We are looking for…

A person that…

• has the sustainable management of the territory and the connection between natural and urban areas at heart;
• commits to the mission of transforming our cities and making them greener through nature-based solutions and green infrastructures;
• is enterprising and dynamic and can independently solve problems and learn fast;
• has strong analytical and social skills and is able to dialogue with mayors, civil servants and entrepreneurs;
• is into applied research and is able to turn the results of research into practical projects;
• shares the values of ethics and sustainability of our company.

Who we are?

Our mission is to restore the balance between humans and nature, and we do it through science, innovation and participatory management of territorial processes. Thus, we support public and private organizations in improving the environmental, social and economic impacts of policies, projects and investments in the territory. We are a spin-off of the University of Padova and, therefore, we work both at the local and international level bringing scientific innovation in everyone’s life. Join our team and you will contribute to the development of innovative projects to ensure a responsible use of natural resources.

In Etifor, we love teamwork, work hard and never stop being curious. Joining our team also means sharing our values, such as liberal-mindedness: you are welcome, whatever your origin, religion, gender or sexual preferences are; the only thing that really matters to us is knowing that you have a “green” heart, exactly as we do!

Description of the PhD Scholarship


Green infrastructures and nature-based solutions for urban community sustainability, resilience and wellbeing: possible solutions, expected impacts, investment needs/opportunities and insights for policy makers


Alessandro Leonardi, Etifor CEO and co-founder.


Davide Pettenella, full professor at the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF) of the University of Padova


The research project will focus on the contribution of Green Infrastructures (GI) and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to the resilience of urban communities against the risks and trends related to the climate crisis.

By 2050, between 68% and 84% of the global population will live in urban areas. The lack of appropriate management measures of such trends has environmental, economic (e.g. exposure to risks/costs associated to extreme climatic events) and social (e.g. consequences on human health related to air quality, heat island, sedentary lifestyles, including an increase in chronic diseases and non-communicable diseases) impacts. As it is acknowledged by the SDG11, UN New Urban Agenda e World Forum on Urban Forests, GI and NBS can reduce these impacts, promoting the population’s health.

The general objective of the study will be pursued through:

  • Analysis of the risks associated to the urbanization trends, and benchmarking of the solutions (GI and NBS)
  • Analysis of the case studies and identification/valuation of the most appropriate solutions;
  • Development of technical, financial and governance support mechanisms for the identified solutions in order to favour their scalability and replicability.

The concepts of GI and NBS appeared in the European political agenda in 2013-15. They include solutions that are inspired by nature and the management of natural or anthropic ecosystems to tackle real/potential risks and, more generally, to improve the quality of the environment, offering multiple social and economic benefits to communities.
Despite the development of literature on GI and NBS, there is a research gap on the monitoring of costs and benefits and on the investment/funding modalities, with limited focus on urban GI, especially in the national/regional context.



In order to apply to the PhD, the possession of a master’s degree is a minimum requirement. Candidates with socio-economic background and/or experience in research and/or work experience in the sectors of GI and NBS will be preferred.


Candidates with proven work and/or research experience in the sectors related to the topic of the PhD will be preferred.


Candidates with the following competences will be preferred: financial and economic competences, use of GIS, scientific research and writing, technical competences on the research topic and very good knowledge of English.

What we offer?

Etifor team will help you to grow within the company, in a friendly and international working environment.

Working together, we can improve the world we live in and leave a positive sign in the territory that hosts us!

In particular:

  • You will have the chance to work for a dynamic, young and innovative company;
  • You will be part of a team that work at the local and international level to reconnect humans and nature tackling the issues of climate change and biodiversity loss;
  • You will be working in close contact with the academic research world, spending your time either at our offices or in the Agripolis Campus (University of Padova)
  • You will get in touch with several training opportunities;
  • You will have a flexible work time with a result-oriented and SMART work approach.

At the end of the PhD you can aspire to join the Etifor team as a Project Manager in the sector of GI and NBS

PhD scholarship information

Start: 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2023


  • 50% of the time at the TESAF Department, Agripolis Campus, Viale dell’Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD).
  • 50% of the time at Etifor Srl, the co-financing company, Piazza Alcide di Gaspari, 41, 35131, Padova.
  • The scholarship includes the possibility to spend an up-to-6 months period abroad at a location of your choice

Duration: 3 years

Contract type: PhD scholarship. The scholarship is co-funded by Etifor and UniSMART- CARIPARO.

How to apply?

The call opens on 4 May 2020. You can submit your application through the following procedure of the University of Padova, further information at: https://www.tesaf.unipd.it/en/research/phd-lerh-program/news.

Even in the official procedure to apply for the PhD Scholarship is the above mentioned procedure of the University of Padova, we kindly ask you – in addition to completing the official above mentioned procedure – to get in touch with Etifor, the hosting and co-funding company: the candidate is required to send the following documents through the online form in this webpage by 16/06/2020.

In the “Application Type” field of the online form, please select “PhD Infrastrutture verdi” and attach the following materials as a single PDF:
• Cover letter (maximum 1 page), explaining your motivations and the strengths of your application
• Updated Curriculum Vitae
• References, publications, links and other useful material to demonstrate the experience gained
The oral interview will take place on the dates and modalities indicated by the University in the link above. Etifor is part of the Commission that evaluates the oral interview.

ATTENTION: submitting the application to the company is an informal procedure. Candidates must necessarily submit the applications through the system of the University of Padova.

For further information, contact us: jobs@etifor.com