International opportunities for students


from 20 January to 31 January 2020


The comprehension of living systems, from the smallest biomolecules to entire organisms or groups of organisms, relies more and more on computational modeling. In silico representations of proteins, lipid membranes, chromosomes, cells, or tissues provides an indispensable tool to simulate the behavior of biological matter and study its properties at the finest length and time scale, at a level of accuracy which is currently (and maybe fundamentally) out of reach for experimental probes.

However, the variety of systems and processes, as well as the huge range of sizes covered by the latter (spanning several orders of magnitude from angstroms and picoseconds to hours and centimeters), requires a comparably broad spectrum of different representations, models, and computational approaches, each specifically tailored for a particular problem or size range.
This intrinsically multi-scale problem thus demands researchers to have access to several methods, algorithms, and programs.

The aim of this school is to provide the flavor of the typical problems one faces in the computer-aided investigation of biological systems, as well as an overview of the most common and effective instruments employed to this end.

Students will be exposed to lectures focusing on specific aspects of biophysics, held by researchers actively working on them in top international institutions; subsequently, they will receive training in the usage of the software programs implementing algorithms and methods for the investigation of biological matter, from single atoms to proteins, small DNA strands, entire chromosomes, cellular membranes, to multicellular tissues.

Participants' background

Admissions reserved to up to 25 senior Undergraduate and Graduate international students with the following background:
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, or interdisciplinary courses including at least one of the former among the constitutive disciplines.
A good level of English is needed (B2).
Students coming from partner universities are pre-selected and nominated by partner universities. UniTrento will make a final screening of the applications.
External students are selected by UniTrento only. 
All students are asked to upload a CV and a motivation letter when applying (the on line application tool  is available in the section "Useful links").

Workload and credits

The School, in English language, consists of twelve theoretical lectures (ten in the morning, two in the afternoon) and seven hands-on sessions in the afternoon.
One afternoon will be devoted to a group visit to the Science Museum MUSE.
Scientists working at the frontier of these focus topics will lecture on the broad picture of the field as well as on the fundamental aspects of the specific methodologies employed in their research.

Confirmed lecturers include: Garegin Papoian (University of Maryland, College Park, United States of America), Sarah Harris (University of Leeds, UK), Patricia Faisca (University of Lisbon, Portugal), Giuseppe Milano (University of Salerno and Yamagata University, Japan), Mikko Karttunen (Western University, London, Ontario, Canada), Ralf Everaers (ENS de Lyon, France), Angelo Rosa (SISSA, Trieste).

Subsequently, hands-on sessions will give the students the chance to learn and apply methods, programs and software currently used for research by their instructors/developers.
At the end of the School participants will receive an official UniTrento transcript of records certifying 6 ECTS (+ 2 possible additional credits for optional extra work to be arranged with the academic coordinator).


Department of Physics, Povo 0, Via Sommarive 14, up hill, 15 minutes bus from the town centre.


All participants will be accommodated in double bedrooms in hotel or shared apartment.  

Participation costs

Students from partners universities: 450 Euros 
External students: 1.000 Euros
Beside the didactic activity, participation costs are inclusive of: accommodation in single room, meals in the university restaurant (except for breakfast), entrance to main museums, bus pass and social program.
Travel costs are to be covered individually by participants.


Nominations by partner Universities: by 15 September 2019.
Students from partner universities and external students are asked to finalize the on line application by 30 September 2019 and to upload a CV, ToR and a motivation letter.
The on line application is available in the section "Useful links".
The School will be activated with a minimum number of 10 participants.
Students will receive the admission final confirmation between 30 September and 6 October 2019

Academic Coordinators


International Relations Division 
international [at]
Tel + 39 0461 283224 - 2980