Public competition for the assignment of additional resources for PhD scholarships, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Cycle 38:

For each PhD programme, for which an open competition is announced, the duration, the number of places available, the number of scholarships, the affiliated institutions, the coordinator and the modalities of the competitive examinations are indicated.

The activation of the PhD programme and the related selection procedures are under the condition of accreditation, the verification of the maintenance of the requirements by ANVUR. Scholarships pursuant to Ministerial Decrees 925/22 are subject to verification of eligibility by the Ministry.

PhD programme in: AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM:
(Coordinator: Prof. Paolo AJMONE MARSAN)
Duration: 3 years
Course venue: Piacenza

Posts with scholarship pursuant to Ministerial Decree 925/22 (CUP J53C22002020001):

  • No. 1 scholarship for the realisation of the research project on “Valutazione predittiva per la scelta del tappo di sughero in funzione del vino al fine di incrementare sostenibilità e resilienza della «wine supply chain»” (Predictive assessment for selecting wine cork in order to increase sustainability and resilience of the wine supply chain”.), co-financed by Amorim Cork Italia S. p.A., Conegliano (TV);
  • No. 1 scholarship for the realisation of the research project on “Ricerca di metodiche di produzione innovative di prodotti biotecnologici” (Research into innovative production methods for biotechnological products), co-financed by Proge Farm s.r.l., Novara;
  • No. 1 scholarship for the realisation of the research project on “Sperimentazione sulla sostenibilità, impatto e beneficio della tecnologia agri-fotovoltaica in Italia” (Experimentation on the sustainability, impact and benefit of agri-photovoltaic technology in Italy), co-financed by Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico – RSE S.p.A., Milan;
  • No. 1 scholarship for the realisation of the research project on “Innovative technologies for food processing. Use of fermentation as a tool to enhance the sustainability of milk and flankers’ ingredients”, co-financed by Soremartec Italia s.r.l., Alba (CN);
  • No. 1 scholarship for the realisation of the research project on “Sustainable use of fumigant pesticides in European agricultural soil ecosystem to ensure food security and environmental safety”, co-financed by Dow Italia s.r.l., Milan;
    On pain of exclusion, candidates must complete their application with the following documents – upload format .pdf or .jpg:
  • detailed curriculum vitae et studiorum (only English version);
  • for graduate students: self-certified Master’s degree document with final mark and exam transcripts, or certification of qualification obtained abroad with final mark and exam transcripts (Italian or English version);
  • undergraduates: self-certified proof of enrolment in one of the above-cited degree programmes with exam transcripts, or in a university programme abroad with exam transcripts (Italian or English version);
  • a motivational letter, only English version (max. 30 lines), indicating reasons for application, expectations and fields of interest;
  • a research project, only English version (max. 2,000 words), indicating topic, hypotheses and methodology deemed most suitable for the development of a research project in the selected curriculum. The project must be countersigned by a university professor or researcher in national or international scientific institutions. In the absence of countersignature, a letter of introduction, only English version, by university professors or researchers in national or international scientific institutions has to be included in the application;
  • students with a degree obtained or to be obtained in NON-EU countries shall provide a translation, authentication and a certificate of equivalence of qualification of their foreign degree certificates, issued by the Italian Consulate/Embassy representative offices in the countries where they have obtained/will obtain the degree. EU students must provide a Diploma Supplement from the University where they completed their studies as an alternative to the certificate of equivalence of qualification.
  • Applications may further contain – upload format .pdf or .jpg:
  • certification of any other qualifications, such as postgraduate and specialisation degrees, obtained in Italy or abroad, with exam transcripts;
  • a copy of any other qualification deemed useful for the purposes of assessment, and a list thereof on unstamped paper;
  • a list, on unstamped paper, of publications deemed relevant for the purposes of assessment, and a copy of the publications that candidates intend to make known to the Panel.
    Applications may further contain any of the following certificates attesting English language knowledge:
  • BEC (Business English Certificates);
  • British Chamber of Commerce;
  • CAE (Certificate in Advanced English);
  • CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English);
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System);
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
    Candidates must indicate the “finalized scholarship” for which they intend to apply.
    The admission examinations consist in the assessment of candidates’ qualifications and an oral examination.
    In relation to the qualities ascertained, the Panels assign each candidate max. 60 points for each of the two examinations.
    Only candidates obtaining a minimum score of 40/60 in the assessment of qualifications are admitted to the oral examination.
