What is a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. programme is a third-level university programme which lasts 3 years. It is an advanced technical-scientific training which provides methodological instruments and competencies to train professionals with strong skills in the field of research and innovation technology.
During the educational path, Ph.D. candidates work under the guidance of a supervisor. The programme ends with the final oral defence of a thesis and the conferral of the Ph.D. degree.
Doctors of Philosophy are “problem solvers” with sound scientific competencies, who can cover high-level positions thanks to their ability to tackle problems autonomously and their aptitude to work in team, often in international environments. Doctors of Philosophy are able to support technological transfer processes and to contribute to the development of an innovation culture in their operational context.
The Doctoral School has a network of connections with the world of industry and it is willing to start new cooperation projects with companies, even developing training and research activities on topics of common interest.
Doctors of Philosophy are managers of the research sector, since they have experience in academic research and knowledge of industrial needs. They are able to put reserach results into practice, contributing to raise standards of industrial innovation. Doctors of Philosophy have the strategic ability to combine innovation and creativity when they plan projects and services. This is why Ph.D. holders are particularly appealing for SMEs interested in investing in R&D.
What types of Ph.D. are there?
In Italy there are different types of Ph.D. programmes, each regulated by a set of rules partially different from those governing the "traditional" Ph.D. programme, whose purpose is educating people to gain the human, scientific and methodological tools required to become researchers. Admissions to a Ph.D. programme of any kind require applicants to go through a selection process which may end with an offer of admission for a Ph.D. position.
1. Ph.D. programmes with an industrial characterization
Politecnico di Torino has always worked with companies with the purpose of offering Ph.D. scholarships funded by firms interested in satisfying their research and innovation needs. In addition, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has also allocated resources for specific Ph.D. programmes, with the contribution and involvement of businesses.
2. Industrial Ph.D. programmes
Another type of Ph.D. programme is the the Industrial Ph.D. programme, offered by a university based on an agreement with a company involved in research and development activities. The Industrial Ph.D. allows the company to educate and train its employees already engaged in highly qualified activities. In this type of programme, Ph.D. candidates must carry out part of their research activities at the company’s premises. The operating methods, the timeline of the employee's overall commitment and the duration of the Ph.D. programme are established by a specific agreement between the university and the company. The admission requirements are the same of standard Ph.D. programmes (participation in a selection process), but the university can reserve some positions to company staff members.
3. Ph.D. programmes offered in apprenticeship format
The Ph.D. programme in apprenticeship format offers companies the possibility to hire a young graduate who is attending a higher education course in order to "shape" a future professional with specialized skills that can promote business growth and innovation. In this case, the legal status of the Ph.D. candidate is very different from the status of his/her "non-apprentice" colleagues, since apprenticeship contracts include a series of rights recognized to workers but not to Ph.D. candidates. The research activity is carried out partly at Politecnico and partly in a company which must be located in Piemonte. The admission requirements are the same of standard Ph.D. programmes (participation in a selection process), with additional age limitation, since it is reserved to young candidates between 18 and 29 years old.