Frequently asked questions

You can find here below the FAQs to clarify your doubts, you can always find more information on our guide available on the page Guidelines, Regulations, and Forms.

If you not be satisfied after reading them carefully, or you cannot find the answer to your question(s) here, feel free to write to mariagrazia.dotoli@poliba.it

Requirements

Which requirements do I need in order to apply?
Eligible candidates must have a Master’s degree or a similar academic qualification obtained abroad and recognized by the Selection Board as comparable to an Italian master’s degree. 

May I take part in the Ph.D. Program if I am a working student?
Admission to the Ph.D. course implies a full-time commitment and no other type of employment is allowed. However, students, while enrolled in the course, are allowed to occasionally work for other entities with strict limitations. Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

Is there any age limit to apply?
No, there is no age limit to apply.

May I apply if I am not an Italian student?
Yes. There are no citizenship requirements.

May I apply, even if I have not yet obtained the Master’s degree?
Yes. Applicants due to be awarded their master’s (or equivalent qualification) by 31 October 2022 may also apply.

Do I need to present a TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, or other English proficiency certificates?
It is not mandatory but it will be very welcome. This will help the selecting committee evaluate your knowledge of the English language.

Scholarship

How many scholarships are available?
There are 34 scholarships available. Please check the application page to know more about each scholarship.

How much is the total Ph.D. scholarship?
The total scholarship is 17000€ per year, including social security charges to be paid by the scholarship holder.

How much is the scholarship amount?
The monthly net amount of the scholarship is about 1200€.

Is there any position without a scholarship?
No, there is no available position without a scholarship.

Are all the scholarships theme-bound?
Yes, each scholarship is theme-bound, that is, there is a requirement for the recipient to focus his or her doctoral research on a specific topic and conduct his/her research activity at the host university offering the scholarship.

I am a research fellow, can I accept a position with a scholarship?
A Ph.D. scholarship cannot be combined with a research grant, therefore the grant must end before the first installment of the scholarship is issued.

Can my scholarship be increased during my research period abroad? 
Yes, the scholarship can be increased to 50% during the research period abroad. Before leaving, you will have to obtain your coordinator’s authorization on official letterhead, indicating the departure and return dates (day/month/year). Your host university or organization must provide you with a certificate, and the beginning and end dates of your activity abroad. Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

What is the “20% budget” for the doctorate, how can I use it?
Each Ph.D. candidate is entitled to use an additional budget for research activities in Italy or abroad. This fund cannot be less than 20% of the gross amount of the scholarship.
The fund is personal and its use by third parties (tutors, coordinators, etc.) is not allowed without the consent of the Ph.D. student. Since missions (e.g. participation at conferences) are part of research
activities, the related expenses can be covered by this fund. Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

In the past I was awarded a Ph.D. scholarship, am I eligible for another?
If you already had an Italian Ph.D. scholarship (even for one day), you cannot be eligible for a second scholarship. 

What are the fulfilments to benefit from the Ph.D. scholarship?
Ph.D. candidates who have been awarded a Ph.D. scholarship must subscribe to gestione separata INPS (INPS Special Funds for self-employed workers). The scholarship is subject to the payment of INPS social security contributions. The University is responsible for 2/3 of the amount of INPS social security contributions to be paid, while the Ph.D. candidate is responsible for 1/3, which is automatically deducted from your scholarship payment. The Ph.D. candidate benefits from all the protections and related rights.

I can’t subscribe to the “gestione separata INPS”, how can I solve this problem?
You can contact theINPS Contact center (especially if you need information in English). However, if you are a resident abroad you can subscribe to the “gestione separata INPS” upon your arrival in Italy, without losing your previous social security contributions.

How and when do I receive the scholarship?
You will receive your scholarship monthly. In order to receive the scholarship, you must own (or co-own) an Italian or international bank account. Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

Fees

I am a scholarship holder. Do I have to pay any fees?
All doctorate students are required to pay the regional tax which is approximately 120-160 €/year

Do I have to pay fees every year?
Yes. In order to enroll for subsequent years, you must pay the tax and enrolment fees within the deadline.

Can I be granted a reduction?
Yes, you are eligible for a reduction in regional tax. For this purpose, you have to submit, within the deadline, an ISEEU (university equivalent financial situation index) certificate. 

