Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS Pavia - "Understanding and Managing Extremes" PhD programme



Location (s):

  • Italy
Pavia, Lombardia


The PhD programme in Understanding and Managing Extremes (UME) is a 48-month full-time joint doctoral programme between Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS Pavia (University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia) and Università degli Studi di Pavia (University of Pavia). It aims to train graduates and professionals with strong scientific and professional capabilities, aware of the cultural, technical and management contents related to the understanding and management of the extreme situations caused by natural hazards.


The key areas of study are:

  • Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (ROSE Curriculum) - topics include: structural dynamics; engineering seismology; geotechnical behaviour of soils; structural analysis; design of new structures; assessment and retrofitting of existing structures; non-structural element performance; design of innovative structural systems; engineering for the mitigation of seismic risk using advanced numerical modelling, experimental and analysis techniques; quantification of risk using hazard, exposure, vulnerability to estimate economic losses, casualties and loss of functionality to facilitate more informed decisions and increase the resilience of the built environment and society.

  • Hydrometeorological, Geological, Chemical and Environmental Risk (HYRIS Curriculum) - topics include: basics of physics; fluid mechanics; climatology; environmental monitoring and climate change; issues related to the specialization areas of "soil atmosphere"; "ocean-atmosphere" and “assessment and management of chemical risks” for devising meaningful damage and risk scenario and for identifying efficient risk mitigation strategies.

Some of the key characteristics of the PhD programme include:

  • Exclusive international exposure, broad and interdisciplinary curricula;
  • Unique opportunity to work with highly motivated and skilled students coming from all over the world, guided by highly qualified academics and professionals in the field.

The research activities of the PhD programme are conducted through English. Occasional administrative matters are conducted in Italian for which administration staff can provide assistance. 

The programme has a duration of four years, beginning in October.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Applications are evaluated and scored by the Selection Board in two steps:

  1. Qualification assessment - The Selection Board will assess the submitted scientific qualifications awarding a score up to 50 points. Only the applicants obtaining a score of at least 36/50 in this qualification assessment phase will be admitted to the oral interview. Applicants are not required to be present during the assessment of qualifications.

  2. Oral interview - The interview will entail a discussion about the scientific skills and the research that the applicant would like to conduct with the aim of ascertaining their suitability for research and overall ability. Applicants will be assigned a score of up to 50 points. The interview is in English and may be carried out on line through a videoconference (i.e. Skype), as long as the candidate can be identified via suitable photo documentation. 

With the scoring of the two steps, the Selection Board will then award a final score from 1 to 100 to each applicant, which will then determine the final ranking and formal offer. Candidates obtaining a score below 36/50 will not be given a ranking and hence, not be admitted to the UME doctoral programme. Applicants will be notified of their admission to the programme using the e-mail address provided during their application. Results of the application will be posted in the UME doctoral programme page in addition to the university notice board.

To apply to the programme, the following documents are required:

  • A PDF copy of a valid identity document (e.g. Passport, National Identification Card)
  • Self-certification of the MSc Degree Certificate (in case of Italian or EU educational qualification) OR copy of the MSc Degree Certificate (NON-EU educational qualification)
  • Academic and professional CV
  • Diploma Supplements (or similar documents) of BSc Degree (Diploma di Laurea Triennale) and MSc Degree (Diploma di Laurea Magistrale)
  • Scientific publications (and list of relevant publications)
  • Up to three reference letters (submitted by the referees through the online portal)
  • Any other academic or professional qualifications that the candidate deems relevant to the programme


Deadline: March 14, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Students admitted to the programme are typically awarded a full scholarship. The number of positions available varies from year to year but is usually around ten positions total.

Find your Dream Opportunity Abroad!

Search from 5395 opportunities in 190 countries