PhD in Science and Culture of Well-being and Lifestyles

Academic Year 2020-2021
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 36
Coordinator Prof. Carmela Fimognari
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions 7 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2020 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 08, 2020 to Jul 20, 2020
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2020
Operating centre
Main Department
Department for Life Quality Studies - QUVI
Associated Departments
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences - DIBINEM
Associated locations (agreements)
Universitat de Lleida
University of Reading
Mobility abroad
3 months
Research topics

The PhD Program's distinctive topic is the relationship between well-being and lifestyles in its unitary complexity. Such relationship defines a research field with both a strongly cohesive content and an intrinsic openness to multi-disciplinary approaches (as it is increasingly required by our contemporaneity, where life quality’s various aspects are tightly and osmotically interrelated). Hence, the research projects will have to develop the general theme according to one of the following areas:

  • Pharmacy, Nutritional Sciences, Sport Sciences and Physical Exercise area (focus on well-being promotion and health protection): Integrated strategies to preserve the well-being of various population groups; Research and development of drug for health protection and of cosmetic products; Biomarker analysis for monitoring the well-being status; Risk assessment of hazardous exposures and unhealthy lifestyles; Metabolism and nutrition; Physical activity, physical exercise and sports.
  • Educational Sciences and Humanities area (focus on the analysis and the promotion of lifestyles in globalized society): Processes of culture's teaching and learning in relation to childhood, human movement and embodiment; Education to both individual and social well-being factors in current reality (social justice, diversity, global citizenship, fragility management); Processes of constitution and diffusion of lifestyles in contemporaneity, following the determination of symbolic values (according to the exemplary logic of fashion analysed by Fashion studies) and the development of aestheticization factors (social aesthetics).


The various research topics will be developed by stressing those "soft-skills" components that allow to locate rigorous disciplinary investigations exactly into the horizon where, today, extremely useful answers for the promotion of well-being can emerge.

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
Job opportunities are primarily related to both the University's research and/or public and private institutions (national and international) related to pharmaceutical science, methods and systems for improving the well-being, prevention and reeducation in sport, education and cultural promotion in the context of the global society. Such research framework refers to behaviours directed towards a healthier lifestyle, but also to the studies on trends that define cultural values today. This includes studies of risk factors, tools for health protection, physical activity, healthy diet, but also on social relationships, resilience, positive emotions, autonomy and self expression, interaction with the environment of social life (work, home, leisure). In other words, in this framework are included professions that have focused on the quality of life in every context with which man interacts on a daily basis. Other potential areas of employment may be consultancy, planning and partnerships, related to research activities mentioned above, in the fields of: medicine, physical activity sciences (especially in the work and home environment), physical exercise (preventive, reeducational, maintenance), sport practice (prevention, reeducation, training), cultural world (environmental sustainability, aesthetics, fashion) and education (instruction, training).
Admission Board

Surname Name University Role email
Antognoni Fabiana Università di Bologna Member
Marcora Samuele Maria Università di Bologna Member
Muzzarelli Federica Università di Bologna Member
Ceciliani Andrea Università di Bologna Substitute
Milelli Andrea Università di Bologna Substitute
Segre Reinach Simona Maria Università di Bologna Substitute

Simone Badioli ( - AEFFE Spa) shall take part in the work of the Examination Board as Expert Member.