How can I check my payment situation?
By logging in to your personal page of the website https://poliba.esse3.cineca.it.

How do I make fee payments?
Through the PagoPA system by logging in to your personal page of the website https://poliba.esse3.cineca.it.

What is the PagoPA system and how does it work?
PagoPA is a system for electronic payments, created to make any payment for the Italian Public Administration easier, safer and clearer. To pay your tuition fee, access your Esse3 Online personal page and click on the PagoPA icon, near the fee amount. For detailed information, you can consult the PagoPA website (in Italian).

Application

How can I apply for the Ph.D. Program?
Each year there are multiple application rounds, with deadlines typically between September and December. Calls for Applications for admission to Ph.D. Programs and a selection procedure will be published on this website and the official Poliba doctorate webpage
 
When is the Call for Applications published?
Usually, Calls for Applications are published between July and October. We strongly suggest you monitor this website and the official Poliba doctorate webpage to get any related updates.

Which documents are required in order to apply?
The application should include:
– A detailed curriculum vitae including research experience, project experiences, and/or any previous publications;
– A valid identification document;
– Degree qualification certification for first (Bachelor) degrees and second (specialization/Master’s) degrees (or 5-year Single Cycle degrees);
– An abstract of the thesis of the specialist/Master’s degree (or five-year Single Cycle degree);
– The candidate’s Master’s degree thesis (or five-year Single Cycle degree);
– A Ph.D. research proposal
– Self-certification for any other qualification deemed suitable for evaluation (optional)
– Two letters of presentation from teaching staff (optional)
– Language certification (optional)
– Any publications (optional)

I have not obtained my Master’s degree yet; which documents do I need to upload?
For applicants awaiting award of their master’s degree: Proof of examinations taken and grades obtained.

Can I modify my application once it has been submitted?
No, you can’t. Once you have submitted your application you can not modify it anymore.

Which kind of document do I have to upload as a self-declaration?
Italian candidates may provide a self-declaration certificate attesting to the following criteria:
– Registration on official registers recognized by public administrations;
– Memberships of professional associations;
– Degrees held and examination results;
– Professional titles held, specialization qualifications, professional training, continuing education, technical certification;
– Student status.

Does the Research Proposal need to focus on all the scholarships chosen?
No. The Research Proposal must focus on the first scholarship chosen.

May I add images, charts, or graphs to the Research Proposal?
Yes. The Research Proposal may include images, charts, and graphs. 

Which kind of master’s degree do I need to have obtained to apply?
No specific master’s degree is required. 

Is there any preferred CV template?
Yes, there is a preferred CV template.

Foreign students

I won the competion for the national Ph.D. program, what is the procedure I need to follow to get a visa?
We are glad to provide you with important details regarding the study VISA and residence permit procedures, but please you are invited to consult first the Italian Diplomatic Authority in your home Country in order to get all kind of information. A guide for NON-EU PH.D. STUDENTS NEEDING A STUDY VISA is available here: https://www.poliba.it/sites/default/files/dottorati/guida_per_non-ue_dausy_def.pdf

Ph.D. program

Where I will carry out the research and training activities? 
Politecnico di Bari is the administrative headquarters of the Ph.D. program. However, each Ph.D. candidate will carry out its research activities in one of the 25 universities and the research center participating in the Ph.D. program depending on the research scholarship. 

May I take part in the Ph.D. Program if I am a working student?
Admission to the Ph.D. course implies a full-time commitment and no other type of employment is allowed. However, students, while enrolled in the course, are allowed to occasionally work for other entities with strict limitations. Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

Will be the Ph.D. Program offered in 2022/2023?
Yes, the Ph.D. program will be available also for 2022/2023.

When classes will start?
Classes will start on November 1st, 2022.

Are courses held in English? Do I need to know the Italian language?
Teaching and scientific activities are held in English. Both academic and administrative staff can speak English. Knowledge of the Italian language is not necessary.

