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How to apply to Italian professorship positions -- a little guide

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Dear Imechanica friends

     in Italy traditionally we were quite unwelcoming to foreigners / italian abroad applying to the Italian positions of Associate or Full Professor, but now things are improving.

I am trying here to describe the system:  

1) there are positions open as phd students, or post-doc, in various sites of the Universities, and there may be also sites collecting these calls, like where also jobs as associate or full professor should be posted.


2) you need to apply for NATIONAL QUALIFICATION alias ASN --- ABILITAZIONE SCIENTIFICA NAZIONALE, either for the rank of Associate or Full Professor.  if you are italian, or you can translate, you can refer to this web site for ASN quick description. Unfortunately the web site is not very simple and many parts are only in italian.   For many foreigners, the site and the procedure could result difficult and burocreatic. However, I guess there are explanations and help-on-line systems.

3) basically if you are italian you certainly have an italian "codice fiscale" (like a tax code) which you can also obtain online.   However, if you are foreigner, you need to have a VISA to apply

so the system permits you to apply to ASN without the "codice fiscale".   You will be asked to give only basic informations and they will provide you a provisional "codice fiscale"!  This is not a problem.


4) You need to show that you have some publication metrics higher than the average rank of the existing italian professors of the appropriate scientific "sector".  A list of these sectors is here.  These thresholds are relatively low considering modern, because they are computed based on ageing population of professors who has not very high metrics, and young productive people, may have no difficulties to reach these thresholds.  These thresholds are updated at each round, but one of the last list of thresholds is here, see   

Then, you are required to have some "titles" like prizes or grants or partecipation to conferences, organization of conferences, and so on.    There are many "scientific sectors" in Italy, and it is already quite difficult to understand in which one you fit in.   If the commission finds that you are not appropriate to the "sector", you may be rejected.   The latter point is actually the most unclear one, because the national committee has quite some freedom, even in the presence of exceptionally qualified candidates, to say they are "outside the sector" of interest.


5) You can refer to the site

where it says that positions must be filled by 2012!  But it is not up to date.  There are many calls for the scientific habilitation, every semester there is one.

In particular, quadrimesetr I and II are closed, but III, IV, and V are open.  Deadlines are 3 june 2022, 4 october 2022, 6 Feb 2023, respectively.

See the deadlines here

III quarter: starting from February 2, 2022 and no later than 00.00 (Italian time) of June 3, 2022;

Fourth quarter: starting from 4 June 2022 and no later than 00.00 (Italian time) on 4 October 2022;

Fifth quarter: starting from 5 October 2022 and no later than 00.00 (Italian time) of 6 February 2023


6) the web site where you need to register first and then apply is mostly in Italian unfortunately, but maybe with google translate...

I hope many foreigners apply, we need top people.    The salaries in Italy are very good, and working conditions are excellent. 

PS  If you are already Associate or Full professor, you may apply for DIRECT CALL, although the web site is again in Italian, you can google translate.   That is a long process.  The university has a BIG advantage that pays only 1/2 your salary, and the rest is given by the central governement.  This is mainly created to recruit top people abroad and give incentives to Universities to call them back to Italy.   It is up to Universities to start the process.  So you need to get in touch with relevant people there.  

PS2 ---- IF YOU ARE WINNER OF THE PRESTIGEOUS ERC GRANTS, THERE IS A BIG INCENTIVE TO RECRUIT YOU IN ITALY BY DIRECT CALLS!  In this case, italian Universities will compete to recruit you directly with positions with tenure.


Please subscribe to the facebook group    to learn about ASN, make questions, and get to know each other with 14500 members.  A group I created in 2012, so now is 10 years old.


PS3.  Feel free to make any questions to me, particularly if you are in the sector of Imechanica, I can answer your questions.   Your sectors may be  09/A3 (mechanical engineering mechanics of materials and machine design) or 09/A2 (mechanics and mechanisms applied to machines).   


