Covid-19 update: September 2021 Teaching Activities Organizational Plan

covid-19 september 2021

In compliance with the ministerial order (18 June 2021) collocating all the italian regions in the “white zone”, the following plan regulating teaching and curricular activities from 1 September 2021 may be adjusted on the basis of the national health situation.

Lessons in Presence

The teaching activities will be carried out primarily in presence, up to the maximum number of seats available in each classroom, already identified in compliance with safety protocols aimed at the protection of the health of all members of the university community.

Protocols available at *

The control of the accesses will be guaranteed through a compulsory reservation on the Delphi online platform, restricting the access to the available seats for each classroom.

The reservation of the on-site lessons through the Delphi system will be accepted starting 4 days prior to the date of the lesson in which one intends to participate until the day before or, in any case, until there are no more seats available. The online reservation also implies that the student must sign a self-certification on the state of health and compliance with the rules imposed by university safety protocols.

The possibility of participating online will be guaranteed to all students through a live streaming of the lectures.

Furthermore, teachers are required to carry out the lessons face-to-face. Also, the name of the teacher actually present in the classroom on the reference day must always be shown.


Exams will be conducted in presence. However, there will also be an online exam call, in order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to take exams (should they be unable to take exams in person on campus due to proven reasons such illness resulting from Covid, or if they can provide medical certification that they are in quarantine, or for foreign students who are prevented from returning to Italy).

The checks on the truthfulness of the declarations will be carried out exclusively by the central administration. Certifications/documentations cannot be requested by Professors. It should be noted that no exam can be carried out in the teachers’ office, but only and exclusively in the classrooms of the Faculty/Macroarea already set up with the defined spacing. Students will be able to access all the exam calls within each exam session.

In compliance with the art. 1 paragraph 10 letter v) of the D.P.C.M. January 14th, 2021, to the safeguard of students who are unable to participate at the ‘didactic or curricular activities’, these activities can be carried out, where possible, remotely, also having regard to the specific needs of students with disabilities and students with specific learning disabilities;

where deemed necessary, and in any case by identifying the relative methods, the recovery of educational activities, as well as curricular activities, or any other test or verification, even intermediate, which are functional to the completion of the educational path will be ensured;

the absences of the students are not counted for the purposes of the possible admission to final exams as well as for the purposes of the relative evaluations.

For mainly remote courses, it will be possible to maintain the exams online through the Teams platform and the procedures already active at the University.

Graduation Sessions

The graduation session will be conducted in presence, allowing up to a maximum of four accompanying persons for each student.  This method can be implemented as long as the distance and any other safety measures related to the number of undergraduates are guaranteed.

Students may present the thesis dissertation remotely in the case of a justified request – for example if they are currently unable to be on-site for proven reasons such as illness resulting from Covid or if they can provide medical certification that they are in quarantine, or for foreign students who are prevented from returning to Italy.

The checks on the truthfulness of the declarations will be carried out exclusively by the central administration. Certifications/documentations cannot therefore be requested by Professors.

International Students

1. Enrollment for International Students with a STUDY VISA
Due to the persistence of the COVID-19 emergency situation, the physical mobility of international students arriving in Italy may be slowed down, or there may be delays in obtaining a study visa.

In order to ensure regular enrollment procedures, international students will be required to pre-enroll in the 2021/22 academic year in order to access and attend the online lessons. The enrollment will be formalized only after checking the truthfulness of the original documentation presented at the University and a valid Italian residence permit.

2. Submission of the Graduation Request for International Students Currently Abroad
International students must have a valid Italian residence permit in order to be able to complete the graduation request through the Delphi online platform. International students who are currently abroad and whose residence permit has expired will be allowed to complete the graduation request even in the absence a valid residence permit in the event that they are unable to apply for renewal due to the continuing pandemic emergency.

Safety Regulations

In accordance with the principle of individual and collective safety, the presence in the University areas can only be allowed according to the following rules that students are required to respect under their personal responsibility:

1. wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use the special dispensers of sanitizing solutions;

2. if you have symptoms of fever (over 37.5 °), cough, breathing difficulties or other symptoms such as myalgias, ageusia (lack of taste) and anosmia (loss of smell), you must stay at your home and contact your own doctor immediately or, in case of severe symptoms, the emergency number 118;

3. keep the distance of at least 1 meter from the person next to you and avoid crowding situations;

4. in the classrooms, occupy only the seats allowed, marked by appropriate signs, in order to maintain an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter;

5. wear a mask and proceed with frequent ventilation when you are in the university common areas (classrooms, laboratories, etc.);

6. avoid shaking hands and hugs and touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

7. respect the information signs (entry and exit routes and those provided for indoor movements), in order to implement the most effective measures to prevent gatherings;

8. sneeze and cough by covering the nose and mouth with the crook of the elbow or with disposable facial tissues.

