PhD course Description

Educational Objectives and Research Activities:

The Ph.D. Program in Chemical and Environmental Science (DISCA), proposed by the Departments of Sciences and High Technology and of Theoretical and Applied Sciences of the University of Insubria, intends to act as a center of advanced training, open to Italian and Foreign students. During this training process, the Ph.D. students will acquire the necessary expertise to perform and organize, in Academia, or in other Public or Private Bodies, highly qualified research activities, in full autonomy and with high skills.

Coherently, the training of the Ph.D. students, within the different fields, will be promoted through a steady experimental research activity and a suitable high-level training path, aiming at favoring, to the highest degree, the development of abilities in self-managing research within an International competitive context. DISCA, with the methods later illustrated, intends to shape a researcher able to positively contribute to the advancement of chemical sciences both in the industrial field and in Academia, or, alternatively, to the advancement of environmental sciences for prevention,protection and conservation of the (natural and anthropic) environment and land. In addition, multidisciplinary training activities will be favored, which, in the complex frame of Exact Sciences and of their applications, will constitute a definite added value in defining new professions.

To reach this full scientific maturity, the Ph.D. student, in his triennial attendance to the program, performs, under the direction of a tutor, an intense research activity on an innovative topic, starting from a clear definition of the achievable results, and particularly of their innovative aspects with respect to the state of the art in his/her field. The results so reached will be gathered and discussed in a Ph.D. thesis. In line with the most modern training and scientific practice, part of this research will be performed in a Foreign Country, enabling the Ph.D. student to enter a wider international context and to increase the expertise and confidence in his/her abilities.

The different research areas are defined by the presence at the University of Insubria of laboratories involved in a variety of different chemical and environmental sciences field, and, in the Northern Lombardy area, of several Foundations and other Public Bodies dedicated to research and technology transfer. These fields include:

Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Materials Science, Earth Sciences, Vegetal and Animal Biology, Ecology, Hygiene and Occupational Health.

To the Ph.D. program the most qualified students will be admitted, independently of their gender, age, nationality, religion, ethnic origin and social class.


The Ph.D. Program in Chemical and Environmental Sciences last three years. Every year one or more calls in Italian and English will be proposed for a public selection of candidates, in which the number of open positions and available grants are specified.

The Program comprises two specialized paths, “Energy and Health” and “Environment and Land”.

The Ph.D. program in Chemical and Environmental Sciences proposed to distinct specialized training areas: “Chemical Sciences” (Energy and Health) and ”Environmental Sciences” (Environment and Land), each one possibly structured in sub-topics.


  • CHEMISTRY AND ENERGY: Synthesis, characterization and modeling of molecules and materials of energetic interest, with specific care on the development of innovative synthetic methods, technologies, processes and analytical/computational methodologies. In a non-exclusive list, this theme includes material science of inorganics, ceramics, polymers, hybrids and composites, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, the development of modern analytical techniques and of theoretical models dedicated to tackle energetic problems.
  1. CHEMISTRY AND HEALTH: Synthesis, characterization and modeling of molecules and materials for health preservation (diagnosis and therapy), with specific care on the development of innovative drugs, intermediates and fine chemicals and synthetic/analytical/computational methodologies. In a non-exclusive list, this theme includes organic synthesis, the study ofbiomolecules, the development of molecules and nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery, the tuning of modern analytical methods and of theoretical models to tackle public health problems.


  1. MANAGEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH RISKS FROM ANTHROPIC ACTIVITIES: This theme will identify, evaluate and manage chemical or physical risks deriving from anthropic activities endangering ecosystems and human health. Specifically, innovative methodologies for the experimental determination of exposure effects to chemical and physical risk agents will be developed, for ecosystems, or common-life and occupational environments. These activities will include deeper studies on epidemiologic phenomena and public health, in silico modeling of the physico-chemical, ecotoxicological and environmental fate of pollutants in natural and agricultural areas, as well as indoor and in contaminated sites.
  2. ANALYSIS OF NATURAL RISKS AND VULNERABILITY OF THE PHYSICAL AND ANTHROPIC ENVIRONMENTS: These theme focuses on the definition and analysis of the most relevant factors and processes modifying ecosystems, and on the evaluation of the vulnerability and behavior of the physical, industrial and urban environment, when facing sudden and catastrophic natural events. A specific care will be given to seismic and volcanic danger, to the natural pollution sources, to climate change, to the modification of the ecosystemic structure and processes, and to the study of the location of industrial, civil and strategic sites. Finally, activities in geo-environmental fields, by developing interpretative models aimed at a better planning and at a more efficient forecast and mitigation of natural and anthropic risk, will be pursued.

Entrance Requirements:

All Master Degrees or equivalent career.

Attendance and Teaching Methods

Course start date: October 1st

Teaching activities (mandatory and optional) are defined yearly at the beginning of the course bythe Teachers’ Board.



Headquarters of this Ph.D. Program: c/oDipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia, Via Valleggio 11, 22100 Como


Prof. Alessandro Maria Michetti (Coordinator)

Phone: 031-2386650;Fax: 031-2386630;E-mail:

Prof. Norberto Masciocchi (Previous coordinator)

 Phone: 031-2386613;Fax: 031-2386659;E-mail:


See also: