Ermenegildo Zegna Founder's Scholarship


The Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship provides scholarships of up to €50,000 per annum to enable a small number of exceptionally promising Italians to undertake post-graduate studies or research outside Italy. Priority will be given to men and women who have the potential to become leaders in their field and a genuine interest in returning to Italy and making a positive contribution to Italy following completion of their sojourn abroad.

The program honors the founder of the Zegna Group, Ermenegildo Zegna, for his initiatives, accomplishments and values. The Zegna Group has committed to provide up to €1 million in annual financing to the program.

Eligible Candidates

The Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship is open to Italian citizens or permanent residents who have completed (or are about to complete) a program of university studies. Candidates must have been preselected by their university for consideration by the Selection Committee.

Priority will be given to candidates with demonstrated financial need who would not otherwise be able to study or conduct research outside Italy. While there is no age limit, it is anticipated that successful candidates will generally be recent university graduates or persons in the early stages of their careers. The program is intended to benefit candidates with a sincere desire to return to Italy after their sojourn abroad. For this reason, awardees will be requested to commit to return to Italy within a reasonable period following completion of their studies or research abroad (five years) and to remain in Italy for at least three years for every year spent abroad pursuant to this program. Awardees not returning to Italy will be asked to repay the amounts previously received by them.

Eligible Programs of Study/Research

Scholarships may be used toward postgraduate study (either a Master’s degree or a PhD or post-PhD research), or a program of research at a leading university or research center outside Italy. No field of study is excluded. Priority will, however, be given to candidates whose programs of study or research will enable them to make potentially significant contributions to Italy following their return here.

Application Overview and Instructions

Applications and selection are managed exclusively though the universities and schools that are currently participating in the initiative: Università degli Studi di Trento, Università degli Studi di Padova, Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università Luigi Bocconi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Alma Mater Università di Bologna, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Università Luiss Guido Carli di Roma, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Università di Pavia.

Prerequisites for Application

Prior to submitting an application for the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship, each interested applicant must:
- have been accepted to a program of post-graduate study or research outside of Italy
- have obtained the endorsement of his or her university.

Application Procedure

Candidates may apply as soon as they have been accepted for admission into their proposed foreign university or research center and they have obtained the endorsement of their university.

An application form must be completed by all candidates. In addition to standard biographical information and a description of the program that the candidate wishes to pursue, the form invites candidates to explain to the Selection Committee how they propose to make a positive contribution to Italy following completion of their sojourn overseas. Applicants should give particular attention to this personal statement as it will play a key role in the Selection Committee’s decision.

Candidates will be required to submit one or more letters of reference, at least one of which must be a recommendation from the Italian university of origin, or, in the case of candidates who have already begun working, from a senior executive or director at the candidate’s place of employment. Letters of reference should only be sought from persons who are personally acquainted with the candidate.

All candidates selected as finalists will be invited to an in-person interview in Rome or Milan. Reasonable travel expenses to/from Rome or Milan will be reimbursed.