  • For this purpose, the following elements will be evaluated:
    • degree relevant to the areas relating to the doctorate, degree mark or average marks for undergraduates at the time of evaluation of qualifications, achievement of masters degrees, participation in higher education university courses, internships and traineeships consistent with the chosen research address, research grants and scholarships, publications in national and international journals relating to the agro-food sector, work and collaboration experiences in applied research at universities and public or private bodies (score up to 46/60);
  • research project, motivational letter and certifications related to the knowledge of the English language as per the previous art. 3 (score up to 14/60).
  • The oral examination consists in the assessment of candidates’ knowledge of the general aspects of the topics of interest of the PhD Programme and research area chosen, as well as aptitude to scientific research.
  • The oral examination is passed with a minimum score of 40/60.
  • The interview in English will preferably take place in person at the Piacenza headquarters in Via Emilia Parmense 84.
  • In order to be allowed to take the examinations, candidates must show a valid identification document pursuant to Art. 35, second Paragraph, of Presidential Decree no. 445 of December 28th, 2000 (identity card, driving license, passport).
  • Art. 2
  • Scholarships according to Ministerial Decree 925/22:
  • The scholarships under this competition refer to scholarships related to innovative PhD programmes that respond to the innovation needs of the companies and regional territories concerned, pursuant to Ministerial Decree 352/22 National Recovery and Resilience Program (PNRR).
  • PhD candidates resulting holders of a scholarship according to Ministerial Decree 352/22, shall:
  • Spend a study period within a firm, from a minimum of 6 up to 18 months;
  • Spend a study period abroad, from a minimum of 6 up to 18 months.
  • Art. 3
    Admission procedure
    Application to the competition, with no restrictions with respect to age and nationality, is open to candidates holding a Master’s degree, or an equivalent university degree obtained abroad and recognised as eligible.
    Applications may be, unless otherwise indicated, submitted also by students who expect to obtain the qualifications, in Italy or abroad, referred to in the first paragraph by October 31st, 2022.
  • Art. 4
    Admission application
    Those who wish to participate in the competition must submit the application to the Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore within the deadline of Monday, October 10th , 2022.
  • Personal details: name, surname, tax code (only for Italian citizens), date and place of birth, nationality and residence elected to the effects of the competition;
  • The name of the competition in which they intend to participate;
  • The type (s) of scholarship for which you intend to participate;
  • For graduates: degree type, date and university from which it was obtained;
  • For undergraduates: the degree that will be obtained, the date within which it should be obtained and the universities that will award the degree;
  • Foreign Languages known.
    Each application may refer to a single Doctorate programme. Candidates who wish to participate in different competitions must submit an application for each one, attaching the documentation required.
    The documents that must be uploaded with the application in .pdf or .jpg format are:
  • curriculum vitae;
  • Self-certification attesting the degree attained or the self-certification of enrolment attesting the degree that the candidate is going to achieve;
  • duly signed ID document;
  • Tax code (only for Italian citizens);
  • Passport-size photograph (to be used in identity documents);
  • For students with qualifications already obtained or to be obtained in non-EU countries: translation, legalization and declaration of value required at the premises of the Consulate/Italian Embassy in the country where the qualification is achieved or will be achieved. EU students can attach as a substitute to the declaration of value, the Diploma Supplement of their university of origin;
  • Further documentation specifically required for each PhD Programme.
    The application will only be complete and valid after:
  • having uploaded all mandatory documents and any optional documents;
  • having paid the selection fee of € 100.00 (non-refundable) to be paid online;
  • downloading the application file, which will be generated automatically by the system;
  • uploading the .pdf file of the application itself on the portal.
    Applicants are asked to confirm what they have submitted at each step by clicking on the ‘continue’ icon, at the bottom right corner.
    As proof of the validity of the application, the candidate will receive a confirmation e-mail from the PhD Office.
    In the event of non-receipt of the e-mail, the candidate will have to log back into the portal to complete the procedure and finalise the application.

The University reserves the right to adopt, even after the competition examinations have been held, measures for the exclusion of candidates who do not meet the requirements or who have not complied with the provisions of the notice of competition.
Applicants with disabilities, for the purposes of the competition, must specify in their application the aid required in relation to their disability, pursuant to Law No. 104 of 5 February 1992.

