Admission Call

A public competition is open, based on qualifications and interview, for the assignment of additional PhD scholarships, under the project "PON - Research and Innovation" for the academic year 2021/2022 - XXXVII cycle, at the University of Naples "Federico II", Italy.

The PON Program aims to promote research activity on innovation issues, digital and enabling technologies and, at the same time, to support the enhancement of human capital, such as determining factor for the development of research and innovation in Italy.

The same Program, on the other hand, aims to enhance the human capital to be committed to PhD on issues oriented to ecosystem conservation, biodiversity, reduction the impacts of climate change and the promotion of sustainable development.

Deadline to apply (see here below):

by and no later than 1.00 pm (Italian time) on 25 October 2021.


A short description / presentation of the contents of each research project related to the 8 scholarships

available for the PhD program in Physics

is reported at the bottom of this file

Requirements for admission

Those who are in possession of one of the following qualifications can participate in the competition:

- specialist or master's degree awarded

- other degrees obtained, whose legal course has a duration of at least four years;

- equivalent academic qualification obtained at foreign universities.

In addition, those who will obtain a degree by and no later than October 31, 2021: in this last case, candidates are admitted to the competition with reserve.

Academic Degrees conferred abroad

The suitability of the qualifications obtained at foreign universities is ascertained, solely for purposes of admission to the selection, by the selection board. In that case, the degree certificate – with the passed exams and the study plan - as well as other documents deemed useful for assessing the suitability of the qualification, must be presented

If the certificate and other documents are drawn up in a language other than Italian, English, French, Spanish or German, they must be translated into one of the aforementioned languages.


The application for participation in the competition must be submitted exclusively through telematic procedure available at:

by and no later than 1.00 pm (Italian time) on 25 October 2021.

To participate in the selection, candidates are required to pay, under penalty of exclusion, a contribution of € 50.00.

This contribution is valid exclusively for the selection for the PhD program for which the application form is being submitted.

Non-Italian candidates who are not resident in Italy are EXEMPTED from the obligation to pay the contribution.


The documentation concerning the qualifications must be sent exclusively by upload when submitting the application.

For the purpose of the EVALUATION OF TITLES, candidates must submit the following documentation, following the instructions below:


3) Candidates graduated abroad:

1. degree certificate, reporting the given exams and the study plan followed (if the certificate is drawn up in a language other than Italian, English, French, Spanish or German, it must be translated and legalized in one of the aforementioned languages);

2. any other qualifications (scholarships and certificates of attendance of post-graduate courses, related qualifications to carry out research activities, scientific publications, standardized test scores used for the selection of access to university courses at international or national level, etc.);

3. Any presentation / recommendation letter must be submitted through the way here below described;

4. curriculum vitae;


4) Undergraduate candidates abroad

1. academic certificate, indicating the exams taken and the study plan followed (if the certificate is drawn up in a language from Italian, English, French, Spanish or German, must be different be translated and legalized in one of the aforementioned languages);

2. any other qualifications held (scholarships and certificates of attendance of post-graduate courses, related qualifications to carry out research activities, scientific publications, standardized test scores

used for the selection of access to university courses at international or national level, etc.);

3. Any presentation / recommendation letter must be submitted through the way here below described;

4. curriculum vitae



The application must be printed, signed and reloaded in the procedure following the instructions given in the same procedure, attaching a copy of a valid identity document. The lack of signature and / or identity document are grounds for exclusion from the selection.

After having closed the application, the candidate can request reference letters by filling in the appropriate letter section, by the deadline for submitting the application (25 October 2021, 1.00 pm - Italian time).

The notice of the letter will be sent to the referee only after the final closure of the application. The contact person will be automatically notified by the system and will have to personally fill in the letter form reference present in the online procedure and send it by October 27, 2021 at 13:00 (Italian time).


Exams/ proofs

The examination tests are aimed at ensuring an appropriate comparative evaluation of the candidates and ascertain the candidate's preparation and aptitude for scientific research.

The admission exams are held by assessment of qualifications and oral exam.

Candidates must also demonstrate good knowledge of English language.

The qualifications and topics covered by the tests must be relevant to the scientific-disciplinary sectors of reference of the PhD course and can be differentiated by Thematic Areas.

The Commission of selection has a total of one hundred points divided as follows: 20 for qualifications and 80 for the oral exam. The qualifications that can be assessed and the scores referred to them are:

- university career: graduation grade or (for undergraduates) weighted average based on the CFU of the grades of the exams taken relating to the qualification required for admission to the course: up to a maximum by 12 points;

- scientific publications, thesis and other qualifications up to 8 points, of which up to a maximum of 1 can be awarded on the basis of letters of introduction from scholars or other relevant qualifications (awards, patents, scholarships, etc.).

