PhD in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology

Academic Year 2019-2020
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 35
Coordinator Prof. Massimiliano Petracci
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 31 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 15, 2019 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 26, 2019 to Aug 05, 2019
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2019
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences - DISTAL
Mobility abroad
Yes (3 months)
Research topics

- Agronomy, Herbaceous Crops, Flowers and Vegetables Systems, Agricultural Genetics and Agricultural Chemistry
- International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies
- Microbial Ecology and Plant Pathology
- Agricultural and Food Economics and Policy
- Agricultural Entomology
- Agricultural Engineering
- Food Science and Biotechnology
- Animal Science
- Tree Production Systems, Fruit, Forest and Ornamental Trees and Grape
- Water-Food-Energy-Sustainable Agriculture Nexus

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
With reference to the professional activities classified by ISTAT (Italian Institute for Statistics), for the doctoral students of STAAA PhD course different employment opportunities can be recognized in the field of intellectual, scientific and highly specialized job (Big Group II), or in general professions requiring a high level of knowledge and experience in the scientific sector, with the aim to carry out tasks which consist in enriching existing knowledge by promoting and conducting scientific researches, interpreting scientific theories, teaching them in a systematic way and applying them to the solution of concrete problems. The more specific reference is a specialist in the life sciences (2.3.1), with special regard with the broader field of agricultural, environmental and food sciences. The sectors and the types of employment include highly several opportunities: enterprises of the agri-food and environmental sector (and related fields such as the sector of technical products for agriculture), government, producer associations, schools, institutions of research (public and/or private), organizations operating in the field of technology transfer and innovation, organizations dealing with cooperation and development. Given the very broad field of employment, horizontal mobility for this professional figure takes the form of the possibility of moving to other roles in contexts similar to those in which it has gained some professional experience.
Admission Board