Learning outcomes
The Doctoral Program aims at training researchers to elaborate and carry out analyses functional to the study of life quality, defined by WHO as "individuals perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns". The high level of disciplinary competence (that is, sound theoretical and methodological skills pertaining to each area that will be achieved through specific activities) will be further strengthened by placing it exactly into the peculiar horizon defined by the nexus between well-being and lifestyles. Research in the field of studies on drugs, nutrition biochemistry, physical and sportive activity (adapted and preventive), symbolic and social systems linked to the relationship between the individual and natural and artificial environments are precisely aimed at achieving all this.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
Doctoral candidates are expected to carry out activities at different levels. These mandatory activities principally consist of a scientific part devoted to research, and of a didactical part. The core activity is to develop autonomously a research project selected within the topics provided by the Doctoral Program, under the supervision of a tutor and the support of the Doctorate Council. All this will promote the candidate's organizational skills and the ability to develop empirical and/or theoretical research. Since the Doctoral Program is designed to afford a trans-disciplinary exploration of the nexus between well-being and lifestyles, it aims at providing the candidate with adequate knowledge on the various aspects that concern health protection and life quality. The multi-disciplinary training activity will hence introduce the candidate to the PhD theme's numerous cultural and scientific aspects meant in a broader sense. Consequently, the didactical part will consist of courses designed for all doctoral candidates (mainly focused on "soft skills" – strategic for the PhD theme – such as relational efficacy, team working and problem solving, that will be the subject of multi-disciplinary seminars), of seminars and of courses both specialized and common to each macro-area. These will become highly optional and with a more specific disciplinary feature (according to each candidate profile) starting from the second year, when a research period abroad will be compulsory. Candidates will periodically present the state of their research during regular meetings with the Doctorate Council, which can then assess the work done. Moreover candidates will be allowed to carry out a limited integrative teaching activity in official courses of the University of Bologna.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
At the beginning of the course, each Doctoral candidate will be assigned a research project consistent with the corresponding discipline and topic. The doctoral training activities will hence offer Doctoral candidates:
- basic activities (to which all candidates are expected to attend) focused on cross-methodological topics (academic writing workshops and bibliographical research seminars in collaboration with the University of Bologna Library system will be also organized);
- specific activities for the chosen disciplinary field aimed at acquiring skills and rigorous knowledge on research methodologies which are needed for the development of each research project.
In addition, Doctoral candidates will attend lectures and seminars held by prominent national and international scholars; where needed, courses chosen between those offered in University Degree Programmes or Second-level University Masters may also be attended. During the third year, the Doctoral candidate will focus on the preparation of a final, written dissertation, while supervised by his/her own tutor, who will constantly be part of the research training process. The Doctoral candidate will learn how to deal with informatics tools which are useful for the development of his/her own research; how to perform bibliographic and data base research, data analysis; how to develop laboratory techniques and methodologies, critical and interpretive attitude, papers and research projects. In order to increasingly acquire extensive abilities and skills and keep abreast of their specific research subjects, Doctoral candidates will attend each side activity that the Doctorate Council deems relevant to the specific methodological training on the Doctoral Program's topics. Moreover, Doctoral candidates are expected to participate to symposia that are consistent with the Doctoral Program's topics, where they can present and discuss their work both in national and international frameworks.
Internationalization features
An official memorandum was stipulated with the University of Lleida (Spain) and an official memorandum of understanding is currently being stipulated with the University of Reading, which agree on the possibility of a joint PhD degree. Numerous international collaborations and Erasmus exchange Programmes, which connote the Doctorate Council's activity already, ensure Doctoral candidates the opportunity to be hosted in foreign institutions and hence to develop their theses in cotutelle with the latter. It is mandatory for Doctoral candidates to spend at least a trimester in foreign universities or research institutes, with the Doctorate Council's authorization. Hosting institutions will be first of all those with which the members of the Council have already established international collaborations and which represent an increasingly developing network. During the research period abroad, the Doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to learn innovative methodologies of research. In the framework of international agreements (i.e. Erasmus Mundus), foreign PhD students will have the opportunity to spend a research period in the laboratories of the Department for Life Quality Studies in collaboration with its Academic Staff. Thanks to the originality of its trans-disciplinary feature, the Programme is likely to attract also foreign students, who may be funded with scholarships by their own country or in the framework of international or European exchange Programmes. The collaboration of foreign students may also promote international research networks on a larger scale, by pursuing further relationships with different institutions. In order to develop the Programme’s international profile, research paths that involve exchange and cotutelles with foreign institutions will be encouraged. To this end, agreements with European and Extra-European universities will be incentivized.
Expected research results and products
The Doctoral Programme is an expression of the different disciplines and skills that connote the Department of Quality Life Studies - University of Bologna. For this reason the result of the research activity, also oriented in terms of interdisciplinary activities, train the Doctoral candidates to the production of original studies to be published both in international scientific journals and as books, papers and Conference Proceedings (national and international) in order to integrate Doctoral candidates within the community of their specific disciplines. Finally, it is desirable, for some research fields, the development of patents for new methods (procedures, activities, instruments, ...), for the promotion, recovery and pursue of a healthy lifestyle.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
Andrisano Vincenza Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Antognoni Fabiana Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Baroncini Daniela Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Bragonzoni Laura Università di Bologna Ricercatore A Tempo Determinato - Art.24 Co.3 Lett. B) - L.240/2010
Ceciliani Andrea Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Cortesi Matteo Università di Bologna Ricercatore A Tempo Determinato Art.24 Co. 3 Lettera A) L. 240/2010
Farne' Roberto Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Fimognari Carmela Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Gatta Giorgio Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Hrelia Silvana Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Marcora Samuele Maria Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Marfia Gustavo Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Marino Stefano Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Menarini Roy Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Milelli Andrea Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Muzzarelli Federica Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Segre Reinach Simona Maria Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Stefanelli Claudio Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Tarozzi Andrea Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Tarozzi Massimiliano Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Tolic Ines Università di Bologna Professore Associato