Applications for the competition for admission to Ph.D. programmes – academic year 2022/2023 – XXXVIII Cicle – University of Pisa – APPLICATION E:

The course lasts three years (from 1st March 2023 to 28th February 2026) with a final thesis. The maximum number of PhD grants is available below. The deadline for submission of application forms is on the February, 1st 2023, h 13.00 (Italian Time). The PhD grants awarded to the best doctoral candidates will have a duration of three years. The grant will yearly confirmed after evaluation by the PhD Council of the PhD Student research path.

Enrollment in the following calls for admission to the PhD courses of the University of Pisa (academic year 2022/2023) – ADDITIONAL GRANTS VALID ON PNRR, M4 C2:

– Agricultural, food and agro-environmental sciences: The PhD program in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences is a three-year doctoral program of the department of the same name of the University of Pisa. The course has as its central theme the “sustainability of agro-food systems” and can be ascribed to the European Community strategy “Food 2030”. It refers to different ERC areas such as LS9 (Applied Life Sciences), LS2 (Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology), SH3 (Environment, Space and Population), SH1 (Individuals, Institutions and Markets).

The PhD program starts from the awareness that the sustainability of agri-food systems is an objective to be achieved through a series of activities ranging from production to consumption, involving a multitude of actors and mobilizing natural and manufacturing resources. Aiming for sustainability implies that the specialization of agricultural sciences, necessary to address the growing complexity, must be accompanied by a strong commitment to consider systemic implications, including the unintended consequences of certain technological solutions.

The PhD program also starts from the awareness that sustainability is a multidimensional concept and that its evaluation can be conducted on the basis of a multiplicity of criteria, environmental, social, economic and sanitary, so that the choice among technological strategies can overcome conflicts, contradictions, perspectives and different interests. For this reason, the involvement of stakeholders is needed in defining sustainability objectives and research methods.
To this aim, we have built an interdisciplinary program that combines agricultural sciences with a group of biological disciplines. It can apply to three main areas: 1) Biological basis of sustainability; 2) Sustainability of agri-food production systems; 3) Food quality and safety.

PhD students participate in educational activities such as courses, seminars, summer schools and congresses organized by the University of Pisa or by other institutions in Italy or abroad, with a tailor-made didactic plan that aims to make the student achieve in-depth knowledge of specific scientific issues and an improvement in his/her general skills.

In particular, during the first and second years, PhD students participate in courses and seminars organized in part by the University of Pisa for all its doctoral students and in part by our PhD course, which will offer specific courses for its students.
The so-called “transversal” activity, organized by the University of Pisa for all PhD students, includes a “Scientific English” course, an “Open Science and Research Data Management” course, a “Statistics for research” course, a “Computer Tools for Research” course, a “Research Promotion” course and a “Research and Responsible Innovation” course.

PhD students in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences also attend some ad hoc courses, such as “Fundamentals of Statistics for Agricultural Research” (I year), “Publishing in International Scientific Journals” (I year) and “Innovative methodologies in Agricultural Sciences “(II year).
All PhD students are invited to spend at least six months at high-level research institutes abroad during the second and/or third year of the course. At the end of each year, each PhD student prepares a report on his/her research activities and holds a public seminar, in English.

To achieve the title, the candidate must have published at least one article in an indexed scientific journal. At the end of the course, the thesis (in English) is assessed by two external reviewers belonging to other Italian or foreign universities and then by a commission of professors appointed by the Doctorate Board, which assigns the title of Doctor of Research.
Compared to a few decades ago, agricultural sciences have taken important steps towards the principles of sustainability. The limits of industrial agriculture – based on high consumption of fossil energy and extreme specialization – are now widely recognized, as is the positive value of ecosystem services related to agriculture. However, agricultural sciences will face new and important challenges over the next decade.

A large part of food in Europe is still produced with unsustainable techniques that involve a strong dependence on external inputs (feed, fertilizers, pesticides), high consumption of natural resources such as water and land, high levels of carbon and nutrient emissions in the environment and a simplification of production processes, which severely limits the natural cycle of nutrients and the conservation of biodiversity. However, population growth and the need to ensure safe access to food for the greatest number of people in the world are putting pressure on agricultural systems, which have long been subjected to the challenges of climate change.

Overall, this scenario raises concerns about the resilience of agri-food systems and calls for adaptation and mitigation strategies that have also been mentioned in the recent COP21 agreements. FAO, in defining the Sustainable Development Goals, has clearly indicated that agriculture in the coming decades will have to constantly reduce its environmental impact, improve access to food and strategic nutrients for a constantly growing world population, while guaranteeing a decent income to farmers and helping to keep rural areas alive. It is therefore a question of guaranteeing the three cornerstones of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. The use of a wide range of new emerging technologies – based on omics sciences, information technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence – will contribute to the achievement of these goals.

