Doctorates are key to successful research
Investing in graduate studies and especially doctoral programmes is a key step to strengthening national research capacity. Doctorates are key components of any lively research environment, both in the natural and the social sciences. Graduate schools combining several doctoral programmes are ideal instruments to create centers of excellence as they allow Universities to concentrate resources and exploit economies of scale.
Specialized learning and broad perspectives
Many of the most challenging policy questions facing the real world today must be approached from the different perspectives of the main social sciences. Just a few examples:
• designing effective welfare policies requires an understanding of their economic effects, of their multiple impact on society and of the policy environment in which they are planned and implemented;
• successful integration in the world economy requires achieving economic competitiveness, as well as the negotiations of viable policies and the anticipation of likely social problems;
• properly functioning labor markets rely on a mixture of well-designed institutions and adequate economic incentives consistent with the main features of the social and economic environment.
Innovation in scientific theories and methods often stems from "contamination" between different disciplinary perspectives. At the same time, however, each discipline must require its new members to undergo specialized training. An economist, a sociologist and a political scientist need to acquire the advanced tool kit of their particular trade: doctorates are meant to train highly specialized researchers. To make sure that these basic tools are acquired, the first year of each doctorate is based largely on advanced coursework. The GSSPS thus provides an ideal environment to acquire both specialized learning and broad perspectives.
From the A.Y. 2013/2014 the GSSPS hosts three NASP PhD programmes. The cooperation among the Universities of the Network has enriched the doctoral training offered to PhD students with new skills and research fields.
An international program
The world is the working environment of research students. A graduate school needs to be nested in the international research arena. The GSSPS is pursuing this goal in several ways.
The School is open to students from all over the world.
All classes are taught in English by a mixed Italian and international faculty.
The School has several institutional links with foreign universities in the US and Europe, including Boston College, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, the London School of Economics, the Université Catholique de Louvain, the Amsterdam University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard University and others. This network is being presently increased to include other prestigious institutions worldwide. Doctoral students are encouraged to spend their second year or part of their research period in a foreign University.
Dialog with the real world
Training in research must not be devoid from a clear understanding of real world issues. To ensure this goal, the school favors research programmes which are relevant not only from the methodological point of view, but also because they address those challenging questions affecting our economic, political and social life. This real world emphasis is strengthened by creating constant opportunities of dialog between the faculty, the students and practitioners.