Candidates who have reported a score in the evaluation of qualifications are admitted to the oral exam not less than 8/20.

The oral exam is only passed if the candidate obtains a score of at least 48/80.

The final score is given by the sum of the marks obtained in the evaluation of qualifications and in the oral exam

To take part to the selection, candidates must show one of the following documents: identity card, passport, driving license with photo, identification cards - with photograph and stamp or other equivalent signature - issued by a State Administration.

The absence of the candidate on the day, place and time of the exam will be considered as renounce, whatever the cause.

The interview tests will be held on November 10th 2021 starting from 10:00 (CET)

The outcome of the assessment of qualifications and the manner in which the interview will be held will be announced by 3 November 2021 on the University website, at the address:

The publication of the calendar represents an official notification to the interested applicants.

Candidates will not receive any written communication regarding the dates of the exam tests.

Any changes to the calendar will be promptly announced on the University website, at

which therefore candidates are required to consult constantly.


Merit rankings

The rankings will be formulated in descending order of the overall score reported by each candidate in the individual tests and approved by Rector's Decree.

In case of an ex-equo / tie among two or more candidates, the younger candidate will have priority in the ranking.

Candidates will be declared winners according to the order of the ranking up to the competition of positions available for each phd program.

In case of non-acceptance within the term referred to in the call, candidates will take over according to the order of the ranking


Granting, enjoyment and disbursement of scholarships

The scholarships are valid for one year and are renewed on condition that the student has completed the program of activities planned for the previous year and has been admitted to the following course year.

The annual amount of the scholarship amounts to € 15,343.28 (fifteen thousand three hundred forty three / 28) inclusive of social security contributions-.


Research projects of the 8 scholarships – PhD program in Physics


Scholarship  1 - GREEN

Innovative solutions for improving the efficiency of solar energy conversion

The recent marketing of flat vacuum panels produced by the company TRESOL of Avellino on behalf of TVPSolar opens the way to new ideas to make the conversion of solar energy into both thermal and electrical energy more efficient. A three-year European project was recently approved for the production of panels with innovative absorbers developed in collaboration with the CNR which represents the first important step towards further innovations for improving the efficiency and reliability of vacuum panels.

- 6 months to be carried out in the Tresol Srl company

- x months to be carried out abroad

The research topic concerns the production of green energy. In particular, innovation is proposed in the manufacturing production chain of innovative high-performance thermal solar panels for industrial applications.

The research has a specific reference in the first thematic area of ​​intervention of the SNSI, namely "Smart and sustainable industry, energy and environment" (see par 5.4.2 of the SNSI and fits perfectly with regard to the areas of regional specialization both in " Energy "(5.3.7), for the part that refers to innovative components and systems for the production and distribution of sustainable energy and low CO2 content, both in" Intelligent Factory "(5.3.8), and among its areas includes "Production and use of Innovative Materials in Technologies for Sustainable Manufacturing." Furthermore, in the fifth intervention area of ​​the NRP "CLIMATE, ENERGY, SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY", the lines of intervention of Environmental and Industrial Energy are included, which include all the topics characterizing the present research project.

Ref.: prof. Emiliano Di Gennaro -


Scholarship 2 - INNOVATION

Study of new nutraceutical compounds for the prevention of neoplastic and cardiovascular diseases

The identification of new nutraceutical compounds for the prevention of neoplastic and cardiovascular diseases is crucial; these compounds can also improve the quality of life of cancer patients by reducing the adverse effects of radiotherapy. The biochemical characterization (company partner) will be followed by in vitro radiobiological measurements of radio-induced cytogenetic damage and biomarkers of inflammation to validate the molecules with the most marked antioxidant properties.

- 6 months to be carried out at ARTERRA BIOSCIENCE s.p.a.-

- x months to be carried out abroad

The development of tumor and cardiovascular pathologies is united by the presence of inflammatory processes. The development and subsequent marketing in the form of functional foods and / or medical devices, of innovative anti-oxidant compounds developed according to the know-how of the business partner capable of mitigating the radio-induced damage in cancer patients and preventing neoplasms and cardiovascular diseases, it is part of a highly innovative research area with enormous socio-economic implications. The indispensable radiobiological screening of these substances will allow a timely quantification of their effectiveness, thus adhering to the objective criteria required by the chosen topic for the expected results. The project proposal also falls within the regional specialization area 9 (Health) and the national thematic area 2 (Health, nutrition, quality of life) as well as in the large Health intervention area of ​​the PNR (General Themes intervention area).

