Everyone knows that research is an essential part of education and discoveries and that help us to live better. Today let’s speak with one of the many young Italian researchers who everyday works to improve our lives.

What does it mean to be a researcher in Italy nowadays? What are the difficulties?

Francesco: I think that, broadly speaking, being a researcher means to be curious and to be creative; you need to ask many questions and in the process to get the answers you learn and discover new things. In my opinion, Italy produces highly qualified researchers. However, there is a problem of investments and funds and frequently researchers have to survive with few means.

What is your best success?

As a fourth-year PhD student, I think that my research has given me great satisfaction, giving me the opportunity to publish four articles on international science journals and one article is actually on the revision phase. My research project involves the study of an interneurons circuit which is present in spinal cord and if it is stimulated it can produce a locomotion even if it is disconnected from the supra-spinal centre. Knowing how this circuit works will let us to ameliorate the rehabilitations techniques used on people who has suffered an injury in the spinal cord.

How long it takes to publish an article? How does it works?

There is a lot of work beyond the publication of a scientific article, months and months of experiments and frequently thing does not work out well. Moreover, after this, there is the analysis of data and months of study of scientific literature. When you submit the article to a scientific journal, it is examined accurately by various experts who state their critiques and point at their doubts. Therefore, many times, or even every time, after the first submission the article is sent back and has to be arranged trying to clarify the referee’s doubts. Finally, if the article, after submitting it again, it is considered well it will be published. So, beyond every articles there is a huge amount of work!

being a researcher means to be curious and to be creative; you need to ask many questions and in the process to get the answers you learn and discover new things

You are part of an international school. What are the advantages?

SISSA is an international school attended by students from all over the world. It organizes courses, workshops and seminars; and regarding research, it is one of the best doctoral schools in Italy. This permits it to receive funds and to develop young researchers in the best possible conditions.

Do you think that it is possible to create an international network of researchers?

Research is international, SISSA is an international school. I think that to do a good research it is fundamental to confront with researcher far away from you. An opportunity of confrontation is given by the international congress that are organized every year round the world, but also by the collaborations which are held between labs.

What are your plans for the future? And what do you think it is the future of research?

This is my last year as a PhD student, so my principal goal for the next future is to conclude my research project writing the thesis. At the ending of this course, I want to try an international experience as a post-doc researcher. Regarding research, I think that it is part of our future, every step forward that have been taken until now, both in medicine and engineering and so on, are the result of research.


Francesco Dose is a PhD student at SISSA, International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy.