Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems


Every year the Molecular and Statistical Biophysics (SBP) group admits up to five (5) students to attend a three year Ph.D. programme. The students are selected according to a written and oral test. Application deadlines, dates and number of available positions of the entrance examinations are periodically posted on the PhD announcements webpage, where you can also download the application forms. SISSA makes a contribution towards the travel expenses for attending the exam. Enrollment of all the new students at SISSA and the beginning of classes in the Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems program will take place at the beginning of November. The normal duration of the Ph.D programme is three years. A fourth year may be allowed when suitable justified. The initial part of the PhD programme is based on course work which is considered to be an integral and necessary part of the research training (see the teaching activity programme of the current academic year).

Application procedure

Candidates must apply to be admitted to the standard entrance examination. Admissions are articulated over three steps. First, candidates are evaluated on the basis of their CV (exams records, publications, etc.) and reference letters. Candidates that pass the 7/10 score in this evaluation are next admitted and invited to take the written exam in Trieste (travel financial support is available according to SISSA rules) which, if successfully passed in followed by an oral interview. The list of problems of past entrance examinations can be found in the entrance exams section.

The written and oral exams take place in two consecutive days and the outcome of the selection procedure is made known shortly after completion of the oral exams (same day). Candidates must send a paper application form that can be downloaded from the official SISSA announcement web page (see announcement).

Candidates who are not citizens of European Union have two possibilities to be admitted to SISSA as a PhD Student:

  • Pass the regular entrance examination in Trieste as explained above.
  • Pass a Spring preselection based on academic and scientific qualifications. Students selected in this way will therefore enter the School without taking the regular entrance examination, but will be expected to pass a qualifying examination within the first year of study. Candidates interested to participate in this preselection can submit their online application following the information available at this link.

Contact Us

To get more information and the deadlines for sending your application, please contact us.

Students Secretariat
tel.: +39 040 3787 452 / +39 040 3787 456
fax: +39 040 3787 466