The PhD programme in Understanding and Managing Extremes (UME) is a 48-month full-time joint doctoral programme between Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS Pavia (University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia) and Università degli Studi di Pavia (University of Pavia). It aims to train graduates and professionals with strong scientific and professional capabilities, aware of the cultural, technical and management contents related to the understanding and management of the extreme situations caused by natural hazards. The key areas of study are:

  • Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (ROSE Curriculum)
    topics include: structural dynamics; engineering seismology; geotechnical behaviour of soils; structural analysis; design of new structures; assessment and retrofitting of existing structures; non-structural element performance; design of innovative structural systems; engineering for the mitigation of seismic risk using advanced numerical modelling, experimental and analysis techniques; quantification of risk using hazard, exposure, vulnerability to estimate economic losses, casualties and loss of functionality to facilitate more informed decisions and increase the resilience of the built environment and society.

  • Hydrometeorological, Geological, Chemical and Environmental Risk (HYRIS Curriculum)
    topics include: basics of physics; fluid mechanics; climatology; environmental monitoring and climate change; issues related to the specialization areas of "soil atmosphere"; "ocean-atmosphere" and “assessment and management of chemical risks” for devising meaningful damage and risk scenario and for identifying efficient risk mitigation strategies.

Some of the key characteristics of the PhD programme include:

  • Exclusive international exposure, broad and interdisciplinary curricula;
  • Unique opportunity to work with highly motivated and skilled students coming from all over the world, guided by highly qualified academics and professionals in the field.

The research activities of the PhD programme are conducted through English. Occasional administrative matters are conducted in Italian for which administration staff can provide assistance. 

The programme has a duration of four years, beginning in October.

Students admitted to the programme are typically awarded a full scholarship. The number of positions available varies from year to year but is usually around ten positions total. Full details are available in the specific call for applications published around December each year.