The topic of the PhD can be broadly defined as either development and validation or application of integrated computational strategies for accurate simulation of molecular systems. The PhD course in Methods and Models in Molecular Sciences has as several objectives: It will train young scientist in performing competitive research in several fields of molecular sciences. They will employ a panel of simulation techniques ranging from multiscale methods to highly accurate ab-initio methodologies. The molecular systems include large supramolecular structures as well as smaller molecules treated at higher accuracy. The PhD program prepares top-level researchers and enables them to take on positions at prestigious institutions in Italy and abroad.
The topics that are currently being explored include:
- Development of advanced electronic structure theory and methods.
- Computational spectroscopy.
- Theoretical simulation of molecular properties.
- Development of highly efficient and parallelized quantum chemistry programs.
- Development of novel multiscale techniques for the simulation of solvents and nano-structures.
- Chemical reactions and pathways.
- Photochemistry and non-adiabatic dynamics.
- Classical dynamics techniques for the treatment of large-scale structures.
The scientific activities are supported by high performance computing resources and last-generation hardware. All positions are paid, and the Scuola Normale offers ample financial opportunities to all PhD students for schools and conferences in Italy and abroad.
Teaching is divided into lecture and seminar courses (which may be held in English if needed). Graduate students in Methods and Models for Molecular Sciences will annually agree with the PhD Coordinator about the study plan presented to the Faculty Board. Such a 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. At the end of the first year, students are expected to choose the thesis supervisor and project. According to research needs, students are encouraged to spend periods of study and research at Italian or foreign institutions.