PhD in Neuroscience, Psychological and Psychiatric Sciences, and Movement Sciences


The main education goal consists in delivering and supplying to the students the essential knowledge and skills that will make them suited for high quality research activities in the academic and private – public research environment.
As a general rule, the PhD course will aim at training the students so that they will be able plan and accomplish original projects inspired by the principle of the “hypothesis driven” research and of the “evidence based medicine”.
In particular, the student will acquire specific expertise on:
A) Design, illustration and communication of a research project based on robust knowledge of the current scientific literature and on sound knowledge and methodological skills, implemented with proper experimental designs and protocols in the field of neuroscience, physiological, cognitive, and clinical sciences.
To this aim, the educational activities of the PhD program include:
  • Training of the skills of bibliographic data mining through practical workshops;
  • Acquisition / optimization of synthesis and summary ability of the data obtained from the examination of the scientific literature through preparation of and participation in journal clubs and monographic seminars on topics related / ancillary to the research project;
  • Acquisition of the fundamentals of scientific methodology related to planning of studies in clinical, behavioural, cognitive, psychological and experimental fields;
  • Participation in the preparation of the application to the institutional IRB, including an illustration of the principles of research ethics of research on humans and animals and the preparation of the informed consent of the subject;
  • Presentation during the first year of the course of the doctoral research project in front of the Faculty with subsequent discussion and possible resubmission after revision;
B) Individual experimental projects using the most advanced techniques of molecular, cellular, physiological, genetic and cognitive research applied to various experimental models (cells, organs in situ, laboratory animals and humans in different conditions of environmental stress (e.g. exercise, hypoxia, cognitive, psychological) including a specific training on new diagnostic, laboratory and neuroimaging tools and techniques.
To this end, the educational activities of the PhD program include:
  • Specific training for the use of the equipment utilised in the project, including new diagnostic, laboratory and neuroimaging tools and techniques;
  • Participation in training courses (national and international) on innovative methodologies;
  • Participation in specific courses on specific methods of measurement and on the basis of the analysis of biomedical and physiological signals;
  • Internships in national and foreign laboratories.
C) Clinical and epidemiological studies using the most advanced techniques in the field of clinical trials (phase III studies) and observational epidemiological studies (phase IV studies) including specific training and involvement on the new meta-analytical tools suitable to analyse the results of experimental and observational studies, according to the principles of evidence-based medicine.
To this purpose, the educational activities of the PhD program include:
  • Specific training to acquire and use skills in clinical and epidemiological research;
  • Specific training to acquire and use skills in the conduct of meta-analyses of randomized and observational evidence
  • Attendance to specific courses on innovative research methods to optimize the electronic management of clinical and epidemiological data.
D) Post hoc analysis of experimental data.
To this aim, the educational activities of the PhD program include:
  • Specific courses included in the curriculum on statistical methods for data analysis in cognitive, psychological, medical and scientific research and on the introduction to the use of statistical packages (SPSS, NCSS, Statistica, STATA);
  • Introductory courses on SW and development environments for quantitative data analysis (Matlab, Labview).
E) Effective communication and oral and written summary of the experimental results.
To this end, the educational activities of the PhD program include:
  • Participation in the PhD day;
  • Lab meetings fro systematic reports on the experimental activity and data analysis;
  • Participation in the seminars planned during the course;
  • Presentation at the end of the second year of a written and oral progress report of the project;
  • Presentation at the end of the third year of the results obtained in the project during a seminar.
  • Participation in national and international congresses with communications (poster or oral) on the results obtained during the project;
  • Gradual acquisition of specific skills in report / scientific articles writing;
  • Collaboration in the drafting and in reviewing of reports / scientific papers.
In addition, the principles of the main methods of national and international bibliometric evaluation of the scientific production will be taught to the students. Moreover, the international and national research funding system and the European and international policy for the exploitation of research results and for the protection of the intellectual property will be illustrated.
The student, at the end of the course, will have access to positions or post-doctoral research fellows in national and international research institutes and academic system, in the national health system as well as in the R&D departments of biomedical, pharmacological, diagnostics national - international companies.

Course details

Degree type
3 years
Degree class
DOTTORATI - PHD – PhD programmes (university)
Supervisory body
Faculty Board of PhD in Neuroscience, Psychological and Psychiatric Sciences, and Movement Sciences
Michela Rimondini
Graduate School
PhD Schools Web Page
Main Department
Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences
Macro area
Life and Health Sciences
Subject area
Sport Sciences