A Short Guide to Opportunities in Robotics at IIT

The Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a large, English-speaking research centre nestled among the coastal mountains of the Italian Riviera, near the city of Genoa in northern Italy.  By some measures it is the best research centre in Italy [wikipedia].  IIT has a very large presence in robotics research, and is the home of several famous robots such as iCub, Walkman and HyQ [details].  If you are looking for opportunities to study robotics, or to work at IIT, then you have three main sources of information: the openings page on the IIT website and the mailing lists Robotics Worldwide and euron-dist (European robotics list).  If you choose the IIT page then you need to know that robotics has been split up into several 'lines', each one accounting for only a subset of the available opportunities, which makes it difficult to find the complete set of openings in robotics.

Ph.D. Study

IIT is not a degree-awarding body.  Therefore, all students who work at IIT must be enrolled at a university, and they receive their degree from their university.  Most students are enrolled at the nearby University of Genoa, in the Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering.  If you are interested in studying robotics at IIT then here is an approximate time line (assuming enrollment at the University of Genoa):
  1. Announcements are made in April and May (on both mailing lists), with instructions on how to apply.
  2. The application deadline is in June.
  3. Successful applicants are made an offer in August, with an acceptance deadline in September.
  4. Studies begin on 1st November.
For more information, see the IIT PhD School.

M.Sc. Study and Projects

Generally speaking, a Master's degree is a prerequisite for Ph.D. study at IIT.  If you are looking to do a Master's degree in robotics then one of the best choices is the European Master on Advanced Robotics (EMARO+).  Scolarships are available for this program, as explained on the website.

Several IIT staff offer to supervise M.Sc. projects, and IIT has arrangements with a few universities for this purpose.  Generally speaking, you have to be studying at a European university, and you have to be self-supporting.  (IIT does not pay your living expenses, etc., but see also internships below.)  Most students who do their projects at IIT are the recipients of grants, or similar funding, obtained via their universities.  If an IIT project or activity takes your interest then try contacting the relevant staff directly (e.g. the group or project leader).  For enquiries about the Skippy Project, contact me (Roy) at IIT.

Visitors

IIT is happy to host visitors.  The duration of a visit, and the question of who pays, will vary on a case-by-case basis.  If you would like to visit us at IIT then you should approach a relevant member of staff directly.

Internships

Internships are short-term employments—typically one year or less.  IIT uses them for a variety of purposes, and can be very flexible about them.  Two common uses are: to fill the gap between the end of M.Sc. studies and the beginning of Ph.D. studies, and to support a Master's student working on his final-year project.  Internships are usually announced as explained above, but sometimes an internship can be offered by special arrangement.

Employment

Longer-term enployment opportunities are listed on the IIT openings page, as explained above, and they are posted to Robotics Worldwide and euron-dist.  They can arise at any time of year.
Page last modified:  April 2018
Author: Roy Featherstone