PhD in Future Earth, Climate Change and Societal Challenges

Academic Year 2023-2024
Subject area Mathematical Physical, Chemical and Astronomical Sciences
Cycle 39
Coordinator Prof. Silvana Di Sabatino
Language English
Duration 3 years

Application deadline: Aug 22, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

Second PhD Call for Applications, with scholarships funded by NRRP and other funds

Enrolment: From Sep 19, 2023 to Sep 26, 2023

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2023

39 PNRR PhD Call for Applications

Application deadline: Jun 20, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

PhD Call for Applications, with scholarships funded by NRRP and other funds

Enrolment: From Jul 28, 2023 to Aug 21, 2023

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2023

39 PNRR PhD Call for Applications
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi" - DIFA
Associated Departments
Department of Architecture - DA
Department of Cultural Heritage - DBC
Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician" - CHIM
Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari" - CHIMIND
Department of Computer Science and Engineering - DISI
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering - DICAM
Department of Management - DiSA
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences - BiGeA
Department of Industrial Engineering - DIN
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences - DISTAL
Department of Economics - DSE
Department of Legal Studies - DSG
Department for Life Quality Studies - QUVI
Department of Sociology and Business Law - SDE
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences - DIMEC
  1. One Health
  2. The Earth System
  3. Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
  4. Technological Innovations for a Decarbonized Society
  5. Socio-economic and Legal Studies for Mitigation of Climate Change
Research topics

Curriculum 1. One Health

  • Biodiversity loss and environmental impacts on health
  • Environmental health risk factors, Nutrition and health/disease determinants
  • Antimicrobial resistance at human/animal/environmental interfaces
  • Environmental health risks and law
  • Climate change and emerging infectious diseases
  • Microbiome at human/animal/environmental interfaces
  • Food and water safety, sustainable food production, waste management
  • Urban environment and human-animal relationships
  • Diseases impact and management strategies at socio-economic and environmental levels
  • Artificial intelligence applied to epidemiological and environmental data

Curriculum 2. The earth system

  • Solid earth physics
  • Observations of the atmosphere, oceans and ecosystems
  • Climate variations and modeling
  • Atmospheric and ocean predictions
  • Water and hydrology
  • Carbon cycle and biogeochemical cycles
  • Paleoclimate
  • Hazard mapping and extreme events
  • Machine Learning applied to earth system data

Curriculum 3. Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

  • Food production and security
  • Water resources and security
  • Biodiversity, environment and nature conservation
  • Economics of adaptation
  • Resilient agriculture
  • Cultural heritage conservation
  • Recovery and reuse of materials

Curriculum 4. Technological innovations for a decarbonized society

  • Energy and environmental efficient systems
  • Renewable energy systems and products
  • Green/blue/hybrid architecture
  • Smart grids and positive energy districts
  • Transport innovation
  • Low carbon technologies
  • Sustainable chemistry and engineering
  • Industrial and Urban Symbiosis

Curriculum 5. Socio-economic and legal studies for mitigation of climate change

  • Social, Economic, and Ethical Concepts and Methods
  • Sustainable Development and Equity
  • International Cooperation
  • Regional Development and Cooperation
  • Cross-cutting Investment and Finance issues
  • Environmental law
  • Circular economy
  • Communicating Climate Change




Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
Holders of the PhD may find work opportunities in the public administration at the international, national, regional and local level, in all sectors of the economy, from environmental protection agencies to energy, transport and service industries and the national health system.
Furthermore the program will train engineers and scientists in earth system sciences, advanced solutions to mitigate climate change, the green industry and management of environmental emergencies, human health management in the context of animal and environmental health, communication strategies and economic effects of climate change, thus defining the experts who could work in the fields of civil protection, public health, in industrial sectors and in the world of finance and economics in general. academia, research, government, industry and international organizations.
PhD recipients will also be trained in big data analysis and algorithms, in the High Performance Computing resource usage and techniques of artificial intelligence and will be experts on information and communications technology.
Admission Board

