FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Here you will find a short list of candidates’ questions about the application process related to our PhD programs.

If you cannot find the answer to a specific question/s, please write to phd@sns.it.

Do I have to apply online?

Yes. Only applications submitted online via the SNS website will be accepted: https://serse.sns.it/en/

When is the application deadline?

You must submit your online application by the following deadlines:


by 11:59 pm CET of Thursday,
14 June 2018

Methods and Models for Molecular Science
Political Science and Sociology



by 11:59 pm CET of
24 August 2018

Gloobal History and Governance
Transnational Governance
Is the age limit (to be born after 31.10.1988) a strict requirement to apply?

Yes, it is a strict requirement and no exceptions will be made.

Which education qualification should I have to be eligible?

Candidates are required to have earned or to earn by 31 October 2018 a university degree that in their education systems makes it possible to enroll in a PhD program. Usually a Master’s degree or equivalent degree of at least four years is sufficient, but the equivalence of degrees completed outside of Italy will be assessed by the Admissions Committee.

What does Diploma Supplement mean exactly? What if I am a non EU graduate?

The Diploma Supplement was developed by European institutions to promote the ‘usability’ and recognition of academic qualifications at an international level. It outlines institutional details, course content, types of study, disciplines covered, and skills required to complete the academic program.

Non EU graduates may attach equivalent certifications (in English) indicating  the degree obtained, the university, the date completed and results. Candidates who are waiting to complete the degree can upload a transcript of grades (in English) issued by their non EU academic Institution.

I am having problems completing my application. Why?

You cannot complete your application if the registered data (personal data or education qualifications) do not meet the prerequisites mentioned above.

To complete the application you are also requested to accurately fill in all sections. Please pay attention that all the fields of the application be marked with a green triangle.

The system will not let me complete the application “fiscal code”.

Please fill this section with NA, a white space, or an imprecise series of numbers. It is not a mandatory field for foreign candidates.

What should I write in the section “residence permit”?

Please select “indefinite” from the menu, and the system will eliminate the dates. In the space for justification, please write something like “I have not yet enrolled”.

How long should the thesis abstract and the research project be?

We recommend not more than 25,000 characters (spaces included) for the abstract and not more than 20,000 characters (spaces included) for the research project.

How can I submit the reference letters of at least two academics to support my candidature?

In the specific section of the online procedure, the candidate must flag the box and indicate the name and the correct email address of the expert(s) who will provide the reference letter to the SNS. (IMPORTANT: if the expert is a SNS user, the syntax is firstname.lastname@sns.it).

After the final submission of the application form, each expert will receive an email containing the instructions to easily upload the reference letter.

The expert can upload the reference letter within the next 5 days after the submission deadline (23:59 CET of 19 June 2018).

Failure to include any references will not exclude the candidate from the competition.