Coordination of the Ph.D. Board is entrusted to a professor belonging to the DISTAL Department.

The Ph.D. Programme Coordinator is elected by the Ph.D. Board among its members and appointed by the Rector's Decree. He/She has a three-year tenure.

He/She oversees the activities of the Ph.D. programme, convenes and chairs the Ph.D. Board.

Currently, the Ph.D. Programme Coordinator is Massimiliano Petracci. Previously, Ph.D. Programme was coordinated by Claudio Ciavatta (2010-2012) and Giovanni Dinelli (2012-2018).


The Ph.D. Board plans and manages the Ph.D. Programme: it is responsible for the scientific and educational activities within the doctoral course.

In details, the Ph.D. board:

  • defines the assessment criteria of the admission exam to the course;
  • identify of the supervisors;
  • plans the training and research activities, for each academic year and for each student;
  • the annual rules for evaluating the work done and the results produced by the doctoral students.


All faculty of the Dept. of Agricultural and Food Sciences are involved in the teaching and research activities of this Ph.D. Programme which covers ten main thematic areas.


Every academic year STAAA enrolls around 40 Ph.D. students.

Each student joins a research group in one of the DISTAL laboratories in Bologna or Cesena.

In accordance with his/her supervisor, the students starts immediately to develope the research project.