Call for application

Every year the University of Rome "La Sapienza" announces an open competition, based on exams, for admission to the new cycle of the doctoral course. In the announcement (which appears on the Sapienza website:, generally at the beginning of June) a list of doctoral courses appears and to apply for the Doctoral Course in Cell Biology and Development one must choose Code 10996.
The call specifies the admission requirements, date and place both of the written exam (written test) and of the oral exam (oral test), together with the name, telephone number and e-mail address of a contact person (secretariat of the BCS PhD Course, currently Mrs. Silvia Lopizzo,
Applications are sent by candidates, regardless of gender, age and nationality, holding a degree / specialist degree / Italian master's degree, or a second-level equivalent diploma (generally equivalent to a Master's degree) obtained at abroad. Anyone who obtains a degree by October 31 of the current year can also participate; any admission will be subject to the condition that the candidates send their degree certificate in due course with a vote.

The equivalence of each qualification to the relevant Italian qualification will be ascertained, for the sole admission to such competitions, by the Academic Council of the course, within the framework of the inter-university cooperation and mobility agreements.

Candidates that have already won a position without scholarship and are registered cannot be admitted to the competition.
In order to submit their application, which is a self-declaration according to the P.M.D. 445/2000, each candidate must pay the registration fee (non-refundable), currently € 35.00, following the instructions in the call. 

This year the announcement was prepared using a new online platform. You may find apparent inconsistencies regarding the transmission of the pdf documents "Degree Thesis/Synopsis" and "Motivation letter". These are indicated by the system as "non-mandatory" for closing the application within 14 days of the call deadline. However, THEY ARE MANDATORY FOR THE PARTICIPATION IN THE ACCESS TEST and must be sent to the doctoral secretariat ( by August 31, via email.

Foreign candidates who do not intend to compete for a scholarship can apply for a PhD position, not covered by a scholarship, as surplus students (surplus admission). In this case, they can apply to be admitted up to 1/3 of the places assigned to each PhD course, without participating in the open competition, as they do not require the scholarship, and are evaluated only on the basis of their curriculum vitae et studiorum, of their academic qualifications and / or an oral interview.
Foreign students who ask to be admitted as supernumerary students can request, alternatively, to be admitted on the basis of a dossier, which consists of a coherent research project written in Italian and / or in English or French, which must be forwarded together with the other documents listed below.
To this end, candidates must:
1. Clearly indicate in your application to apply for a position as a supernumerary student, according to the instructions provided.
2. Pay the non-refundable registration fee currently equal to € 35.00 according to the information provided.
3. Provide the following documents by the deadline:
  • their curriculum vitae et studiorum;
  • appropriate documentation that provides evidence that the applicant has adequate funds to support itself for at least one year or, alternatively, that the applicant has obtained another scholarship for the entire duration of the course doctorate;
  • the degree certificate with the list of exams and grades obtained, translated and legalized by the competent Italian diplomatic representative;
  • the declaration of validity ("value declaration") of the foreign qualification, issued by the competent Italian diplomatic representative in the country in which he / she obtained the academic qualification;
  • if appropriate, their dossier (see above).
Candidates already holding a PhD degree may be admitted to the new doctorate, after passing the written and oral examination tests, only if the scientific fields ("settori scientifico-disciplinari" or SSD) of the two courses are different.

It is possible to obtain more Doctorates, but the doctoral scholarship can be received only once in the life, according to the L.398 / 89 art. 6 co. 2.

After confirming the regularity of the competition procedures, the rankings are published on the website tender-formativa/dottorati.

The published rankings will also report the procedures and times for the registration procedures. The eligible candidates who do not comply with these procedures will be considered as renouncers and, therefore, replaced by the next candidate in the merit ranking.

Simultaneously with the publication of the ranking, an e-mail will be sent to each interested candidate, at the address indicated in the application forms. Failure to receive this e-mail cannot be invoked to justify failure to register.

Doctoral students with a scholarship awarded by the University or by any Italian or foreign, private or public institution are exempt from paying tuition fees, but are required to pay the annual registration fee (equal to 35 euros for the academic year 2012 -2013).

Those who do not benefit from a research grant are required to pay annual tuition fees.

The doctoral positions are assigned after the comparative evaluation, according to the final merit ranking defined by the Examination Commission.

The scholarship is awarded for three years and is confirmed each year. If the number of scholarships is less than the number of positions for PhDs, scholarships will be awarded to candidates based on their position in the final ranking.

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