and locomotion 

- Interfaces to simultaneously stimulate and record signals from the spinal cord

- Computational modelling of ion channels, neurons, and networks

- Information processing and excitability in neocortical neurons

- In vitro optogenetic control of neuronal networks


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