The XXXIX cycle of the Ph.D. Programme has been established for academic year 2023/2024 at the University of Bari Aldo Moro with the present call regulating admission to the following three-year Ph.D. programme in SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT [18 PhD positions with full scholarships]:

The PhD Course has a strongly interdisciplinary profile, with the aim of integrating the engineering, agro-forestry and environmental knowledge that are specific to the different scientific areas that today define the forms of sustainable land management.

The goal is to explore new frontiers, both of basic and applied research, which give impetus to the knowledge for themanagement of environmental and territorial complexity, promoting technological innovation in coherence with the New Green Deal that will characterize the policies of the next future.

The PhD Course supports a transversal approach to combine development and environmental protection, preserve natural resources and optimize their use, guarantee resilience and adaptation to climate and environmental change.


CUN Scientific Areas: 07 – Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, 08b – Civil Engineering, 02 – Physical sciences, 04 – Earth Sciences, 05 – Biological Sciences, 08a – Architecture, 09 – Industrial and information engineering.

Scientific Subject Codes: AGR/01, AGR/03, AGR/04, AGR/05, AGR/08, AGR/09, AGR/10, AGR/11, FIS/01, FIS/07, BIO/03, GEO/05, ICAR/01, ICAR/02, ICAR/03, ICAR/07, ICAR/20, ING-IND/16, INGIND/22, ING-IND/35 e ING-INF/07.

Coordinator: Prof. Francesco GENTILE ( )

Administrative office: Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e degli Alimenti, DiSSPA (Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences) PEC:  

Affiliated headquarters: Polytechnic University of Bari

Duration: 3 years

Total number of positions n. 18:

• n. 3 positions with a scholarship from University of Bari Aldo Moro;

n. 1 position with a scholarship from University of Bari Aldo Moro, Excellence Project DiSSPA Department “MARginal areas: Valorization of Ecosystem resources for fair and sustainable Livelihood (MAR.V.E.L.). This position is reserved for students graduated abroad;  n. 1 position without a scholarship;

 13 positions with a scholarship from PNNR divided as follow:


Call for tender: D.M. 117/23 – 3.3

Title Scholarship: Remote sensing techniques to support urban green infrastructure characterization and ecosystem services estimation

Research activity description: Methods for monitoring the quality and quantity of urban green areas and how urban green areas can provide different levels of ecosystem services. Analysis of the main ecosystem services produced by urban forest in relation to the different types of urban green spaces (two-dimensional and three-dimensional typologies); criteria and indicators.

Evaluation of urban green areas and ecosystem services according to the climate crisis. Sustainable management of urban green areas. Levels of urban green planning and objectives in the provision of ecosystem services: analysis of the main experiences at global and national level. Co-financing Mer Mec Engineering S.r.l.


Call for tender: D.M. 117/23 – 3.3

Title Scholarship: Digital Twins for Manufacturing sustainability improvement in a pharmaceutical sector:

Research activity description: The research aims to devise new solutions based on artificial intelligence that can be used in the pharmaceutical industry to improve production efficiency and environmental sustainability. This involves dealing with complex data interconnections, technological models and deep technological knowledge of the production process in a multidisciplinary approach. Co-financing Opella Healthcare Italy Srl


Call for tender: D.M. 117/23 – 3.3

Title Scholarship: Evaluation of innovative processes for the enhancement of the by-products of the local food supply chain, as an example of ecological transition and circular economy

Research activity description: the research activity will focus on the assessment of the sustainability of the installation of a bio converter that implements the enhancement of organic waste from agro-food industries of different types, using the larvae of an insect, Hermetia illucens, capable of transforming organic waste into a particular compost, the Frass.

At the end of the production cycle, the larvae, suitably dehydrated and flaked, are used as a protein base for the production of animal feed. The evaluation is based on the application of life cycle based analysis methodologies (LC Assessment, LC Costing, Social LC) whose indicators will show the effectiveness of this circular economy model. Co-financing REAGRI S.r.l.


Call for tender: D.M. 117/23 – 3.3

Title Scholarship: Robotic Equipment for Precision Agriculture:

Research activity description: the research will focus on the deepening of the mechatronic, IT and IoT devices supplied with the latest generation agricultural machinery and in the agricultural sector in general. The level of advanced training that is intended to be pursued will allow the PhD student to study and analyse possible innovative solutions that improve the performance of these technologies and make them even more suitable for use within precision agriculture and agriculture 4.0. Co-financing VINCENZO CAPOBIANCO e FIGLI S.r.l.


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Soil bioengineering techniques for soil erosion control in natural areas affected by fire:

Research activity description: The project aims to increase the knowledge of soil erosion processes that occur in the years following a wildfire, which hit natural areas, and the effects of alternative sustainable techniques in reducing soil erosion. Specifically, the main factors (predisposing factors) that can trigger erosion processes will be identified in areas affected by fire (with different severity classes) and the effects of alternative sustainable techniques (i.e. naturalistic engineering) in reducing the erosion will be assessed using innovative monitoring methods (e.g. Remote and Proximal Sensing).


