5 Five PhD Full Scholarships in Agrobiosciences at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna University in Pisa, Italy; Call for applications for the admission to the Ph.D. Programmes 39th cycle – Academic Year 2023/2024:

The aim of the Programme is to use a high-level teaching and research path to train persons of high scientific and professional profile who are just as able to successfully enter: – National and International public and private research institutions. – Organizations and companies working with advanced technologies in the field of plant biotechnology and crop production. Organizations and companies working in the organization and planning of sustainable agriculture at a farm and territorial level.

Genomics and crop production; Plant biotechnologies; Plant genetics and physiology; Plant genomics; Crop production sciences; Pre and post-harvest advanced technologies in horticulture; Quality of crop production. Agriculture, Environment and Landscape; Agroecology; Organic, integrated or low-input farming; Functional biodiversity in agroecosystems; Landscape agronomy; Multi-criteria analysis of food and non-food cropping systems; Agro-environmental analysis of cropping systems; Multifunctional agriculture; Interaction between farming-territory-landscape.

Number of positions available; n. 5 positions with Scholarship funded by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Scholarship amount: Euro 16,243.00 gross beneficiary paid in deferred monthly instalments. The amount is inclusive of social security charges.

In addition, students can take advantage of:

  • 26 free monthly meals at the school canteen excluding academic holiday periods,
  • an increase of € 4.060 gross beneficiary for the period of study and research abroad, subject to the authorization of the Faculty Board,
  • a budget of € 4.873 to be allocated to cover expenses related to research activity,
  • an additional contribution of € 2,200/year as reimbursement for accommodation costs reserved for off-site students to be paid based on the Equivalent Economic Status Index (ISEE).

Submission deadline for the online application: May 16th, 2023 at 12.00 p.m. (Noon – Italian time)

Documents required to be attached to the online application:

  • Copy of a valid document of identification;
  • Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum;
  • Transcript or certification of the exams passed in M.Sc. Degree indicating the mark received for each one, showing any first-class honours awarded, and specifying the average mark;
  • a copy of the M.Sc. thesis; candidates who have not yet obtained the qualification should attach a copy of the thesis as a final draft or an abstract of the same;
  • a detailed research plan in Italian or English. It should be a three-year research plan including:
    • title of the research; the scientific premises and the relevant bibliography;
    • aim and expected results of the research project;
    • experimental and data analysis methodologies;
  • only for candidates who obtained their qualification outside Italy: copy of the M.Sc. Degree Certificate or equivalent qualification translated into Italian or English;
  • Other documents if any

– Should applicants wish to send recommendation letters (maximum three) written and signed by academic scholars or other experts who had the opportunity to assess the applicant’s work during his/her university studies, they are required to add name, surname and institutional e-mail address of these experts in the application process. These experts will receive a link where they can directly upload the reference letters. Letters can be uploaded until three days after the deadline.

– Copy of any other qualification or publication that the candidate deems relevant to the programme.

Examination Procedure

  • Qualifications and Interview
  • The selection will be based on the assessment of the submitted documentation and an interview.
  • The Examination Committee will award a score out of one hundred, from 1 to 100.
  • Assessment of qualifications – maximum score possible: 70

The Committee will assess the Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum and any relevant qualification submitted. The candidate’s research plan will be assessed in terms of quality and feasibility and relevance to lines of research specified in the “Curricula” section of this information sheet. On completing the assessment, the Committee will express a concise evaluation and award a score out of seventy. Candidates with a score of at least 49/70 will be accepted for interview.

The School will inform via email the selected candidates on the day and time of the interview as well as on the score received in the assessment. Presence of the candidates is not required through the assessment of qualifications. Verbal examination–maximum score possible: 30

During the examination with the members of the selection committee the candidates will also be asked to present their CV and the research project in a short power point presentation. An interview will be done to verify the knowledge of English. Candidates obtaining a score below 21/30 in the interview will be excluded from selection.

In special cases, pending a decision by the Committee, the interview may be conducted as a video conference (using Cisco WebExTM). In this case, the document of identification provided when registering online must be presented before the start of the examination to confirm the identity of the candidate. It is candidate’s responsibility to ensure that required hardware (PC, webcam) and software are available and that there is a reliable internet connection. Minimum prescribed marks for inclusion in the rank list is 70/100.

Coordinator: Professor Laura Ercoli, e-mail: laura.ercoli@santannapisa.it

Article 2 (Application requirements):

 Candidates with the academic qualifications set forth below may apply for the above Ph.D. positions, regardless of their citizenship: – “Laurea Specialistica/Magistrale” (Italian University degree 3+2 years or combined degrees); – “Laurea Vecchio Ordinamento” (Italian University degree, obtained before 1999, with a legal course of at least 4 years); – Non-Italian Second Cycle Degree (Master’s Degree or Single Cycle Degree) awarded by an academic institution equivalent to the above-mentioned degrees.

