PhD Program in

Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences (CCSN) 


the program 

The IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca

CCSN is an international PhD program hosted by the IMT School, one of the seven Schools of Excellence in Italy, and one of the highest rated graduate schools in Europe, according to the most recent U-Multirank survey.  The IMT School provides rigorous training and close supervision in a variety of disciplines in the social, cultural, cognitive and natural sciences, welcoming multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches at their boundaries.

The IMT School is a truly international environment with students from all around the world. The School has a record of placing students in top research universities, policy-making institutions, and companies. English is the official language of the School. 

The PhD program in Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences

This research-based, multidisciplinary track focuses on cognitive, computational and social neurosciences, and integrates basic neuroscience methods with traditional experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The track prepares researchers capable of developing innovative research strategies and creative ideas to monitor, understand and predict human behavior, mind and its complexity.

Currently, one of the most significant scientific challenges is understanding the human brain. Today, human neuroscience has made remarkable progresses in understanding the basic aspects of brain functional organization, primarily thanks to the advent of neuroimaging that provided scientists of various disciplines with an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the neurobiological bases of mental activities, in the healthy brain or in the presence of disease. Different disciplines have consequently begun to rely on neuroscience research methods to develop novel integrated approaches which, from economics to social sciences, from aesthetics to philosophy, seek a neural correlate of human behavior through multidisciplinary dialogues.

The Ph.D. Program in Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences (CCSN) aims to provide the theoretical, methodological, instrumental and cultural skills necessary for studying the brain and mind, the interpretation and representation of the external world and the cognition and of human behaviors.

The descriptions of some examples of active projects and research themes are available here. The track is nonetheless interested in accepting research projects and themes proposed by candidates other than those described and, in general, in identifying with the students the research themes that best suit their skills and interests.

All Research units at the IMT School organize regular seminars by external and internal faculty members which complement the coursework with exposure to the latest research. Speakers at the seminars are leading researchers from all around the world. Please look at the MoMiLab Events page for a comprehensive list of past seminars and visiting professors.

The CCSN track is part of the Network of European Neuroscience Schools (NENS), that represents over 200 graduate neuroscience schools and programmes across 27 European countries.

Scholarships and funding

All students enrolled in the PhD program receive a scholarship of €1,353.58/month, which includes pension contributions and results in a net salary of €1,195.48/month for 3 years, extendable up to 4 years.

For the first three years, all students are offered on-campus housing and meals at the IMT canteen for free, which can be valued as an additional benefit of at least €800/month.
Furthermore, they are given additional financial support for mobility abroad, participation in international academic conferences, summer and winter schools, and other similar events.

Accommodation, desk and meals

All students are granted a desk and unrestricted access to the IMT campus, as outlined in the Campus Life page.

The campus, which is entirely accessible, is fully equipped with a variety of amenities, including areas for relaxation and socializing, coffee corners, a dedicated Turkish bath, a fitness spot, a leisure room featuring several entertainment facilities (such as foosball and ping pong tables, PlayStation consoles, and board games), kitchenettes equipped with a cooker, microwave, and dishwasher, and laundry rooms.

All students are provided with hotel-like shared double rooms, which are serviced regularly for 3 years.
Additionally, all students have complimentary lunch and dinner every day of the year at the canteen located on the IMT campus for 3 years.

Incoming student profiles

The CCSN program welcomes Ph.D. candidates with a general level education in one of the following areas: psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, medicine, biology, physics, computer science, social science, human science, engineering, logic and philosophy of science, behavioral science or in contiguous areas. The ideal candidate is interested in doing research in neuroscience, psychology and cognitive science, without necessarily having previous training in these fields.

Outgoing student profiles

The primary purpose of the CCSN curriculum is to train researchers with in-depth knowledge of the methods required for the most modern cognitive and computational neuroscience approaches, applied in general to the characterization and management of cultural and socio-economic systems.

In line with the strong interactions and didactic and experimental integration carried out at the School, the curriculum in CCSN aims to offer a broad educational background to pursue an academic career and experimental research and to open up new labor markets that always address more transversal figures.

Based on the excellent placement carried out so far, past graduates in psychological and neuroscience disciplines from the IMT School are currently working at leading universities, international institutions, research and clinical centers, companies and other private companies (see Past Students page). The job placement opportunities are mainly related the various disciplines of the ERC sector SH4 'The Human Mind and Its Complexity' and of the CUN 11 macro-area (Area 11 - Historical sciences, philosophical, pedagogical and psychological) and contiguous areas.

What CCSN offers

The structure of our PhD programme and the list of courses

Requirements and application process

Professors and researchers teaching and supervising students

Alumni and placement

Facilities, services and activities

Enrolled students at IMT School in economic disciplines