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The 3-year program is designed for students holding an MS degree (awarded within the September 31th subsequent to the opening of the call). The advisor of Doctoral students can be one of the approximately 60 faculty members who are experienced researchers in different areas of psychology. Each student defines the main area of research early on, in agreement with his/her advisor and the experimental work is carried on starting from the first year. During the three-year program, students are required to spend a period in a foreign University or Research Center, working under the supervision of an external advisor for a minimum period of 3 months to a maximum period of 12 months. In exceptional cases, the students might spend half of the PhD program (18 months) abroad. Padova University and the Departments involved in the program strongly support the mobility of the students providing them money for attending meetings, conferences, or summer schools.
Doctoral students are also expected to participate in the following activities:
1st year: Doctoral students have to start to develop their research project and follow some basic courses in methodology, statistics, programming and other practical skills. Courses are taught in English language. At the end of each year, doctoral students have to discuss their theoretical area of research and the general content of their research project in front of a committee of faculty members
2nd year: Students are expected to have a research training in an international research center or university outside of Italy. Institutions are selected on the basis of the individual interests and career objectives of each student.
3rd year: Preparation of the Ph.D. Thesis in either Italian or English language. At the end of the 3rd year, doctoral students have to present their work at the "School Lunch" meetings.
Two months before the end of the program the thesis should be sent to two external reviewers for admission to the Defence. The reviewers are Italian or foreign researchers selected ad-hoc for each student. At the end of the program, students, in groups of two-four, will defend their thesis in front of an external committee.
Classes and other activities
Classes have to main general objectives:
Give advanced knowledge in disciplines common to different research approaches and provide students with the main research skills
Expose students to several research areas, presenting them the new trends in the different domains of the Psychological Sciences and promoting interdisciplinarity in the approaches and methods.
Students have to attend to some mandatory classes. They can also choose among a large set of optional classes in order to deepen their knowledge in specific domains.
Students are invited to attend a weekly appointment on Thursday from 1 to 2 pm which could be in the form of either a School Lunch or a School Meeting.
School Lunch series:
Students at the third year of the PhD program present their work to the academic staff. The series is open to all members of the Psychological Departments.
School Meeting series
Members of the academic staff or other visiting scholars report to students regarding the new trends and the hottest issues in Psychological Science.