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The SZN hosts International PhD programs in collaboration with the Open University (UK) and European Universities. Research students have the opportunity to develop top-level research and improve their personal skills and professional competence by living, experiencing and working in the laboratories of the SZN. A dedicated staff supports each research student and his/her needs are identified and jointly agreed upon, with the student at the beginning of the activity. All needs and progresses are regularly followed and updated as appropriate.
All SZN PhD students take advantage of our international Higher Education Program, consisting of international courses, seminars, workshops and colloquia. Over the last three years more than 40 students have completed their PhD program at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn.

International PhD Program in collaboration with the Open University (OU)

The International PhD Programme, originally established in 1998, represents the prime commitment to first class training and education. Our International  PhD Program in Life Sciences is based on internationality, dedicated mentoring, career development, additional skills, in order to provide our  PhD students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science by inspiring and fostering talented young scientists to turn them into skilled and creative future leaders. It provides comprehensive training that promotes scientific excellence, independence and creativity. We provide close internal mentoring jointly with the tutoring of an international expert, highly specialized courses, additional skill exercises, career development. More than 95% of our students have successfully completed their PhD degree and most of our graduates have taken up positions all over the world. Every year we accept an average of 6 new students, selected from a large pool of international applicants.


PhD Program in collaboration with Italian and European Universities

SZN has a long lasting PhD Program in collaboration with Italian and European Universities. More than 130 PhD students graduated in different scientific disciplines, in collaboration with many Italian and European Universities.
The following PhD Programs are currently running:

- University of Naples Federico II, Biology
- Polytechnic University of the Marche, Biology – Curriculum “Marine Biology and Ecology”
- Sant’Anna School of Advances Studies – Pisa, Biorobotics
- University of Siena, Environmental, geological and polar sciences and technologies
- University of Trieste, Environmental life sciences
- KU Leuven (Belgium), Science
- University of Calabria, Life Sciences
- University of Bremen, Germany - Doctoral Programme in Natural Sciences
- University of Vienna, Austria – Biology
- University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Traslational Medicine
- University of Messina, Applied Biology and Experimental Medicine
- University of Tuscia, Ecology and Sustainable Management of Environmental Resources
- University of Rome Sapienza, Environmental and Evolutionary Biology
- University of Pisa, Biology
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Marine Sciences

The PhD programs in collaboration with the European Universities, follow the rules and selection procedures of each University. All information concerning the call for applications, the duration, the financial support, the admission requirements can be found on:
University of Naples Federico II 
Polytechnic University of Marche
Sant’Anna School of Advances Studies
University of Siena
University of Trieste
KU Leuven
University of Calabria
University of Bremen
University of Vienna
University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
University of Messina
University of Tuscia
University of Rome Sapienza
University of Pisa
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology


Highly specialized PhD-level courses, seminars by leading scientists, as well as skill exercises programs are offered annually to SZN students. Students are required to attend all training activities in order to qualify for the degree. All courses, seminars and tutorials are held in English.

PhD planning and management

The President of the SZN is responsible for the strategic direction of the Higher Education Program. The SZN PhD Programme is managed by a PhD Board, a PhD Steering Committee, and by the Coordinator of the PhD Program Dr. Sabrina Carrella, responsible for overseeing the research degree provision.

The PhD Board includes all the staff scientists and technologists of the SZN.

PhD Steering Committee members are: Dr. Sabrina Carrella, Coordinator, Dr. Ylenia CarotenutoDr. Chiara LauritanoDr. Serena Leone.

Administration and organization is managed by the Higher Education & University Liaison Office.

CONTACTS: Higher Education & University Liaison Office - Gabriella Grossi  Tel. +39-081-5833396 and Margherita Groeben Tel. +39-081-5833310 at phdszn(at)szn.it

Research Departments

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