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Doctoral Programme in Political and Social Sciences

Firenze, Italy

Venues: San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence – Italy
Application deadline: Sunday 31 January 2016

The Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) offers a four-year doctoral programme with specialisations in political science, sociology, international relations and social and political theory.
The Department places a strong emphasis on the theoretical and methodological tools required for Ph.D. research, and it favours a multi-faceted approach to research projects and doctoral theses, many of which cut across traditional academic boundaries.

The Department also offers its researchers strong support with specific methodological issues such as comparative research design, statistical methods, and survey research.
Regularly ranked among the very top departments in political and social sciences in Europe, the Department is strongly connected, through exchange programmes and joint research endeavours, to numerous universities beyond the confines of Europe.
Doctoral supervision is a priority at the EUI, and prospective researchers for the  Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences  are invited to explore whether their interests fit with those supported by the SPS faculty.

How to apply to the PhD



Academic record
National pre-selection committees have the expertise to interpret academic grades, degrees and rankings of departments and universities and make sure that comparable standards are used for assessing all applicants.
Candidates are expected to have sufficient background in theory and research methodology relevant to their discipline and research project.

Quality of the research proposal
The originality and feasibility of a PhD proposal play a crucial role both in the initial pre-selection by the EUI Professors and in the interviews in the Departments of History, Law and Political and Social Sciences. Applicants for the Economics Department provide a short research statement rather than a full research proposal.

Potential supervision
The department carefully examines whether it can provide suitable supervision for the candidate, taking into account the profile of the department and distribution of supervision among its academic staff for the whole of the period concerned.

Language abilities
All candidates must have a good knowledge of English. The expected minimum level of English language proficiency is C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Candidates for the Economics Department must submit a GRE test score. Candidates for all other Departments are recommended to do so.
See also: Interviews and Language Test


Application Procedure

You must submit your application and all required documents via the interactive online application form.
The deadline for completing the application form and for the submission of references and all required documents is: Sunday 31 January 2016. Applications may be submitted until midnight  (24:00 – CET).

A Mock-Up Application Form containing a preview of the sections of the form and the requested information is available online:
Mock-Up Application Form – HEC, LAW, SPS Departments

There are two distinct phases in the application process:

1. Register as early as possible

You are encouraged to register, insert your personal and referee details as soon as possible. This is important to allow sufficient time for your referees to submit the reference letters before the deadline. Reference letters will not be accepted after the deadline 31 January 2016 (24:00 - CET).

2. Complete and submit your application by the deadline 31 January 2016 (24:00 - CET)

Once you have registered you may continue to work on you application (including required documents) until the deadline.  Submit the application only when you have filled in all the information correctly and have successfully uploaded the final version of the required documents.  Once submitted, it will not any longer be possible to update or modify your application (with the exception of the 'Grant Authority' and 'Referees' sections).

By registering/submitting application, you give your consent for processing the data as specified in the Privacy Statement for Application and Selection Procedures for EUI Post-Graduate Programmes and in accordance with the EUI’s Data Protection Policy outlined in the President’s Decision No. 40 of 27 August 2013 regarding Data Protection at the EUI


Selection process and schedule

31 January: Deadline for applications and references. Applications are screened for completeness by Academic Service. Professors of the Department check the application files and identify the most promising ones.
Early March: National pre-selection committees composed of grant authorities, EUI faculty and representatives of PhD students shortlist candidates for interviews for specific countries or groups of countries.
Mid March: Invitations for interviews for shortlisted candidates are sent by e-mail. Candidates who are not shortlisted are also informed by e-mail.
4-7 April: Shortlisted candidates are interviewed in Florence by Departmental panels. Interviews for the LL.M. programme will take place on 11 and 12 April.
Mid April: EUI’s ‘Entrance Board’ decides which applicants will be offered admission on the basis of the Departments’ proposals. Candidates are informed of the admission results by e-mail.
May to July: Formal admission letters are sent by e-mail. Practical information for selected candidates is posted on the Academic Service's web pages. Reserve candidates may be contacted during this period if selected candidates withdraw.
End of August: Registration of new researchers.
1 September: Academic Year begins.


Information & contacts

European University Institute

TEL: +39 055 4685 373


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