At the same time there is an emerging need – already recognized by international organizations – for innovation paths based on these technologies to be integrated with agroecological principles, so that production systems are redesigned considering the specificities of rural communities and territories in which develop. In this context of growing demand for enabling technologies capable of improving the efficiency of agricultural systems by reducing their environmental impact, there is the need to fully seize the opportunities offered by the so-called “bioeconomic revolution”, based on strong progress in the processes of transformation of biomass in bioproducts.

The PhD course in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences aims to train researchers (also through agreements with external public and private institutions and with the business world) who have the necessary skills to face the challenges of sustainability in the agri-food sector and of the need to ensure greater efficiency of production systems, high nutritional quality of food and safe access to food.

To this aim, the main research topics developed within the PhD program concern: the study of sustainable and resilient agricultural systems with respect to the challenges of climate change; the application of plant, animal and microbial biotechnologies; the application of the principles of agroecology to production systems; the study of ecology, physiology, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics of animal and plant organisms; the development of sustainable food technologies; the study of the quality of plant and animal foods and of the main genetic and environmental factors that determine their variability;

the application of enabling technologies for the development of precision farming systems in the context of plant and animal production processes; technologies for plant and soil protection and environmental remediation, including in the urban environment; the development of technologies for the application of the principles of the bioeconomy, with particular reference to the use of by-products of the agri-food supply chains for the production of feed, fertilizers, soil improvers, biostimulants and as sources of substances with a nutraceutical effect.

The PhD program promotes the development of common systemic approaches through its training program, which focuses on the scientific principles of sustainability, and through partnership with scientific institutions and companies. In this sense, specific agreements with prestigious external institutions (for example the National Research Council, F.A.O.) and also with some large companies in the agri-food sector have already been defined for specific research topics.

How to apply:

before registering for one of the competitions it is necessary to carefully read the competition notice available at the bottom of the page, in pdf format. The online registration for the competition is divided into the following phases: registration of personal data on the web, by connecting to the address . Anyone who has a degree from the University of Pisa (or has, in any case, used web services in the past) does not have to register, but go directly to the next phase 2 relating to enrollment in the competition. online registration for the competition always connecting to the address, by entering the data requested during the online procedure. must be uploaded, via upload: the complete curriculum vitae of the documentation deemed useful a research project (only if indicated in the attachment of the specific competition available at the bottom of the page) Failure to upload the curriculum and/or research project is not a reason for exclusion.

The candidate is required to submit separate curricula for each selection for which you are competing. The mere sending of the curriculum does not constitute registration for the competition (only for holders of a qualification obtained abroad) the qualification accompanied by the documents indicated in article 3 of the notice of competition. any names and related contacts (email addresses and telephone numbers) of professors or scholars willing to provide references must be indicated (only if indicated in the attachment of the specific competition available at the bottom of the page). payment, within the deadline of 1 February 2023, at 11.59 pm (Italian time) of the registration fee of 30.00 euros with the Pago PA system which can be accessed after completing online registration.

The fee is payable for each PhD course applied for and is essential for participation in the selection. In the case of doctoral courses with multiple competitions, the candidate will have to pay a single competition fee; this payment, in fact, will make his position regular, for the purposes of the competition fee, for all the selections activated on the same PhD course. If the payment of the fee has been made but not completed, the candidates will be conditionally admitted to the competition pending verification of the regularity of the payment.

The competition fee cannot be refunded. print, at the end of the procedure, the relative receipt of registration to be kept as the same, in addition to constituting proof of registration in the competition, also shows a “pre-enrollment number” which will be essential for viewing the evaluation of the curriculum anonymously and the results of the tests, on the web page For assistance Connect to the “Virtual Desk” online portal: .

How to Get Help With Your Application:

Contact the university by email:

Applications deadline: 01/02/2023

Attachments (Italian):

Notice of competition (text published in the Official Register on 12 January 2023) Forms attached to the call for applications with indication of the number of places, scholarship details, selection methods

Attachment 1 – Degree certificate self-certification – available in rtf format and in pdf format

Attachment C – Request to take the interview via videoconference (only if this method is indicated in the form attached to the notice) – available in rtf format and in pdf format

Practical guide for submitting applications for participation

University information on privacy pursuant to European Regulation (GDPR) n.679/2016

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