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Research Doctorate in Mind and Technologies in the Digital Society

Course objectives

The doctorate course in Mind and Technologies in the Digital Society offers an advanced interdisciplinary training aimed at research work on psychological and social events emerging from technology-mediated interactions. In this respect, the curriculum aims at deepening theoretical models, research methodologies and applicative tools in specific disciplinary frameworks, taking into account and using a cross-field approach social evolution processes connected to the use of digital technologies.
More specifically, the course allows developing:

  • A robust training on research paradigms that are specific to the study of psychological and social processes in the light of the latest scientific-technological developments;
  • Advanced methodological competences for analyzing cognitive, emotional and social processes in technology-mediated interactions;
  • Research skills applied to the design of technologies aimed at fostering wellbeing, culture and social coexistence;
  • Research competences applied to the prevention of risks connected to a problematical use of the technologies.

The specific research areas of the doctorate course are available at the following LINK
Given the interdisciplinary nature of the PhD, each doctoral student is supported, during his training and research path, by two supervisors: one belonging to field of psychological disciplines and one belonging to one of the other fields that are represented in the Doctorate Commission.

The individual training plans, with a section common to all doctoral students and some courses at choice, designed based on the suggestions of the doctoral students and of their supervisors, taking into account entry-level skills, the overall objectives of the Doctorate course and the specificity of the thesis’ research issues.
The Doctorate’s course is governed by the University’s Doctorate Regulations and by the internal Regulations.

Admission requirements

Applicants, with no limitations of age and citizenship, possessing, on the competition expiry date, a degree (as per previous regulations) or a specializing and/or master-level degree (as per new regulations) or an equivalent academic title earned abroad and acknowledged in Italy can be admitted to the doctorate course. The doctorate commission checks the eligibility of the foreign title in accordance with the laws currently in force in Italy and in the Country in which the title was issued and in accordance with of the treaties and international agreements regarding titles acknowledgement for the continuation of studies.

Selection procedure

The admission to the courses takes place further to a public selection aimed at verifying the applicant’s aptitude to interdisciplinary scientific research characterized by a high level of innovation. The application must be submitted within the established deadlines and according to the modes specified in the Call.

For all applicants, both Italian or foreign ones, the selection entails an assessment of their titles, a written exam and, finally, an oral exam.
The assessment of the titles (20 score maximum) will take place based on the criteria specified in the enclosed table.

The written test consists in preparing a research project on an topic related to the themes of the PhD (40 score maximum). For foreign citizens the exam will be performed in the English language. The time available to carry on the exam is 4 hours and it will take place at the side specified in the Call. The assessment of the research project will be made based on the criteria specified in the enclosed table.

The oral exam envisages the assessment of the skills demonstrated in presenting one’s own research project, in arguing the use of an interdisciplinary approach, in clearly presenting one’s own  motivations with respect to the project relevance and supply convincing reasons supporting the hypotheses formulated in the written exam.

The Italian applicants will take the oral exam in Italian and part of the interview will be made in English in order to assess their language skills. Foreign citizens will make the interview wholly in English.
The admission to the following exams, their performance, modes of publication of the results and the related communications are established by the University’s Doctorate Regulations (Chapter V – art.14).

Table of assessment criteria and admission exams

Titles Assessment (20 score maximum)

Graduation score

0-10 score

  • 10 score if the graduation score is 110 with honors;
  • 9 score if the graduation score is 110;
  • 8 score for scores comprised between 107 and 109;
  • 7 score for scores  comprised between 104 and 106;
  • 6 score for scores comprised between 101 and 103.
  • 0 score for graduation scores below 100/110.

Study curriculum

0-2 score


0-4 score

Experiences in the research field

0-3 score

Study experiences abroad

0-1 score

Written exam (40 score maximum)

Project’s originality

0-10 score

Clarity and completeness of the project formulation

0-10 score

Appropriateness of the method

0-10 score

Project’s feasibility

0-10 score

Oral exam (40 score maximum)

Clarity of the presentation

0-9 score

Interdisciplinary approach

0-9 score

Motivation the project relevance

0-9 score

Arguing skills

0-9 score


0-4 score

Teaching plan

In accordance with the proposition of establishment of the Doctorate, accepted by the ANVUR followed by its relative accreditation, le study program of the PhD envisages training and research activities equivalent to 180 ECTS credits in the three-year period. The study program are set on in individual basis and each course was designed based on a modular structure and delivered in function of the doctoral students’ specific needs who, due to the interdisciplinary character of the PhD, have diversified experience and educational backgrounds and, consequently, need customized learning paths and final assessments in order to specialize their advanced knowledge according to the research strands of the PhD. The training is structured on: 8 course and some seminar activities.

Five courses, common for all doctoral students for a total amount of 30 ECTS credits, will be delivered based on the following disciplinary structuring: Advanced Cognitive Processes (8 ECTS credits), Methodologies for Psychosocial Research (5 ECTS credits), Data Analytics (8 ECTS credits), Information Technologies and Complex Systems (4 ECTS credits), Basics of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning (5 ECTS credits). Additionally, each doctoral student follows 3 courses choosing them among the University’s full educational offer (for a total amount of 18 ECTS credits) allowing him to acquires specific knowledge and expertise in disciplinary fields that are functional to his research project. Besides, each doctoral student carries on and/or participate in a range of seminar activities and conferences (for a total amount of 4 ECTS credits).

This education offer is completed by the performance of specific research activities agreed on with the supervisors and by the publication of mid-term scientific results (for a total amount of 38 ECTS credits) and the realization of the project of final Doctorate’s Thesis (90 ECTS credits).

The performance of the training activities is concentrated in the first year, with the possibility of extending them to the second year. The admission to the following year of PhD is assessed by the Commission based on a report of the student and of the supervisors certifying the performance of the research activities, course attendance, seminar attendance etc. for a total amount of 45 ECTS credits, at least.

Given the interdisciplinary character of the PhD, in order to allow for the highest degree of flexibility and constant updating and assuring that choice of the courses comprised in the indivudula study program allow for deepening knowledge in the various fields of psychology in general and of the individual research projects of the doctoral students, in particular, the Commission is supported by a Teaching Activities Commission including the Coordinator of the PhD and a representative for each one of the disciplinary areas comprised in the Commission.

Professors’ Commission

Paciello Marinella (Coordinator)

Adriani Walter

Conti Livio

Girella Luca Antonio

Pinna Baingio

Ammaniti Massimo

Di Mele Luciano

Grifoni Patrizia

Scala Antonio

Capirci Olga

Fabrizzi Federica

Massi Silvia

Vigano Dario Edoardo

Cerniglia Luca

Ferri Fernando

Moll Nora

Villari Anna