Among the major challenges facing society today, human well-being in harmony with the preservation of the natural environment plays a central role, not least with a view to preserving the full functionality of ecosystems and ensuring the fundamental services they provide in the present and future. Within this context, the Ph.D. course in Biological and Natural Sciences aims to provide in-depth theoretical and practical skills in the field of life sciences, inherent to humans and the environment. Specifically, the course is organized into two curricula, one devoted to the study of the main life processes underlying human well-being and health, such as nutrition, cell-to-cell communication, inflammation, regeneration and cell differentiation (Curriculum Processi vitali e benessere umano); the other intended for the study of the physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the interaction of animal and plant organisms with their environment, including for the purpose of providing analytical and intervention tools for the management of critical conservation issues and the sustainable use of biodiversity (Curriculum interazione organismo-ambiente).

Aims

The teaching and scientific activities planned in the Course aim to train Ph.D. students with high international-level qualifications capable of independently developing, proposing and conducting original research projects in the most advanced areas of basic biological and naturalistic disciplines, all to ensure the well-being of organisms and the functionality of ecosystems, increasing quality and safety in human interactions with the environment.

In particular, the "Processi vitali e benessere umano" curriculum aims to train young researchers capable of developing and applying innovative and complex methodologies, including biotechnological ones, to address the most advanced aspects of basic biological disciplines, developing autonomous and original research supported by the expertise of the College faculty of the relevant SSDs.

Similarly, the preparation of doctoral students in the "Interazione Organismo-Ambiente" curriculum will enable them to autonomously carry out fundamental or applied research projects in the most advanced fields of Animal and Plant Biology and Ecology, as well as in the management and conservation of natural resources, always relying on the scientific and cultural expertise of the College faculty in the various relevant SSDs.

Additional objectives of the doctoral program:

  • To stimulate collaboration between research institutions, advanced training schools, public agencies and private companies in the biological and natural sciences, also in order to facilitate the entry of Ph.Ds into the world of work in management and coordination positions.

  • To stimulate the internationalization of research through the provision of mandatory stays abroad for Ph.D. students, the establishment and implementation of international scientific collaborations, the involvement of foreign faculty and the recruitment of non-Italian Ph.D. students.

A foundational and central element of doctoral students’ training is involvement in experimental research activities. Ph.D. students will develop their research project full-time by making critical and purposeful contributions and thus achieve scientific and managerial autonomy.