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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

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PhD in

Mountain Environment and Agriculture

This PhD programme aims at providing talented and motivated students with in-depth research skills that will allow them to tackle relevant agricultural and environmental problems in mountain areas. Students will have the chance to join a range of training opportunities, seminars and conferences and to work under the guidance of supervisors within international research teams.

Programme description

The three-year programme is highly interdisciplinary; competences span from ecology to hydrology, from crop production to animal science, from forestry to agricultural engineering, from plant protection to marketing. The PhD projects tackle, among others, the efficient use of natural resources, the sustainable production methods in agriculture and forestry, the effect of climate change on natural and managed mountain ecosystems.  

The Scientific Committee includes internationally renowned scientists from Italian and foreign Universities as well as from Research Centres, like Eurac Research and Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. 

The international research training and the skills developed during the doctoral programme will help you meeting your career aspirations, both inside and outside research institutions.

At a glance

Duration of the programme: 3 years
Courses will be taught in English (occasionally, some courses will be taught in Italian and German).
Places available: 7 with scholarship 
Campus: Bozen-Bolzano
Tuition fees: € 180 per year

Programme structure

During the first year, you attend courses, prepare and submit your research plan under the guidance of the main supervisor, and you also present a seminar on the state-of-the-art in your area of interest. You are encouraged to develop an excellent command on methodological techniques and to start preliminary research activity.

In the second year, you are expected to carry out research activities according to the research plan and schedule, and to spend a training period in a foreign university or research centre. In the third year, you are mainly required to concentrate yourself on data elaboration and on writing your thesis.

Along the three-year period, you are also required to acquire credit points by attending seminars, summer/winter schools, by presenting contributions to international conferences and by writing scientific papers for high-ranked international journals. The dissertation is expected to be a collection of scientific papers with a comprehensive introduction, discussion and conclusion.


International profile

Your research training will be embedded within several research projects of international relevance and will foresee a cooperation with foreign partners. 

The PhD Steering Committee benefits from the presence of internationally reputed professors from foreign universities. The presence of at least one co-supervisor of your PhD project from a foreign research institution is highly recommended. A high percentage of your PhD students’ peers come from abroad.  

Your international training will be additionally strengthened by your stay (for a duration of 3 to12 months) in a foreign research institution, chosen to suit your area of interest. This opportunity will broaden your experience. By doing research in highly stimulating and competitive contexts, you will exchange ideas with other scholars and establish a network that will be useful in your future career


PhD Programme Coordinator: Prof. Massimo Tagliavini (photo)
Lecturer's Committee secretariat: Prof. Camilla Wellstein
Student Representative in the Lecturer's Committee: Cameron Brodrick Cullinan


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Application and Admission

You can find key information to apply and gain admission to this PhD Programme. For detailed information browse the general and specific calls below.

In order to gain admission to the PhD programme, you will need to have obtained 300 ECTS credit points (master degree) and have some relevant academic experience in the field of the programme. You will also have to demonstrate competence in the English language with a recognized language certificate and be successful in a public competition (see call of below).

1st Call

Application deadline: by 15 June 2023, 12:00 midday (CEST)
Admission interviews: 3-5 July, 2023, at unibz for those living in Italy or online via Microsoft Teams
Communication of interview details: by 28 June 2023
Publication of ranking lists: by 14 July 2023

Confirmation of the PhD position - 1st Call

Applicants with grant: starting from 14 July 2023 until 27 July 2023;
Applicants without grant: starting from 27 July 2023 until 04 August 2023.
Enrolment: Starting from 27 July 2023 until 31 October 2023, 12:00 midday (CEST)

2nd Call

In mid-June, another call for additional positions with scholarships in cooperation with companies (DM 117) will be published.

Application deadline: by 15 June 2023, 12:00 midday (CEST)


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