Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Scientific research

Alongside teaching, research is one of the cornerstones on which Università Cattolica is built. The university is among those institutions of higher education in Italy with the highest independent investments in research and in some areas is among the top 25% nationally for excellence in scientific output.

A commitment to a close relationship between research and teaching — part of the DNA of the best universities — involves the whole sphere of education and training, at the same time opening towards the world of work. Università Cattolica maintains this link so that the research undertaken at the university can contribute significantly to passing on to new generations a body of knowledge based on scientific rigour in numerous diverse fields of study.


Università Cattolica is ranked among the top Italian universities independently investing their own resources in research. The university self-financed some 16% of total investments of EUR 27M in 2012 in its five campuses. Most of the total sum was the result of contracts and agreements, including program agreements with third parties. Private organisations (businesses, foundations, associations and others) funded almost 50% of the total research investment. Financing was also secured from research organisations, the government, government agencies, the European Union, other international public organizations, local government (regions, provinces and municipalities), and the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR).

Research fellows

Università Cattolica has 1,650 research fellows active in different scientific research initiatives. The medical sciences area employs just over one-third of these research fellows, totalling approximately 600 in the 2012-2013 academic year, followed by Historical, Philosophical, Educational and Psychological Sciences, and Economic and Statistical Sciences, reaching 200 research fellows.


The university boasts a number of centres for scientific research: 49 institutes, 24 departments, 79 research centres, and 5 inter-university centres. Although these facilities differ by organisational model and statute, they all share the same objectives. Research activities and projects are carried out within 10 scientific areas:

  • Mathematical and computer sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Medical sciences
  • Agricultural and veterinarian sciences
  • Antiquities, philological, literary, historical and artistic sciences
  • Historical, philosophical, educational and psychological sciences
  • Legal sciences
  • Economics and statistics
  • Political and social sciences

Scientific publications

One measure of the quality of research is to look at published research. Università Cattolica’s output in 2012 totalled 4,127 publications, and 57% of these were published in languages other than Italian. This figure rose to over 90% for publications for physics, environmental sciences, biological sciences and medical sciences.
The largest amount of published material was in the medical-biological area and for humanistic studies. The table below provides a detailed breakdown of research works by macro fields of study. The data are registered on Publicatt, the institutional repository for Università Cattolica's publications.