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Capacity building in water accounting instruments for groundwater use monitoring in agriculture:

Research activity description: The research, with the aim of fostering digital transition of the PA, aim at developing diagnostic capacity for quantifying self-supplied irrigation uses from groundwater sources. The following research activities are planned: 1) to analyse the data collected by existing management instruments for irrigation water accounting; 2) to assess reliability of data collected for groundwater withdrawals; 3) to support policies elicitation aimed at boosting farmers’ self-communication of irrigation uses.


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Processing of geo big data to support modeling of natural and artificial ecosystems:

Research activity description: Geo big data acquired from remote sensors play a key role in describing the phenomena that characterize the climate-forcing evolutionary dynamics of ecosystems. The proposed project is geared toward developing and implementing innovative algorithms/approaches aimed at modeling both natural and anthropogenic ecosystems as well as the most important environmental variables responsible for evolutions on a technological-digital basis, to propose data analysis and processing approaches capable of describing ecosystem conditions with extreme precision and metric and geometric accuracy.


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Processing of geo big data for managing natural and artificial ecosystems

Research activity description: The great availability of geo big data has as its natural purpose to experiment and test the latest and most innovative techniques of their management and interpretation , such as Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL), and thus to develop and support actions aimed at guiding the exploitation of natural resources with innovative approaches that will allow enhancing administrative capacity in relation to the formulation and design of public policies, both by developing diagnostic capabilities and by taking responsibility for the coordination of the policy cycle.


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Advanced hydrological-hydraulic models for the analysis of urban basins

Research activity description: Systematic soil sealing and the artificialization of rivers and channels have contributed to increasing the hydrogeological risk. Although the natural peculiarities of the Italian territory play a fundamental role in the origin of these phenomena, several anthropic factors contribute significantly to the triggering or exacerbation of their consequences.

The objective of the proposal is to contribute to the advances in hydrological-hydraulic coupled and digital distributed modeling with particular reference to the urban context, through the development of the so-called “rain on grid” approach, in order to assess the hydrodynamic effects generated by a rainfall event throughout the basin, using sets of earth observation data and high computing capacity.


Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 P.A.

Title Scholarship: Innovative hydrological/hydraulic approaches for the analysis of small natural basins:

Research activity description: In recent decades the flood frequency analysis associated with the definition of flood risk maps has been taking on increasing interest in the planning of management and mitigation activities. The increasing availability of computational tools with high computing capacity, high resolution topographic data and geospatial information, can provide a strong impact to the growing development of new digital techniques able of reproducing with high accuracy the descriptive data of the Earth’s surface required for physical/hydrological/hydraulic process assessments, allowing the updating of the theoretical approaches used for mapping the hydraulic hazard level of the territory in order to meet the growing needs of the legislation in this field.

Moreover, the adoption of these innovative technologies will give a strong effects to the process of technological innovation of public administrations that require the use of such approaches, in order to facilitate the digital and ecological transition and to contribute to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness of public action. In the project, it is intended to refer to natural basins of small size, for which there are no instrumented sections of which time series of adequate time length are available.

Project: PhD PNRR

Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 PNRR

Title Scholarship: Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs) to control erosion processes in the semi-arid Mediterranean environment:

Research activity description: The project aims to define a methodology for the evaluation of the long-term effects of the application of low-impact techniques or NBSs, in terms of transport of sediments, nutrients and pollutants on a basin scale. For this purpose the identification of critical areas is envisaged, also through the use of spatially distributed hydrological models applied in highly anthropized basins.

Project: PhD PNRR

 Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 4.1 PNRR.

Title Scholarship: Mitigation of anthropogenic impacts on coastal marine water quality:

Research activity description: About 40 percent of the oceans are affected by human activities, the impacts of which include pollution, depletion of fish stocks, and loss of natural habitats along the coast, among others. The project aims to identify and/or devise strategies, processes and/or treatments to reduce impacts on coastal marine water quality, especially near big cities or large production facilities. Particular attention will be given to that set of strategies, processes and treatments, to be adopted even in socio-economically disadvantaged contexts, which:

  • make use of resources and/or renewable energy sources;
  • generate by-products that can easily be reintroduced into the production cycle;
  • do not require the use of advanced technologies and/or skilled labor.

Project: PhD PNRR

Call for tender: D.M. 118/23 – 4.1 PNRR.

Title Scholarship: Augmented and mixed reality for the enhancement of the territory

Research activity description: This project proposes the study and application of augmented and mixed reality for the enhancement of the territory. The PhD student’s activity will include the study and implementation of augmented reality interfaces for the use of local environments and products and their enhancement.

The proposed innovation also provides for the quantification of the personalized response of the user of the augmented and mixed reality experience with artificial intelligence and neuroscience methods in order to be able to suggest the experiences that could be of greater liking. The quantification of each subject’s response will also be evaluated with neuromarketing techniques in which the consumer’s response and brain dynamics are studied during exposure to different virtual experiences.

Admission procedure:

The exam procedures will be carried out in accordance with art. 6 lett. B.  For reserved position the exam procedures will be carried out in accordance with art. 17 procedure 2 of the call.