Surname Name Institution Role e-mail
Burgio Giovanni Università di Bologna member
Canavari Maurizio Università di Bologna member
Dinelli Giovanni Università di Bologna member
Dondini Luca Università di Bologna member
Fabbri Angelo Università di Bologna member
Petracci Massimiliano Università di Bologna member
Ratti Claudio Università di Bologna member
Vannini Lucia Università di Bologna member
Vittuari Matteo Università di Bologna member
Ferrari Roberto Centro Agricoltura Ambiente “Giorgio Nicoli” representative of financing body
Baraldi Elena Università di Bologna substitute
Dall'Olio Stefania Università di Bologna substitute
Magnani Federico Università di Bologna substitute
Monti Andrea Università di Bologna substitute
Romani Santina Università di Bologna substitute
Setti Marco Università di Bologna substitute
Sgolastra Fabio Università di Bologna substitute
Torreggiani Daniele Università di Bologna substitute
Viaggi Davide Università di Bologna substitute
Learning outcomes
Thanks to its organization into ten different research topics, the STAAA PhD course aims at providing the doctoral students with an in-depth knowledge and appropriate skills in the different branches of the agri-food sector. The goal is to prepare high profile experts able to carry out research, knowledge-transfer and management activities at the University, and in other public bodies or private companies. The educational path consists in a common program, aimed at providing the fundamental research enablers to every student to acquire an in-depth knowledge related to scientific communication, organization and functioning of the research. PhD students are trained with the basic knowledge for the planning and implementation of the individual research project, and the elaboration of the research results. During the second year, the student activities are focused on the development of individual research activities.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
Doctoral students can carry out research activities at the different levels (farm, greenhouse, lab) as required by the specific topic chosen for their dissertation. The main instruments available for their researches, divided according to the different main scientific disciplines of the PhD course, include: 1) Analytical chemistry: HPLC, LC-MS, GC, GC-MS, UV-VIS, IR and mass spectrometers, gel electrophoresis, TG-DTA, isotopic mass 13C/15N, FTIR, ICP-OES; 2) Food analysis: texture analyzer, calorimeters, pilot plant for the high pressure homogenization, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); 3) “-omics” studies: Real time PCR, DNA sequencers, PCR thermo-cyclers, microarray scanner, Abi-Prism 3100, Rotor Gene – 6000, Genomyx LR e SC, ultra-centrifuges, Nanodrop, DDGE-PCR; 4) Entomology, Plant pathology and Microbiology: laminar hoods, fermentation tools, autoclaves, incubators, optical and electronic microscopes; 5) Agricultural engineering: tools for the investigation of the interaction between the soil and agricultural machineries, pesticide dispensers, tools for the study of the physical-mechanic features of agricultural products, devices for the control of agricultural machineries; 6) Crop physiology: ion selective electrodes, micro-osmometer, chlorophyll meter, suction lisimeters, light scanner, devices for the measurement of 14C radio-isotopes, phloem sensors, gas exchange analyzers; 7) Cartography: building and landscape design software, survey and remote sensing devices.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, Food Science and Technology requires the compulsory attendance at courses and seminars, which are common to the doctoral students of the 10 research topics, in order to provide a consistent and homogeneous knowledge basis. The courses/seminars (in English language) include:
- Application of mathematical models in agricultural, environmental and food science (4 hours)
- Philosophy and methodology of scientific research (10 hours)
- Statistical methods applied to agriculture with modern computer applications (25 hours)
- Research financing and project design in agricultural sciences (20 hours)
- Academic Writing Course (20 hours)
- Setting up a research protocol (4 hours)
- Writing a scientific paper in agricultural sciences (4 hours)
- Artificial neural networks: modeling, software packages and research applications (6 hours)
- How to present a paper in a scientific conference in agricultural sciences (4 hours)
- Bibliographic services to support research (4 hours)
- Impact of biotechnology on production, safety and protection of sustainable agricultural products (6 hours)
- Geographical information systems (6 hours).
During the three-year period of the PhD course, the doctoral students with scholarship are required to spend an internship abroad (not less than 3 months, usually 6 months) toward qualified university or research centres, in order to facilitate the exchange and the integration of young researchers in the international scientific community.
Internationalization features
The Ph.D. Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology (STAAA) promotes the internationalization by agreements with research institutions for obtaining a double degree and/or the joint supervision and among them actives ones are: i) International and European Law, Academy of Economy Studies of Moldavia (doctoral student L. Sangiovanni, 06.04.2017); ii) Universite Paris-Saclay, Espace Technologique, Saint Aubin, France (doctoral student F.R. Massacci, 14.04.2017). In addition, bilateral student exchange agreements have been recently activated: i) Ph.D. Programme in Food Science, University of Granada; ii) PhD Programme in Horticolture, University of Lisbon. Moreover, a Framework Agreement between the University of Bologna and the National Chiao Tung University - NCTU (Taiwan) is alomost finalized for the 35th cycle. The STAAA Doctorate Program is also part of this Framework Agreement and it is planned to sign joint agreements with Doctoral students enrolled at both University of Bologna and NCTU.
The STAAA Ph.D. programme also works actively to increase the recruitment of foreign students, through the information support, the link with institutions/universities from other countries and the cooperation with funding agencies providing scholarships to foreign students. Currently, a total of 26 foreign Ph.D. students are enrolled in the STAAA PhD Programme and most of them are financially supported by international mobility programs (e.g., China Scholarship Council). PhD students holding a scholarship are obliged to spend a period of research and training of at least three months in foreign universities or research centres. They also participate in research projects of international importance, follow courses in English, and participate in international conferences and schools.
Expected research results and products
The following research products of PhD students in a 5 year period starting from the final doctoral defence will be evaluated on the basis of University of Bologna criteria ( articles published on ISI/SCOPUS scientific journals, full paper and abstracts published in symposium proceedings, book and book chapters and patents.
In order to be admitted to the final dissertation, it is mandatory that the PhD students demonstrate that at least one scientific paper was accepted or published on SCOPUS/WoS Thomson Reuters (ISI) indexed journals. The paper must be coherent with thematic research of their dissertation as well as with research activities carried out during the three-year period of the PhD course. The admission to the second and third year of the PhD course is be based on a collective evaluation (Doctoral Council assisted by the tutors of each PhD student). The criteria for admission to the following year will include: a) the frequency and rating of the planned common teaching activities; b) the acquired skills in relation to the specific field of research; c) the ability to acquire the proper methodological scientific approach and to plan and carry out research activities on their own.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
BARALDI ELENA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
BOSI PAOLO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
BURGIO GIOVANNI Università di Bologna Professore Associato
CANAVARI MAURIZIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
CIAVATTA CLAUDIO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
DALL'OLIO STEFANIA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
DI GIOIA DIANA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
DINELLI GIOVANNI Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
DONDINI LUCA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
MAGNANI FEDERICO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
MONTI ANDREA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
PARPINELLO GIUSEPPINA PAOLA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
PETRACCI MASSIMILIANO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
PROSDOCIMI GIANQUINTO GIORGIO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
RAGNI LUIGI Università di Bologna Professore Associato
RATTI CLAUDIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
RATTI CLAUDIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
ROMANI SANTINA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
SALVI SILVIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
TORREGGIANI DANIELE Università di Bologna Professore Associato
TOSCANO ATTILIO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
TREVISI PAOLO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
VANNINI LUCIA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
VITTUARI MATTEO Università di Bologna Professore Associato