• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among four academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, placed in Pisa; the Department of political and social sciences and the Ciampi Institute, located in Florence.  

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of  Sciences, and the Department of Political and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Department of Political and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

BRUINSMA Sebastianus
Sebastianus BRUINSMA
Ph.D Student
Political Science and Sociology


Political Science and Sociology




With roots in Public Administration and European Studies I received my Master’s degree from the WWU Münster in 2014. I then spend some time at the Universiteit Twente working on projects related to automated text analysis, multiple imputation of missing data and voting advice applications (VAAs). Taking my work on the latter as a starting point, I entered the SNS in 2015 with a proposal on systematically evaluating the quality of VAAs. As a result, I have presented various papers on that topic and related fields at conferences of - amongst others - the ECPR and EPSA. Besides that, I am involved with PreferenceMatcher, an international network of VAA scholars aiming to improve not only the scientific aspect of VAAs but also make them more relevant for the actual user. As such, I am now extending my theoretical views to the fields of political psychology and political behaviour, and my methodological views to geometric data analysis. These concepts will most probably show up in future work in one way or the other.


Online surveys, data quality, text analysis, voting behaviour, party positioning.