Mission and Vision

The PhD program began in 1984, among the first at the University of Padua, and over time has merged a series of independent courses dedicated to the developmental age topics into a single School located at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. The general goal of the program is to train researchers capable of holding significant national and international roles in biomedical research and innovation, and in health planning, with particular reference to women's and children's health. 

A more specific goal is to develop, with a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, the various vocations of the PhD students, who often come from different backgrounds (physicians, biologists, chemists, epidemiologists), offering them the opportunity to conduct basic research in various laboratories coordinated by experienced researchers with state-of-the-art facilities and technologies, or clinical research by joining various workgroups with extensive experience and tradition in this field. Training clinical scientists who integrate different research areas (laboratory, clinical, and translational) is strongly pursued by our program.

Another specific objective is the internationalization of PhD students, pursued by promoting research periods in foreign institutions and allowing them to be included in research groups recognized as national and international leaders in their fields. This creates a unique context for PhD students who, besides having access to the necessary economic resources to conduct their research, have the opportunity to establish cross-border collaborations.

Another aspect of internationalization concerns the field of International Cooperation, offering opportunities for PhD students interested in conducting operational research in low-resource countries and access to the PhD program for graduates from these countries.

Mission: To promote academic and clinical excellence through an advanced and interdisciplinary training program. This includes:

  • Involving PhD students in cutting-edge research projects that address current challenges in child development.
  • Training PhD students in advanced methodologies in basic, clinical, and translational research.
  • Creating a learning environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

Vision: To be a center of excellence for training, research, and innovation. We aspire to:

  • Be a national and international reference point for future researchers focusing on developmental issues.
  • Contribute significantly to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the health of newborns, children, adolescents, and mothers.
  • Positively influence health policies and clinical practices globally.
  • Train a new generation of researchers who are prepared to address emerging challenges in child health with competence, ethics, and humanity.


Career and Professional Opportunities

Career opportunities include academic positions in both research and teaching, as well as management roles in the National Health Service and the biomedical industry. Existing international collaborations offer concrete career prospects at prestigious research institutions in Europe and beyond. There are also opportunities in national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations (e.g., WHO, ISS, AIFA, Doctors with Africa-CUAMM). In the short term, PhD graduates can find positions as fellows or research grant holders or as scientific coordinators of research projects for young researchers, thus creating good prospects for an academic career at this University or other universities.