Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship, funded by the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano, Switzerland), to be based within the Faculty of Communication Sciences – Institute for Communication Technologies.

The topic of the PhD project is to be developed together with the winner candidate in the broader field of eLearning in hospitality and tourism, especially within the area of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The candidate will join an international and dynamic team-based environment, so to support his/her immediate immersion into an ambitious international research agenda. The candidate will collaborate with the following units:, NewMinE, UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in the World Heritage Sites, and eLab. Candidate’s PhD research will be supervised by prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, director of the Institute for Communication Technologies.

USI is based in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, however, all University’s graduate programs are taught in English.


  • The candidate will be part of the service team of the eLab at USI, covering instructional design, courseware development, LMS management and tutoring tasks for first pilot MOOCs developed by the Faculty of Communication Sciences
  • He/she will collaborate to teaching activities at USI, and to the development of the concerned labs

Eligibility criteria
Candidates should hold a Master degree in a relevant discipline (including, but not limited to communication, hospitality/tourism studies, education and instructional design), and should meet all requirements to be accepted as PhD candidate in the Faculty of Communication Sciences:
Knowledge of design, development and evaluation of eLearning platforms would be beneficial
High proficiency in English is required and a knowledge of Italian is considered an asset

This scholarship is for two years. Third year of the PhD project the candidate will be invited to apply for an annual research period abroad supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

In addition to waived fees for the duration of the two-years scholarship, the award includes provision for a student maintenance grant at the yearly rate of about CHF 40.000; annual renewal is not automatic, but contingent on satisfactory progress. A conference attendance allowance will also be provided.

Interested applicants are invited to send (as a single pdf document):

  • letter of interest describing research experience and career interests (maximum 2 pages)
  • university transcripts
  • curriculum vitae
  • publications (if applicable)
  • 1 or 2 reference letters

Deadline: the call is open until the place is filled, applications arrived before September 30th, 2014 will be given priority.
Please direct enquiries and applications to dr. Nadzeya Sabatini by email