1. What is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks (ITN) European Joint Doctorate (EJD)?

It is a European Joint Doctorate programme funded by the European Commission with the instrument Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks actions inside of the H2020. 


The programme ITN MSCA EJD provides 15 fellowships to Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) managed by a set of beneficiaries. Each beneficiary is responsible of some ESR: it hires, pays, manages the ESR. The salary, the contract regulation, the enrolment process depend to the beneficiary local rules and to country correction coefficients that the EU Commission applies to each EU country (see the Table 2 of the link http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/main/h2020-wp1820-msca_en.pdf).


The LAST-JD-RIoE is an International Ph.D. programme under the Horizon 2020 EU project 814177, MSCA ITN (Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions European Joint Doctorates). Doctoral candidates will acquire joint degrees in INTERNATIONAL DOCTORAL DEGREE IN LAW, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. The consortium is composed of 29 partners (9 beneficiaries, 2 research centers, 4 associate universities, 14 industries) with seven EU countries (Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Spain, Austria, Germany, Belgium) and two non-EU countries (Australia, USA). The nine universities are: the universities of Bologna, Turin, Luxembourg, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Mykolas Romeris University, the Centre for IT and IP Law, KU Leuven, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Universität Wien.

Three terms of mobility, for a total of 18 months, are required to ensure that all students follow courses in an integrated way and can benefit from the specific expertise available at partners universities, providing in particular an opportunity to experience research activity in departments of different kinds (law, computer science, bioethics, genetics) and to familiarize with local languages and the different legal systems of the EU. The research topics are fixed and they concern the Internet of Things coupled with the rights and freedoms. We have also six associated partners, two research centers (ITTIG-CNR, Data61- CSIRO), and four associate universities (Univ. del Piemonte Orientale, Univ. of Pittsburgh, La Trobe, and Observatorio de Bioética y Derecho of UB). They guarantee a connection with a high-technology centre from an international perspective.

3. What LAST-JD-RIoE - ITN MSCA EJD offers?

The doctoral programme in Law, Science and Technology (LAST-JD) offers interdisciplinary integrated competences making it possible to deal with the new challenges the information society and the newly emerging technologies will increasingly pose in the future in the legal domain and the socio-ethical field. Upon completing of the doctoral programme, participants will be able to become legal professionals in specific ICT domains like software, databases, big data, AI, blockchain, robotics; government officials capable of managing eGovernment projects; researchers in specialised laboratories (medical genetic or nanotechnology); members of ethics committees; computer-forensics and security experts; legal-knowledge engineers. IoE technologies are viewed through the lens of the law, ethics, and human rights. Particular attention is dedicated to the Internet of Data, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Persons, the Internet of Health, the Internet of Money.

4. What is a beneficiary in LAST-JD-RIoE - ITN MSCA EJD?

A beneficiary is a member of consortium of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN MSCA EJD capable to release a PhD title. Inside of LAST-JD-RIoE we have nine beneficiary/Universities: University of Bologna, University of Turin, University of Luxembourg, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Mykolas Romeris University, the Centre for IT and IP Law of KU Leuven, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Universität Wien.

5. When the PhD programme starts and what is its duration?

LAST-JD-RIoE PhD programme last 3 years, starting from November 1st, 2019. 

6. How is the PhD programme designed?

The scientific work of Doctoral candidates is organized into three phases connected to mobility:

  • During the first 6 month term, all candidates will participate in an orientation camp with interdisciplinary and soft skills courses in Bologna. Its purpose is to familiarize ESRs with the research environment and to refine the dissertation topic, including a review of the state-of-the art and publication plan. It ends with a semester assessment and project proposal presentation to the Scientific Committee.
  • Two terms will be spent at other universities (first UNITO, UAB or MRU and then UL, KUL, UNIVIEN o LUH) to continue the interdisciplinary training in Computer Science, Law, IT Law and Ethics departments. In this phase, candidates will produce the first scientific results and chapters of their dissertations. Major steps during this phase are to defend an updated dissertation proposal and to submit a publication to an international conference. Thesis synopsis and semester assessments in front of the Scientific Committee will be the other milestones.
  • In order to prepare for professional life, there is an obligatory internship at industrial partner organizations.

The rest of the terms will be spent at the university of the main supervisor to produce final scientific results and the thesis. The key result is the submission of a journal paper. Milestones: semester assessments in front of the Scientific Committee and thesis submission.

7. What is a secondment?

A secondment is a mobility term that the ESR must attend according to each specific research project. Secondment means a period spent by a fellow at a beneficiary’s premises other than those of the beneficiary which has recruited him/her under the action. The premises of the beneficiaries be independent from each other and therefore the secondment must involve physical mobility of the fellow. During their secondment, researchers receive supervision and training at the premises of the receiving beneficiary. The secondment in LAST-JD RIoE are previously decided for each research project/ESR. 

