“Innovative technologies and sustainable use of Mediterranean Sea fishery and biological resources” (FishMed-PhD), the International PhD program of the University of Bologna, in collaboration with the Italian National Research Council, Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies.



FishMed-PhD program is international. At least 25% of its Academic Board is made up of professors and researchers belonging to qualified foreign universities or research centers: Bar-Ilan University (Israel), Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Croatia), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Burgundy (France), Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Spain), Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Greece), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Ruder Boškovic Institute (Croatia). The selection process will also take on an international character, positively evaluating the scientific excellence of candidates, such as scientific publications in journals with Impact Factor, participation in international conferences, and reference letters for any research periods spent in abroad institutes. In addition, young high-profile graduates will be selected through networks that promote employment growth in the Mediterranean region. In addition to Euraxess, open positions will be published on specific websites that improve the development of employment in the southern Mediterranean countries (eg HOMERe - High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executives Recruitment). FishMed-PhD program requires a compulsory research period abroad, of at least three months, to promote a better understanding of the existing realities and of the ways of managing marine biological resources at an international level.

Learning outcomes

Despite the fact that the fisheries issue is one of the priorities of the European agenda, this topic has never been supported by high level dedicated education. FishMed-PhD will focus predominantly on Mediterranean fisheries, both in terms of understanding the impact that fishing pressure can have on ecosystems, but also how fisheries are interconnected with the marine environment and are themselves impacted by other drivers of change (e.g., climate change, alien species). FishMed-PhD will train a new generation of managers, not only on innovative Technologies, the biology of the harvested species and biotechnologies, but also on the importance of limiting the anthropic impacts while maintaining the economic performances. Students will carry out interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research and complement their training through specialized courses. Students will also learn to implement environmental awareness and to deliver scientific knowledge to policy makers, and the general public.

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment

Oceans are drivers of the economy and have a great potential for innovation and growth. “The blue economy” employs about 5.4 million people, generating a GDP of almost 500 billion euros a year. “Blue Growth” is the long-term strategy of the European Union to support the sustainable development of the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. The strategy focuses in particular on activities where there is a high growth potential (eg aquaculture, tourism, marine biotechnology, resource and environmental management). These EU investments in “Blue Growth” create a great need for researchers, engineers, managers and environmental economists at the local, national and international level. Preparing the skills necessary for the development of the blue economy is a priority of the EC Mission Starfish 2030 and the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). The latter must contribute to the achievement of European environmental objectives also through the protection of marine resources, the transition to a circular economy, the prevention of pollution and the protection and restoration of coastal areas. FishMed-PhD will train young researchers to meet these needs through broad intersectoral and interdisciplinary interactions. The skills acquired will be applicable in various professions related to consultancy and environmental management, socio-economic risk assessment and public employment. PhD students will be able to select specific indicators of changes in the marine environment, aimed at analyzing the socio-economic implications of these changes, useful for businesses and policy makers; they will participate in workshops and conferences, acquiring networking opportunities in both the private and public sectors. After their doctorate, they will be able to become European leaders in the management of the marine environment and its resources.