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Corso di Dottorato in Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - PhD Course in Life and Environmental Sciences

Phd Week 2023 - Click here

Phd Week 2022 - Click here


The overall goal is the academic training of highly qualified researchers endowed with cutting-edge technical skills and a scientific culture necessary to tackle interdisciplinary studies of complex biological and environmental systems.

Three areas of specialization are offered:

Marine Biology and Ecology

To train professionals in basic and applied marine research. The training focuses on the development of theoretical knowledge and applied interdisciplinary skills for marine research planning and execution, as well as for environmental management. Students will be trained for positions in academia, government or industry that leverage their skills in biology and ecology of the marine environment and their practice technical knowledge of field and laboratory updated methods in marine ecology, statistical analysis and modeling for the understanding and protection of the global marine environment

Biomolecular Sciences

To train experts on molecular biology, cellular biology and biotechnology, able to conduct interdisciplinary researches in Academia and in strategic sectors of public and private industry. The training focuses on the development of research skills based on integrated approaches (including bioinformatics) and practice with state-of-the-art instrumentation and in-house core facilities. The understanding of biological phenomena along with the acquired technical skills will prepare students to work also in the bioanalytical and nutrition fields.

Civil and Environmental Protection

To train a new generation of scientists and practitioners in the field of disaster risk reduction, environmental control and remediation. Students will delve both into theoretical studies about human-environment interaction as well as practical experience to understand the complexity of environmental processes, risk assessment and emergency management. Ranging from political ecology considerations to field studies and structural engineers solutions, students will be forced to re-think strategies for sustainable environmental management. As a specific feature of this PhD course, even this curriculum is strongly characterized by multi-scale and interdisciplinary research approaches.

Doctoral Course Committee sharper
Deputy curriculum coordinators
Teaching activities
PhD Students
Period of Study Abroad

If a student wish to carry out part of his or her research project in a foreign research institution (from a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 18 months), they must submit to the Doctoral Course Committee the following documents:

(a) a written request to the Coordinator of the Course indicating the foreign institutions, the period of permanence and the planned activities. Such request must be endorsed by the Tutor.

(b) a signed letter of invitation from the hosting foreign research institution. 

On the basis of these documents the Doctoral Course Committee will decide whether or not granting the authorization. 

Final Progress Report

Students ready to complete their PhD must submit (by the deadline that will be communicated with a reasonable advance every year): (i) the summary table of acquired credits (CFU) signed by the Tutor, (ii) the final progress report of activities, and (iii) deliver the final oral presentation to the Board of Tutors of their curriculum. Subsequently, if admitted to the dissertation defense, the candidate must: (iv) deposit their written dissertation, and (v) defend their dissertation in front of the examining external committee.

To this extent he School Council has established the following guidelines:

a. it is strongly recommended that the PhD dissertation is written in English;

b. the material in support of the dissertation (abstract, slides, etc) must be in English;

c. it is strongly recommended that the candidate list at least one publication on the subject of the doctoral project accepted on a ISI journal, before applying for the dissertation defense.

Information from the Department

Admission requirements
Admission to PhD programs is regulated by a public competition.
To be considered for admissions, applicants must hold a specialization / master's degree or a prior-to-reform master's degree (predating ministerial decree 509/99) or an appropriate qualification obtained from a foreign university, or expect to hold a master's degree by 31 October of the year of publication of the call.
When submitting the application, in accordance with the art. 4 of the Call for Applications (link), students shall submit, in addition to other qualification documents, the following documents:

A PhD research proposal in English, as defined in the model attached to the Call for Applications (annex C) and referring to the issues identified in the context of doctoral research activities.

A brief and well-reasoned description of the research proposal (in English) is required, concerning one of the themes in which the PhD program is organized. The proposal must not exceed 10.000 characters (spaces included) and must contain:
  1. Selected research topic & project title;
  2. research scope and objectives;
  3. state of the art of research;
  4. proposed methodologies;
  5. expected results;
  6. bibliography (max 6 references).

The presentation of the PhD Research Proposal will be in English. It should be noted that candidates may submit only one research proposal; 

Abstract of the thesis carried out (or in progress) for the achievement of the qualification that allows access to the Doctorate (Specialist or master's degree / old system degree / AFAM second level academic degree / academic qualification obtained abroad) of maximum 5,000 characters spaces included.
Interview & Exam
Candidates will be interviewed on subjects related to the Academic Fields and Disciplines List (Settori Scientifico-Disciplinari) of reference for the Doctoral Course and on their previous scientific activities (including the topic of their master thesis). They will be also asked to present their PhD research proposal. Two turns of examinations, a “regular session” and a “special session” will be held for the XXXVI PhD cycle. For the regular session (sessione ordinaria), the research proposal should refer to one of the topics listed below, and identified among the different scientific areas of the PhD program; for the special session (sessione straordinaria), the research proposal should refer to one of the specific topics describing the new open positions. 
Candidates will also explain the reasons for choosing the topic of their Research Proposal and how they intend to develop it in practice. The Committee will verify the aptitude of the candidate for scientific research. Linguistic proficiency in English will also be assessed.
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