Sapienza - Università di Roma
 Computer Science Department

PhD School

Borromini's Lantern (Saint Ivo at La Sapienza)
Kafka Castle

How to apply

Basic Documents:

Fellowships 2017-2018

The PhD program in Computer Science 2017-2018 starts on November 1st, 2017. This year, we award six research fellowships to the best applicants.
Other opportunities of funding, for a total of at least other 3 positions, may be offered from faculty of our Department of Computer Science to applicants with higher rank in the final ranking. Private companies the department is in touch with, might be interested in funding a PhD candidate under a combined university-industry PhD program (the so called "Apprendistato di alta formazione e ricerca"). After the selection, potential applicants will be informed about these opportunities.
We particularly welcome applications from International students and from students coming from other Italian Universities. The programme is research intensive; advanced PhD level courses (see syllabus section of this web site) are offered in English.

Final rankings for PhD admission

Final ranking of regular applicants

Marks received by short-listed candidates in the oral exam:

Rank Lastname Firstname Points
1 Piva Mauro 106/120
2 Faticanti Francescomaria 101/120
3 Saturni Gabriele 100/120
4 Scozzafava Federico 96/120
5 Arrigoni Viviana 95/120
6 Friolo Daniele 94/120
7 Salierno Giulio 93/120
8 Pasquini Dario 92/120
9 D'orsi Tommaso 91/120
10 Calvanese Strinati Adriano 84/120
11 Modras Michal 80/120

All above candidates have been admitted to the PhD program provided they complete formal administrative procedures. The first six will be contacted by central offices and be offered a Sapienza scholarship. Other admitted candidates are encouraged to contact the PhD coordinator for additional opportunities.

Final ranking of article 5 applicants

Rank Firstname Lastname Points
1 Zhuri Nertil 80/120
- Javanmardi Saeed Not admitted
- Zanaj Eljona Not admitted

The application procedure: Step by step

The application procedure consists of several steps. Please follow the procedure carefully. Candidates who wish to apply for a doctoral position are requested to follow this procedure.

Important dates:

  • July 31st, 2017 deadline for Infostud registration, application submission, and fee payment. (details on step 1 - here below)
  • July 31st, 2017 deadline for submission of documents specified in step 2 here below.

Step 1

Apply to the university central office by following the application procedure specified in the call for applicants available in Italian and English (ART. 3 – APPLICATIONS). Please note: application deadline is July 31st, 2017. In particular, fill and confirm on-line the application form at website:
Don't forget to pay the registration tax. Information on the steps to follow can be found here.

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PERFORM THESE FORMAL STEPS. If you perform the needed steps some days in advance you can have our support in case of problems and you can check with the support of the PhD coordinator that all steps have been performed successfully and your application will not be rejected by central offices do to some formal mistakes. In addition to the list of documents to be sent to the evaluation committee (step 2 below) don’t forget to send to central offices requested documents highlighted in the call for applicants.

Step 2

Submit the following documents written in English or in Italian in a single mail to the coordinator of PhD studies, email address:, (email subject: “First name and last name; Admission PhD 2017-18”):

  1. ID: A photocopy of the applicant’s identity card or passport.
  2. MS-CERT: Certificate (or "autocertificazione" according to L. 183/2011 and DPR 445/200 in case of Italian degree) of master or other academic degree of at least 4 years attended with the final grades obtained.
    For foreign students, academic curriculum certificate with the declaration of validity (“dichiarazione di valore”) of the foreign degree issued by the competent Italian diplomatic representative in the Country where the academic qualification has been achieved. (We are aware that the bureaucratic process of getting the "dichiarazione di valore" can be long and that the document may not be available before July 31st. In case, just add a statement in your application that you will send the document as soon as you get it from the Italian Embassy or Consulate).
  3. TRANSCR: Academic transcripts (detailed exams, grades, completion dates, graduation date and score).
  4. CV: Curriculum vitae.
  5. MSTh-SUM: A summary (at most 3 pages) of the candidate's most recent activity in the field of computer science: typically, this will be a summary of the master's thesis. The candidate should address motivations, methodology, obtained results, original and innovative aspects of her work.
  6. RES-STAT: A statement of research interests (at most 3 pages): this should explain the research topics that the candidate is interested in and also address the candidate's personal motivations for applying to the PhD Programme.
  7. PUBB: List and copies of scientific publications, if any.
  8. At most two letters of recommendation supporting the candidate. (to be sent separately by the reviewers by email to
  9. GRE: If available, Graduate Record Examinations scores (GRE Computer Science subject test) or Personal Potential Index scores. Note that our department is a GRE Designated Institution (DI). In particular, DI Code 8299 is assigned to Sapienza University Rome - Dipartimento Informatica. Please use this code number when indicating our institution as GRE score report recipient.
  10. HON: Any other honors, awards, or qualifications, appropriately certified.

