The quality of training and research
The Normale promotes the development of teaching and research in humanities, mathematical and natural sciences and social sciences, exploring their interconnections. Its training model is based on a limited number of students - selected exclusively on the basis of merit - and on a teaching syllabus structured in order to refine individual potential; the ratio between teaching staff and students is virtuous (1: 4!), thus lecturers can dedicate themselves with extreme attention and continuity to their students.
At the SNS fundamental research is mainly carried out. Research staff, undergraduate students and doctoral students can find support and equipment in research centres and laboratories, where studies that go beyond disciplinary boundaries are experimented with. Neuroscience, computational theoretical chemistry, mathematics with its applications to natural and social sciences and to the industrial and technological field, nanoscience, immersive systems of virtual reality, Greek and Roman history, epigraphy and history of art are the main areas explored in the research centres and laboratories.To these we can add the structures that the Normale makes available to support teaching and research activities: the library, which houses over a million volumes, one of the richest open-shelf book collections in Europe; the Archival Centre, where documents and material related to the history of the Normale are kept and precious documents are acquired thanks to donations, deposits and targeted purchases; the Edizioni della Normale, which publish international studies, also experimenting with new forms of online publishing; the High Performance Computing Centre, which deals with providing technological and instrumental support for carrying out scientific computing activities on high-performance architectures, webservices, databases and web pages for the humanities.
The value of basic research conducted at the Normale is recognized beyond the Italian borders, as shown by the data relating to international rankings, the Research Quality Assessment (VQR) and the funding obtained. Despite the research staff numbering just over a hundred people, over 250 projects are active at the Normale, of which almost half are funded by Italian and European external bodies, both public and private.