Educational regulations

Do I need to attend courses or research activities?
The PhD student is required to carry out activities for an amount of 60 ECTS per year, for a total of 180 ECTS throughout the academic course.
– The PhD student and the tutor set the training activities and submit it to the prior approval of the Academic Board.
– At the beginning of the first year, the Academic Board requires a detailed plan of activities (provisional plan) that the PhD student intends to carry out in the three years.
Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

What king of activities I need to carry out?
The activities carried out by the PhD student are divided into:
– Didactic activities: min 36 – max 60 ECTS (of the total 180 ECTS)
– Research activity: min 120 – max 144 ECTS (of the 180 total ECTS)
Please refer to our guidelines for more details.

Do I need to attend all the classes/courses? – Is it compulsory attending classes?          
Of the 180 ECTS required, the PhD student must carry out a didactic activity to receive a minimum of 36 ECTS and a maximum of 60 ECTS, preferably during the first two years of the course, plase see the Educational regulations of the Doctoral School of Politecnico di Bari for more details.

Do I need to attend classes/courses with a final exam?        
Yes, at least 18 ECTS must be obtained by completing the final exam recorded by the teacher with score assigned, plase see the Educational regulations of the Doctoral School of Politecnico di Bari for more details.

Ph.D. provisional plan

Can I fulfill the provisional plan alone?
No, the provisional plan must be decided together with your supervisor.

In the Ph.D. plan do I have to mention courses for next year or all three years? The list of courses and seminars available on the website is only for 2022/23.
In the provisional plan, you don’t have to mention the exact title of each course that you will follow in the next three years (unless you know the details). For instance, let us assume that you choose for the first year 10 ECTS courses with final exam from the 2022/23 catalogue. Then you must include additional 8 credits with exams in the second/third year due to the educational regulations. Of course, you don’t know their title but you can indicate, for example, that you will follow a 6 ECTS master course and a 2 ECTS course. Note that you will update this provisional plan at the beginning of each academic year and therefore it may (and will surely) change during the Ph.D. program. The plan has been designed in particular to help Ph.D. students in correctly plan their research path fulfilling all the minimum educational requirements.
 
In the template, three entries for Ph.D. courses are available for each year. does this mean we can enroll in only three courses in a year?
No there’s no limit on the number of courses, except for the didactic regulations. You can freely add or cancel rows in the template.
  
There’s a portion in training activities related to participation in seminars and presentation of research work at conferences, I am confused about how I can add these details in advance. I mean do I have to search for upcoming conferences and add the details or can I add general descriptions?
Just as for the courses, you can plan the participation in a specific conference or, if you still don’t know, add a generic description.
 
How to assign ECTS to research work? there are four categories of Research activities, How can I calculate the count of ECTS covered during personal research activity?
For the Italian regulations the sum of the activities in one academic year must correspond exactly to 60 ECTS. For instance, if you plan to complete 20 ECTS of didactic activities in the first year and you will not supervise students or carry out integrative activities, you must therefore complete 40 ECTS of individual research activities, i.e., 1000 hours. Note that you should plan with your supervisor any possible tutoring or integrative teaching activities.

Suspension and resumption

Can I request a suspension?
Yes, you can request a suspension from the Ph.D. course for up to one year for specific reasons.

What does the suspension involve?
During the suspension period, you cannot perform any academic act (sitting exams, research periods in Italy or abroad, etc.) 

Will my scholarship be paid during the suspension period?
No, your scholarship is suspended. Payment will resume once the suspension period has finished. 

What if I get sick during a course?
Ph.D. students are NOT entitled to receive illness benefits granted to workers. In case of a documented serious illness (including psychological disorders), the Ph.D. student may request a suspension of the
the doctoral program, which can be resumed at the end of the suspension period.

I am pregnant. Can I take advantage of maternity leave?
In the case of pregnancy, the Ph.D. Program is suspended for 5 months and postponed for the equivalent duration. During the suspension period, the Ph.D. student has no longer the right to receive their scholarship but is entitled to receive a maternity allowance, equal to 80% of the scholarship, paid by INPS. You may ask a CAF or “Patronato” Office for help.

Certificates

I need to send a certificate to a public authority. What do I need to do?
According to the law 183/2011, certificates cannot be presented to public authorities. In this case, you will need to present self-certification. 

Which certificates can I be issued?
On the Poliba Esse3 platform, you can request both the enrolment certificate and degree award certificate showing the details of your course of study.

In which language are certificates issued?
The University only issues certificates in Italian or English.