Mike Ciavarella

Politecnico di BARI

mciava @ 


Mike Ciavarella's picture

There are various levels of academic career in Italy, maybe it is useful to explain:

1) various type of post-doc positions.  Salary scale near 1500Eu/month after tax

2) RTD-A.   Researcher but not tenure-tractk position.   Salary scale 1600-1700Eu/month after tax

3) RTD-B.   Tenure-track Researcher.  To apply for this position, you do NOT need the ASN as associate professor, and after 3 years, you are evaluated, and in 99% of the cases, you get tenure and become Associate Professor.   However, in practical terms Universities do NOT have incentive to hire RTD-B without the Associate Professor level ASN habilitation, because there is a risk that if after 3 years the researcher does not get tenure, the University looses budget.   Therefore, in practice you are highly recommended to have ASN habilitation BEFORE you apply for RTD-B.   Salary scale maybe 2000 Eu/month for the first 3 years, and then 2500 Eu/month starting level, and increasing with age.  after tax

4) Associate professor.  You need ASN to apply.   There is an option to apply for "DIRECT CALLS" if you are already Associate Professor in a recognized institution. This is a different process, and you need to contact internal people in the University or the Rector to see if they are interested to start this process to call you.  The ASN habilitation commettee may anyway be requested for an opinion on how you fit in the sector.    Salary scale maybe 2500Eu/month starting level.  At the end of career maybe 4000-5000Eu/month.   after tax

4) same as associate professor, except salary scale is higher.  Starting level maybe 3000Eu/month after tax.

For italians abroad who decide to return to Italy, there is a 10 years tax excemption which is very convenient.



Mike Ciavarella's picture

Sorry, when I wrote 4) same as associate professor, except salary scale is higher.  Starting level maybe 3000Eu/month after tax.


I really meant

5) Full professor.   Same as associate professor, except salary scale is higher.  Starting level maybe 3000Eu/month after tax.  


About living costs.  They are clearly different in Milano or Roma, or in small cities.  But salary levels are exactly the same.  In MIlano or Roma anyway Professor with this salary scale have a reasonable salary even if they don't make additional consultancy etc.   In small cities, the salary is extremely good.

Notice that all salaries are paid 13 months a year.  So you need to multiply the salary a month by 13.   The 13th salary gets paid in December.

Mike Ciavarella's picture

III quarter deadline approaching to apply to associate or full professorship habilitation in italy


III quarter: starting from February 2, 2022 and no later than 00.00 (Italian time) of June 3, 2022;


You can contact me for any details




Mike Ciavarella's picture

Communication to friends and colleagues sector Ing Ind 14


With great regret, I must report that I have to give up my recent evaluation activities. I put the utmost commitment and my ability, including diplomatic, into carrying out this task, which I considered and still consider to be of the utmost seriousness and importance. However, from the very beginning, provincial, kamikaze, and irregular logics prevailed in others (if they can be called logical, since they are not rational), so weak candidates who cannot even write in English with regular grammar should be favored. , rather than candidates also coming from abroad and prestigious Universities, which have published in the best magazines in the sector. I tried to understand this logic until the end, and I was not alone, but indeed we were 2 out of 3 of the SSD thinking like me, however this third party continued to bully, rant, make agreements with minor SSDs under the bench, insult, threaten and speak scurrilously and vulgarly. Now I can't take it anymore and I have to say enough. I cannot tarnish my name with these processes, on the contrary I have reported them to the Ministry and we hope they will be punished. Sorry everyone for any temporary damage this will bring, but I am sure that anyone will do better than the team that was created. The late Professor Lazzarin, my great friend, one day before his death asked me to continue to do well for our SSD, which is not very modern in fact it is in crisis, and therefore must open to the outside. And to honor his memory, I would never have been able to accept certain stomach-churning results, bordering on the nepotistic and parish interests, indeed beyond this limit.

I am available for clarification in person.



Michele Ciavarella

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Please subscribe to the facebook group    to learn about ASN, make questions, and get to know each other with 14500 members.  A group I created in 2012, so now is 10 years old.

regards, MC

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Due to high pressure to remain in the National commission, and resulting small scandal if I had to resign, I have been asked to withdraw the resignation, and I have accepted to remain in the commission.


I highly recommend any potential candidate, to approach me for any clarification by email 




Mike Ciavarella's picture

I have written an article with a suggestion on how to improve the ASN procedure in Italy, which has been published to the online journal of the association of ISI high cited italian scientists, which includes Nobel prize winners.  This includes setting higher minimum standard and taking serious control over the abuse of possible "outside sector" outcomes of procedures when foreigners or italians abroad apply. 

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