The study plan in the first year has two goals:
1) Provide the tools to critically read the existing scientific literature and analyze with methodological adequacy the economic, institutional, social and political transformations underway in Europe and in the world, evaluate the effects of economic and social policies, and develop effective intervention policies.
2) Support the development of new research ideas through discussions with the scientific board and external speakers of the research seminars.
First year courses train doctoral students to distinguish causal links from simple correlations in the relationships between economic and social phenomena, critically evaluate the scientific debate on the topics of their research project and identify new research questions. At the end of the first year, doctoral students is ready to start an applied research activity in the sectors that characterize the doctorate with the support of the members of the scientific board (not yet in full autonomy therefore).
The courses are divided into four strands corresponding to as many sectors, Behavioral Economics, Political Economics, Public Economics, Econometric & Experimental Methods. Therefore, a distribution of courses can be deduced that reflects the new conformation of the scientific board, of which a conspicuous part is specialized in topics of Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics, a discipline that falls within the sector of Political Economy. The remaining part equally represents the sectors of Economic Policy, Financial Science and Econometrics.
The Econometric & Experimental methods (Experimetrics) courses transversally cover all the topics covered by the PhD program and are essential for the research activity of doctoral students in any sector. In particular, the EurSESSPhD represents one of the few PhD courses in Europe that offers students the tools to analyze economic and social phenomena through two complementary approaches, the experimental one (through the "controlled" ex-ante generation of data in laboratory) and the econometric one (through ex-post “cleaning/filtering” of real data) [Experimetrics: Econometrics for Experimental Economics, Peter G. Moffatt. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK (2015)]
The courses are held during two terms and require that students take a final exam to be carried out in most cases with "closed-book" methodology.
For the courses of the "Experimental Methods" and "Econometric Methods" block, most of the lectures take place in the CIMEO laboratory (Centre for Investigation and Modeling of Experimental Observations) of the Department of Economics and Law of Sapienza, in order to introduce PhD student to the use of statistical and econometric software.
All teaching activities take place exclusively in English.
The training course of the EurSESSPhD places particular emphasis on internationalisation, thanks to:
- The offer of courses held by teachers belonging to foreign institutions.
- The "exchange of courses" with foreign institutions, which allows doctoral students of other foreign programs to freely attend our lessons in streaming and guarantees our doctoral students equally free access to the lessons of partner programs.
- The invitation, addressed to external speakers, to present their research in our summer cycle of seminars.
In addition to the courses listed above, PhD students are required to attend the following events:
- Research seminars on economics and applied statistics, organized by the EurSESSPhD with the participation of internal and external speakers.
- Research seminars on topics of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics organized by the Department of Economics and Law.
- Kick-off seminars on the candidate's research project (see next point).
- Annual workshop held in rotation in the various universities of the consortium. In 2023, the workshop will be held in July, organized by Sapienza University of Rome.
- At least one seminar a week to be chosen among the seminars organized by the Department of Economics and Law.
In the table relating to the study plan for the first year of the doctorate, for each course, belonging to one of the four thematic areas is indicated by the acronyms BE (Behavioral Economics), PoE (Political Economics), PuE (Public Economics), EEM ( Econometric & Experimental Methods). The rather homogeneous distribution of courses among the four strands (4 BE, 5 PoE, 5 PuE, 8 EEM) is in line with the interdisciplinary training that the EurSESSPhD intends to offer.
Compared to the previous academic year, the educational offer of the first year of the course has been enriched with courses not foreseen before thanks to the recent entry (February 2023) in the Academic Board of four international experts from other universities in Europe and in the United States. The four courses held by the new board members to be held in the second semester of the current academic year (March-July 2023) are the following:
1. Lab-in-the-Field, Artefactual and Field Experiments - Angela Sutan (Burgundy School of Business) [EEM]
2. Behavioral Industrial Organization - Nikolaos Georgantzís (Burgundy School of Business) [BE]
3. Management Innovation in Services - Faiz Gallouj (University of Lille) [PoE]
4. Neuroeconomics - Giorgio Coricelli (University of Southern California) [BE]
Method of choosing the subject of the thesis
Each candidate must submit a research project to the application for admission to the Sess.EuroPhD. This document constitutes an important element in the evaluation of applications for admission to the doctorate and represents a starting point around which the doctoral student will build his/her thesis proposal during the first year.
Once enrolled, during the second semester of the 1st year, PhD students are required to:
a) Strengthening and refining their research topic - to be carried out in collaboration with their tutor and other members of the scientific board.
b) Participating in monographic seminars in which members of the scientific board and other invited scholars will present their research activities. This phase serves to familiarize with research at the frontier and to elaborate on the choice of thesis topic and supervisor.
c) Participating in an internal workshop organized by the scientific board of the Sess.EuroPhD in which the student will be called to illustrate the topics, motivations and objectives of the next two years of research (so-called "kick-off seminar").
At the end of this process, PhD students choose the subject of the thesis based on their research interests.
Admission to the second year
To be admitted to the second year, students must attend the courses and pass the exams scheduled for the first year.
At the end of the first year, PhD students present a paper proposal to the teaching staff (which will constitute the first chapter of the doctoral thesis). The proposal and the evaluation obtained in the exams form the basis of the formal decision to admit doctoral students to the second year of the course.