The foreign degree must have been awarded by an officially recognized academic institution, that fulfils the requirements for admission to Ph.D. studies in the country it was awarded, and that is equivalent in length, level and subject to the required Italian title. The eligibility of the foreign degree is verified by the Selection Committee according to the laws and regulations in force in Italy and in the country where the degree was awarded, as well as to the treaties and international agreements concerning the mutual recognition of titles for pursuing doctoral studies.

Applicants who will obtain their academic qualification by 30th September 2023 may also be admitted to the selection process. Nevertheless, those, who will not obtain their academic qualification by the aforementioned date, will not be admitted to the Ph.D. Programs. Candidates holding a qualification obtained in Italy

All candidates holding an academic qualification obtained at an Italian University, regardless of their citizenship, are required to self-certify their qualification and are eligible for the selection process subject to verification of the self-certified declarations. Candidates holding a qualification obtained abroad (EU and NON-EU Countries) By the date of enrolment, all applicants with foreign degrees (EU and NON-EU countries) are required to submit to Ph.D. Office a copy of the original diploma with translation if it is in a language other than English/French/Spanish/German.

If the foreign title was obtained in an EU country the Diploma Supplement will suffice. Candidates with a foreign qualification obtained in a NON-EU country must deliver to the Ph.D. Office the documentation relating to the foreign degree duly translated and legalized along with a Declaration of Value, issued by the competent Italian Consulate/Embassy in the Country where the qualification was obtained. Alternatively, the candidate can submit the Statement of Comparability of the foreign title issued by ENIC_NARIC in Italy (CIMEA). The statement must contain all the necessary information to allow a proper evaluation of the title.

The Declaration of Value should contain the following information: 1. Legal status and nature of the issuing institution; 2. Entry requirements for the course of study completed with that degree; 3. Legal duration of the course of study and/or overall commitment required in credits (if available); 4. Value of the degree in the issuing system/country for academic and/or professional purposes. In any case, candidates with foreign degrees must present all the documents deemed useful for the verification of the qualification; the absence of such documents may prevent the evaluation of the foreign qualification as an admission requirement in the event that the Selection Committee is unable to deliberate on the necessary and aforementioned equivalence.

Applicants having already awarded a doctoral degree issued by an Italian University, or having benefitted from a scholarship for the attendance of a Ph.D. course in Italy (even though for a single instalment) cannot apply for the above Ph.D. positions.

Article 3 (Application submission): The application, one for each Ph.D. Programme which candidates wish to apply for, must be submitted electronically by using the specific procedure before the deadline indicated in each Ph.D. Programme information sheets annexed to this Call.

The application procedure consists of the following steps: 1. Registration by entering the required data; 2. Saving login and password provided, which need to be changed at the next log in; 3. Re-entering the system and selection of the Ph.D. Programme of interest; 4. Completing the online application as indicated in the different pages. Candidates are required to fill in the application and state under their own responsibility:

a) Surname, name, place and date of birth, nationality; b) To hold a secondary school qualification c) To hold the academic qualification set forth in article 2 above, specifying the degree programme, its duration and the issuing University or Institution of Higher Education; d) The final mark obtained in the MSc degree, specifying the maximum possible mark and the degree award date; e) The expected MSc degree award date, for those not yet graduated; f) The selected curriculum, if the Programme includes more than one; g) E-mail address, mandatory for communications related to this Call. Documents indicated in the individual Ph.D. Programme information sheets should be attached to the application form (in PDF format).

Where mandatory, the absence of the required documents may prevent admission to the selection or evaluation of the application. The following may use the self-certification process: – Italian and EU citizens; – Citizens of Non-European Union Countries who are legal residents in Italy, only as to personal qualities and facts which can be certified or attested by Italian public bodies. The School may perform checks on the truthfulness of the declarations and documents submitted, at any time during the procedure, including after the start of the Programmes, and may request that the original documents be produced.

In the event of false declarations, the School may order the exclusion of candidates from the selection procedure or from the Programme at any time, by the substantiated decision of the Rector, without prejudice to the criminal liability deriving from the same.

People with disabilities should attach a note to the application for taking part in the competition, applying for the assistance they require throughout the competition in relation to their disability, as well as for any extra time needed. According to art. 7, par. 4, of the School’s Code of Ethics, should a candidate taking part in a selection procedure be up to a 4th degree relative or 2nd degree relative-in-law of a member of the teaching, technical-administrative or research staff, they must give written notice of their kinship prior to the beginning of the selection procedures. The competent office will then inform the Board of Ethics, which will monitor the selection procedure.

Article 4 (Selection Committees and Test Examinations):

 The Selection Committees for the admission to the Ph.D. Programmes are appointed by decree of the Rector and its composition will be available on the School’s website. Each Committee may appoint one or more sub-Committees. Selection Committees and sub-Committees may carry out their duties via online meetings, while still guaranteeing safe and trackable communications, as required by law. The candidate selection and assessment methods and criteria for drawing up the ranking lists are specified in the individual Ph.D. Programme information sheets attached to this Call.

