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How to apply

The call for applications is now close.

Admission to the program is through competition. This year, eight positions are offered to selected candidates.

One scholarship, offered by the of Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (University of Milan), is aimed at developing empirical methods to study the impact of technological transformations on economy and society,

All positions are fully funded for a duration of three years.

We invite Expressions of Interest from outstanding graduates in the fields of Economics, Finance, Business or other social sciences who hold a Master’s degree or diploma, or expect to graduate by September 30th 2022 and have a strong interest in the field of Economics.

The Pre Call Assessment

For an informal assessment of your potential as a successful candidate, you are invited to complete the on-line form available here:


The informal assessment is not available after the publication of the call.

Please prepare a research proposal (max 2000 words) in one of the research topics listed here. Note that you will be asked to name a potential supervisor. Also be sure to have your CV and the grade transcript of your Master’s degree ready for submission.

How to apply

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The official Call for Applications and the selection procedure

All candidates, including those receiving a positive assessment, have to apply to the official “Call for Applications” issued by the University of Milan.

Applications are not restricted to Pre Call participants.

The selection of applicants follows a two-phase process. In the first phase, the Examining Committee will evaluate the candidate’s research proposal and academic qualifications: Master’s degree (expected before October 31), grades, CV, reference letter, and any publication. We are particularly interested in young candidates with an original thesis project in one of the research topics listed here. In the second phase, short-listed candidates will be interviewed in person or via Skype by the Examining Committee.


The eight selected candidates will be awarded a three-year scholarship. Four scholarships funded by the University of Milan will pay about euro 16350,00 – gross income per year, while four scholarships funded by the University of Pavia will pay about euro 15340,00 – gross income per year (exact amounts still to be determined). The scholarships provided by the University of Milan are slightly more generous because of higher living costs in Milan. These scholarships will be awarded to selected candidates who choose a research topic proposed by a Faculty member of the University of Milan and thus do research at the University of Milan. Scholarships by the University of Pavia will be awarded to selected candidates who choose a research topic proposed by a Faculty member of the University of Pavia and thus do research at the University of Pavia. The admission ranking is the criterion used for satisfying the preferences of selected candidates, until all the scholarships of one of the two Universities are allocated.

The scholarship monthly allowance is increased up to 50% for PhD students spending visiting periods abroad to carry out their research at foreign universities and institutions. From the second year of the program, students have also access to euro 1530,00 in research funds to cover research-related expenses, e.g., attendance of conferences, summer schools, purchase of databases, software, etc.

The outcome of the selection procedure will be published on the website of the University of Pavia, and on this website in the News section. Candidates short-listed for the interview will be informed by e-mail.

Applicants are required to pay an application fee of euro 33,00. Details for the payment are available in the official Call for Applications.

Application requirements for the official Call for Applications

Applications will be accepted from candidates of all nationalities who hold one of the following degrees:

  • An Italian second-level university degree: Laurea magistrale or Laurea specialistica.
  • A foreign second-level degree: a Master’s degree which must be comparable to an Italian second-level degree. To this purpose, non-EU citizens will be asked to provide the certificates of all their university degrees, in Italian or English, including the courses attended, the marks received and the legal duration of the degree courses. In case of certificates in a language different from Italian or English, candidates will have to submit, together with the certificates, their sworn and legalized translation into Italian or English.

Applications may also be submitted by candidates of all nationalities who have not yet graduated but who expect to receive their degree prior to final registraton in case of admission to the programme and in any case not later than September 30th. In this case, the eventual admission to the program is conditional on the candidate submitting a certificate of graduation. Failure to obtain the Master’s degree by October 31, 2020 will lead to exclusion from the program. Please see the “Incoming Students” section for further details.

Qualifications and Documents

The following documents must be included when submitting the application to the PhD Program:

  • A certificate of an Italian or foreign second-level university degree (Master’s degree), plus a transcript including the final overall grade granted as well as the complete list of courses attended and grades received. Alternatively, if qualification is pending, a certificate of enrolment to the Italian or foreign academic program, plus a transcript including courses attended and grades received;
  • Certification of further qualifications, such as other Master’s degrees and any other post-graduate course, with transcripts of courses attended and grades received;
  • A research proposal (max 2.000 words) with the clear indication of the research topic chosen from this list. In the research proposal candidates present their research interests and outline a possible thesis project;
  • A CV/résumé;
  • Scientific publication candidates wish to submit, including an abstract of their Master’s thesis (max 1000 words). Only publications in Economics from the last 5 years will be considered;
  • The name and e-mail address of the referee who will write and submit a confidential letter of recommendation. The referee will have to submit the reference letter directly to the University Administration through a specific online procedure.
  • A copy of an ID document (undersigned).

Documents such as the GRE or GMAT, as well as English language certificates, provide useful information for the selection, but they are not compulsory.

Information concerning the Selection procedure, Scholarships, Rights and Duties of Doctoral Students, Awarding of degrees, Acts and documents written in a foreign language, and other relevant issues is contained in the Official Call for Application.

For further information on the Application procedures, please do not hesitate to contact: Prof. Paolo Garella

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