European / International Joint Ph.D. in
Social Representation and Communication

So.Re.Com.THE.NET. Summary


So.Re.Com Thematic Network on Social Representations and Communication

Co-ordinated by Prof. Annamaria de Rosa - University of Rome “La Sapienza”

approved by DG-Education and Culture



A So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork is the logical next step, as well as synergetic and complementary to the permanent activities of the Euro PhD on Social Representations and Communication.  The program is oriented to "end users" in a specific leading field of Social Psychology, Social Representations and Communication, both academics and professionals, working as policy makers or experts in Institutions and public services relevant for EU societal policies for European integration, such as intercultural dialogue, supranational identity and minorities, communication and new media, according to the TN thematic priorities etc..

Users will vary according to the goals of the proposed network in terms of:

  1. promoting a wider dissemination of a research based knowledge concerning a study area of a trans-disciplinary nature which strongly links higher education to learned society and student and professional organisations, by facilitating the application of specialists research findings conducted at European level in the higher education curricula of the fields;
  2. encouraging the wider application of the recognised good practice about an institutional joint European curriculum for post-graduated (the advanced level +3 of Bologna Declaration);
  3. diffusing innovation in teaching methods through distance learning systems and multimedia tools. 

Among academics, users will be mainly university teachers and researchers, high level University officials, EU PhD and master students (including the EuroDoc, Marie Curie Fellows Association, European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations EFPSA, representing around 60.000 students, which in co-operation with the affiliated EFPA, European Federation of Psychologist’s Associations strongly promotes the European Psychologist Diploma) from ALL European countries in connection with a world wide scientific community member of the International Association on Social Representations represented in all the 5 continents.

The main nucleus with a long history of institutional recognition of the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork consists of 13 European Universities which have been partners since 1992 in a wider Erasmus network (co-ordinated by Prof. A.S. de Rosa, University of Rome "La Sapienza") and since 1996 in a Socrates CDA selected by DG-Education and Culture as being among the best practices in Europe as CDAD within the IC 2000-2001, as well as being selected by DG-Research as a Marie Curie Training Site Multipartner Organisation, by the French and Italian Ministries of Scientific Research and Education within the Vinci programme and by the EUA as the main coordinator of the action “network of networks” aimed at the internationalization of doctoral programs in Europe (for the  institutional history see

The So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork intends to further expand co-operation for joint programmes, for the production of multimedia research training materials and ODL tools and to disseminate “Innovative activities” begun within the Internationalisation program approved by the Italian Ministry of Scientific Research and co-funded by the University of Rome "La Sapienza".  It will also bring into being the E-Library and Videoconference Research Training Infrastructure on Social Sciences (E.L.VI.R.T.I.S.S.) achieving synergies between Instruction and Research. The development of previous programs was based on the use of a wider scientific community needs analysis, on experience acquired in over ten years of running the formally recognised European doctorate programme and on an innovative training system for both teaching staff and fellows.  These training systems integrate virtual (O.D.L.) and physical mobility, including yearly international summer schools (approved by DG-Research within the High Level Scientific Conferences, 2002-04), the three sessions per year (winter, spring and summer) of the new series of International Lab Meetings (2005-2008) (approved by DG-Research under Marie Curie Actions), seminars and courses and internships that include work at "home" institutions and two network universities abroad. This system aims to develop fellows’ research projects in a stimulating international training environment open to multidisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches.

The So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork, co-ordinated by the University of Rome "La Sapienza", already possessing longstanding expertise in the management of a large research and training network, aim to further enlarge the international role of community training inspired by a co-operative logic of a network of networks. This will operate in almost all European Countries open to transcontinental co-operation through hundreds of other institutional partners and thousands of individual members of the International Association on Social Representations under the auspices of Socrates world and other EC programmes with non-member states, such as EC/USA co-operation, EC/Canada co-operation and the Alfa and Alban programme for Academic Training in Latin America,, and in the Mediterranean Area, Australia, Asia and Africa.

This ability has already been successfully demonstrated by the European programs co-ordinated by the University of Rome “La Sapienza” functioning in a consolidated European network of 13 prestigious university research-centres in 8 European countries.  These are also sponsored by prestigious governmental foundations such as the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris), or are linked on regular basis to other Partner Universities including institutions in Eastern European affiliate countries and are part of a larger network involving mobility of staff and young research trainees on Socrates Institutional Contracts. In addition, these are open to scientific co-operation with other trans-disciplinary European networks who actively participated in the Tuning Project or specialised in O.D.L. for developing a collaborative Virtual European Virtual University (among others: cEVU, REVE and e-Competence programs approved by DG for Education and Culture, Training and Youth – e-learning initiative), or advanced labs and development academic e-learning centres and polytechnic institutions open to users within the Leonardo program.

The main centre for scientific co-ordination, administrative management and dissemination activities is located at the rapidly expanding European Ph.D. on Social Representations and Communication Research Centre and Multimedia Lab in Rome.

The main targeted thematic area of the proposed So.Re.Com.thematic neTwork,- is a specialised area of social psychology, called social representations and communication. This research area is open to trans-disciplinary and multi-methodological approaches (experimental and field work). The theory of social representations has been one of the most important 20th century theories of the social construction of knowledge. The study of social representations, which was originally specifically European, is currently a multilingual, world-wide enterprise with a substantial body of literature involving leading scholars from both social psychology and the social sciences: sociology, anthropology, education, economics, linguistics, semiotics and communication and media studies. Studies of “what” people know - and “how” it relates to the social groups to which they belong and to the media - have been concerned with the social construction and representation of a particular object (e.g. politics, economics, new technologies, environment, European integration and enlargement, minority groups and racism, health-illness, etc.) and its related scientific theories transformed into everyday knowledge.