Research Mission

Smart computing is an important multi-disciplinary area where advanced computational methods and technologies are combined with engineering approaches to create systems, applications and new services that meet the needs of society. Several and diverse application areas are covered, including business, health-care, energy, transportation systems, environment, security, surveillance, industrial systems, information retrieval and publishing, entertainment and creativity, social activities. In all these areas, innovation requires both conceiving new applications and services, as well as improving the efficiency, reliability, and susteinability of the existing ones.

This PhD program provides a high-profile scientific training on building software intensive systems and applications that meet the needs of users and society through a principled exploitation of advanced methods of computer science and engineering. This combines together theoretical and practical aspects to advance our understanding of how to design and build smart computing systems and how to use computing technology to design smart things and make human life better. The development of smart computing systems intertwins, in a holistic way, most major areas of computer science and engineering, including reconfigurable computing, computer architectures, operating systems, computational intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, software engineering, quantitative and formal methods for performance and dependability evaluation, automatic media interpretation, computer vision, internet technologies, distributed computing and sensing, pervasive computing, social computing, computer security. Additionally, many interdisciplinary applications exist linking computing to more traditional scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, neurosciences, medicine, physics, and economy.


Courses for 2023

List of internal courses

Joint faculty from Florence, Siena, and Pisa

A single PhD degree awarded from the three largest Tuscan Universities.

Large number of external collaborations

Many opportunities to do research at an international level.

Questions & Answers

You must hold a MSc degree or equivalent (at least 5 years of university studies). You may apply before graduation but you must obtain your degree before October 30th. You also must be able to use English in a professional context (a CEFR B2 level is required).
There are scholarships provided by University of Florence, Regione Toscana under the Pegaso program, and occasionally by private firms (all scholarships are 15343 euros/y excluding social security). Pegaso fellows must be under age 35 and are required to spend six months of study and research at a foreign institution. All scholarships cover the full three years program and can be increased up to 50% during periods spent abroad for study and research. Tuition fees are waived for all fellows. Additional positions without a scholarship may become available and these are normally covered later under a research assistantship contract.
The standard duration of the program is 3 years, and can be extended under special circumstances.
As an applicant, you will be evaluated in a competitive fashion by a designated committee on the basis of your past academic achievement, as well as on the basis of your knowledge of disciplines directly relevant to the program, your aptitude to research, and your investigative skills. The selection process requires the submission of a research project and a formal interview before the committee. If you are a foreign resident, we can arrange telephone/video conference interviews.
Yes. However, in case you are selected for two or more programs, you must submit your enrollment choice before the program starts. Also, if you are not immediately selected but ranked close to the top of the list, you may be still admitted, should other candidates ranked above you decide to enroll in another program.

The consortium and the partners

The program is co-financed by the Universities of Florence, Pisa, and Siena, and by Regione Toscana under the European Social Fund. Two National Research Council institutes: ISTI and IIT are supporting partners.

Consortium and sponsors