Quality in action

Quality in Teaching/Training

In order to ensure the quality of teaching/training, in accordance with the Guidelines for Quality Policies, SISSA promotes activities with the purpose of enhancing the educational offer, strengthening the central role of the student and improving the management of the services offered.

Educational Offer

The teaching and research activity of PhD courses are carried out within the three main scientific areas of the School: Physics, Mathematics and Neuroscience. As provided for by the Regulations of the PhD courses, the Scientific Areas are responsible for organising the PhD courses, each of which is managed by a Teaching Board and a Coordinator. There are also PhD courses organised jointly by different research groups. The training activity carried out in the twelve PhD courses active at SISSA is at excellent levels, as demonstrated by the exceptional scientific production and by the prestigious professional positions achieved by SISSA former PhD students.

Facilities and services for students

The School is equipped with all the necessary facilities for teaching and research activities envisaged by the PhD courses, including classrooms, laboratories (such as Functional and structural Genomics, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurobiology, MathLab, SAMBA Lab) the Library and a workstation for each student, who can benefit from all the IT tools and facilities in support of his/her research. The School provides funding to support the study and research activity of students, including a contribution to purchase a laptop and a contribution for training needs for final year students. These are in addition to the budget for research expenses already allocated for each PhD student according to the Ministerial Decree 45/2013 (art. 9 paragraph 3). Students can benefit of additional services including those for the personal well-being, the gym, the day-care, the housing service, the SISSA club and the SISSA Alumni association. Further information is available in the SISSA Vademecum.

Orientation day

The Orientation Day is an important moment for students to learn about School's services and opportunities, connect with students' representatives and receive information about the social activities of the SISSA Club. The event is designed for all the SISSA PhD Students and it is strongly recommended to first year students. Starting from 2019, it is organised annually in November.

Detailed programme and slides

Students’ survey

The School annually implements a self-assessment process aimed at measuring the level of student satisfaction, with a view to improving the quality of its training and scientific activities. The on-line survey is anonymous and involves PhD students regularly enrolled at SISSA. The questionnaire is prepared by the Administration in compliance with the legal requirements and the specific needs of the School. The proposals of the Evaluation Committee and the opinions of the assessment bodies (Quality Assurance Unit, Student-Professor Joint Committee) and of the Students’ Board are followed to ensure the survey gathers pertinent data on:
– the perceived quality of educational courses
– the quality of student services
– the quality of support and/or supervision by professors and/or postdocs
– career aspirations and adaptation to the local and international job market

For first-year students there is a series of questions dedicated exclusively to the quality of teaching and their expectations of the research project they will carry out, while the questions aimed at students enrolled in subsequent years focus on the quality and efficacy of research, the supervision by Principal Investigators, as well as on career aspirations.

Filling out the questionnaire is important as it porvides important indication about areas for improvement and issues to be andresse. To consult the actions implemented by SISSA on the basis of previous surveys, click here.

In addition, the results of the questionnaire are analyzed by the Student-Professor Joint Committee (CPDA) and the Evaluation Committee (NdV) which draw up a report. To consult the latest reports, click here.

Quality in Research and Innovation

In order to achieve its institutional aims in the fields of research and innovation, in accordance with the Guidelines for Quality Policies, the School operates respecting the freedom of research for professors and researchers, promotes national and international scientific collaboration with prestigious research institutions and supports the exploitation of research in terms of transfer of knowledge and scientific dissemination.

Research quality assessment - VQR

The quality of scientific research results performed by Universities, higher education Schools and research centres is periodically evaluated by the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR). For this purpose, a specific Research quality assessment procedure, called VQR, is periodically launched. The first Research quality assessment session (VQR 2004-2010) was referred to the scientific publications in the years 2004-2010, and the second one (VQR 2011-2014) covered the years 2011-2014. The School is currently working on the next forthcoming evaluation session (VQR 2015-2019) for the years 2015-2019.

UNIBAS project

In order to enhance the self-assessment of the quality and efficiency of its activities, in preparation of the next research evaluation session (VQR 2015-2019), the School has joined the Evaluation System of Scientific Production (called UNIBAS) developed by the University of Basilicata and supported by the Rector’s Conference - CRUI. The project is the result of the positive experience of some universities in the selection of products for the VQR 2011-14 thanks to the support provided by the University of Basilicata.

Transfer of knowledge

In order to promote the transfer of knowledge, the School focuses its activities on the enhancement of its strategic resources (staff, know-how and technologies resulting from its scientific Areas and laboratories) taking into account the social, institutional and industrial needs of the local territory and of the nation as a whole. The School is also active in raising awareness among its internal stakeholders (first and foremost students and researchers) of the importance of exploiting knowledge to attract national and international funding, and in providing PhD student with more opportunities for their professional future career and to compete effectively at the international level. For this purpose, the students receive cross- sectorial training in a lively and stimulating context.

Public Engagement

The School promotes initiatives with educational, cultural and social development value. The intense activity of communication and organisation of events is carried out by the SISSA Media Relations and Communications Unit, by the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Natural Sciences and Humanities and by Sissa Medialab L.t.d.