About the PhD Program LERH

The PhD Program Land, Environment, Resources and Health (LERH; in Italian TARS: Territorio, Ambiente Risorse e Salute) is a multi-disciplinary three-year Doctoral Program (180 ECTS) organized at the Dept. TESAF of the University of Padova.


LERH Program mission is to understand the processes governing natural and agricultural ecosystems and food quality and to train researchers in integrated strategies for the management of natural resources, for promoting an intersectoral rural and agri-food development and associated bio-based economic activities. The emphasis is on basic and applied research on agri-forest ecosystems, sustainable technologies, innovative management options and integrated policies.

The final objective of the LERH Program is to educate the leaders of the future generations of top management staff and researchers working with sustainable rural, nature and food management to ensure wider societal benefits. 

The five Research areas of the LERH Program are: Agriculture, forest and food economics and policy; Forest ecology and forest management; Hydrology, water resources, land and soil conservation; Agriculture and forest mechanization and operations management; Viticulture and enology, food quality and nutrition.

An international network

LERH has a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) agreement with the EC Joint Research Centre (JRC) for supporting research activities of the PhD students of common interest. LERH is participating to the Erasmus Mundus program Forest and Nature for Society (FONASO) supported by the European Commission to enhance and promote European higher education throughout the world. FONASO Consortium includes globally top ranked universities and leading International research organisations. The programme builds on existing research schools and environments, taking the best from each to build up joint supervision, activities and doctoral candidate courses. The Consortium consists of 7 partner institutions and 13 associate institutions.
Our partner institutions in the FONASO program are:

We have also special agreements for the joint or double PhD degree based on co-supervision with the following academic institutions:

The PhD course is also participating to the following International programs for the students and scientists mobility:

The LERH PhD program is participating to the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project “European Research and Enterprise Alliance on Marketing and Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (ECOSTAR) coordinated by the TESAF to promote entrepreneurship and the innovation skills of its PhD students. The project is run with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the University of Manchester, the Transilvania University of Brasov and other private partners.


Every year approximately 8-10 fellowships are available to academically outstanding applicants. There is one annual call for applications; short-listed applicants are invited to pass an oral exam, that can be organized also by Skype (see “How to apply”).

The language of the programme is English.