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Training activities

A three-year PhD program: The PhD in Global History of Empires offers a distinctive three-year Ph.D. program in transnational and comparative history supported by a uniquely international and multicultural faculty. In the first year, doctoral students work on historiographical and methodological issues and focus on an in-depth exploration of selected central themes of global history. In the second and third years, students focus on their individual research, and are invited to present the results of their work at seminars and workshops.

Teaching is held in English but linguistic diversity is encouraged in all our activities. A variety of research and training seminars is offered at the University of Turin and training is provided for the academic and professional development of doctoral students. As part of their training, they will be encouraged to participate in international conferences and summer schools organized by the PhD program, as well as by other international and Italian research institutions and to organize graduate conferences on topics of common interest for groups of PhD candidates.

Supervision: Each PhD student is assigned a supervisor and a co-supervisor.

Thesis monitoring: In order to help PhD students in the process of outlining and writing their PhD thesis, the program provides a series of training sessions. During these sessions the supervisors and co-supervisors offer guidance, advice and suggestions on how to prepare for end-of-year submissions.

The curriculum in Global history of Empires requires the acquisition of 180 ECTS and consists of:

Research work and practices represent the main activity of the PhD program and are devoted to the completion of the research project under the supervision of their tutors. In order to promote their international training, enrolled students will be required to spend at least twelve months abroad.

The doctoral dissertation, or thesis, should be a work of independent research. It should reveal the ability to:

- formulate a research question;

- gather, analyze and interpret source material;

- demonstrate knowledge of the literature relating to the subject;

- describe methods and procedures used;

- report the results;

- discuss fully and coherently the meaning of the outcome of the research.

Teaching activities take the form of seminars and are structured according to the following categories:

  • Core introductory seminars (on methodological and general historiographic debates), for first year students, with the aim to promote a common culture of discussion and engagement among students from different backgrounds.

  • Dissertation Prospectus Training Seminars, for first year students, specifically devoted to an introduction to the writing of the prospectus to be presented as requirement for the passage so the second year.

  • Sources for the study of Global history, for first, second and third year students.

  • Dissertation Workshop, for second and third year students, devoted to the writing of the dissertation.

  • Core intensive seminars, for first, second and third year students, advanced research seminars with participation of external guest speakers.

Students are encouraged to attend language courses, especially Advanced English, offered by the University of Torino.

The complementary training activities aim to develop cross-dimensional and soft skills. These skills contribute to improve the impact of the research and to complete the doctoral students’ professional profile both in academic and non-academic context. These activities consist of advanced language courses, bibliographic research (e.g. courses provided by the Bobbio Library), research promotion, communication and dissemination, research writing and evaluation (e.g. how to prepare a junior ERC or a Marie Curie Fellowship), research ethic, public engagement, etc.  The complementary training activities can:

  • be offered by the PhD school;
  • be elected by PhD students outside the partner universities (approval of the supervisor is required).

Curriculum requirements

1st year students are required to attend:

  • One Core Introductory Seminar in the 1st term
  • The Core Intensive Seminar in the 2nd term
  • Dissertation Prospectus Training Seminar in the 2nd term
  • Dissertation Workshop in the 2nd term


  1. Dissertation Prospectus, by March.
  2. Revised Dissertation Prospectus, by September .
  1. March Prospectus and Training Seminar

The first step in the dissertation work is the Dissertation Prospectus, a substantial paper (about 10,000 words: this number includes footnotes but not the bibliography), to be delivered by March. Dissertation prospectus should include research question and research design, historiography and theoretical approaches related to the topic of the dissertation research, description of how the proposed research will be situated in the existing literature on the theme and the intended contribution of the proposed research, analysis of sources that will be used in the dissertation and how they will be analyzed, the proposed structure of the dissertation, and the workplan of the dissertation research.

The March Prospectus is designed to help 1st year students progress with their thesis and provide feedback on the proposed research at the training seminar. The latter consists of a discussion about the prospectus and is meant to help researchers complete their work on the dissertation prospectus. The dissertation prospectus can be used by students to make introductions and apply for research summer schools and conferences, so it is a very practical document for the life of a doctoral student.

  1. Completion of Work on the Dissertation Prospectus and Dissertation Workshop

The revised dissertation prospectus should take into account the feedback from the March training seminar session. The complete dissertation prospectus should have a clear research design and workplan on elements of the dissertation.

The prospectus will be defended in the dissertation workshop at the end of September with the supervisor, the co-supervisor and the other members of the board.


2nd year students are asked to attend:

  • 2 ECTS in the coursework offered by the program in the 1st or 2nd term
  • The Dissertation Workshop in September

Attendance of any other seminars is optional. Researchers are required to get approval from the program coordinator for elective coursework that they wish to pursue if they plan to receive credits for it. In addition, students should take advantage of all opportunities to present the results of their research in conferences, summer schools, and seminars and seek feedback on their research.


  • Outline of the thesis by October.
  • A complete chapter of the thesis, by October.
  • An article to submit to a peer reviewed journal indexed in Scopus or Web of Science

The outline should be built on the basis of the dissertation prospectus and include an updated table of contents, summaries of research results for each chapter of the dissertation, and a section on the planned work in the future. It should also identify existing problems and challenges of the ongoing research.

Students should start drafting sections (even entire chapters) of the thesis as soon as possible. They must complete at least one chapter and submit it to the program coordinator by October.

Both the outline and the chapter are required for the passage to the third year. They will be discussed in the dissertation workshop at the end of October.

3d year students are asked to attend:

  • 2 ECTS in the coursework offered by the program in the 1st or 2nd term
  • The Dissertation Workshop in September


  • A detailed synopsis of the thesis by October.
  • Two complete chapters of the thesis, by October.

The synopsis should include an updated table of contents and detailed abstracts of the chapters. Students must also complete two chapters and submit it to the program coordinator by October. Both the synopsis and the two chapters will be discussed in the dissertation workshop at the end of October.

Complementary Training


Last update: 12/04/2024 11:18
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