It is remarked that candidates are requested to present **both undergraduate and graduate** transcripts.

Deadlines for applying

Items 1-10 can be sent by email to (transcripts can be scanned). This information (Items 1-10) must reach us by July 31st, 2017 and be written in English or Italian. The maximum email size (text + documents) is 10MB (Megabytes). Larger email will be automatically discarded.
Recommendation letters must be sent by the recommenders by email to specifying as subject: “Letter for [Applicant’s Name]”. Letters should be written on formal departmental paper clearly indicating the affiliation and the contact information of the writer. Letters written along different standards are not considered.

Coordinator's mail address:

Prof. Chiara Petrioli
Dipartimento di Informatica, Sapienza Università di Roma
Via Salaria 113 (terzo piano, stanza 311)
I-00169 Roma, Italy

According to art. 2 of the Call, applications are also accepted from students who expect to complete their degree by October 31st, 2017. They need to present, along with their application, a statement by their thesis supervisor declaring that he/she will complete his/her degree by the aforementioned date. This declaration replaces attachment 2 of the list above.

Selection Procedure, general rules


A mandatory admission requirement is to have a Master's degree by October 30th, 2017. The degree must be issued by an institution recognized as having degree granting authority and must be officially translated in Italian or English.

Selection process

Admission decisions are made by a faculty Selection Committee. The selection procedure includes two phases:

  1. evaluation of qualifications (academic titles, research project, reference letters);
  2. interview.
In the first phase a ranking of applicants is made based on a composite of information which include academic performance, letters from referees, relevant professional activities, proposed research statements, correspondence between research interests and available faculty (research areas in the department at Each applicant will receive a score between 0 and 60 (published online at Only applicants with a score of at least 40/60 successfully pass the first phase, short-listed, admitted to the second phase and invited for an interview.
The short-list is announced by September 5th, 2017 at web site: Notification is considered as delivered through the announcement of the list. The successful applicants will receive no personal communications of their results.
The interview, in Italian or English, is aimed to assess candidates background, skills, and potential to carry on research in the scientific areas of the PhD Programme. During the interview, the Selection Committee:
  • will ask to discuss the research statement and the personal motivations for applying to the PhD Programme;
  • will verify the background in computer science;
  • will test problem solving abilities of the candidate;
  • will conduct an in-depth discussion of the qualifications of the candidate.
The interviews will take place on September 11th, 2017, 09:30AM, Seminar Room, third floor, via Salaria 113, 00198 Rome. Upon motivated requests sent to the PhD Coordinator, interviews of students can be done remotely using video-conferencing facilities.

The Selection Committee assigns a score for the second phase of up to 60 points. A score of at least 40 is required for admission.

Only applicants with a total score of at least 80/120 can be admitted to the CS graduate program.

After the conclusion of the interviews, the Selection Committee will publish at web site the final ranking, the list of candidates admitted to the PhD Programme, and the assignment of the PhD grants on the basis of assigned scores. Details on the evaluation procedure are provided below.