Art. 5
Selection Boards:
The Rector, on the proposal of the Board of teachers, shall appoint by decree the Admission Board for the PhD programme, consisting of three tenured professors, to whom no more than two experts may be added, including foreign ones, chosen from public and private research bodies and structures, ensuring, where possible, a balanced representation of women and men. In particular, adequately motivated, cases related to the articulation of the PhD in specialisations or curricula, more than one Admission Board may be set up, or an Admission Board composed of a maximum of five tenured professors.

Art. 6
Admission to Doctoral programmes:
Candidates are admitted to the Doctoral programmes, unless otherwise specified, according to the ranking order until all positions for the specific programme have been filled. In the event of any renouncement by those entitled before the start of the PhD Programme, the candidates next on the list will take over.

In case of placement in several rankings, the candidate will have to exercise the option for only one PhD Programme. Students who have been awarded a research grant, unless otherwise specified, may be admitted to the PhD Programme in supernumerary, without being awarded a scholarship, subject to passing the admission tests, provided that the PhD Programme in which they participate concerns the same scientific area of research for which they are recipients of grants.

Art. 7
The winners of the competition must complete enrolment within 3 days starting from the day following the one in which the related email with the invitation will be received.

Contributions and scholarships
Contributions required for access to and attendance at doctoral programmes at Università Cattolica is determined annually by the Board of Directors. PhD students enrolled in the 38th cycle are required to pay annual contributions for access to Doctoral programmes for an amount of € 1.516,00 to be paid in no. 3 instalments, the first upon enrolment (€ 516,00), the second before the 28th of February (€ 500,00) and the third by the 30th June each year (€ 500,00).

According to the Italian Law, a scholarship to attend the PhD Programme is compatible with other income earned, also on a regular basis, in the calendar year of the scholarship, provided that such income does not exceed the amount of the scholarship itself. Should these income limits be surpassed, the scholarship shall be revoked for the year in question. For the verification of the income limits, scholarship assignees shall annually declare the income earned and notify exceeding of the prescribed limit.
The scholarships are annual and are renewed on condition that the PhD student has completed the program of the activities planned for the previous year.

The amount of the scholarship, paid in monthly instalments, is € 16,243.00 per year, before social security charges. The scholarship is subject to the payment of social security contributions (in Italy INPS) separately managed in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 26, of Law no. 335 of August 8th, 1995, as amended. The scholarship is exempt from the payment of local personal income and income tax (IRPEF).
This amount shall be increased by a maximum of 50% for a total period not exceeding 12 months, if the PhD student is authorized by the Teaching Panel to carry out research activities abroad.

From the first year, each PhD student, with and without a scholarship, is insured for research activities in Italy and abroad for a budget of 10% of the gross annual amount of the scholarship, equal to € 1,624.30.
Those who have previously, even partially for another PhD course, benefited from it may not be eligible for a doctorate scholarship.

Art. 9
PA employee:
Current legislation on leave of absence or special leave applies to public employees admitted to the PhD Programme.

Art. 10
Rights and duties of doctoral students:
PhD students are required to regularly participate in the activities set out in their curricula, and to commit to individual and guided study programmes and to carrying out the research activities assigned by the Teaching Panel.
PhD students are also required to consult the Code of Conduct of Università Cattolica and to comply with its principles and aims.

Art. 12
Final terms:
This public announcement was originally written in Italian and has been translated into English for easy reference only. The Italian version will be considered definitive for any questions of interpretation.
For any matter not expressly contemplated in this public announcement, the provisions indicated in “Regulatory Norms of the PhD Programmes and PhD Schools of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” and regulation in force shall apply.

How to apply:

The application form for the competition is available at: until 2:00 p.m. (local time) on the closing date of this notice.
In the application, to be drawn up exclusively online and available in Italian and English, candidates must provide the following information under their own responsibility: Applications deadline: 10/10/2022

The composition of the Selection Boards will be published after the deadline at

Further information can be obtained from the Doctoral Programmes Office, phone: 027234.5633, email: or at Head of the procedure of the present selection is Dr. Roberto BRAMBILLA, Director of Postgraduate Education and Research Partnership, Via Carducci 28/30, Milan.

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