Founded in 1978, SISSA is a leading institute for research and postgraduate training on the national and international stage. It is one of the seven 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 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.


Other facts and figures: 

Project Funding:

FP7, Horizon 2020, other international projects, territorial cooperation (2014-2017): € 36.624.590

Personnel (2017):

  • Technical/Admin: 113
  • Researchers: 102
  • PhDs: 302
  • Students: 46
  • Academic personnel: 80

N° EU Projects (2014-2017): 

  • FP7: 29
  • Horizon 2020: 19
  • Other international projects: 23
  • Territorial cooperation: 18

Research Outputs (2017): 

  • N° of scientific production: about 651 publications (2016)
  • N° of patents: 7
  • N° of start-up&spin-off: 3

N° of scientific meetings&public events (only 2017): directly organized 77; co-organized by SISSA 22


SISSA is located in a campus with a park of about 100.000 sqm

N° of Laboratories: 11

Research Infrastructures/Laboratories: there are several Experimental Labs and a High Performance Computer (the second most powerful computing center in Italy, in collaboration with ICTP), the Budinich main Hall within SISSA campus (512 seats) and the main Hall within the ICTP campus (600 seats), and several teaching rooms

Libraries and n° of available publications/journals: SISSA Library counts more than 5,000 titles of journals subscriptions and more than 38,000 books

SISSA's housing service is managed by Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia

Canteen / Coffe bar: 1

Other facilities: Kindergarten: 1; SISSA-Club: 1; shuttle between SISSA and ICTP running on a regular basis from September to June.

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

The School offers twelve PhD courses, which represent the core of its training activity and cover the three main research areas. All doctoral courses and research projects are coordinated by scientists of international prestige.

Since its founding, SISSA has trained more than 1,280 PhD students, 35% of whom arrive from abroad. The School also offers pre and postdoctoral research fellowships in an international environment that nurtures study and research. All teaching activities are carried out in the English language.

The School also organizes two professional Master’s courses: a well-known Master in Science Communication and a Master in High Performance Computing in collaboration with the ICTP.

Information for international students: 

The scientific development of the students is favored 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 has a dedicated office that helps 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.

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 200 active International Scientific Agreements with foreign Universities and research institutes all over the world, including MIT in the United States, Riken in Japan, École Normale Supérieure in France, Wiezmann 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.

Contacts and Social Media/Network: 

Director: prof. Stefano Ruffo

SISSA - International School for Advanced Studies

Via Bonomea, 265

34136 Trieste ITALY

Tel. (+39) 040 3787111


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