Ph.D. Scholarships (3 Years) - call for applications 2020/2021 – Fondazione Collegio San Carlo

Ph.D. Scholarships (3 Years) - call for applications 2020/2021

Scholarships for a three-year Ph.D.
Call for applications 2020/2021
(for non-Italian applicants)

The Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi “Scienze della cultura” of the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo in Modena (Italy) invites applications for three places on a course leading to a Ph.D. in Cultural Sciences (with scholarship). Selection is made on qualifications and examinations.

The School is residential and aims to provide high-level interdisciplinary training in Cultural Sciences following four research programs (Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Religious Studies). The School pays close attention to research fields at the crossroads between the history of philosophy, historical anthropology, the history of religions, the history of political thought and the history of science.


This degree has full legal equivalent status of ‘Dottore di ricerca’ (Research Doctorate) awarded by Italian universities (D.M. del 4.5.1999 / Gazzetta Ufficiale s.g. n. 114 del 18.5.1999). The School is willing to enrol successful candidates on joint doctorates with foreign Universities.

The course lasts three academic years. Compulsory didactic activity takes place in two semesters (February-June 2021 and 2022) each entailing attendance of high formation seminars for a total of 250 hours. The lectures are held in Italian, English and French by teachers of renowned international standing. In the first two years of didactic activity, are estimated 25 hours of training course per year about transversal skills, included in the training contract of the Collegio San Carlo such as member of the Conferenza dei Collegi Universitari di Merito (CCUM), recognized and confirmed by the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR).

The Diploma is awarded subject to the successful completion of all the coursework, the passing of mid-course tests, and to the viva voce discussion of the student’s final written dissertation.

The School’s Scientific Committee comprises Professors: Michele Ciliberto (Istituto nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento di Firenze), Birgit Emich (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main), Sergio Ferrari (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Elio Franzini (Università di Milano), Philippe Hoffmann (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris), Bruno Karsenti (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Alfonso M. Iacono (Università di Pisa), Antonello La Vergata (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Jörg Rüpke (Universität Erfurt), Pierangelo Sequeri (Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale di Milano).

The selection is open to European citizens below the age of 32 who, by the application deadline, hold a degree qualification, or an equivalent qualification by the terms of the law in force, in Philosophy, Social and Human Sciences or Religious Studies.

Applications for the selection must be addressed to Fondazione Collegio San Carlo, Casella Postale Aperta CPA (1239001), Ufficio Postale Modena Centro 41121 Modena, for the attention of the Scientific Director of the Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi “Scienze della cultura” by registered letter with advice of receipt. The postmark deadline is 4 October 2020.

Applicants, who will be held responsible for any false declaration, must declare:

  1. a) first name, surname, date and place of birth;
  2. b) citizenship;
  3. c) not to have had penal convictions;
  4. d) to be immune from illnesses incompatible with living in a community;
  5. e) permanent address;
  6. f) address to which all correspondence should be sent.

The application is not incompatible with an application for one of the eight places for a one-year specialization course offered by the same Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi “Scienze della cultura” for the academic year 2020/2021. In the event of an application being submitted for both competitions, applicants are allowed to attach only one copy of the documents mentioned in art. 4.

Applicants have to enclose the following documents:

1) curriculum vitae et studiorum;

2) a copy of the applicant’s degree certificate specifying (where available) the single marks for each exam, the date and the mark of the final exam. This certification may be replaced by a simple declaration signed by the applicant specifying the aforesaid information. Foreign students are to submit a certificate proving that their degree is legally the equal of an Italian Laurea magistrale (second-cycle degree), or forward an undersigned declaration to the same effect;

3) a hard copy or an electronic copy of the degree final dissertation, with the official frontispiece;

4) a hard copy or an electronic copy of every other scientific title or qualification relevant to the selection procedure;

5) the detailed research project, with an essential bibliography, that the applicant intends to carry out at the School, written in two languages chosen between Italian, French and English (8.000-10.000 digits, including bibliography and spaces);

6) a signed declaration of the applicant’s knowledge of French and English, and of his/her comprehension of Italian (including levels of language proficiency);

7) a hard copy of the document “Information on the processing of personal data and request for consent” (“Annex 2”), signed for acceptance;

8) two letters of reference to the Scientific Director of the Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi “Scienze della cultura” written by academic referees in subjects relevant to the course, expounding the applicant’s scientific profile.

The Adjudicating Committee comprises the School’s Scientific Committee and the Scientific Director.

The Committee will make a preliminary selection based on qualifications and research projects. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview. The Committee will consider the candidate’s scientific titles or qualifications and his/her research project in the light of the research fields covered by the School. A list of the successful candidates, in order of merit expressed in terms of an ascending mark scale from 1 to 10, will be publicly posted on the School Board and on the web page

Shortlisted candidates will be officially contacted by 2 December 2020.

The interview is public. It will take place around mid-December 2020. It can be conducted in English or French or Italian and will be focused on the submitted research project.

The admission interview will be held at the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo, Via San Carlo 5, Modena, Italy. Candidates must present themselves with proof of identification. The candidates will be interviewed in alphabetical order. If, on the date scheduled for the interview, the governmental and / or regional provisions aimed at limiting the movement of people following the health emergency from Covid-19 have been issued or extended, the interview will be held remotely.



At the end of the admission interviews the Committee will draw up two lists, expressed in order of merit in terms of an ascending mark scale from 1 to 10: one of successful candidates and another of suitably qualified candidates. Both lists are based on the candidates’ scientific titles or qualifications and the results of the interview will be posted on the School Board and on the web page

Before the deadline fixed by the Adjudicating Committee, successful candidates should produce the documents mentioned in Art. 8. If one or more successful candidates fails to take up the offer of a place at the beginning of the course, the Committee will award the vacant place or places to suitably qualified candidates in strict adherence to the published order of merit.

Not later than 17 January 2021 successful candidates must confirm acceptance of their place and produce the following documents addressed to the School’s Scientific Director:


  1. a) declaration of acceptance of all the course attendance obligations and the general regulations of the School, exonerating the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo from any responsibility that might arise because of the rules and regulations not being observed;
  2. b) recent medical certificate (dated no more than 3 months previously) stating that the student is immune from illnesses incompatible with living in a community;
  3. c) two passport photographs, one countersigned;
  4. d) a copy of the degree certificate or equivalent European qualification specifying the mark obtained in each single exam (where available), the date and the mark of the final examination (only candidates who have produced a simple declaration in their application)
  5. e) a color copy of a valid identity document, dated and signed.


At the beginning of academic activities, at their arrival to the School, the elected candidates will be asked to sign for the Direction of the School a declaration of acceptance of all the rules and regulations of the Collegio of the Fondazione San Carlo, seat of residence and of the didactic activities of the School for all students.

The data relating to surname, first name, place and date of birth, nationality and residency must be covered by a document attesting their validity. The School reserves the right to verify the truth of data contained in the identification document. Furthermore, the School reserves the right to request from the competent authority of the State in question a certificate relating to the candidate’s legal status.

Covid-19 Prevention Protocol

The Fondazione Collegio San Carlo applies stringent measures to protect the health security of residents. The Management guarantees daily cleaning and periodic sanitization of the premises, rooms, study stations and common areas. Sanitation points are available in every common area and specific prevention-kits are distributed to all residents. All spaces are set up in such a way as to allow constant compliance with the safety distances even when carrying out training activities, when not carried out remotely. The Management constantly monitors the onset of any risk conditions, in close relationship with the medical staff and the competent health authorities.

Students on the Ph.D. course must pursue their studies in accordance with a programme approved by the Scientific Committee which includes compulsory attendance of interdisciplinary high-level training seminars amounting to 250 hours per each of the first two years. The third year, that don’t foresee academic activity, is entirely devoted to the completion of the research project and to the thesis redaction. Admission to the following years depends on favourable assessment on the part of the Scientific Committee, on the progress of the student’s research project, on the regular attendance of the coursework sessions and on the participation in seminar and study groups.

The School plans to carry out face-to-face teaching activities. If, on the date scheduled for the start of the academic year 2020/2021, the government and / or regional provisions aimed at limiting the movement of people following the health emergency from Covid-19 were issued or extended, the School will activate the remote teaching.

The School can exclude a student prescribing the cessation of the annual grant in case of:

  1. a) violations of frequency and attendance rules (unjustified and prolonged absences, frequency lower than 250 hours required per each of the first two academic years);
  2. b) negative evaluation of the research activity;
  3. c) behaviours incompatibles with the articles 10 and 11;
  4. d) disciplinary violations of the rules and regulations of the Collegio of the Fondazione San Carlo.


Students must pass the Ph.D. exam at the end of the course. The examination for the Ph.D. consists of a viva voce discussion of a written dissertation in front of a specially appointed international Examining Committee. The dissertation, of original and scientific character, can be written in one of the languages of the School or in the mother tongue of the student, subject to the approval of the Scientific Committee.


Students must apply for admission to the final exam within the end of the third year of Ph.D. After submitting a justified claim to the Direction of the School, it is possible to obtain one-year delay.


In case of withdrawing from the Ph.D. program and in case of non-completion of the course within the deadline, students are debarred from every benefit related to their status.

Elected candidates must be in residence on the day fixed by the School to begin their course. Students cannot accept commitments incompatible with their duties.

If already enrolled in another course of study at the University, the student selected for the Ph.D. must renounce to the inscription to this course of study.

Students already enrolled in the Ph.D. program, which afterwards become qualified to enrol in another course of study or in an apprenticeship, can submit a request of a suspension of the Ph.D. course for one year. The School can exercise its faculty to accept this request prescribing the suspension of the annual grant.

In case of maternity, serious and documented illness, and exceptional family situations, the School can accept deferment of the Ph.D. program for one year. The deferment will only be granted once, with suspension of the grant.

Elected candidates will be entitled to the following benefits: free tuition and exemption from course fees; complete free boarding and lodging in the Fondazione’s Hall of Residence (for the period of the didactic activity, except for holiday periods defined by the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo); privileged access to the holdings and to the services of the Library of the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo.

During the three years of the Ph.D. program they will also receive a grant of Euro 7.000 per annum. The above-mentioned grant will be paid retrospectively in monthly instalments provided to the student who has complied with the study obligations.

In the second and third year the enjoyment of the grant is subject to the fulfilment of the conditions stated in articles 9 and 10.

A one-off grant is also available to fund missions for those students who need to carry out their research abroad. All grants are subject to the Italian tax laws (in compliance with the law n. 398 of November 30, 1989).

The grant cannot be drawn concurrently with other student grants, except for those arranged to integrate the research activity with missions abroad. Furthermore, the grant cannot be drawn concurrently with research contracts and contracts of higher education apprenticeship.