8. How can I apply for a PhD position under the LAST-JD-RIoE - ITN MSCA EJD?

The call for application is open and available in the University of Bologna website, please read carefully the “Call for Applications” and “PhD programme table” for the details on the procedure, following this link:


The deadline is 15/05/2019, 13:00 - Europe/Brussels. 

You will need to submit electronically all the required documentations (see the Call of applications) within the deadline in the University of Bologna website. 

9. Who can apply for a PHD position under a MSCA-ITN-EJD?

Applicants holding a second cycle master’s degrees or an equivalent qualification by study level. Undergraduate applicants may apply on condition to obtain the necessary academic qualification to be admitted to the PhD Programme by 31/10/2019.

The applicant must be an Early stage Researcher and fulfil the mandatory mobility rule. 

10. What is an Early Stage Researcher? What is the mobility rule?

Early Stage Researcher belongs those characteristics: 

  • be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers;
  • have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

For the mobility rule, the applicant must have resided or carried out their main activity outside the country of the beneficiary university in the 3 years immediately prior to the deadline of this call for applications. In the case of researchers with refugee status, refugee procedure is not considered as a period of residence/activity in the country of the beneficiary university.

11. Do I need to speak English and have a proper certificate?

If not English native speakers or have not obtained a Master's degree in English, the applicant for the MSCA fellowships, must provide one of the following titles attesting the knowledge of the English language: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, ESOL or B1. Please note that the eligibility for the Ku Leuven position requires TOEFL or IELTS.

12. How is the application procedure and what documents I need to upload?

Applications must be submitted online by 1 p.m. (Italian time) of the 15th May 2019. To apply, the applicant must: 

1. Visit Studenti Online;

2. Enter the data required for registration. Each applicant will be provided of the name.surname@unibo.it email account. Please, note that information concerning the admission procedure shall be exclusively sent to applicants using the above account. The same account must be used by PhD applicants to communicate with the University of Bologna administrative offices. In order to protect the privacy of the applicants, the University offices will not be able to answer questions sent by e-ail addresses other than the institutional one nome.cognome@studio.unibo.it

3. Select "Entrance exams or requirements check”. Then select “PhD Programme”;

4. Chose the PhD Programme in “Law, Science and Technology”;

5. Fill in the online application form, entering the required data; 

6. Upload the following documents (use pdf format, please):

a. Scanned copy of a valid ID (with photo);

b. Curriculum vitae;

c. Documents attesting that the applicant holds both the necessary first and second level degrees. Please, note that the above documents must provide the following information: (i) University that has awarded the degree, (ii) Type of the degree awarded, whether second level master degree/single cycle' second-level degrees/pre-reform degree; (iii) Denomination of the degree awarded; (iv) “Classe di laurea” (only for degrees awarded in Italy); (v) Date in which the degree has been awarded; (vi) Final mark; (vii) Academic transcript of records, including the full list of the exams taken and the related marks. Please also indicate the related CFU or ECTS (if so provided by the education system of the Country in which the qualification has been awarded).

7. Upload additional documents, where requested (see #15);

8. Having completed the application on Studenti Online, the status of the application will be “Application filled in: You can submit the application”;

9. After having filled in the application form and having attached the requested documents, select "SUBMIT”. Please note that applications which will be not submitted by the expiry of the Call will be rejected. After the application has been submitted, the request status will be “Application submitted: Your application has been successfully submitted”.

13. Are there specific requirements for the document attesting the first and second level degree?

 As to the supporting documents referred to in para 6 lett c) aimed at attesting that the applicant holds both the first and second level master’s degrees required, please note that:

  • applicants granted of the above academic degrees by Italian public Universities must submit a self-certification, duly filled and signed, attesting the completion of their studies (both the first and second level degree). Applicants who obtained their qualification at the University of Bologna can retrieve and attach the above self-certification directly on Studenti Online. It is recalled that, according to the relevant legislation into force, the University must reject certifications issued by other Italian public administrations. Therefore, academic qualifications held by the applicants must be attested using self-certification if awarded by Italian public universities; 
  • applicants awarded of the above academic degrees by foreign Universities in extra-EU countries must submit a certificate attesting the completion of their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (i.e. first and second level degree) and the transcript of records;
  • applicants holding a degree awarded in other EU Member States or by an Italian private university can submit either certificates or self-certifications. The Diploma Supplement can be also submitted as an alternative to the certificate. For further information about the Diploma Supplement, please see or http://www.miur.it/UserFiles/2419.pdf. 

