International Doctoral School in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The PhD programme (according to the Italian Dottorato di Ricerca) is a postgraduate academic qualification. It represents the implementation of the 3rd cycle of education and training to research (according to the Bologna accord) in the Italian academic system and provides the abilities and competencies required for carrying out highly-qualified research in universities, public institutions and private companies. It also offers a higher professional & research-oriented education for managing and leading technical development for major companies and enterprises, at national as well as European/International level.

The general objective is the education of researchers and experts in the innovative aspects related to the area of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


The PhD course is articulated in three curricula:

1. Solid, fluid and material mechanics;

2. Construction design, verification and control;

3. Environment, resources and security.


The International PhD programme requires mandatorily the PhD Thesis to be supervised bi-nationally, i.e. by a joined supervision of the Tutors of two partner Universities.
The default program is based on a joint doctoral course with the T.U. Braunschweig (Germany).
Alternative types of international agreementscan be signed with other foreign Institutions. Students are required to spend a minimum stay of nine months in the foreign Institution.
A short historical review
The preparation started in a bilateral top meeting held in Villa Vigoni in 1999 and after 2 years the joint International PhD programme Università di Firenze – TU Braunschweig was initially settled on a specific topic related to “Risk management in the built environment” upon the initiative taken by the two Universities following the respective support given by:
  • MIUR (Ministero Università e Ricerca of Italy) through its internationalization measures for granting International doctoral courses (Interlink programmes 1998-2000, art. 7 DM 21/6/1999);
  • DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bonn) through the grant GRK 802 (2002-2011)

The program was highly supported by the German DFG since it represented the only one leading to a joint PhD degree funded bi-laterally by an Italian and a German organization.

In 2010 the Region Tuscany launched a call for candidatures to its Universities for granting scholarships to International Doctoral programmes (Progetto PEGASO). After the first successful candidature in 2011, this was the beginning of yearly support of the regional administration to the internationalization of the training to research within the Tuscany Universities. Later on, the PEGASO project has supported and granted, every year up to 5, 3-years scholarships, with the condition of attending a truly international program (i.e. bilateral tutorship, single final examination in front of a joint panel, achievement of a joint or a double degree, 12 months research stay at the foreign partner Institution, etc.).

After the expiration of the GRK 802 in 2012, several other European Universities joined the program by means of individual co-tutorship agreements. Nowadays more than 10 leading Technical Universities or Engineering schools in Europe and abroad (in addition to the TU Braunschweig) are networked with the Universities of Florence and Pisa for awarding a joint or double degree to the scholars of the InDICEE program.

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