PhD program in Food and agricultural science, technology and biotechnology

XXXIX cycle - a.y. 2023/2024

Duration 3 years
Position 8 position available - 8 scholarships
Director/Coordinator Prof. Fabio Licciardello
PhD website »
Admission Expiration date 27/07/2023 at 13:00
Call for admission
Final ranking Published 31/08/2023
Enrollment deadline 07/09/2023 at 13:00:00

Scientific areas

AGR/02 (Agronomy and Field Crops), AGR/03 (Arboriculture and Fruitculture), AGR/11 (General and Applied Entomology), AGR/12 (Plant Pathology), AGR/15 (Food Science and Technology), AGR/16 (Agricultural Microbiology), AGR/19 (Animal Science), BIO/04 (Plant Physiology), BIO/10 (Biochemistry), BIO/19 (General Microbiology), CHIM/01 (Analytical Chemistry), CHIM/03 (General and Inorganic Chemistry), CHIM/06 (Organic Chemistry), CHIM/08 (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), CHIM/10 (Food Chemistry), CHIM/11 (Chemistry and Biotechnology of Fermentation), MED/42 (Hygiene and Public Health)

Admission requirements

Italian second level degree (laurea specialistica, under D.M. 509/99 or laurea magistrale, under D.M. 207/04) or Italian degree obtained prior to D.M. 13 509/99 or equivalent qualification obtained abroad.
More information available in the Call.



The research topics of the PhD course are focused on agriculture and food. As for agriculture, the scientific topics include the various sectors of plant and animal production, with particular attention to the techniques of cultivation, of breeding, of diseases and pest management, paying utmost attention to the environment, to the consumer, to the needs of the agri-food industry, to the biological properties of active ingredients and to product quality. Molecular genetics, a powerful innovative means for the selection of varieties able to respond to these needs, completes the skills.

In the food sector, research is focused on process and product innovation, through the integrated use of food technologies, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, univariate and multivariate techniques for product and process monitoring and optimization, quality assessment of raw materials and evaluation of their attitude to transformation, innovative technologies in food packaging, as well as aspects of human nutrition, also concerning the role of the gut microbiota and its impact on health.

Educational goals

The PhD program aims to provide PhD students with advanced training in the fields of production, processing, quality control and safety of raw materials and of foods. The teaching activity facilitates the transfer of knowledge; in particular, the course includes teaching and research training activities, with a three-year training course for a total commitment estimated at 180 University credits (Crediti Formativi Universitari, CFU).

The course includes research activities in advanced topics of the sector, seminars, participation to monographic courses and to scientific conferences, advanced teaching courses, as well as internships in the PhD course laboratories and in other laboratories in Italy and abroad. The CFU dedicated to lectures are 30, while the remaining 150 CFU include the research activity carried out for the preparation and drafting of the thesis. The number of courses is higher than the number of required credits, in order to allow each student to follow the courses most relevant to the topics of interest.

The high profile of the Tutors, their consolidated collaborations with national and foreign research bodies and the availability of adequate funds guarantees the quality of the PhD students training.

Employment opportunities

Agriculture and food industry play a primary role in the economic and productive sectors. Even during the pandemic crisis, agriculture and food industry proved to be among the most resilient economic sectors. In the 2019-2020 period, the Italian agri-food system was one of the cornerstones of the national economy; considering all its components (agriculture, agro-industry, catering, large-scale distribution etc.) it contributed to over 15% of the Italian GDP. More recently, despite the general crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, the turnover index of the agri-food industry in the fourth quarter of 2022 grew compared to the same period of 2021 both on the foreign and domestic markets. The fundamental contribution of to the image of Made in Italy, thanks to the exceptional variety of products and to their quality, also allowed the increase of youth entrepreneurship.

Therefore, also due to the essential nature of the agri-food sector, the demand for figures with a high level of professionalism in the fields of agricultural production, of food processing and of food control and safety to date it is still huge, despite the current pandemic crisis. In this context, the Course trains PhD students with high skills in the various scientific fields related to the agri-food sector, creating figures suitable for carrying out the role of researchers in the universities, in public or private bodies and in industry. The profile of the PhDs in “Food and agricultural science, technology and biotechnology” will therefore be that of a researcher with a high ability to face problems and to autonomously manage research projects.


Three years (01/11/2023 - 31/10/2026)


The course venue is in Reggio Emilia.


» Call for admission and changes

» Selection committees

» Final ranking

Based on a rigorous selection process, applications are processed normally once a year. The admissions will be open in June or July 2024 (please refer to the Calls).

More documentation

How to apply for the PhD Programmes (pdf)

How to apply for the Italian National PhD Program in Religious Studies (pdf)

Please complete the application form and submit it electronically following the application guide. A non-returnable administrative fee of 25 € will be charged. The decision on admission as well as on financial support is published on the web.

PhD Certificates and Self-certifications

PhD original diploma (Parchment)

Contact office

For further information please contact:
PhD Office
via Università, 4 - 41121 Modena
» Opening hours (italian only)