Anyone who becomes aware of any positive cases of COVID-19 among those who have had access to the University is required to immediately inform the Covid 19 University Coordinator.


Access to the libraries will take place ensuring safety and physical spacing for a predetermined number of seats which must be made by reservation in the manner shown on the web page of each library; in the same way, a consultation service for paper documentation is available.

Opening hours, contact details and any other useful information can be found on the relevant websites. At each library there are sanitizing devices to allow students to access with their own material after disinfecting it.

Laboratories and Complex Structures

The laboratory managers regulate, through shifts, access to shared laboratories to the various division and allocation of spaces, in agreement with the Director of the Department, in compliance with the indications provided in the Protocols and any specific directives issued by the University.

In order to ensure the physical spacing required by regulations, alternative methods must be provided for sample delivery or collection of results, mainly not in person (e.g. results sent by email, sharing of data folders, workstations outside the laboratories to deposit samples).

A maximum number of people including the technician who can be present in the laboratory at the same time must be established, in relation to the free surface of the room, the need for movement typical of laboratory work and the instruments present.

For situations where there are fixed workstations (e.g., fume hoods, weighing rooms, etc.) that do not allow to respect the distances, it is necessary to provide for alternate workstation occupancy or shifts. The maximum number of people who can access at the same time must be indicated on the laboratory door. For further details, please refer to the University Guidelines, available at *

Internships, Laboratory Activities, Exercises

Internships, laboratory activities, exercises, will take place in presence with the University safety and prevention protocols.

PhD Students

The training activities of the PhD students will take place in the presence; also research and laboratory activities will be allow in presence.

* NOTE: At the same link it is also available both the “Protocol of the management of the confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19 inside the university classrooms” issued by the Minister of University and Research, and the map of the entry and exit routes and indication of the temperature control (Thermo-scanner), as well as support services for students, in each Faculty / Macroarea.

N.B. This article is translated from the Italian website.

YERUN Research Mobility Awards call 2021 is online

Yerun research mobility awards

Are you a researcher from a YERUN institution willing to collaborate with another researcher from another YERUN university? Then, this opportunity is for you!

The YERUN Research Mobility Awards (YRMAs) are competitive awards for early career researchers (PhD students and post-docs) equivalent to Euraxess Research Profiles R1 (up to the point of PhD) and R2 (PhD holders, post-doc or equivalent who are not yet fully independent or until 8 years since completion of PhD) from YERUN Universities.

This year, the programme will support researchers to establish a new research collaboration in a virtual format. The programme provides a platform to:

  • work with other YERUN academics on a research project, publication, or new collaborative activity;
  • promote multidisciplinary research across the YERUN network;
  • enrich the research and training opportunities for PhD students, early career and postdoctoral scholars within the YERUN network.

A YERUN Research Mobility Award provides a flat-rate award to cover your expenses related to establishing a virtual collaboration (1,000 Euros) (please note that this amount may be subject to tax withholding). Examples of activities whose cost can be covered by the grant are:

  • Publication in an Open Access journal;
  • Organisation of a virtual conference;
  • Participation fees in a virtual conference;
  • Purchase of a digital tool/ software that can support the virtual collaboration;
  • Consumables equipment;
  • Shipping of samples and other lab material;
  • any other idea you might have!

The research collaboration has to be established and implemented during the year 2021. You will not have to provide any receipts and it is your responsibility to arrange the activities related to your collaboration.


  • You must be a Researchers R1 (up to the point of PhD) and R2 (PhD holders, post-doc or equivalent who are not yet fully independent or until 8 years since completion of PhD) from YERUN Universities Researchers from institutions that are not YERUN members are not eligible.
  • Researcher Mobility Awards will only be used for collaborations with YERUN institutions located in a country different from the one of your home institution.
  • You must agree to submit a report on the outcomes at the end of your collaboration and a follow-up report describing any subsequent research collaborations with YERUN partners no later than one year after the award. This information will be used for YERUN Communication and Evaluation activities.
  • All applications must be submitted with a letter of support signed by the hosting department. If no letter is provided with your application, your application will be rejected.
  • Researchers that have been previously awarded a YRMA are not eligible to re-apply.

If you are interested in applying, please read the 2021 Call and apply online (link below). You can check in this document the different sections of the application.

If you want to read successful stories from the previous editions, click here.

🛑 Deadline for applications: 12 May 2021 (EOB).