Ref.: prof. Lorenzo Manti -


Scholarship 3 - GREEN

Study of marine pollution from metals with THz spectroscopy

The research project aims to study, through the use of the time domain resolved broadband Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy technique, the effect of metal pollution on diatomaceous algae, a family of marine organisms of fundamental importance for the correct functionality of oceanic phytoplankton.

- 6 months to be carried out in the Ecotox company (Milan)

- X months to spend abroad

Pollution of the marine environment has a huge impact on the well-being of marine organisms, such as diatoms, which play a central role in the functionality of oceanic phytoplankton. Despite their importance, the structural effects that toxic metals have on these marine algae are still unknown, as are the microscopic mechanisms directly modified by metal dopants. A greater understanding of these mechanisms could lead to the development of innovative ultra-sensitive sensors capable of monitoring in real time, and in the field, the changes in the ecosystem of diatoms caused by metal pollution. In this project we propose to study the physics of metal-doped diatoms using time domain THz spectroscopy. THz spectroscopy of biomolecules in their aqueous environment brings direct information on the dynamic interactions between biomolecules and water molecules. By investigating these interactions in the presence of specific dopants, it is possible to obtain information on the molecular functions that are compromised by the pollutant and to find intrinsic molecular 'markers' to monitor the level of pollution of the surrounding environment in real time. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the CNR-ISASI, with the 'Anton Dohrn' institute, and the ECOTOX of Milan, interested in the development of new methodologies in the field of Ecotoxicology. The project is fully part of action IV.6 'Green Issues' and the regional SNSI "Blue Growth" line as it aims to develop new methodologies for detecting marine pollution. It should be noted that our department is particularly committed to these issues through the University Task Force Blue Italian Growth, which aims to promote the growth of the sea economy.

Ref.: prof. Andrea Rubano -


Scholarship 4 – INNOVATION

Development of innovative photosensors for temporal measurements and high resolution "imaging"

Development of innovative photosensors for temporal measurements and high resolution "imaging" based on modern semiconductor pixel arrays with integrated reading electronics. The goal of the proposal is to develop a novel digital electronics integrated with the device that implements a fast parallel reading.

- 9 months to be carried out at AGE Scientific SRL (Lucca)

- X months to be carried out abroad

The development of an innovative detector capable of reconstructing images with high repetition frequency and high spatial resolution finds wide applications in the field of observations aimed at environmental monitoring, the monitoring of production and automation processes, as well as in the field of medical diagnostics and basic and applied research. The project is consistent with the issues envisaged by the SNSI in the sub-sectors Digital Agenda, Smart Communities, Intelligent Mobility Systems, Intelligent and Sustainable Industry, Energy and Environment and Aerospace and Defense. The innovation and the wide range of applications make the project consistent with the aims of REACT-EU.

Ref.: prof. Fausto Guarino -


Scholarship 5 – GREEN

Design, development and implementation of methodologies for the monitoring and control of volumes affected by geothermal and / or CO2 storage fields

The project will cover various aspects of seismic monitoring, relevant for the environmental impact of industrial activities, such as tracing the evolution of seismicity and high-resolution imaging of the properties of the propagation medium. Specifically, artificial intelligence methods will be designed for the detection and characterization of micro-seismicity.

       - 8 months to be carried out at ENI S.P.A.

       - 6 months to be carried out abroad

The proposal responds to the specifications of Ministerial Decree 1061 art.3, as it promotes research on innovation and digital issues related to the development of methodologies for the management and control of seismic risk in industrial areas dedicated to the exploitation of the geothermal resources of the subsoil. o CO2 storage. It also favors the training of highly qualified professional profiles in the ITC, Physics of complex natural systems and Geophysics of exploration and subsoil imaging sectors. The project complies with the SNSI as regards mainly the thematic regional specialization area: Energy and the national thematic area Smart and sustainable industry, energy and environment. It also meets the objectives of the NRP, as regards the major research areas Safety for social systems (Areas of intervention: Safety of structures, infrastructures and networks, articulations 2 and 3 and Safety of natural systems, articulations 1 and 2). The doctoral project involves development through the phases of Design, Implementation, Testing on simulated models / data and Verification on case studies, each of which allows a quantitative assessment of the expected results and the potential impact of the research in both the scientific and social fields.

Ref.: prof. Aldo Zollo -


Scholarship 6 INNOVATION

Preparing for the scientific exploitation of the Plato mission

The research and characterization of Earth-like exoplanets is one of the most vibrant scientific fields of contemporary astrophysics, also due to the natural cultural and social consequences that the discovery of an Earth-like planet will have. In view of the Plato mission (ESA, launch scheduled for 2026), the doctoral student will contribute to the definition of the scientific cases of the mission and to the fine-tuning and calibration of the instruments under construction at the industrial partner Leonardo.

