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Welcome to the PhD SCHOOL IN MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY



Our PhD school offers projects focusing on the understanding of molecular mechanisms that stand at the base of life and of pathology. In particular board members of the PhD school focus on I) molecular and biophysical analysis of biological molecules and their structures; II) control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; III) functional genomics, bioinformatics and system biology; IV) molecular mechanisms controlling cell proliferation and degeneration, cell differentiation and development..

The PhD students are studying and doing research in a stimulating and multidisciplinary scientific environment, which is evidenced by the many research groups that constitute the PhD School (click here for the list). Examples (from past selections) of research projects that successful candidates could choose, can be seen here.

A list of publications by our PhD students can be found here.


The selection of candidates takes place once a year. The period in which selection takes place may change from year to year but are mostly in July or September. The deadline for application is normally between April and May (information will be provided on this website).

The selection consists of two steps: the PhD evaluation Committee first evaluates the CVs of the candidates and those passing this first selection phase are called for an interview (which can also take place online in case of need). Typically, around 10 PhD positions are available every year..

For more detailed information see below.


The PhD lasts three years typically starting in the fall each year (October – November).

The PhD SCHOOL IN MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY is an international PhD School thus all PhD courses and meetings are held in English.


PhD School coordinator: Prof. Martin Kater

PhD School vice-coordinator: Prof. Stefano Ricagno

PhD School secretary: Margherita Russo


INFORMATION ON THE SELECTION OF PhD STUDENTS


General information PhD schools (XXXVII cycle 2021):
http://www.unimi.it/ENG/courses/31180.htm (ENG);
http://www.unimi.it/ricerca/dottorati/1280.htm (ITA);

To submit your application you need to register in the website of the University of Milan: here more information

Submit your application here (application on line ONLY): http://www.unimi.it/ENG/admission/92324.htm

Admission requirements:

- Master or equivalent qualification.

- Transcript of the exam list with grades (both bachelor and master)

- Diploma Supplement 1

- Curriculum vitae

- A research project 2

- Publications (if any)

1 Diploma Supplement, issued by the University according to European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES standards, or degree certificate in Italian or English from the University of provenance, indicating exams taken, corresponding grades and credits, and showing the statistical distribution of exam grades of each course. This document is not required of graduates/undergraduates of the University of Milan since it will be acquired internally.

2Research project: the candidate is expected to write a mock 3-year research project (in English). It may be based on the candidate's master thesis or on other scientific topics; however, the topic should be relevant to the PhD school. The quality of mock 3-year research project will be evaluated in the first part of the selection and will be orally presented in the second part of the selection. Main criteria for the evaluation are scientific quality, rationale, feasibility, and experimental plan.

Here below some suggestions how to write the research project:

  • The project length should be between 2000 and 4000 word + references. We suggest to write 2000-2500 words + references. Don’t make your project unnecessarily long.
  • It should be divided in the following sections:
  • Project Title
  • Summary (150-200 words): summary of the two sections below.
  • Project aims and their relevance in the context of the state of the art (850-1000 words): place the research in the context of what is known in the field, explain why it is relevant and timely. List here the main aim(s) of the project.
  • Project description (1000-1200 words): this section could be divided in three paragraphs.
    1. explain the experimental plan and its rational, which techniques will be used and what kind of information can be obtained from such techniques.
    2. explain which novel scientific data are expected from the experimental work, which new understanding these data will provide in the field and why this is relevant.
    3. explain how the work will be organised over the three years.
  • References (as many as needed): list of all relevant references.

Application deadline: September 1st 2021 by 2 pm

PhD candidate selection: September 2021 (from 13 to 17)

Start of the PhD: 1st October 2021

Number of PhD positions available: 8+2 funded by the project "Department of Excellence" awarded to the Department of Biosciences by the Italian Ministry of Research.

2 positions funded by the Department of Biosciences for the projects: - Study of the Huntingtin protein structure/function relationship; - Mechanisms of funny/HCN4 channel long-term regulation in health and disease;

1 position by Fondazione Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare (INGM) for the project: “MADE IN FAMILY: The impact of Maternal Anxiety-DEpression and ImmuNoinflammation on Foetus brAin growth and infant neurodevelopment. An iMagingepIgenetic Longitudinal study

For further information on this PhD school: http://www.unimi.it/ricerca/dottorati/111222.htm?dott=R11of1&anno=2019

Selection consists in:

  1. Evaluation of the CV and of the Research project
    • Evaluation of the CV: maximum score 20 points (bachelor education, master education, publications, professional experiences, other titles)
    • Evaluation of the research project: maximum score 10 points (scientific quality, rationale, feasibility, experimental plan)
    • To be admitted to the second step of the selection the CV have to be evaluated not less than 10 points and the research project not less than 5 points
  2. Primary candidate evaluation (CV and research project) will be available at:
  3. http://studente.unimi.it/ammissioni/g/graduatoridottorati/checkLogin.asp
  4. Oral interviews (presentation of the project, discussion and questions)
    Online interviews will take place from 13 to 17 September 2021
  5. Final candidate evaluation will be available at:
  6. http://studente.unimi.it/ammissioni/g/graduatoridottorati/checkLogin.asp

Admission will be granted to candidates with a score of 70/100 and above


If you want to receive updates about the 2021 PhD selection or ask questions about the PhD school in Molecular and cellular biology please write to MCB.PhD@unimi.it


Student secretarial office
   cl.biol@unimi.it
   biotecindamb@unimi.it
   molbioinfo@unimi.it
  +39 02 503 14870

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