Start website main content

Call for admission to the Ph.D. in Emerging Digital Technologies a.y. 2019/20

  • Deadline for application submission 01.07.2019

Deadline for application submission: 01.07.2019 23:59 (CEST)


The Ph.D. Programme in Emerging Digital Technologies is a full-time, mandatory attendance three-year programme with an interdisciplinary approach, which provides an exhaustive training path with structured teaching and supervised research activities with a view to producing an original thesis to discuss in a public examination.

In line with the standards of excellence pursued by the School, the objective of the programme is to train a professional figure able to successfully integrate in both national and international public and private research facilities and in companies manufacturing products or service providers operating in the field of communication, information and perception technologies.

Assessment of submitted documentation: July 8th, 2019

Interview: July 17th and July 18th, 2019    

For further information:


Number of positions available

9 positions with scholarship, funded by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 1 of which funded by the Project Dipartimenti di Eccellenza and 1 funded by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) within the project “Realizzazione di un kernel hard real-time per architetture ARM® ed Intel® e di un hypervisor per architetture Intel®” divided among the curricula as follows:

- curriculum Embedded Systems: at least 2 positions

- curriculum Photonic Technologies: at least 2 positions

- curriculum Perceptual Robotics: at least 2 positions

The one (1) position financed by the Project Dipartimenti di Eccellenza will be assigned considering also the relevance of the research plan to the Project Dipartimenti di Eccellenza topics.


The “Dipartimento di Eccellenza della Classe di Scienze Sperimentali e Applicate” deals with the study and the development of a new generation of connected robots that, by integrating the most recent developments in the Artificail Intelligence (AI) and Materials Science (MS) fields, can provide robots with augmented cognitive, sensorimotor, and physical capabilities.

The research plans related to the “Dipartimento di Eccellenza della Classe di Scienze Sperimentali e Applicate” can broadly involve all the Ph.D. curricula, proposing research topics such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence systems, integration of algorithms in parallel computers, IoT techniques, machine learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning algorithms, to develop cognitive capabilities in autonomous robots;
  • material physics/chemistry/technology for the development of novel sensors and actuators, specialised and miniaturized, and of multifunctional parts of machines and robots;
  • development of innovative robots for application in Life Sciences, Industry 4.0, and Cyber-Security.

The one (1) position funded by RFI will be assigned to the Embedded Systems curriculum also considering the relevance of the research project proposed by the candidate to the themes of the project funded by RFI.


The project funded by RFI is part of a broader infrastructure planning of the Italian railway network concerning the replacement of the computing platforms currently used on trains and in stations with more modern platforms based on multi-processor heterogeneous architectures. The PhD position is aimed at researching innovative mechanisms at the operating system and hypervisor level to meet safety, real-time and fault tolerance requirements mandated by modern railway applications.


A PhD position in Artificial Intelligence for drones is available. The position, sponsored by Leonardo S.p.A., is to promote integration of advanced control techniques in drone navigation and control. The focus is  the integration of more recent research in AI into flying platforms, to demonstrate the benefits of using these tools for the development of new applications.

Topics may consider, but are not limited to: navigation with SFM and SLAM, hybrid sensing and fusion (vision, ultrasound, inertial), aerial manipulation, adaptation and management to changing in physical models, flying human companion, multi-device cooperation, AI for learning physics,  mission plans, resources and constraints.

Yearly the candidates should show their achievements within the progress events organized by Leonardo company.

Furthermore, before the beginning of the Course, on the basis of specific agreements following positions may be activated:

- positions dedicated to specific industrial research activities, in partnership with organisations and private companies;

- positions intended for apprenticeship contracts, pursuant to article 11 of Italian Ministerial Decree no. 45/2013 and article 5 of Italian Legislative Decree 167/2011 (High-level Apprenticeship PhD);

- positions reserved for employees of companies which perform research and development activities, pursuant to article 11 of Italian Ministerial Decree no. 45/2013 (Industrial PhD).

- positions reserved to foreign recipients of scholarship.

PhD positions mentioned above are reserved for eligible candidates under the provision of a grant or a scholarship, from a public or private sponsor, at least equal to the three years Sant’Anna scholarship (including canteen services, periods out of office and external research activities).

More information in attachments.


Tel:  +39.050.882.095