Research doctorate abroad, as requested and what are the requirements of the school

The law of 13 August 1984 n. 176 sees and regulates the institution of extraordinary leave for research doctorates, with the aim of pursuing public employees indefinitely the university courses of higher education, and placing them in a form of “leave” from the public employment relationship. The rule also applies to doctoral courses held at external universities, provided that a certain procedure is followed, clarified in the following paragraphs.

Research Doctorate Abroad (Phd).

PhD is in fact the highest level of education recognized in almost all education systems. It is a postgraduate course, usually three years long, during which those who apply for it, in some cases receive a scholarship that can be compared to some kind of work activity, in other cases they do it without a scholarship.

The admission procedures, the program and the achievement of the final qualification are aspects governed by the internal regulations adopted by the individual universities.

It is also possible to pursue research doctorates abroad, at European and non-European universities.

The application for leave.

For the purpose of taking advantage of the leave, the school official (teacher or ATA), for an indefinite period or with a fixed contract until June 30, who has been admitted to PhD courses and / or postgraduate courses or specialization schools University. , the teacher has to submit the following documentation:

– Declaration of the Italian diplomatic-consular body for the territory in which the foreign university is established certifying the affiliation of the university where the doctorate is pursued to the university system by foreigners;

– Certification of the university where the doctorate is pursued, which certifies the official name and duration of the study, specifying the enrollment with or without a scholarship;

– the doctoral project already approved by the university.

In the absence of this necessary documentation, the application is not considered valid and must therefore be integrated.

The use of extraordinary leave.

The employee may not claim any right to use the institution concerned. In fact, the teacher has the right to recognize or not use it, compatible with the needs of the administration.

In addition, public employees who have already received the title of doctorate or who have enrolled in doctoral courses for at least one academic year, already benefit from this leave, not entitled to extraordinary leave, with or without pay.

The leave is unpaid if the employee is pursuing a doctoral course with a scholarship. The presence of a fee paid by the university effectively eliminates the obligation to pay the administration to which it belongs. The two strawberries can therefore not be combined.

On the other hand, in case of enrollment for PhD courses without scholarship, the interested party retains the economic and social security treatment that the school administration enjoys.

The leave period is useful for career advancement and retirement purposes.

Duration of leave.

Doctoral leave, whether at an Italian or foreign university, lasts for the entire doctorate. Therefore, the duration of the school year is not close. It can not be split or interrupted and then re-recorded.

At the end of the course, the possibility of extending the leave is not allowed, even taking into account the resulting cost increase. However, Art. 21-bis of Legislative Decree no. 137/2020 (so-called refreshment decree) provides that public employees on leave can submit an application for an extension, for a maximum of a quarter, of the last period of the course. The public administration to which it belongs has the right to extend the leave for a period equal to that of the extension of the doctorate.

Fulfillment of the educational institution.

In the presence of a valid formalized and complete application for the required documentation of extraordinary leave for a research doctorate at a foreign university, the educational institution must send the documentation to the relevant regional school office within an appropriate time limit.

In fact, the last office in turn must review the formal validity of the application and the procedure for activating it. Recognition of equivalence of the foreign doctoral course with the Italian university system.

The procedure for recognizing the equivalence of the course is activated by a specific request made by the USR to the Ministry of Education – Department of Higher Education and Research – General Directorate for Students, Development and Internationalization of Higher Education.

It is therefore necessary to request the determination and use of leave for the recognition of the doctorate by the positive advance assessment of the Ministry.

The Supreme Court has in fact emphasized that the doctoral course conducted at non-Italian universities, even if it belongs to the European Union, can not be valid unless the course is evaluated for the purposes of equivalence with the doctorate, which conducted at Italian universities (see Cassation Civil Code, No. 21276 of 15 October 2010).

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