Article 5 (Admission to the Ph.D. Programme and Student Enrollment):

 Successful candidates are admitted to the Ph.D. Programme according to the ranking list and subject to availability of the available positions subject to the competition. In case of equal ranking, preference will be given to the younger candidate. The ranking lists, approved by Rector’s decree, are published on the School website. Publication constitutes an official communication. The School reserves the right to assign any positions which become available as a result of candidates renouncing or withdrawing, to suitable candidates on the ranking list. It is possible to go

down the ranking list on two occasions: − First: before the beginning of the courses; − Second: after the beginning of the courses, in any case by the 1st December; in such case, it is possible to go down the ranking list exclusively with the favorable pronouncement of the Faculty Board of the relevant course. The effectiveness of the selection is subject to confirmation of accreditation for Academic Year 2023/24 by the competent Ministry of University and Research (MUR) as provided for by art. 5 of Ministerial Decree, nr. 226/2021.

The start date of the Ph.D. Programmes is 1st October 2023. NON-EU citizen students should apply for a specific study visa to enter Italy, which is issued by the Italian embassies or consulates in the Country of origin. Students are required to apply for a residence permit for study purposes within eight (8) days of arriving in Italy. In special and justified cases related to the procedures for obtaining a Visa to enter Italy, the arrival of students may be postponed, as a rule, for no more than 30 days from the official start of the Programme.

On the Programme start date, students should present the following documents at the offices of the School: − Valid identity document; − Duly filled enrolment form (provided by offices);

− Only for students with a qualification obtained in a NON-EU and EU country: Declaration of Value (or a copy of the application for the same made to the competent authorities), the Statement of Comparability of the foreign title issued by ENIC_NARIC in Italy (CIMEA) or the Diploma Supplement (only for EU qualifications); in case of failure to submit these documents, the administrative offices will proceed to verify the title contacting the issuing institution; − Receipt of payment of the regional tax for Right to University Study (DSU) of €140.00 or receipt of the application to the DSU for exemption from payment.

The following categories of individuals are not required to pay the regional tax for the right to University Study: a. those who have applied for the scholarship to the Regional Board for the Right to University Study (DSU Toscana) for the academic year 2023/2024 and have not subsequently been successful/eligible in the scholarship ranking list must pay the regional tax for the right to study after the publication of the definitive ranking list by DSU Toscana; b. students with certified disabilities, (art. 3, paragraph 1, of Law n. 104/1992) or with a disability equal to or greater than 66%; c. students whose parents are the beneficiaries of a disability pension (art. 30 of Law n.118/1971);

Article 6 (Scholarship and other grants):

 Scholarships have the duration of the Ph.D. Programme of interest and are confirmed on a yearly basis; admission to the subsequent year is subject to the decision of the Faculty Board of each Programme. Scholarships are awarded according to the ranking lists, without prejudice to the scholarships reserved for specific research topics which may be awarded to the first suitable candidate identified by the Selection Board based on the profile/CV.

The yearly scholarship amount is shown for each Ph.D. Programme in the individual information sheets annexed hereto and is paid in deferred monthly instalments. Scholarships may not be cumulated with other scholarships awarded for any reason, except for those granted by national or foreign institutions to enhance the student’s research activity with periods abroad.

Those who have taken advantage, even partly, of a Ph.D. scholarship in the past, may not benefit from the scholarship again, even in case said benefit refers to one sole instalment. Students can access the library and the laboratories of the School in the ways provided for by the respective regulations; students may also make use of the canteen for the entire duration of the Programme (26 free meals per month, except for holiday periods as per the academic calendar).

Scholarship may be increased as provided for by the Training Activity Regulations for periods of stay abroad authorised by the Faculty Board. According to art. 9 of D.M. n. 226/2021, the School will also make a budget equal to 10% of the scholarship available to all Ph.D. students to cover research activity-related expenses. Also, students may apply for an additional contribution of €2,200/year as reimbursement for housing expenses to be disbursed based on the Equivalent Economic Status Indicator (ISEE).

Scholarship and grants referred to in this article are subject to the current legislation applicable to scholarships paid by Universities and the Regions for tax and social security purposes. The School provides students with insurance against accidents and third-party insurance for the entire duration of the Programme and undertakes to meet the safety conditions with respect to premises, instruments and equipment used within the programme.

Article 7 (Obligations of the Ph.D. student) Students are required to attend the teaching and research activities provided by the School as part of the Ph.D. Programmes and to fulfil the obligations provided for in the Training Activity Regulations

– Book III. Students also undertake to comply with the rules in the Statute, in the Regulations and Codes of Conduct of the School. For the protection of health and safety purposes, students shall also: − fill in the intended research activity form; − undergo health checks as part of the health monitoring carried out by the Medical Officer of the School; − take part in scheduled educational and training courses. Penalties shall be applied in case of failure to fulfil these obligations. These may include prohibition of access to the School premises.

Submission deadline for the online application: May 16th, 2023, at 12.00 p.m. (Noon – Italian time)


Coordinator: Professor Laura Ercoli, e-mail: laura.ercoli@santannapisa.it

E-mail: info-phdlifesciences@santannapisa.it

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