Appointed by RD n. 709/2023 Prot n. 149534 on Jun 02, 2023

Confirmed for Call for further PhD Positions
Rectoral Decree n. 1066/2023 Prot. n. 0226313 of 04/08/2023

Surname and Name University / Institution Role email
Armigliato Alberto Università di Bologna Member
Castellaro Silvia Università di Bologna Member
Di Sabatino Silvana Università di Bologna Member
Lambertini Luca Università di Bologna Member
Peli Angelo Università di Bologna Member
Pinardi Nadia Università di Bologna Member
Ruggieri Paolo Università di Bologna Member
Tositti Laura Università di Bologna Member
Baroncelli Eugenia Università di Bologna Substitute
Hrelia Patrizia Università di Bologna Substitute
Muttarak Raya Università di Bologna Substitute
Oddo Paolo Università di Bologna Substitute
Porcù Federico Università di Bologna Substitute
Vassura Ivano Università di Bologna Substitute

* The following shall take part in the work of the Examination Board as expert members for positions linked to specific research topics:

  • Carlo Cacciamani - Agenzia Nazionale per la Meteorologia e Climatologia "ITALIAMETEO"
Learning outcomes

The PhD focuses on earth sciences, climate change, mitigation / adaptation strategies, national and international policy analysis, unique health, promoting multidisciplinary training.
The learning outcomes align with the Sustainable Development Goals. PhD students will actively contribute to designing and implementing solutions, strategies and policies for sustainable development in the 21st century, researching ways to protect human, animal and environmental health, based on an advanced understanding of the risks deriving from climate change.
The program will train professionals in the fields of earth and climate sciences, food production, economics, human health in the environmental context and social sciences in the context of climate change for careers in academia, research, government, industry and international organizations.


Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates

During the first six months of the PhD programme, the student will have to follow both cross-disciplinary and specialization courses. In the second six months of the first year the student will be introduced in the different research groups of the curricula and every six months the coordinator will organise meetings between students and the teachers to check the thesis progress.

At the end of each year an event of 1-2 days will be organized between the PhD Committee and the PhD candidates to check the development of the research. The first year will coincide with the presentation of the PhD research Plan and initial results.

The PhD candidate will have to stay abroad at least for 3 months at a laboratory decided in agreement with the supervisor. The PhD candidate will have to follow at least 10 seminars per year on the Main theme of his/her research. Furthermore, the student’s research could be carried out at other Institutions of high education and/or research over the national territory under specific agreements approved by the PhD Committee.

Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes

The doctoral program is organized around 5 curricula: (a) the earth system, (b) impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, (c) technological innovations for a decarbonised society, (d) socio-economic and legal studies for mitigation of climate change and e) One Health.
Students will have to choose one of these curricula as the main one and interdisciplinary training will be ensured by compulsorily attending at least three of the transversal courses of the five curricula.

Period 1: Transversal thematic courses
November, 2022- January 31, 2023
The 5 thematic courses, each lasting 24 hours, will all be followed by all the students and for at least 3 courses a final test with evaluation in 30/30 will be taken.

Period 2: Specialized courses
February 1, 2023 - March 30, 2023
2 Courses, one of "Statistical Analysis" of 24 hours and "HPC and Big Data" of 12 hours are compulsory
At least 2, 24-hour courses, offered in the curricula with a final test rated in 30/30
March 2023 contains also the final tests

The transversal and specialized courses are visible on the website:

Internationalization features

The language of the PhD program will be english.
We have an active co-tutelle with the University of Barcelona in the Agriculture and Veterinary sector and another with the University of Prague in the Architecture sector.
The program, through its One Health curriculum, is also linked to the UNA Europa action where the One Health Focus Area (UNAOH) is being organized for co-supervised doctorates on the subject.

Expected research results and products

The students are expected to produce articles in peer reviewed Journals, to participate to national and international Conferences presenting their work and to interface with the international community contributing to the research projects of the Departments. The students might be able to develop industrial prototypes and, whenever possible, patented products for commercial exploitation.
The PhD program is the first of this kind in Italy: due to the large number of Department and expertise brought together it has the potential to be a leading doctoral program also in Europe.