Important links:

Sustainable Public Procurement Project SAPIENS Network Awarded €3.9 million by EU Research Agency


The Project SAPIENS (Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems) has been awarded a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (ITN) grant of €3.9 million by the European Research Agency (European Commission).

The SAPIENS combines 10 international Universities from eight countries, and non-academic partners in seven countries. At the heart of the project are 15 Ph.D. positions on various multidisciplinary aspects of Sustainable Public Procurement linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Call for Ph.D Applications

The 15 Ph.D. students, one of which will be based in Rome under the supervision of Prof. Gustavo Piga and Prof. Andrea Appolloni, will attend a common training programme, participate in common public engagement, dissemination and impact activities, and benefit from a number of relevant placements in public institutions, think tanks, lobbyists, and international organisations.

The ESR will work within Tor  Vergata’s School of Economics  and will be enrolled in the Ph.D. in Management working on the research project ESR2 “Developing sustainable and procurement solutions at global level (bottom up approach)”

The project will not only offer extraordinary global research and training opportunities to 15 Early Stage Researchers, but will also contribute to increasing the overall quality and innovation of doctoral training in Europe and beyond. The aim is to produce significant research results in law, economics, business studies and social science, make them openly available, facilitate the utilisation of that knowledge by policymakers, think tanks, business, and the legal and other professions, and to train a uniquely qualified cohort with professional prospects inside but also beyond academia.

The project will run from 2021 to 2025 and will be managed from the University of Turin, University of Birmingham, University of Copenhagen, Lodz University of Technology, Corvinus University of Budapest , Tor Vergata University of Rome, Hasselt University, University of Gävle, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, and the University of Greenwich. Moreover, 18 partners, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation, George Washington University, Federation of Small Businesses, Fair Trade Advocacy Group, Stichting Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Eating City, as well as national agencies, public purchasers and lobbyists are contributing to the training programme.

Info and Deadline

Deadline: *25 April 16 May 2021 at 12 pm (*postponed)

30 post-doc scholarships at YUFE’s Carlos III University of Madrid

30 post-doc scholarships at YUFE's Carlos III

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid seeks young and talented research and teaching staff. Thus the UC3M is delighted to launch this call aimed at postdoctoral candidates who have obtained a doctorate degree at another university, no more than six years ago. This call provides successful candidates a competitive salary, as well as the possibility to join an experienced UC3M team and develop their research and teaching skills.

The deadline for application is March 21, 2021.

Parkinson’s disease: Research identifies a potential biomarker

parkinsons disease research

For the first time, a team of researchers has shown a significant increase in the chemokine prokineticin 2 (PK2), a chemokine-like peptide, in the serum of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The results of this pilot study conducted by Cinzia Severini of the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology of the National Research Council (Cnr-Ibbc), by Nicola Biagio Mercuri and Tommaso Schirinzi of the Neurological Clinic of the University of Rome Tor Vergata and by Roberta Lattanzi and Daniela Maftei from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the Sapienza University of Rome have been published in Movement Disorders.

The study analyzed the blood of 31 patients with Parkinson’s disease and for the first time it was shown that serum levels of PK2 are significantly increased compared to healthy control subjects.

Cinzia Severini researcher of the CNR-Ibbc explains:

PK2 is abundantly present in the central nervous system and is involved in various physiological and pathological functions including neuroinflammation. Experimental evidence has previously shown that PK2 is a factor that is activated early in nigrostriatal degeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease, suggesting its neuroprotective role through an action to restore mitochondrial damage.”

“The correlation between the increase in PK2 in serum and two markers of neurodegeneration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF or CSF) of the same patients was particularly interesting, such as the beta amyloid1-42 protein and lactate. In particular, the increase in serum of PK2, associated with the higher levels of beta amyloid1-42 found in the CSF, may indicate a protective effect of this chemokine against the pathology at the level of neuronal synapses and the deposition of plaques of amyloid, common events in both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Furthermore, this increase in PK2 correlates with the decrease in lactate levels in the CSF, an index of oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, confirming the hypothesis of an antioxidant action and restoration of mitochondrial damage “.

These results suggest that PK2 may represent not only a potential early biomarker of the disease, but also a pharmacological target for the creation of potentially useful therapies in Parkinson’s disease.

“These encouraging preliminary data now need to be confirmed in a larger study, including a larger and heterogeneous sample of patients, and to evaluate additional biological tissues. The ultimate goal is to fully understand the role of PK2 in Parkinson’s disease, thus opening the way to possible clinical developments centered on this peptide “, concludes Severini.

Original Article: