One hundred departments have been pre-eminently rewarded, none are from Insubria University

The Ministry announced more than a billion of euros to sustain the research in 180 departments of excellence. The Dean contrary: “ Unexpected rules penalised us”


180 Departments of excellence will share over 1 billion of euros to invest in human capital, infrastructures, high quality educational activities.

The list of the magnificent departments has been published by the Minister for Education, Universities and Research.

271 million of euros expected for five years, 2018-2022, from the 2017 budget law, will go to the 180 university departments to reinforce and give value to the research excellence.

Selection standards have been identified by a commission composed of seven high scientific profile personalities and headed by Paola Severino. 350 Departments included on the list made by Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems (ANVUR) based on a standardized indicator of department performance (ISPD), have been able to apply for loans by sending their projects. The selection of 180 Departments was made on the basis of the feasibility of the presented research projects, of the coherence of projects with the national and international systems priorities, of the waited repercussions. Among the financed projects, with a total of 1.3 billion for a period of five years, 106 Universities are in the North, 49 in the Centre, 25 in the South.

Among the awarded departments, none are from Insubria University.

The result has been accepted with sorrow by the Insubria rectorate: “ I don’t deny that the news made me feel sad because the University was taking part in the announcement with three projects and unfortunately, we got nothing. It’s even more difficult to accept because one of the three projects is among the top five for computer science. But, unfortunately, the unexpected rules of last year and communicated during the execution penalised us. In fact, the evaluation was made by a judgement on the project and one about the entire Department research activity. So, computer science has been penalised because our departments have been decided to meet a rule created by the Ministry at the moment, Gelmini, who had considered 36 specialists for every Department: seeing that our university is small, we had to combine many specialties,” said Alberto Coen Porisini, Dean of the Insubria University. “There is a great disappointment, therefore, because we have not been able to participate with clear and certain rules right from the start. It’s a pity, but I’m sure we will recover in other ways those funds that have escaped us today: in recent years we have always seen an increase in the share of financing related to the quality of the works “.

Regarding “Mathematics and Computer Science”, the departments eligible for funding are 11, including only Pavia among the Lombard universities. The same university also belongs to the 7 departments of the “Physical Sciences” area, the only Lombard department.

In the chemical sciences area: among the 11 that will obtain the financing, in Lombardy we find Milano Bicocca. UniMilano, on the other hand, obtains one of the funds in the ” Earth Sciences ” area, a second one goes to Milano Bicocca. These universities have also been awarded for the “biological sciences” area, which sees 4 out of 13 funding in Lombardy thanks to “molecular medicine” from Pavia and to the double prize for the departments of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences and Biosciences of the University of Milan.


Medicine and Surgery of Milan Bicocca, Oncology and meatus-oncology of the UniMilano and Molecular and Translational Medicine of the UniBrescia have obtained extra funds among the medical courses.

In the “Agricultural and veterinary sciences” field, Lombardy did not get any of the 10 extra funds.

Three departments of excellence in Lombardy, however, are in the “Civil engineering and architecture” area with a double award for the Milan Politecnico (Design and Architecture and Urban Studies) and for the IUSS of Pavia.

Double funding for the Milan Politecnico also for the “Industrial and Information Engineering” area with the mechanical and energy departments

Only the humanistic studies of Pavia and Bergamo are on the list among the 18 financed in the area of “ancient, philological-literary and historical-artistic sciences”.

Among  the 13 departments financed in the “Historical, Philosophical, Pedagogical and Psychological Sciences” area, we still find the psychology department of Milano Bicocca and the UniMilano philosophy department.

UniMilano and Milano Bicocca have also obtained extra funds for the departments of “legal sciences”, of  “economic and statistical sciences”  and of “political and social sciences”.

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