PhD program in

Management of Digital Transformation (MDT)


the program 

The IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca

MDT is an international PhD program hosted by the IMT School, one of the seven Schools of Excellence in Italy, and one of the highest-rated graduate schools in Europe, according to the most recent U-Multirank survey. The IMT School provides rigorous training and close supervision in a variety of disciplines such as engineering, informatics, economics, social sciences and humanities, welcoming multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches.

The IMT School is a truly international environment with students from all around the world. The School has a record of students' placement in top research universities, policy-making institutions, and companies. English is the official language of the School. 

The PhD program in Management of Digital Transformation

The digital transformation implies profound and highly complex changes of a technological, organisational, managerial and economic nature in all sectors of society. It is crucial for the modernization of all sectors of the Public Administration and for increasing the competitiveness of the enterprises, especially SMEs which constitute the beating heart of the Italian economy. The ability to govern these changes is essential to exploit the opportunities made available by digital innovation by mastering the potential associated risks.

The objective of the PhD programdoctoral MDT is to train a new executive class to respond to the need for managing digital transition processes, drawing inspiration from and responding to the needs outlined in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to bring together companies and research institutions. In this context, the doctoral scholarships offered are all related to a training and research project proposed by the company or institution that co-finances the position and chosen by the IMT School as it represents a challenging case study of high impact for digital transformation.

The doctoral project is therefore developed through a unique and markedly interdisciplinary training program which, by enhancing the wide range of competencies of the IMT School's Faculty, provides integrated core skills on innovation and enabling digital technologies for Enterprise 4.0, complemented by courses that allow deepening the specific skills required by the project of high scientific qualification, in line with the curricular profile and the motivations of the PhD student.

MDT proposes an interdisciplinary training program dedicated to the themes of digital transformation addressed from a cultural, economic, social, engineering, IT, legal, managerial, neuroscientific and psychological point of view, to face the challenges of digital transformation in the following four major areas:

Research projects

The PhD student will focus on the topic of implementing personalized medicine (PM) solutions in the clinical setting.

Company: ROCHE

The PhD student will concentrate their activities on the transformation of healthcare governance for better managing cancer patients in all phases: primary prevention, treatment, follow-up, and secondary prevention.

Company: Toscana Life Sciences

The PhD student will focus on activities for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to collaborative networks between people.

Company: ENI S.p.A.

The PhD student will focus their activities on the mechanics of materials for the hydrogen supply chain.

Company: Ne.m.e.sys S.R.L.

A detailed description of each research project and the profiles sought can be found here.

Additional projects can be added to the open call or with new calls, provided that the recruitment is finalized by the end of 2023. The Selection Committee will identify the research projects that best suit the skills and interests of the admitted candidates. 

Scholarships and funding

Different types of doctoral scholarships, all focusing on projects relevant to digital transformation, will be available, depending on the funding source:

All the recruited PhD candidates will receive full funding, which corresponds to a tax-free scholarship of €16,243/year for three years (€1,353.58/month, which includes pension contributions and results in a net salary of 1,195.48/month). The scholarship is increased by 50% for the duration of the research period abroad. All students receive financial support for attending international academic conferences, summer/winter schools and other networking activities.

Accommodation, facilities and other benefits

All students are granted a desk and unrestricted access to the IMT campus, as outlined in the Campus Life page.

The campus, which is entirely accessible, is fully equipped with a variety of amenities, including areas for relaxation and socializing, coffee corners, a dedicated Turkish bath, a fitness spot, a leisure room featuring several entertainment facilities (such as foosball and ping pong tables, PlayStation consoles, and board games), kitchenettes equipped with a cooker, microwave, and dishwasher, and laundry rooms.

All students are provided with hotel-like shared double rooms, which are serviced regularly for 3 years.
Additionally, all students have complimentary lunch and dinner every day of the year at the canteen located on the IMT campus for 3 years.

Industrial/institutional internships and visiting periods abroad

For doctoral scholarships pursuant to MUR Ministerial Decree 117/2023, the doctoral student is required to carry out research activities at the company for a minimum period of 6 months to a maximum of 18 months, even non-continuous, over the three-year period. Visiting periods abroad are mandatory, even non-continuous, from a minimum of 6 months up to 12 months, over the three-year period.

For doctoral scholarships pursuant to MUR Ministerial Decree 118/2023, the doctoral student is required to carry out study and research activities in companies or research centers for a minimum period of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months, even non-continuous, over the three-year period. Visiting periods abroad are mandatory, even non-continuous, from a minimum of 6 months up to 12 months, over the three-year period.

For doctoral scholarships supported by the "Economic and Digital Resilience" (RED) Project of the Department of Excellence 2023-27 of IMT Lucca, a research activity abroad, in companies or research institutions, for a period of between 3 and 6 months, is highly recommended.

See each individual project's description for more specifics.

Incoming students profiles

Italian degree: "Laurea Magistrale" or "Specialistica" (according to DM no. 509, of November 3, 1999), or a four- or five-year degree (according to the previous rules of the Italian higher education system) obtained in Italy.

Foreign degree: with a minimum duration equivalent to 4 years (full-time). The 4-year duration should be considered a minimum, but it is not a sufficient requirement: the Selection Committees will assess the eligibility of degrees. 

Each research project lists the individual competencies sought. The School promotes equal opportunities.

Outgoing students profiles

In the report "The Future of the Jobs" presented at the World Economic Forum 2016, it emerged that, in the coming years, technological and demographic factors would profoundly influence the evolution of the labor market. With the advent of enabling digital technologies, the skills and abilities sought will change. To date, companies and public institutions are encountering increasing difficulties in identifying, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the skills necessary for digital transformation

Career opportunities comprise the academic field in different scientific disciplinary sectors, including engineering, informatics, and economics, as well as technical-scientific and managerial roles in public and private companies or institutions. The partnership with leading companies and public institutions in their respective sectors will provide an additional advantage to PhD students in terms of placement.

What MDT offers

The structure of the PhD programme and the courses

Requirements and application process

Professors and researchers teaching and supervising students

Enrolled students and their projects

Facilities, services and activities