The selection will be based on the evaluation of the qualifications and the research project and on an oral test. The knowledge of a foreign language (English) will be evaluated.

Upon submitting the application, the candidate must attach a synthetic research project, which can be written in Italian or English, of a maximum length of 2500 words. The research project, which must be relevant to the topics of the PhD Course in Sustainable land management, will be discussed during the oral test. During the oral test, the knowledge of the English language will also be verified.

For scholarship positions funded by the University of Bari, the topics covered in the research project are in no way binding for the identification of the topic that will be developed during the PhD Course.

Failure to submit the project in the application is under penalty of exclusion from the procedure.

Admission tests for foreigners: Foreign candidates can choose to take the oral exam in Italian or in English.

Admission exam dates and time:

The oral exam will begin on 31 July 2023 at 9.00 am, with eventual prosecution in the following days until the evaluation of all candidates has been completed. The oral exam will take place at the Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Amendola 165/A, Bari.

Foreign candidates can carry out the oral exam electronically on the Teams platform. Similarly, Italian candidates who make a reasoned request to the PhD Coordinator by 26 July 2023 will be able to carry out the oral exam electronically on the Teams platform. The list of those admitted to the oral exam, the exam calendar and how to access the Teams platform will be published on the PhD website by 18:00 on 29 July 2023.


Candidates holding one of the following qualifications are eligible regardless of their citizenship and age (with the exception of those candidates who apply for an apprenticeship who must not be over 29):

  1. degree awarded under the system “vecchio ordinamento” in place prior to the one introduced by Ministerial Decree(D.M.) no. 509 of 03 November 1999, amended by Ministerial Decree (D.M.) no. 270 of 22 October 2004;
  2. “laurea specialistica” or “laurea magistrale” (second cycle degree);
  3. second-level academic qualification (“titoli accademici di secondo livello”) awarded by Institutions belonging to the AFAM (“Alta Formazione Artistica e Musicale”) sector;
  4. Master’s degree awarded abroad, recognised as such solely for the purpose of admission to the competition.

A) Admission to the selection for the candidates with an academic degree conferred abroad:

Those in possession of a degree from a foreign university which has not yet been declared equivalent to an Italian degree will have to apply for their equivalence solely for the purposes of admission to the Ph.D. programme for which they intend to apply.

In such case, in order to allow for assessment of the qualification, application for participation must be accompanied, by the following documentation:

  • (In the case of Italian and EU citizens) Self-certification, according to D.P.R. 445/2000 and subsequent modifications, of the academic qualification obtained with details of examinations, the relative results and the legal duration of the programme.
  • (Non-EU citizens) A certificate attesting to the academic qualification obtained with details of examinations, the relative results and the legal duration of the programme together with a translation into Italian and/or english. The translation must be signed under the applicant’s own responsibility in order to allow the qualification to be recognized.

The suitability of qualifications obtained abroad will be evaluated by the Judging Commission in accordance with the regulations in force in Italy and in the country where the qualification was obtained and relative treaties and international agreements on the recognition of qualifications for the continuation of studies.

In case of admission to the Ph.D. programme, applicants must submit, within 60 days from the date of registration, the following documentation:

  1. Curricular qualifications translated into Italian and legalized by the relevant Italian diplomatic or consular representations abroad;
  2. “Certificate of equivalence of qualification” of the foreign qualification issued by the relevant diplomatic or consular representations abroad; alternatively, the Certificate of comparability of the foreign university qualification issued by the ENIC-NARIC center in Italy (CIMEA) can be presented, which contains all the information necessary for the evaluation of the qualification.

In order to enter Italy, citizens of non-EU countries residing abroad must register on the Universitaly portal and apply for an entry visa (postgraduate visa type D) at the competent Italian Embassy or Consulate.

In case of doubts about the qualification validity, the University also reserve the right to request the “Certificate of equivalence of qualification” to those who have obtained a qualification in a European Union country.

B) Admission to the selection for candidates who have not yet received the degree.

Candidates who are going to obtain the qualification necessary for entry to the Ph.D. programme may also apply if they are to obtain their qualification by and no later than 30 September 2023. Failure to gain the relevant qualifications by this date will result in exclusion from the call.

These candidates will be admitted sub condicione and no later than 30 September 2023 must send by PEC ( ) and email to  the self-certification (or certification in the case of qualifications obtained abroad) with date and handwritten signature, accompanied by a copy of a valid photo identification document indicating:

  • the name of the university issuing the qualification;
  • date of completion of the qualification;
  • type of qualification (specialist/master/old cycle degree, second level academic degree issued by institutions belonging to AFAM);
  • final result.

Candidates who, for whatever reason, do not communicate the obtainment of the relevant qualification by the deadlines indicated or who send incomplete, incorrect applications, by different means or to different addresses other than those indicated above will be excluded from the call.


The application for participation in the selection must be submitted using only the appropriate procedure made available at:  no later than July 20, 2023 at 12.00 pm (Italian time) under penalty of exclusion from the selection.

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