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The SZN hosts International PhD programs in collaboration with the Open University (UK) and Italian Universities. Research students of PhD programs have the opportunity to develop top-level research and improve their personal skills and professional competence by living, experiencing and working in the laboratories of the SZN. A dedicated staff supports each research student and his/her needs are identified and jointly agreed upon, with the student at the beginning of the activity. All needs and progresses are regularly followed and updated as appropriate.
SZN PhD students with Doctorate, carried out in collaboration with the national Academia, take advantage of our international Higher Education Program, consisting of international courses, seminars, workshops and colloquia. Over the last three years more than 70 students have completed their PhD program at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn.

International PhD Program in collaboration with the Open University (OU).

The International PhD Programme, originally established in 1998, represents the prime commitment to first class training and education. Our International  PhD Program in Life Sciences is based on internationality, dedicated mentoring, career development, additional skills in order to provide our  PhD students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science by inspiring and fostering talented young scientists to turn them into skilled and creative future leaders. It provides comprehensive training that promotes scientific excellence, independence and creativity. We provide close internal mentoring jointly with the tutoring of an international expert, highly specialized courses, additional skill exercises, career development. More than 95% of our students have successfully completed their PhD degree and most of our graduates have taken up positions all over the world. Every year we accept an average of 6 new students, selected from a large pool of international applicants.


PhD Program in collaboration with Italian Universities.

SZN has a long lasting PhD Program in collaboration with Italian Universities. More than 130 PhD students graduated in different scientific disciplines, in collaboration with many Italian Universities. The following PhD Programs are currently running:

University of Naples Federico II - Model Organisms in Biomedical and Veterinary Research - Computational Biology and Bioinformatics - Applied Biology - Veterinary Sciences – Biology
Polytechnic University of the Marche - Biology – Curriculum “Marine Biology and Ecology” - Industrial Engineering - Curriculum "Mechanical Engineering"

The PhD program, in agreement with the Italian Universities, follows the rules and selection procedures of each University. All information of the running programs, concerning the Call for applications, the duration, the financial support, admission requirements can be found on:
INFO AND ADMISSION: University of Naples Federico II: http://www.unina.it/didattica/post-laurea/dottorati-di-ricerca/bandi-di-ammissione#
Polytechnic University of Marche: http://www.univpm.it/Entra/Engine/RAServePG.php/P/341710010412

In addition, highly specialized PhD-level courses, seminars by leading scientists, as well as skill exercises programs are offered annually to SZN students. Students are required to attend all training activities in order to qualify for the degree. All courses, seminars and tutorials are held in English.


The President of the SZN is responsible for the strategic direction of the Higher Education Program. The SZN PhD Programme is managed by a PhD Commission, Coordinated by Dr. Raffaella Casotti, responsible for overseeing the research degree provision. The PhD Commission members are:  Dr. Raffaella Casotti, Coordinator, Dr. Christophe Brunet, Dr. Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, Dr. Remo Sanges, Dr. Luigia Santella.

Administration and organization is managed by Dr. Gabriella Grossi, at the Office of the Presidency.
CONTACTS: Higher Education Office - Gabriella Grossi at phdszn(at)szn.it - Tel. +39-081-5833366

Dipartimenti di ricerca


In progress

INDUCTION MEETING for PhD Students AA 2015/2016

November 27th 2015 h. 10.30 - Conference Room


10.30 - 11.00 Raffaella Casotti (PhD Coordinator) Introduction and Welcome to new Ph.D students

11.00 - 11.15 Camilla Borgonuovo Dir. Studies Dr. M.I. Ferrante
Signal perception in diatoms: dissecting chemical communication with molecular approaches

11.15 - 11.30 Miriam Ruocco Dir. Studies Dr. G. Procaccini
Multiple stressors response in seagrasses

11.30 - 11.45 Greta Busseni Dir. Studies Dr. D. Iudicone
Investigating the interplay between abiotic forcing and life strategies in setting marine plankton diversity

11.45 - 12.00 Sara Fioretti Sup. Dr. F.P. Patti – Prof. A. Anastasio (Un. Federico II)
Marine organisms model species for the assessment of biological, environmental and economic impacts on marine aquaculture in Campania

12.00 - 12.15 Massimiliano Volpe Dir. Studies Dr. R. Sanges
Role of Transposable Elements, Long Noncoding RNAs and Zinc Fingers in the Evolution of Cellular Complexity

12.15 - 12.30 Celestina Mascolo Sup. Dr. P. Sordino - Prof. T. Pepe (Un. Federico II)
Genetic characterization of commercially valuable marine resources from the Gulf of Naples

12.30 - 12.45 Rachele Napolitano Sup. Dr. M.C. Gambi – Prof. E.P. Tomasini (Un. Politecnica delle Marche)
Development of non-contact measurement techniques for the study/observation and reconstruction of underwater benthic habitats and organisms


14.30 - 14.45 Rosa Maria Sepe Sup. Dr. P. Sordino – Prof. Paolo De Girolamo (Un. Federico II)
Functional characterization of endocannabinoid system: role of 2-AG during zebrafish neural development.

14.45 - 15.00 Alfonsina Milito Dr. Studies Dr. A. Palumbo
Ovothiol, a marine antioxidant: discovery of its biological activities

15.15 - 15.30 Nadia Ruocco Sup. Dr. M. Costantini – Dr. A. Fontana (ICM-CNR)
Ecological role and biotechnological potential of marine organisms and their natural products

15.30 - 15.45 Mirko Mutalipassi Dir. Studies Dr. V. Zupo
Re-defining the concept of model species: an experimental approach on a range of marine animals

15.45 - 16.00 Angela Pelusi Dir. Studies Dr. M. Montresor
From plankton to benthos and back: cues triggering formation and germination of resting stages in marine diatoms

16.00 - 16.30 PhD Commitee Members and students - Feedback and general discussion

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