PhD in Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing at Università di Ferrara

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Admission: academic qualifications and interview
  • Coordinator: Prof. Paola Spinozzi
  • Head office: Ferrara
  • Internalisation: an agreement between Università di Ferrara and WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY - WSU (Australia) is established for an International Joint PhD programme.
  • Final Ph.D title: Ph.D Doctor in in Enviromental Sustainability and Wellbeing. A double degree is awarded to students enrolled in the Joint PhD Programme between Università di Ferrara and estern Sydney University
  • Managing DepartmentStudi Umanistici
  • Study abroad: at least 6 months abroad during the Ph.D course.
  • Curriculum: NO
  • Educational purposes:

The innovative PhD in Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing is interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international. Sustainability has been studied with diverse methods in various disciplines. The objective of this PhD programme is to train researchers who, starting from their specific background, will acquire interdisciplinary and integrated methodologies to manage the sustainability of the environment in relation to the wellbeing of living organisms.

The training is based on the synergy of three main macro-areas:

1. The humanities and social sciences;

2. economics and law;

3. ecology, biology, and chemistry.

Socio-humanistic competences aimed at developing cultures of sustainability and the conservation of cultural heritage will be acquired by exploring Ecocriticism, Green Cultural Studies, Heritage Studies, the concepts of Anthropocene, Planetary Boundaries, Circles of Social Life, indicators such as Ecological Footprints and the principles for the energetic and environmental management of the built environment. Competences in environmental economics, econometrics and law will be developed by studying green, circular, and sharing economy applied to productive systems, heritage, and local development. Competences in ecology, biology, and chemistry will be acquired by focusing on ecological and genetic diversity and the evolutionary potential of species as well as on the assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of effects caused by anthropogenic activities and climate-changing, toxic substances. By placing sustainable environment and wellbeing in a perspective of biological and cultural complexity, a new generation of researchers will possess the skills to manage resources, productive activities and heritage in fragile ecosystems and to improve the quality of life and health.

These skills will be appreciated in traditional and innovative sectors, at national and international level:

1. State, regional, local institutions in charge of the management and valorisation of the territory, biodiversity, cultural heritage; archaeological museums, parks, and zoos; research institutes such as ISPRA, EEA; non-profit organisms and NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, OIE, FAO, FWW, Oxfam; health agencies such as OMS, ECDC, OCSE; development agencies such as UNDP, UNIDO, UNEP, World Bank;

2. Industries, enterprises and law firms specialized in the management of renewable resources and building materials; reuse of secondary raw materials and reduction of processing wastes; reuse of consumer goods;

3. Agro-environmental sector, with reference to the assessment and prevention of administrative offences and environmental crimes;

4. Research centres and laboratories for the prevention of disease and promotion of health and psycho-physical wellbeing. Interdisciplinary and integrated skills acquired during the PhD programme can be employed in numerous professions, such as: researcher, teacher, populariser of cultures of sustainability and wellbeing from a holistic perspective; manager of sustainable firms, museums, and archaeological sites; policy maker and legal expert in green, circular and sharing economy; energy manager; production manager; environmental and forensic toxicologist; certifier of sustainable and biological agriculture.


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