PhD Course

Molecular Sciences

Thematic area Hard Sciences
Duration 3 years
Language English
PhD Programme Coordinator Stefano Corni

The PhD-programme in Molecular Sciences (Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Molecolari – CDSM ) offers the highest level of formation in the field of Molecular Sciences at the University of Padova. Since 2019 CDSM has a formal agreement with the Department of Chemical Sciences and Materials Technology of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR).

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Course objectives:
The main objective is to prepare future high-level PhDs for research jobs in the field of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences for both industry and academia. The course presents itself as an advanced training center, open to young Italian and foreign graduates, with the main objective of preparing PhDs with high scientific qualifications in the fields of Chemical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This aim is pursued through:
1) the planning of a structured teaching functional to the research project to which the PhD student will dedicate him/herself for the next three years
2) the inclusion of each doctoral student in one of the active research projects at the proposing Departments
3) the stimulus to the PhD student to pursue personal, innovative and original lines of research

CDSM provides the tools necessary to develop students' skills and abilities through a higher education program specifically dedicated to increasing their scientific qualifications and transversal skills. The key elements of the scientific program are advanced theoretical courses, workshops and seminars. Transferable skills are developed through courses dedicated to scientific writing and oral presentation, assistance in the laboratory courses of the three-year and master's degrees and the availability of financial resources for participation in conferences and research periods abroad.

The priority areas of investigation on which the research activity of the doctorate is mainly concentrated are:

Chemistry for life sciences: This thematic area is dedicated to the synthesis and structural and conformational characterization of peptides and proteins, as well as to the study of photosynthetic systems by means of optical and magnetic spectroscopies.

Chemistry for energy, environment, cultural heritage: The thematic area is mainly aimed at the development and application of knowledge and chemical methods to problems of a technological nature in relation to the generation and storage of energy (mainly renewable energy), the control and protection of the environment and the conservation of cultural heritage.

Materials, nanomaterials and surface science: This topic mainly refers to the development of functional inorganic, organic and hybrid materials (both molecular and macromolecular) in order to control their chemical, optical, dielectric, electrical and magnetic properties starting from the molecular scale . It is part of that
the study of the interfaces with the methods of surface science and the study of nanomaterials in the form of thin films and supported nanoparticles are also the subject.

Supramolecular and nanochemistry chemistry: This thematic area includes both fundamental and applicative studies conducted using the methods of supramolecular (inorganic, organic and hybrid) and colloidal chemistry for the self-assembly of nanostructures and nanoparticles using molecules, atoms and metal clusters as agents hardening agents for obtaining nanosystems with innovative chemical properties and reactivity (catalysis and sensors)

Synthesis, reactivity and catalysis: Design, synthesis and characterization of homogeneous/heterogeneous catalysts and of
coordination compounds, organic synthesis, electrosynthesis

Theoretical and computational chemistry: The thematic area is dedicated to the original development of theoretical methods and computational implementations in chemistry. The primary objectives are the modeling and simulation of
structure and reactivity of molecules, interfaces and the structure and dynamics of complex, functionalized and soft materials, through the use of quantum and statistical approaches and application tools of computer science in the chemical field

Strategies for drug design: Development and integrated application of molecular modeling methodologies, bioinformatics in the fields of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical chemistry, bioorganic chemistry and molecular biology.

Formulation, study of bioavailability and analysis of pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations: Study and development of delivery systems, active direction and release of drugs with a low therapeutic index and biotechnological drugs, such as peptides,

Expected occupational and professional opportunities

The education offered by the CDSM provides students with access to high-level research jobs in the chemical and pharmaceutical sciences in industry and academia.

The success in adequately preparing PhD students for work in the industrial sector is confirmed by the fact that most students readily find work in regional, national and international companies operating in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector. The industrial interest in the training provided by the CDSM is also demonstrated by the growing presence of doctoral students with industry-funded doctoral fellowships.

After the completion of the doctoral program, a significant number of students continue with post-doctoral research activities at national and international universities, which constitutes the first step towards an independent academic career. The excellent level of training allows PhDs to successfully compete for postdoctoral positions at top international universities.


  • Chemical Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science