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University of Palermo. The PhD Course in Environmental Agronomy was established in 1998 and was appointed as International Doctorate in 2009. Since its.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Palermo. The PhD Course in Environmental Agronomy was established in 1998 and was appointed as International Doctorate in 2009. Since its."— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Palermo

2 The PhD Course in Environmental Agronomy was established in 1998 and was appointed as International Doctorate in Since its beginning, the issues of the PhD course have caught the attention of several graduates, not only in agriculture and forestry science but also, in natural science, geology, engineering, chemistry, etc.

3 During these years, more than 70 PhD students have been attending the PhD courses and many of them have got very good job position.

4 Partners of the International Doctorate in Environmental Agronomy are: 6 European Universities and 1 foreign Research Center that allow to cover many scientific topics in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, soil science and land evaluation sensu lato.

5 The NET of the PhD course

6 Proposer: Department of Agriculture and Forestry Science University of Palermo - Italy

7 Italian Partners: University of Viterbo Department of Crop Science University of Reggio Calabria Department of Biotecnologies for Food Production

8 International Partners National Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences- Bucarest University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Ion Ionescu De La Brad Iasi, Romania University of Gödöllő Szent István University, Gödöllő, Hungary University of Gyöngyös Karoly Robert College of Gyöngyös, Hungary

9 Program and objectives five broad topics Scientific and training aims of the PhD in Environmental Agronomy involve several research themes within five broad topics:

10 1 : Evaluation of the environmental impact of energy input Energy input innovation in the agro- ecosystem; Evaluation of energy inputs and their impact on the environment; Optimization of energy input in eco- sustainable production systems.

11 2 : Development of plant life, environmental recovery, innovative systems, constructed wetlands Identification and development of native, halophile plant resources for the recovery and conservation of coastal dune systems; Use of plant species in constructed wetlands for the re-use of water in irrigation; Use of native plant species for the design of parks and gardens; Use of native plant species as vegetablecrops; Study of Mediterranean floral eco-types for the optimization of low-maintenance turf grass lawns; Collection and agronomic evaluation of medicinal and aromatic plant eco-types for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes

12 3 : Identification and use of energy sources (biotic and abiotic) in the Mediterranean area Study of local resources (soil substrates, local organic residues, climate conditions etc) for the development or rationalization of protected eco-sustainable agriculture; Adoption of simplified protective techniques for open field cultivation: crop cover with agrotextiles, soil solarisation, soil mulching etc. Use of different protective structures in agriculture in the Mediterranean area; Energy transmission of different protective structures (greenhouses).

13 4 : Soil quality and conservation in Mediterranean environments Soil salinization and management of salt-affected soils; Soil organic and inorganic carbon stock and dynamics with implications on global climate change; Establishing quality indicators and indices for soil monitoring and conservation; Issues of soil degradation and desertification: environmental protection and strategies for the sustainable development; Anthropogenic and Technogenic soils: features and taxonomic aspects; Pedodiversity and Soil Biodiversity

14 5 : Agro-Energy Crops for oilseed production; Production of second generation biofuels – biooils; Energy use of lignocellulosic biomass from Mediterranean plant species.

15 Board of Professors: 25 professors

16 Board of Professors


18 Formative activities: 1.Courses 2.Seminars 3.Stages

19 1.Courses: Statistic Agronomy Soil science Land evaluation

20 2. Seminars:





25 3. Stage of PhD student abroad: Daniela Poma (Spain) Giovanni Misseri (Egipt) Leo Sabatino (USA) Alfonso Tirone (Spain) Camillo Lungo (Romania) Maria Brinza (Romania)

26 Summer school International PhD Course in : Environmental Agronomy (Agronomia Ambientale) Summer school - Iaşi (Romania) September, PLANT, SOIL & ENVIRONMENT: OLD AND NEW LINKS

27 Strong Points (SP) for Quality assurance

28 Quality assurance: Board of Professors (SP): 20 professors (minimum: 12) + 5 researchers Performance of the Coordinator (SP): Scientific production (score over 3) & national and international awards Performance of the Board of Professors (SP): Scientific production (score over 2)

29 Quality assurance: Governance (SP): distribution of responsibilities: vice-coordinator; a delegate to the web-page of the PhD; a delegate to the organization of the PhD courses; a delegate to the relation with the PhD students;

30 Quality assurance: External funds (SP): 1 grant PhD student from the European Social Fund (ESF) in 2010 and 2012

31 Quality assurance: Recruitment, admission and selection procedures (SP): 1.qualification requirements 2.admission 3.selection criteria and procedures

32 1. Qualification requirements (SP): The qualifications requirements take into consideration: The degree score: counted for a maximum of 10 points (1 point for each score up to 101/110 and 1 point for the merit score) Any other title: counted for a maximum of 10 points (other degrees, certificates of post-graduate courses, schools, periods spent in Italian or foreign scientific institutions, …..).

33 2. Admission (SP): The Evaluation Committee The Evaluation Committee consists of three members: two Italian professors and one foreign professor (two of them must belong to other university and are chosen from experts in the scientific areas of the PhD Research Program). The Evaluation Committee may also include no more than two experts from public and private national and international corporations or research institutes.

34 3. Selection criteria and procedures (SP): Procedures Selection procedures are designed to ascertain the candidate's aptitude for scientific research. The admission tests consist of: a written test (min 4 hours – max 6 hours); Interview in which the candidate will present an original research plan regarding the topics of the PhD course; The candidate must also demonstrate a knowledge of two European languages.

35 3. Selection criteria and procedures (SP): Selection criteria A total of 100 points for qualifications, written test and interview Written test Written test – for a maximum of 40/100 points. The test is passed with a minimum of 28/40 Interview Interview – for a maximum of 40/100 points The test is passed with a minimum 28/40 Qualifications Qualifications – for a maximum of 20/100 points

36 Monitoring of progress (SP): The PhD students activity is monitored. It depends on the approval at the end of every year and any time they follow seminars, conferences, congresses. In particular: at the end of every year each PhD student must prepare a report on his/her research activity during the year. Such report will be presented and discussed during an open session at the presence of the Board of Professors and of the others PhD students. at the end of every seminar each PhD student must fill in a questionnaire with 10 yes-no questions. Each test is positively evaluated with a minimum of 8/10

37 Involvement of PhD students (SP): The PhD students can be involved in collaborating in the course of his/her supervisor. Each PhD student can held no more than 6 hours of exercises aiming at deepen particular aspects of the university courses. Each PhD student is also encouraged to present the result of his/her scientific activity in national and/or international events.

38 Webminars (SP): The Doctorate course provides a browser-based free system that allows PhD students to set up conferences in the Web. The UNIPAMEETINGS system is used mainly for web-seminars, recruiting interviews and it is an important tool for students allowing to share documents and to meet their advisor whey theyre abroad.

39 During these years, more than 70 PhD students have been attending the PhD courses and many of them have got very good job position. At present among PhD Doctors in Environmental Agronomy, there are: 3 associate professors; 5 university researchers; 25 research officers in Agricultural Research Centers; 5 professors in high schools

40 University of Palermo

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