During the 3 years each student must acquire 180 credits (60 per year). These credits are of two types:

  • a) credits for research activity (between 150 and 160)
  • b) credits for courses/seminars (between 20 and 30)

Research Activity

Research activity is the most important and significant part of the overall training. It consists in the development of an original research on one of the various themes indicated by the specific curriculum, under the guidance of 1 or 2 advisors.

The Faculty Council will assign the tutors and the research subject taking into account the student preferences, but also the priorities for some subject due to dedicated funds or to the need to cover evenly all areas. At least 1 tutor must be a teacher/professor belonging to one of the scientific areas involved in the Doctorate. 1 credit corresponds to a work time of 25 hours, including all the practical activities, but also bibliographic searches, study related to research activity, the draft of papers, mid-term reports, or of the final thesis, participation to group meeting or conferences). The credits will be acquired at the end of every year, after certification by the tutors of the regular frequency, and after approval, by the Teacher Council, of the annual written report and of the oral presentation of the results of that year. In case of researches involving collaborations with other researchers/students or other groups, the student must put in clear evidence his/her own contribution to the overall research. The publication of papers, patents, communications at congresses will be welcome, but it will not be mandatory fot the credit acquisition, in light of the fact that the publication of results is often done only after some time.

The research activity must be carried out in the research structures of Genova university or of the other organizations participating to the doctorate (IIT, CNR). It can be also carried out in a private company, in another research organization, or in another university, especially when they finance the grant. The tutor(s) will follow closely the research work and check the actual full-time frequency of the student to the laboratories. Apart from reasonable exception, every student must acquire at least 20 credit through research periods abroad, while stages in private italian or foreign companies is strongly encouraged.


The credits relative to courses and seminars are divided into these types:

  • A) Attendance to short courses (4-6 h) given by italian of foreign outstanding experts. Every course of this kind is worth 1 credit. Each student will follow from 2 to 5 of these courses.
  • B) Attendance to specific courses activated by the Doctorate with its own teachers (or activated by other Doctorates of the University of Genova). In this case 1 credit corresponds to 7 hours of lessons. Each student will acquire 6 to 14 credits of this type. There will be a final verification of knowledge (exam). These credits will be normally acquired in the first two years. You can find a list of currently activated units
  • C) Attendance to seminars (at least 16 in 3 years). 8 seminars correspond to 1 credit. There is no final verification of knowledge. It is sufficient to get the certification of attendance.
  • D) Participation to national or international schools for Ph.D. students. Typically a 1 week school is worth 2 credits. The credits will be attributed by the Faculty Council. Each student will acquire from 0 to 6 credits of this type.
  • E) Preparation and presentation of a seminar following a bibliographic search on a particular theme chosen by the students together with the Faculty Council. The seminar must get a positive evaluation by the Council.
  • E) Attendance to courses (or part of them) activated for a "laurea magistrale" of the University of Genova. This type of credit will be allowed only when the student, according to his/her particular previous curriculum, has a gap in a subject deemed essential for his/her research. These type of courses will be followed during the first year. There will be a final exam.