- 6 months to be carried out at Leonardo SPA

- 6 months at SRON (Netherlands Institute for Space Research), Groningen, The Netherlands

The major area of ​​research and innovation of the National Research Program (PNR) 2021-2027 in which this proposal is inserted is the "Digital, Industry, Aerospace" and is fully compliant with the area of ​​the National Strategy for Intelligent Specialization (SNSI ) 2014-20 "Aerospace" (see National Research Program 2021-2027, p. 170).

It is an innovative project, functional to the growth of new researchers in Southern Italy, in a clearly international dimension, on a scientific theme (the research and study of "new Lands") which will be among the central scientific themes over the years. to come, and at the same time they fly for the development of key technologies in the Italian aerospace industry.

Ref .: prof. Giovanni Covone -


Scholarship 7 – INNOVATION

Development of biosensors with fluorescence amplified by plasmonic effects

The project consists in the realization of a biosensor based on fluorescence amplified by plasmonic effects capable of detecting molecules circulating in the blood with high sensitivity. This project aims to develop a method that can become a reference in medical diagnostics. The company Technogenetics srl with which the research will be shared has a consolidated tradition in the field of immunodiagnostics.

- 6 months to be carried out at the Technogenetics srl company

- 12 months at CIC nanoGUNE (nanoscience research center, San Sebastian, Spain).

The fallout from the PhD project will have an impact in different contexts which can be summarized as follows (these points will be detailed in the project).

Scientific and technological impact.

1) The device we intend to create will be a potential candidate for a change of "gold standard" in biochemical analyzes.

2) Under certain conditions the device can reach the attomolar range in transparent matrices such as human serum, paving the way for applications in medical contexts in which it is necessary to reveal trace analytes.

3) The technology is scalable making it of immediate industrial interest.

Social and economic impact.

4) Possibility of diagnosing diseases such as cancer in the early stages with evident benefit not only for patients (social impact), but also for the national health service (economic impact).

5) The project is highly interdisciplinary exposing the student to various skills. This will naturally allows the formation of a high-profile professional figure.

The project naturally includes the exchange of knowledge between corporate and academic researchers since part of the purpose of the device will be agreed with the company. Therefore, the technology transfer to the productive world will take place directly and efficiently. As for the consistency with the SNSI and the PNR, we observe that the research fully falls into the following areas:

Regional specialization area: 9) Health.

National thematic areas of the SNSI of reference: Point 5.4.3, Health, nutrition and quality of life.

Large areas of research and innovation and related areas of PNR intervention: implementation of diagnosis, therapy and follow-up systems for non-communicable and / or aging-related diseases (Article 2 on page 35 of the document).

This project will enhance the research and development of enabling technologies (this is the device we intend to implement) by enhancing the human capital (PhD student, academic and industrial researchers all involved according to their specificities), fully satisfying the purpose of REACT EU.

Project target.

- Acquisition of the title of PhD by the candidate.

- N. 3 scientific publications in international journals with peer review.

- N. 1 patent.

- Creation of a prototype of the device (biosensor).

Ref.: prof. Raffaele Velotta -


Scholarship 8 - GREEN

Study of electrical transport properties in organic, hybrid, organic / inorganic materials and 2D materials and electronic devices.

The scientific activity will concern the study of electrical transport properties in organic, hybrid, organic / inorganic materials and 2D materials and electronic devices related to them also with nanometric dimensions, for possible applications in fields such as robotics, systems for environment and energy and for green technology, bioelectronics or photos and electrocatalysis

- 6 months at Test Manufacturing Engineering (Na)

- x months to be carried out abroad

National thematic area: Smart and sustainable industry, energy and environment

Regional Specialization Areas: Energy, Smart Factory

More specifically, with reference to organic materials and based on existing interactions with various partners belonging to both the research and industrial worlds (a PON Project is currently active), the candidate's activities will be dedicated to the creation and characterization of electronic devices, also with 3 terminals (OFET and OECT) also with nanometric dimensions, for the advanced sensing of physical parameters of interest in sectors such as soft robotics, industry 4.0 and green issues and bioelectronics

Furthermore, the activity may also concern the development of 2D semiconductor materials of the graphene or chalcogenide type, of interest as well as for the production of ultra-sensitive photodetectors, also for the sensing of environmental contaminants, for photo and electrocatalysis, for hydrogen production, energy harvesting and CO2 reduction

Ref .: prof. Antonio Cassinese -



Selection of candidates will consist of a preselection (with a shortlist) based on the documentation included in the application, and a subsequent oral examination or web-conference based interview (e.g. using skype).

For any information request please contact:

Prof. Vincenzo Canale  (coordinator)

Mr. Guido Celentano (secretary)