In case of documents drawn up in languages other than Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, the official translation in Italian/English of both the documents is required. Only official translations issued by the University which has awarded the degree or by other competent authorities in the State in which the qualification has been awarded shall be accepted. 

14. If I am an undergraduate who has not yet obtained the second level degree?

Undergraduate applicants, lacking the academic requirements set by art. 2 at the time of the expiry of the present Call, may replace the certification relating to the second level master’s degree referred to in para 6 lett. c) with the transcript of records. The latter must include the full list of the exams taken and the related marks. Please note that the transcript of record must further include the Weighted Average Mark (WAM). The latter can be estimated as follow. For each completed unit of study:

  • multiply the marks obtained by the number of credit points (please, note that "30 with honours" must be considered as 30);
  • adding all the products obtained;
  • divide the result by the total of the credit points;
  • multiply the average obtained by 110 and divide by 30, thus obtaining the vote in hundred and tenths.

Graduates having received their qualification at non-Italian Universities and undergraduate applicants enrolled at non-Italian Universities are not required to indicate WAM.

15. What additional document do I have to submit with the application?

For applying in the PhD programme MSCA-ITN-EJD LAST-JD RIoE (Law, Science and Technology), you need to upload also the following documents: 

  • Abstract of the second cycle master’s degree thesis. Undergraduate applicants may submit the draft of the thesis approved by their supervisor (please, note that abstracts cannot exceed 5.000 characters, including spaces and formula possibly used. The above figure does not include: the title of thesis, the outline, and images such as graphs, diagrams, tables etc. - where present); 
  • No more than 2 reference letters signed by Italian and international academics and professionals in the research field, which do not form part of the Admission Board, attesting the suitability of the applicant and his/her interest for the scientific research. 
  • Minimum 1, maximum 3 multi-annual research projects, with special emphasis on the activities to be completed during the first-year course. 
  • Motivational letter with the reasons prompting the applicant to attend the PhD Programme and those relevant experiences and research interests, that make the applicant suitable for the specific PhD Programme (3000 characters maximum, including spaces).
  • List of the publications (monographs, articles published on scientific journals).
  • List of the minor publications (conference papers, volume’s chapters, etc.
  • Professional Master courses completed in Italy (1st or 2nd level), relevant to the PhD Programme
  • Postgraduate vocational training programmes/specialisation programmes relevant to the PhD Programme.
  • Summary of the thesis defended within the framework of Specialization Schools Programme (5000 characters maximum, including spaces).
  • Teaching activity carried out at university level.
  • Research activity of any kind - whether basic, applied, translational, etc., carried out in any capacity, including when covered by research grants, and as a staff member of research projects. 
  • Work activity
  • Vocational internships
  • Curricular and non-curricular training and guidance internships.
  • Title attesting the knowledge of the English language: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, ESOL or B1.
  • Study periods completed by students outside their countries of origin (e.g. Erasmus programme or other similar mobility programmes).
  • Other qualifications attesting the suitability of the applicants (scholarships, prizes, etc.)

16. What are the research topics? Do I have to choose only one topic to apply?

The Research topics of the PhD Programme are listed on the “PhD programme table”. Applicants of the MSCA-ITN-EJD-LAST-JD RIoE can chose minimum 1, maximum 3 different topics under which write his/her research project proposals. Applicants must indicate the chosen research topic on the cover page of the research projects.

Taking into account the preferences expressed by the applicants and with due consideration of the applicants’ skills and expertise, the Admission Board will establish if the applicants can be considered eligible for the allocation of the positions linked to specific topics. Should the chosen candidate not accept, the offer will be made to the second on the list and so on until the position is filled.

Should available positions remain vacant, eligible applicants from the general ranking list may be contacted. The remaining available positions shall be awarded from the top of the ranking list downward, in compliance with the eligibility requirements for MSCA research grants.

17. How the research project proposals should be written?

The research project must meet the following requirements:  

  • It must indicate in the cover page the research topic covered by the research project proposal and for which the applicant is applying (each research project must focus on a single research topic. Projects without the indication of the research topic in the cover page will be assigned zero points);  
  • It cannot exceed 3.600 characters, including spaces and formula possibly used. This limitation of characters does not include: the title of project, the outline, references and images (such as graphs, diagrams, tables etc.- where present);  
  • It must include: the state of the art; description of the project; expected results; lead-time for implementation; (proposed) criteria to be used to assess the findings obtained; references. 

The research projects that successful applicants shall carry out during their doctoral career may possibly differ from the project proposed at the application stage. This shall be defined together with the supervisor and approved by the Academic Board in due time.

