How to apply

Enrollment rules

Each year the University of Rome “La Sapienza” announces an open competitions, based on exams, for the admission to the current cycle of the Ph.D program. On the call (which appears on the Sapienza website : , tipycally in June-July) there is a list of courses and you should apply to Code: 11035 Genetica e Biologia Molecolare.

Date, time and location of both written exam (prova scritta) and oral exam (prova orale) are indicated together with contact person (referente) name, telephone number and email address.

Applications are invited from candidates, regardless of gender, age and nationality, who hold an Italian “diploma di laurea/laurea specialistica/laurea magistrale”, or an equivalent second-level degree (generally equivalent to a Master Degree) obtained abroad or expected to receive their degree award by October 31 of the current year. The equivalence of each qualification to the relevant Italian degree will be ascertained, for the sole admission to these competitions, by the Academic Board of the course, within the area of interuniversity agreements of cooperation and mobility.

Eventual admission will be conditional until candidates transmit in due time their relevant degree certificate with marks.

The winners of a position without fellowship, already enrolled, cannot be admitted to the competition

In order to submit their application, which is as well as a self-declaration according to P.M.D. 445/2000, candidates have to pay the non-refundable application fee, currently amounting to euro 35,00,  following the instructions on the call.

The test for admission to the Ph.D. course consists of two parts, a written and an oral examination, in order to guarantee an adequate comparative evaluation of the candidates.

Those candidates willing to take part in the Ph.D. competition, are in duty bound to convene at the day, time and location  indicated on the call without expecting any further advise.

In order to attend the tests the candidates must provide a valid document of identification.

The competition examination Boards for admission to the Ph.D. courses are nominated according to art. 9 of the Ph.D. Regulations as published on the web site:

Only those candidates who pass the written test with a score not inferior to 40/60 shall be admitted to the oral test. The oral test is passed as well if the candidate gets a score of at least  40/60. See the attached file for evaluation criteria.

At the end of the competition procedure, the examination Board sets up the general ranking, based on the sum of the scores achieved by each candidate. In case of equally ranked candidates, the following criteria shall be adopted:

• In case of score’s equality for the assignment of a research fellowship, preference will be granted to the candidate with the poorest economic situation;

• In case of score’s equality for places without scholarship, candidates will be favoured who:

1. have attained their academic degree with the highest score;

2. in case of academic degree scores’ equality, have the highest average of exams’ scores;

3. in case of academic degree scores’ equality as well as equality of average of exams’ scores, have attained their academic degree in the shortest time period, according to the legal duration of the study course;

4. in case of equality of the elements listed under 1, 2, 3, the youngest candidate shall prevail.

Applicants will be admitted to the Ph.D. courses according to their place on the final ranking until all available positions have been assigned. In the case of a missing or late acceptance by a successful candidate before the start of the courses, the following eligible candidate on the list will be offered the position. If a candidate is admitted contemporarily to two or more Ph.D. courses, he/she shall choose to attend only one of them.

Those candidates already in possession of a Ph.D. can be admitted, after having passed thecompetition tests, to another Ph.D. course, only if the scientific sectors of the two courses are different.

According with L.398/89 art.6 co. 2 students can’t be twice awarded of doctoral fellowship.

After confirmation of regularity of the procedures during the competition, rankings will be published on the website

The published rankings shall also report modalities and timing for the procedures of enrolment.

Successful candidates who do not respect such procedures shall be considered as disclaiming and, therefore, replaced by the next-ranked candidate.

Simultaneously to the publication of the ranking, an e-mail will be sent to each concerned candidate to the address indicated on the application forms. The non reception of such e-mail cannot be invoked to justify non-registration. Ph.D. students with a research scholarship awarded by the University or by any Italian or foreign, private or public Institution are exempt from the payment of the annual tuition fees, but they are in duty bound to pay the annual enrolment fee (amounting to euro 35 for 2012-2013 academic year).

Those who do not benefit from a research fellowship are in duty bound to pay the annual tuition fees.

Ph.D. positions are assigned after previous comparative merit evaluation, according to the Examination Board final ranking. Fellowship are awarded for three years and are confirmed yearly. If the number of fellowships is inferior to the number of Ph.D. positions, the fellowships will be awarded to the candidates according to their place on the final ranking.


Foreign candidates who do not plan or do not need to compete for a fellowship. can alternatively apply for a Ph.D. position, not covered by grant, as supernumerary students (ammissione in soprannumero). In this case, they can ask to be admitted to up to 1/3 of the places assigned to each Ph.D. course, without participating to the open competition; they are not consequently eligible for a fellowship award but are evaluated only on the basis of their curriculum vitae et studiorum, their academic qualifications and/or an oral interview.

Foreign students applying to be admitted as supernumerary students can ask, alternatively, to be admitted on the basis of a  dossier, that is a coherent research project written in Italian and/or in English or French, which has to be forwarded together with the others documents listed here following.

For this purpose, applicants must:

1. Clearly indicate in their application that they apply for a position as supernumerary student, according to the instructions provided.

2. Pay the non-refundable application fee currently amounting to  euro 35,00 according to the indications provided.

3. Provide within the deadline the following documents:

••• their curriculum vitae et studiorum;

••• appropriate documentation providing evidence that the applicant has adequate funds to sustain

himself at least for one year or, alternatively, that the applicant has obtained any other scholarship

for the entire duration of the Ph.D. course;

••• the degree certificate with the list of the exam and marks obtained, translated and legalized by

the competent Italian diplomatic representative;

••• the declaration of validity (“dichiarazione di valore”) of the foreign degree, issued by the

competent Italian diplomatic representative in the  Country where the academic qualification

has been attained;

••• their dossier (see above), if any.