Cagliari: PhD positions in the Joint Ph.D. Program in History, Philosophy and Didactics of Science

University of Cagliari, Italy


We welcome and highly encourage applications by international students, as well as Italian ones, wishing to pursue a research project in areas of (1) history of science, (2) mathematical logic and philosophy of science, (3) didactics of science (4) theories of languages and scientific communication. We expect to admit a total of 4 students and award 2 fellowships (renewable up to completion of the program); 1 fellowship is reserved to international students. In addition, 2 more admissions (without any fellowship) are reserved to international students.

1. General information on the program

The Ph.D. Program in History, Philosophy and Didactics of Science was instituted in 2004. The program is limited in size, so that each student may work closely with our faculty and receive substantial individual attention.

2. Structure of the program

The program consists of 3 semesters of coursework followed by 3 semesters of supervised dissertation research. It is divided into four curricula:

a) History of Science;

b) Mathematical Logic and Philosophy of Science;

c) Didactics of Science;

d) Theories of Languages and Scientific Communication.

3. Admission

3.1 Eligibility

Students holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited university are eligible to apply for admission. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, the backgrounds of prospective students may vary considerably, ranging from scientific disciplines – e.g. physics, mathematics, the life sciences – to the humanities – e.g. philosophy, psychology, education.

3.2 Application

Students are admitted only once each academic year, in the Spring semester, beginning in March. The deadline for application for the Spring semester, 2012 will be November 29, 2012. Applications should be submitted on-line, at the address . Before submitting your application you must register, by clicking on the link “Registration”. After registering, you should enter the Reserved Area –> Registrar’s Office –> Admission Test –> Iscrizione Concorsi –> Ph.D. Go ahead (twice). Here, you should look for “Scuola di Dottorato in Filosofia ed Epistemologia – Dottorato in Storia, Filosofia e Didattica delle Scienze” and click on Go ahead –> fill in the form and then complete the application procedure.

After submitting your on-line application you should pay an application fee of € 21.32. You cannot pay this fee before two working days are elapsed from the date of your on-line application. The application fee is payable on-line by credit card, by clicking on Registrar’s Office –> Payments. Evidence of the fee payment should be enclosed in the documentation to be submitted by post (see sec. 3.3 below). Further details concerning the application procedure can be found at

3.3 Admission screening

International applicants should submit:

(1) printed application form (generated upon completion of the on-line application procedure);

(2) form requesting to perform the interview by videoconference over Skype (ONLY FOR FOREIGN CANDIDATES RESIDING ABROAD, available at http://www.unicait/UserFiles/File/Utenti/a_cadon1/Dottorati/Bando%20XXVIII/bando%20e%20allegati/modulistica/Form%20requesting%20interview%20videoconference.pdf)

(3) double sided color copy of a valid ID. The ID picture must be clearly visible;

(4) evidence of the fee payment;

(5) official university transcript, showing the degree earned, and all the courses taken with corresponding grades. If not in English, the transcript should be translated in English or Italian. Either an original transcript or a certified copy may be submitted;

(6) a curriculum vitae (with signature) including a statement of purpose and a listing of relevant publications, activities, projects, etc.;

(7) at least one recommendation letter by a professor from the University that granted the degree;

(8) publications or documentation concerning relevant activities, projects, professional experience, etc. Publications and documentation should be submitted in either English or Italian.

All items listed above should be sent by registered mail with delivery confirmation (or equivalent means) to the following address:

Universita degli Studi di Cagliari,

Settore dottorati e master

via San Giorgio, 12 (ex Clinica Aresu)

09124 Cagliari, ITALY

The complete application package must be received by 12:00 a.m. December 3, 2012.

Italian residents should submit documentation according to “Bando di Concorso, Decreto Rettorale n. 105 del 19.10.2012”, available at

All applicants will then be required to take part in an oral selection, consisting of an interview, to be held in English or Italian (on December 13, 2012), either in Cagliari or by Skype videocall, with members of the Graduate Studies Committee. The interview will mainly focus on the applicant’s research interests. Notification of admission and financial assistance (if any) will be made shortly after the screening.

3.4 Financial assistance

All enrolled students will be granted tuition waivers. In addition, a number of stipends will be awarded, partly depending on the availability of sponsorships by public or private institutions. At present, we expect to award 2 fellowships (renewable up to completion of the program) out of a total of 4 regular admissions; 1 fellowship is reserved to international students. In addition, 2 special admissions (without any fellowship) will be reserved to international students.

4. Supervision and mentoring

4.1 Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee oversees all activities in the graduate program. It consists of the Graduate Coordinator and other Faculty members whose research interests are related to the topics of the program’s curricula In particular, the Graduate Studies Committee appoints the selection board and the final examination board, as well as the students’ advisors, and monitors the students’ progress towards completion of their requirements.

4.2 Graduate Coordinator

The Graduate Coordinator is the first person a graduate students contacts upon entering the program. He/she administers regulations relating to students and monitors their academic progress.

4.3 Advisor

Each student will be assigned, within his/her first semester in the program, a member of the Graduate Studies Committee as an advisor, depending on the research interests of the aspirant. He or she will normally, but not necessarily, function also as a dissertation advisor. Since the assignment will be made in such a way that the interests of each student fall within the areas of competence of his/her advisor, the latter will be in a position to follow closely and actively the progress of the former.

5. Program requirements

5.1 Coursework

Students are required to choose one of the four curricula in the program and to take a total of 4 single-semester courses during their first four semesters. After completing each course, they will submit a written report to their respective advisors; each report will be evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee. In addition, they are required to attend all talks, seminars or conferences organized by the Graduate Studies Committee.

5.2 Teaching

Any student who is awarded financial assistance may be required to assist in undergraduate teaching, depending on the department’s needs and subject to the approval of the student’s advisor. The teaching load cannot exceed 20 hours per semester.

5.3 Research

All students must successfully demonstrate proficiency in doing highly original publishable-quality research. At the end of their third semester, they are required to specify the topic of their final dissertation. At the beginning of their fourth and sixth semester, they are expected to orally present to the Graduate Studies Committee two Midterm Reports on the advancement of their research projects. Only aspirants whose first Midterm Reports are approved will be admitted to the final two semesters of the program. The final dissertation may be written either in English or Italian.

5.4 Residency requirements

At least four semesters must be spent in resident study at the University of Cagliari. The remaining two semesters may be spent at other accredited Italian or foreign universities. All students are encouraged to spend at least one semester abroad; in particular, students receiving financial assistance may apply for a 50% grant raise for each stay at a foreign university (provided its duration is at least one month).

6. Facilities

Students may access the facilities of the Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences – in particular, they will share an office with other students in the program.

7. Final examination

The dissertation will be evaluated by a Board appointed by the Graduate Studies Committee. In addition, a report from an external referee will be taken into account. The candidate is expected to orally defend her/his dissertation before the Board. A Board member may vote to pass the student only if in his or her opinion the dissertation is acceptable as submitted or if it requires changes that are minor in substance or of an editorial nature. A student may pass only if a consensus is reached among the Board members.

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Filed under Funding opportunities, Graduate student corner, wuthrich

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