The Gran Sasso Science Institute [GSSI] is a new international Ph.D. school and a centre for research and higher education in the fields of natural and social sciences established in L’Aquila, Italy. The GSSI is a project supported by the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development [OECD]. The advice of OECD experts is that the GSSI can give a strong contribution to relaunch the city of L’Aquila as an international centre of scientific excellence, after the earthquake of 6 April 2009.
In 2012, the Italian Government approved the project and assigned to the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics [INFN], the responsibility of GSSI’s organisation, for the first three years of activity. At the end of this three years period, following the evaluation by the Italian agency for the assessment of higher education and research [ANVUR], the School may become permanent, and be established as an independent institute.
The research activity will be organised in the scientific areas of physics, mathematics, computer science and social sciences. The Ph.D. degree will be delivered jointly with prestigious educational institutions such as the post-graduate School for Advanced Studies [SISSA] of Trieste for physics and mathematics, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa for social sciences and the institute for advanced studies Institutions Markets Technologies [IMT] of Lucca for computer sciences. The Ph.D. programme was started during the academic year 2013-2014.
The research and Ph.D. in physics at the GSSI is focused on astroparticle physics, an interdisciplinary and young research field, at the intersection of particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology. It addresses some of the most pressing and fundamental questions in science today: the origin and the evolution of our universe, the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the study of neutrinos and of the ultimate constituents of matter, the search for gravitational waves, the investigation and explanation of the cosmic rays.
The proximity of the GSSI with the Italian national laboratory of Gran Sasso [LNGS], the largest underground laboratory in the world with its wide international community of scientists, offers a very special opportunity of work and collaboration for Ph.D. students and researchers.
Responses to the call for application were beyond the expectation. 552 candidates from 63 countries have applied to take part in the selection for the PhDs. 36 students have been selected and are now in L’Aquila, 10 of them involved in the Astroparticle Physics programme.
More information can be found on the GSSI website.