I am an early career scientist that want to pursue an academic career in Italy.

I am familiar with the usual track of an academic in Italy: Phd, "assegno di ricerca", "RTDA", "RTDB", "Professore Associato", "Professore Ordinario". I know that open calls for such positions are published by university website and on the webpage of the Ministry of Education, University and Research.

From several conversations with researchers and professors across different fields I have been told repeatedly that the majority of such calls are not open calls but most of the times are calls explicitly designed for an internal member of the department. So unless extraordinary circumstances happens no applicants from an external institution will be awarded the promoted position (they are in fact just published because the law requires so). Furthermore I also have been told from some of these professors that mobility between universities is rare because it it more convenient financially to promote an internal member of the department rather than hire somebody external. Being myself currently not associated with an Italian University I have no way to make the department open a position for me.

My question is then: Which is the best way to purse an academic career in Italy if you are not currently affiliated with an Italian University? More specifically, is what I have been told generally true? If yes, how is better to approach a department in order to try pursue a career there (I already have a Phd)? How can I select a university that might have sufficient funds in the future to sustain a career (assuming that mobility is as hard as I have been told)? Are other ways possible?

  • 3
    I don't have first-hand knowledge, but my understanding is that you have to network - get to know senior academics in your field in Italian universities. If they like you and your work, they might write a call for you. Sep 13 '21 at 18:09
  • Do you know fuga dei cervelli? It is actually that cervelli are forced not only to do the fuga, but never return.
    – Alchimista
    Sep 14 '21 at 10:26

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