18. What about the reference letters?

The reference letters cannot be uploaded by applicants. When filling the online application form on http://studenti.unibo.it, applicants will be only allowed to provide the email accounts of the requested academic/professional. The latter shall receive an email from the University of Bologna providing for the instructions for uploading. Only letters in .pdf format submitted before the deadline of the Call shall be accepted.

19. What languages are admitted for the documents to be provided?

Only qualifications attested by documents drawn up in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish shall be considered as valid and assessed by the Admission Board.

20. How is the selection process and what are the assessment criteria?

The examination is structured in two steps: qualifications and research project evaluation and an oral examination. The assessment criteria are described on the PhD programme table, which form an integral part of the Call for applications and is available here.

The Admission Board can establish evaluation sub-criteria even after the expiry date of the Call. Nevertheless, such sub-criteria must be provided before the PhD Unit makes available to the Admission Boards the list of the applicants to be considered for to the selection stage. Possible sub-criteria will be published on the University website in the page describing the PhD Programme (select “PhD Programme Information” and click on “NOTICES” at the bottom of the page). 

The assessment of qualifications/research project will be non-presential.

Oral exams shall be held at the time and place explicitly indicated in the PhD Programme Table. 

The presence of the applicants is required. Applicants shall be required to show their valid ID. When filling in the application form, applicants can ask to take the oral exam remotely using Skype. A valid Skype contact must be indicated (please indicate the Skype ID. Do not provide the Skype contact name). Requests to take the oral exam remotely submitted after the submission of the application must be sent no later than the day before the date of publication of the results of the exam determining the admission to the oral exam. These requests must be sent to monica.palmirani@unibo.it, copying the PhD Unit udottricerca@unibo.it and attaching the scanned copy of a valid ID (front and back), exclusively sent using the e-mail account name.surname@studio.unibo.it 

The schedule of the oral exams to be conducted remotely will be available on Studenti Online together with the results of the previous evaluations that allow the admission to the oral exam. Using the Skype ID specified in the application procedure, applicants admitted to the oral exam to be conducted remotely must be on call for three hours from the time indicated in the remote exam schedule. Applicants who fail to be reachable during the above period for three times will be considered absent. 

The oral exams, including those conducted remotely, are public. 

The results of the entrance exams will be available on Studenti Online, using the name.surname@studio.unibo.it account and password. 

21. How and when I can view the final results?

The results of the qualifications and research project evaluation shall be available online starting from the 14/06/2019 at the page http://studenti.unibo.it (please, select “summary of the requests in progress” - “see detail” and open the pdf file “risultati valutazione titoli e progetto”). 

The results of the oral examination shall be available at the webpage http://studenti.unibo.it starting from 27/06/2019 (please, select “summary of the requests in progress” - “see detail” and open the pdf file “risultati prova orale”). 


22. If I am selected what I have to do after receiving the final results?

The selected candidates have to enroll in the Univeristy of Bologna, following the instructions which will arrive by email from the PhD office. The selected candidates will also be contacted by the beneficary in which they will be recruited, for enrollment at the beneficairy University and for the information regarding the recruitment. 

The selected candidates will be employ with a fulltime contract. 

23. How is the salary and the working conditions?

The salary follows the Marie Curie-Skłodowska ITN funding Scheme and it’s different depending on the country of the Beneficiary. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The exact salary will be confirmed after the selection and during the hiring process. The salary consists of:

  • a monthly living allowance, this amount is different depending on the beneficiary?s country;
  • a monthly mobility allowance, 600 euro/month; 
  • monthly.family allowance, 500 euro/month depending on the family situation.

It must be noted that the abovementioned allowances are a gross EU contribution to the salary costs of the researcher. Consequently, the net salary results from deducting all compulsory (employer/employee) social security contributions as well as direct taxes (e.g. income tax) from the gross amounts. 

24. Under MSCA -ITN, how is the family status taken into account during the recruitment and is it possible to modify it in the course of the project (e.g. if a researcher has a child)?

Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage , or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country or region where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher. This means children for which the researcher is under a legal obligation under national law to support them. The family status of the individual ESR is determined at the time of their first recruitment in the project and does not change during the lifetime of the project.

25. What is the definition of the date of recruitment?


The term ‘Date of recruitment’ normally means the first day of employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract/equivalent direct contract). For LAST-JD RIoE the first day of employment is 1/11/2019.


What is the career development plan?


A career development plan will be prepared for each fellow in accordance with his/her supervisor and will include training, planned secondments and outreach activities in partner laboratories of the network. The ESR fellows are supposed to complete their PhD thesis by the end of the 3rd year of their employment. For more information please visit the Marie Curie-Skłodowska website.