Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a PhD position?

Anyone who owns an Italian or foreign second-level academic degree (generally equivalent to a master’s degree) or is going to obtain it by the deadline specified in the call for applications can apply for a PhD position at the University of Pavia. Candidates who hold a foreign degree will have to send some additional documents to allow the Academic Board to evaluate the equivalence of their degree to an Italian second-level degree. The documents required for this purpose are listed in the call for applications.


When and how can I apply for a PhD position?

At the University of Pavia, the PhD students are selected once a year by means of a public contest. The call for applications is published usually in late springtime at There you will find all information you may need to apply.
Please note that applications submitted before the publication of the call or without completing the correct procedure described in it won’t be accepted.


Is there any chance for a foreign candidate to get a PhD scholarship?

To qualify for a PhD scholarship, you must meet the general requirements set by the University PhD program grant authorities and these are the same for Italian as well as foreign candidates. For foreign candidates, there are specific requirements that may include conditions with regard to their degree which are clearly spelled in the call for applications. Qualifying for a PhD scholarship at the University of Pavia is on a competitive basis and eligibility is conditioned only by the candidates complying with the specific scientific requirements set by an ad hoc committee, regardless of their nationality and gender.


What is the amount of the participation fee?

The amount of the participation fee for the academic year 2021/2022 is € 156.00. This amount includes:

  • Regional tax for the right to study: € 140
  • Duty stamp: € 16,00.

Please note that in the next years the amount of the enrollment fee may change due to a decision of the Administrative Council.


What is the duration of a PhD program?

The legal duration of a PhD program is three years. The academic year for PhDs begins on October 1st and ends on September 30.


Are the PhD activities held in English?

Most of our PhD courses can be attended by non-Italian speakers. For more information, please contact the Coordinator of the PhD of your interest.


I am a PhD student and I’m going to spend a research period abroad. What am I supposed to do?

All PhD students, with or without scholarship, who intend to spend a research period abroad must be authorized by the Academic Board. Anyway, you can not spend more than 18 months (non consecutive) abroad during the PhD program.


As a PhD student, is there anything I am not allowed to do?

According with the Italian law, if you are enrolled in a PhD course you are not allowed to enrol in another University course at the same time, neither in Italy nor abroad, except in case of joint supervision (cotutelle) agreements. Also, the PhD program is not compatible with a full-time job. If you wish to accept an occasional job, you must be authorized by the Academic Board.


In which cases do I need to ask for an authorization from the PhD Academic Board?

All PhD students must take care of being authorized for all PhD activities which take place outside the structures of the University of Pavia, in Italy or abroad. This is very important: should you be hurt or cause damage to somebody during a non-authorized activity outside the University, the insurance may not accept to refund the damage.
So, if you are planning to perform your research in structures other the University’s, contact the PhD Director and ask him/her to include your request in the next Academic Board meeting. The PhD Director will then take care of forwarding the Academic board’s report to the PhD office.
In addition, you must ask for the Academic Board authorization if you are willing to accept a job, to suspend the course or the scholarship, to teach a course, to start a  jointly-supervised PhD (cotutelle).


I want to suspend the program/the scholarship. What am I supposed to do?

You can ask for a suspension of the program for periods up to one year, upon approval of the Academic Board. During the suspension period, you don’t receive the scholarship instalments and you are not subject to the duties of a PhD student. You will have to catch up the suspension period and the scholarship instalments at the end of the 3rd year.
In order to ask for a suspension, you must get in touch with your PhD Director and ask him/her to submit your suspension request to the Academic Board; in addition, you have to send a written request to the PhD office (see
You can also ask for a suspension of the PhD scholarship only, while going on with the PhD program, in case of possible fundings other than the scholarship. Also in this case, you must ask for the Academic Board approval and submit the appropriate form to the PhD office.


What if I get pregnant during the PhD program?

In case you get pregnant during the PhD program, you must submit to the PhD office ( a certificate of your gynaecologist stating the expected birth date. You will have to take a 5-months mandatory leave: 2 months before the delivery + 3 after, or 1 before the delivery + 4 after (but in the latter case your occupational doctor must give a written favourable reception). Also the scholarship (if you have it) will be suspended during the maternity leave. The maternity leave period will be recovered at the end of the third year, together with the possible scholarship instalments.
If you wish, you can extend your maternity leave up to a maximum of one year, included the mandatory 5 months.


I am a PhD student and I need the bus card. What am I supposed to do?

Check the Autoguidovie website and see which documents are required in order to obtain the bus card: 


As a PhD student, how many vacation days do I have?

PhD students don’t have a strict work schedule; their timetable and vacations are agreed with their supervisors, according with the Department days closed.


I am a PhD student and I need the canteen card. What am I supposed to do?

PhD students can ask for the canteen card through the procedure available at,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=739&cntnt01origid=538&cntnt01returnid=718.


I am a non-EU PhD student and I need assistance for my permit of stay. Who can help me?

A helpdesk for international students is available to assist extra-EU students in the gathering of the necessary paperwork for the permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno).
The helpdesk is located in the Questura (Via Rismondo n. 68) and is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00 to 13.00.


When am I going to receive my PhD diploma?

The official diploma is delivered by the Rector during the annual PhD ceremony which takes place usually at the beginning of December, but, if you need the diploma in advance for some specific reason (to have it legalized, for instance), you can ask the PhD office if it’s possible to speed up the procedure.
The PhD office is able to certify the PhD attainment a few days after the final exam.