Evaluation guidelines for the first phase

Scoring of each applicant is made by assigning points on the following basis:

  1. CV (at most 15):
    1. Final mark in the Master degree (at most 6 points)
      • Final mark in other degrees (Bachelor degree) (at most 3 points)
      • Average mark of single exams both in the Bachelor and Master degree and overall completion time of both Bachelor and Master degree (at most 3 points)

      For applicants defending their Master thesis after the first phase (but mandatory before October 30th, 2017) the final score evaluation (at most 6 points) is replaced by an evaluation of the average mark obtained globally together with an evaluation of the final mark obtained in the Bachelor degree.
    2. Publications (at most 3 points)

      Description Points
      At least a publication on the Conference Proceedings of a Conference included among Class 1 conferences in the Italian CS conference rankings.
      Or, at least a publication on a journal indexed in ISI/SCOPUS in the List of top journals provided below at the end of this page.
      At least a publication on the Conference Proceedings of a Conference included among Class 2 conferences in the Italian CS conference rankings.
      Or, at least a publication on a journal indexed in ISI/SCOPUS in the field of computer science, in the first two quartiles based on the SNIP or SJR metrics (certification must be provided by the applicant).
      At least a publication indexed in ISI/SCOPUS not included in previous cases. 1

    3. Awards, professional and research activities (at most 4 points):
      • Working or research experience in prestigious international research or academic institutions (at most 2,5 points);
      • Awards and prizes for activities compatible with the CS graduate program (at most 1 point);
      • Participation to advanced training on topics related with the CS graduate program (at most  0,5 points).
    4. Recommendation Letters (at most 2 points):
      Each applicant can ask to referees to send a letter on his behalf. No more than two recommendation letters are admitted for each applicant. Each letter will receive at most 1 point on the basis of the evaluation of the applicant expressed in the letter and of the international reputation of the referee.
  2. Research statement + Master Thesis resume (at most 45 points):
    Each applicant submits a research statement and a resume of the Master Thesis.  The overall length cannot be more than 3 pages for each of them.  The committee will use the research statement to evaluate applicant’s potentiality to carry on a research project and her/his adequacy to implement and meet the goals of different stages of a research project.  The research field later followed during the graduate program might be in a different research area or topics.
    Evaluation is on the following basis:

    Research statement

    • State of the art of the proposed research area, potential, originality and effectiveness of the research technical approach (at most 10 points);
    • Clarity and completeness of the description of project goals, research methodologies and expected results (at most 5 points);
    • Pertinence of the project with the educational research goals of the graduate program (at most 5 points).

    Resume of Master Thesis

    • Knowledge of the state of the art of the area (at most 5 points);
    • Novelty of thesis results and technical depth of the proposed approach (at most 15 points);
    • Clarity and completeness of the description of goals, research methodologies and obtained results (at most 5 points).

Evaluation guidelines for the second phase (at most 60 points)

In the second phase, each admitted applicant is interviewed by the CS PhD Selection Committee. The interview will cover topics related with applicant’s CV, research statement, Master thesis results, as well as basic knowledge in CS topics. On the basis of their performance in the interview, applicants will receive a score between 0 and 60. Only applicants with a mark of at least 40/60 successfully pass also the second phase.

List of class 1 conferences

To see the top conferences, go to and search with class 1.

List of class 2 conferences

To see the second tier of conferences, go to and search with class 2.

List of top journals

This list has been identified by faculty based on journals consistently at the top of the ranking (SNIP and SJR metrics) according to the criteria used to evaluate research products in the last Italian research evaluation exercises. The list includes all IEEE and ACM Transactions and the following journals:
  • Ad Hoc Networks
  • Applied Soft Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Autonomous Agents And Multi-Agent Systems
  • Autonomous Robots
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Vision And Image Understanding
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Constraints
  • Data Mining And Knowledge Discovery
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Empirical Software Engineering
  • Future Generation Computer Systems
  • Fuzzy Optimization And Decision Making
  • Fuzzy Sets And Systems
  • Information And Software Technology
  • Information Fusion
  • Information Sciences
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems Journal
  • International Journal Of Approximate Reasoning
  • International Journal Of Computer Vision
  • International Journal Of Robotics Research
  • Journal Of Combinatorial Theory, Series B
  • Journal Of Computer And System Sciences
  • Journal Of Cryptology
  • Journal Of Machine Learning Research
  • Journal Of Mathematical Imaging And Vision
  • Journal Of The ACM
  • Journal Of Web Semantics
  • Knowledge And Information Systems
  • Knowledge-Based Systems
  • Library And Information Science Research
  • Machine Learning
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Robotics And Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
  • Siam Journal On Computing
  • Siam Journal On Optimization
  • Swarm Intelligence
  • The Journal Of Artificial Intelligence Research
  • The Vldb Journal
  • User Modeling And User-Adapted Interaction