Founded in 1978, SISSA is a leading institute for research and postgraduate training on the national and international stage. It is one of the six schools of excellence in Italy and part of the Scientific System of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The School was initially active in the so-called "hard sciences", before expanding its range of activities to comprise new fields such as Neuroscience, Structural-Functional Genomics, Data Science and Science Communication. Research and training activities are grouped within three main areas: Physics, Mathematics and Neuroscience. Moreover, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Advanced Studies works at the interface between science, humanities and the public.

The aim of the School is to promote the development of scientific research and intellectual culture, all the while preparing young graduate students for advanced research, both pure and applied. The majority of SISSA’s graduates proceed to university teaching and research careers.

The School was actually the first institute in Italy to offer post-graduate studies culminating in a PhD degree. It also offers professional Master's courses at the highest level and some curricula of MSc (Laurea Magistrale) in collaboration with other Universities.

The high quality of the research is confirmed by the fact that, within the competitive field of European funding schemes, SISSA holds the top position among Italian scientific institutes when measured by the number of research grants (ERC) obtained in proportion to the number of investigators.

Besides its traditional pillars (Higher education and Research), in the recent years SISSA has been constantly working to promote new activities and initiatives focused on fostering the societal and economic development of the local Territory.

344 enrolled students (of which 291 PhD), 167 researchers, 71 teaching staff, 119 technical administrative staff
Other facts and figures: 

Project Funding (2017-2020): 24.343.312,10 Euro

N° EU Projects (2017-2020): 

  • H2020: 23 (of which 7 ERC and 9 MARIE CURIE)
  • Others international: 19
  • International cooperation: 12

Research Outputs (2020): 

- 14 patents active on 31.12.2020
- 8 startup/spinoff on 31.12.2020
- 550 articles, conference papers, 5 books, more than 500 preprint

N° of scientific meetings&public events (2020): 
11 conferences (online, in presence and hybrid)
88 seminars and 51 webinar (surely online)
2 workshops
1 Festival on art and science 
1 Book presentation


Sqm: Via Bonomea (headquarters), Sqm. 6.686 garage, Sqm. 100.000 outdoor, Sqm. 24.261 indoor. Via Beirut (branch offices) Sqm. 2.446 garage, Sqm. 2.520 outdoor, Sqm. 7.779 indoor

N° of Laboratories: 11  (in Via Bonomea)

Research Infrastructures: 1 Via Beirut Headquarter -ULYSSES, HPC cluster

N° of libraries and study rooms: Via Bonomea 1 library, 15 study rooms. Via Beirut 4 study rooms

Canteen / Coffe bar: Via Bonomea 1 canteen and 1 coffee bar

N° of conference hall: 2 (1 in Via Bonomea and 1 in Via Beirut)

Other facilities: Via Bonomea 1 Kindergarten, 1 gym, 1 shuttle service (from/to ICTP), 1 ATM, 1 Student Club (SISSA CLUB), 1 Alumni Association

Fellowships, PhD Courses, Master, Summer School, etc.: 

The School offers 11 PhD courses in Physics, Mathematics and Neuroscience, which represent the core of its training activity and cover the three main research areas. Since its founding, SISSA has trained more than 1,545 PhD students, 30% of whom arrive from abroad. All doctoral courses and research projects are coordinated by scientists of international prestige and all teaching activities are carried out in the English language.

The School also organizes two professional Master’s courses: the Master in Science Communication “Franco Prattico” (MCS) and, in collaboration with the ICTP, the Master in High Performance Computing (MHPC).

The School also offers pre and postdoctoral research fellowships in an international environment that nurtures study and research. Moreover, in 2020 SISSA awarded two data journalism fellowships aimed at the creation of a data driven investigation on the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.

SISSA carries on 5 joint projects with universities:

  • collaboration with the University of Trieste - Department of Mathematics and Geosciences focused on a Common Educational programme within the Master's Degree in Mathematics;
  • an agreement with University of Trieste, University of Udine and the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) focused on an inter-university Master's Degree in "Data Science and Scientific Computing";
  • collaboration agreement with University of Trieste and University of Udine for an advanced training programme aiming at providing a quick access to PhD within the Inter-university Master's Degree in Physics;
  • joint training course with the University of Trento in the field of Master's Degrees in Physics and in Neurosciences;
  • collaboration with Politecnico di Torino for the organization of the International Master in Physics of Complex Systems.

In 2020 the School also organised a series of online mini courses in collaboration with the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) “GSSI-SISSA joint courses: Mathematical Methods in Field Theory and Quantum Mechanics”.

Science Diplomacy Programme: 

SISSA is a signatory of the “MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING on joint initiatives aimed at supporting refugee and asylum seekers and scientists” together with other important scientific Institutions in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Branch Offices (Regional, National, International): 

Via Beirut, 2, 34151 Grignano TS

Information for international researchers and students: 

The scientific development of the students is favoured by their participation in important scientific events, such as seminars and workshops, and by the daily contact with high-level researchers coming from all over the world. In fact, thanks to the collaborations with the numerous and highly qualified scientific institutions and prestigious universities worldwide, those who come to SISSA find themselves at the heart of an international scientific community.

The School provide support to international students and researchers with pre-arrival and on-site procedures (visa, permit of stay, etc). Moreover, researchers can benefit from the SISSA housing service managed by Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia, available for all kinds of practical support, from language assistance to tenancy agreements.

SISSA also provides grants for accommodation and National Health Service registration and offers financial support to foreign PhD students to visit their home countries.

International Partnerships: 

SISSA’s international strategy focuses on the strengthening of external collaboration and relies on a consolidated network of universities, research organizations in other countries.

The School has about 100 active International Scientific Agreements with foreign Universities and research institutes all over the world, including MIT in the United States, Riken in Japan, Sorbonne University in France, Weizmann Intitute in Israel and many others.

International research projects are numerous, with hundreds of foreign scientists visiting SISSA every year to conduct research and lecture. Moreover, mobility programmes offer international experience to students and researchers and create important networks.

SISSA took  part in the foundation of three joint institutes together with other national scientific institutions:

IFPU - Institute for Fundamental Physics of Universe. Joint initiative between SISSA, ICTP, INAF and INFN

IGAP - Institute for Geometry and Physics, a joint initiative between SISSA and ICTP

TQT - Trieste Institute for the Theory of Quantum Technologies, a joint initiative between SISSA, ICTP and the University of Trieste

Contacts and Social Media/Network: 

Director: prof. Stefano Ruffo

SISSA – Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati

Via Bonomea, 265
34136 Trieste ITALY
Tel. (+39) 040 3787111

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Social media / social network: