Nanoscience is fostering much exciting research activity with a number of very important applications in a broad range of sectors from optoelectronics and photonics to biomedicine.
The PhD program in Nanoscience is designed to train students to carry out experimental and theoretical research activity in some of the most exciting scientific directions with a marked multidisciplinary character in an international environment. Working language of the program is English.
Graduates in physics, biology, chemistry and other scientific fields, with a keen motivation towards research and innovation are strongly invited to apply to this program that, like all SNS PhDs, has no tuition fee and provides four-year fellowships together with research and travel funds to all selected students.
Research and training target two main areas:
Most students will carry out their research activity within the National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology (NEST) and will benefit from the presence not only of Scuola Normale Superiore research and teaching staff, but also from that of scientists and facilities of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Center for Nanotechnology Innovation) and of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Istituto Nanoscienze) that are located within NEST. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for nanostructure and nanodevice production and characterization, and for nanobiophysics research (see www.laboratorionest.it/facilities). Close collaborations exist also with neuroscience and computational chemistry groups at the Scuola Normale Superiore. The Fondazione Gabriele Monasterio will provide expertise and equipment of medical and clinical relevance.
Teaching is divided into lecture and seminar courses (all held in English). Graduate students in Nanosciences will annually agree with the PhD Coordinator a study plan to be presented to the Faculty Board. Such document will specify the planned research and education activities for the relevant academic year. The courses will be chosen to enlarge the student background and deepen specific aspects related to the PhD Thesis project. PhD students are expected to take at least three courses and to pass the corresponding exams. Students may be asked to follow some course from the Undergraduate program, to fill some gaps in their preparation and these may or may not be in addition to the above three compulsory courses, on a case by case basis. At the end of the first year students are expected, in close consultation with the Coordinator and with approval from the Faculty Board, to choose the Thesis supervisor and project. At the end of the second and third years, PhD students should present a written report concerning the research done and the results achieved so far, together with any publications produced. The report will be discussed in an oral presentation in front of a panel of experts appointed by the Faculty Board. Upon successful performance, the student will be admitted to the subsequent year.
According to research needs, students are encouraged to spend periods of study and research at Italian and foreign institutions. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students, at the end of each year, will take part in a “PhD day” workshop, in which they will discuss the progresses in their work, in front of their peers and faculty.