Harmonization and Innovation in PhD Study Programs for Plant Health in Sustainable Agriculture

Project number: 598444-EPP-1-2018-1-HR-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP (2018-2472 / 001-001)

  •  06.09.2022. 08:00 AM - 08.09.2022. 05:00 PM
  •   Novi Sad, Serbia

We cordially invite you to participate in the scientific conference, which is the final conference of the Erasmus+ project HarISA "Harmonisation and Innovation in PhD Study Programs for Plant Health in Sustainable Agriculture" and will be held at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Agriculture, in Novi Sad from 6 to 8 September 2022.

  •  28.03.2022. 07:00 PM - 31.03.2022. 10:00 AM
  •   Hotel Amara, Shetitorja e Plazhit, Durrës, Albania

After a long time of online meetings, it was time to get together again. This time we will meet in Durres on March 28. The meeting will be attended by the leaders of work packages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 to reach important agreements on the submission of programs for accreditation of study programs, to establish final curricula for each subject in each subgroup, to agree on diagnostic and training hubs, to monitor mobility and to agree on a strategy for the completion of the project.

  •  27.04.2020. 09:00 AM - 29.04.2020. 02:10 PM
  • Online Event

Due to the global situation caused by the corona virus, the conference was held online by Zoom.us instead of in Mostar.

  •  28.10.2019. 08:00 AM - 29.10.2019. 02:00 PM
  •   Hotel Tulip Inn, Belgrade, Serbia

3rd meeting in Belgrade will bring together members of work packages 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. The task of WP 3 is to identify the needs for further research topics and methodologies on plant health for sustainable agriculture in each of the sub-group and to propose possible research topics and joint mentorship. To propose student and staff mobility to WP5 in order to ensure joint mentorship and intensify scientific cooperation among the partner scientists. The task of WP 4 and WP 5 is the selection of candidates. The tasks of WP 6 are to present six-month monitoring report and to create questionnaires for students and staff. The tasks of WP 8 are monitoring project implementation and coordinate overall project activities.

  •  10.06.2019. 09:00 AM - 11.06.2019. 04:00 PM
  •   Hotel M Nikić, Podgorica, Montenegro
  •  25.02.2019. 08:00 AM - 27.02.2019. 11:00 AM
  •   Svetošimunska cesta 25, Zagreb, Croatia
TITLEHarmonization and Innovation in PhD Study Programs for Plant Health in Sustainable Agriculture
GRANT HOLDERUniversity of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture
PROJECT LEADERProf. Renata Bažok, Ph.D.
PROJECT DURATION44 months (January 15th 2019 – October 14th 2022)



In today's sustainable agricultural production, comprehensive care for plant health is essential. Apart from modern diagnostic methods, it includes the application of sophisticated plant protection methods based on the latest scientific knowledge. Without the highly educated experts who are well acquainted with the issue of all aspects of plant health in sustainable agricultural production, it is impossible to achieve required goals. The HarISA project (Harmonization and Innovation in PhD Study Programs for Plant Health in Sustainable Agriculture) was approved under the Erasmus+ program in the field of Strengthening Capacities in Higher Education on the European Movement politics and culture (EACEA). This project has the ambition to harmonize and modernize doctoral education in the Western Balkans countries and to create a network of researchers capable of responding to current challenges in plant health. The project aims to provide support for modernization and internationalization of higher education in the field of plant health and to contribute to co-operation between the European Union and the countries of Western Balkans in implementing the European Union's policy on plant health. It also seeks to ensure the acquisition of scientific knowledge and the transfer of skills and competences to achieve sustainable use of pesticides and the application of the major principles of integrated plant protection in agricultural production. The project was submitted by the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, in cooperation with partners from the EU countries (Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece) and countries of the so-called Western Balkans (WBC) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania). The project will achieve specific goals such as: harmonize, improve and modernize doctoral programs in the area of plant health among partner universities, to increase the ability of the PhD to respond to global health problems; to develop a common framework and a draft curriculum for an international joint doctoral study in plant health; to foster regional integration in the field of research and education of plant health within the Western Balkan countries and between the countries of the Western Balkans and the EU countries.


Work package N°Type of work packageTitle of work packageStart monthEnd month
WP.1PreparationReview of partners PhD SP14
WP.2DevelopmentJoint framework for harmonization of PhD SP and development of a curriculum draft242
WP.3DevelopmentImproving the scientific content242
WP.4DevelopmentEstablishment of diagnostic and training hubs (DTH)231
WP.5DevelopmentMobility of students and staff, training of PhD students and staff241
WP.6Quality planQuality assurance244
WP.7Dissemination & ExploitationProject Dissemination244
WP.8ManagementProject management144

Consumers in the EU and beyond are increasingly concerned about the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health. These concerns are reflected in EU’s 6th Environment Action Program, and Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, whose key objectives include substitution of harmful substances by safer alternatives, encouragement of low input/low-pesticide crop cultivation and re-inforce integrated pest management applications. Increasing concerns of consumers about chemical pesticides have resulted in "EU pesticides package" (Regulations 1107/2009/EEC and 1185/2009, Directives 2009/128/EC and 2009/127) which regarded stress upon the environment, residuals in the food chain, human health issues and impact on evolutionary pressure. Moreover, the 7th Environmental Action Program includes an “enabling framework” with four priority objectives to help EU deliver on these goals: better implementation of legislation, better information by improving the knowledge base, more and wiser investment for the environment, and full integration of environmental requirements into other policies.
Consortium members have special interest in taking part in the project as it is a unique opportunity to bring together a wide expertise in the field of plant health doctoral education and research. The project provides a great potential to generate synergies to help overcome the current challenges and build human capacities in plant health in the Western Balkan countries (WBC). All HarISA partner countries are candidates for entering EU. The common challenges for them is to implement EU policy in plant health, and develop and establish all necessary conditions for the application of innovative plant health measures that fits with the principles of sustainable agriculture. The implementation of "EU pesticides package" requires highly educated professionals with deep understanding on this matter. They must be capable to transfer knowledge, skills and competences in the biological, biotechnological and agronomic control means and in applying strategies of pesticide application which can reduce the environmental and human risks.
This project has the ambition of harmonizing and modernizing doctoral education at PIs and creating a network of researchers that is capable to respond to the above mentioned challenges. HEIs will benefit by improving human potential and its success for conduction of competitive research in the field of plant health. At the same time this will ensure preconditions in partner countries to improve productivity and resilience of sustainable agriculture in the context of evolving climate. Finally, it will impact on a range of agricultural production (in chains context) and risk management practices, and will result with safeguarding of biodiversity (particularly near NATURA 2000 natural areas).
Regional and partner country national priority is to improve quality of education and teaching by developing learning and teaching tools, methodologies and pedagogical approaches including learning outcomes and ICT-based practices. HarISA project proposes the modernization of curriculum by developing new and innovative courses and methodologies. Therefore, the aims of the HarISA project are entirely compatible with regional and partner national priorities in the field of education. The same time HarISA covers the field of agriculture which is also defined as national priority by all partner countries as well as for the region of WBCs.
The strategic research agenda and project results of the “C-IPM – Coordinated Integrated Pest management in Europe” ERA-NET was activated to favor exchange and identification of IPM research and development priorities in order to face European challenges of responding to the mandatory implementation of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). Proposed project is in line with numerous EU founded projects as are PURE-IPM, ENDURE, BIOFECTOR, BIOCOMES, BIOGUARD, Best Pass, XF-ACTORS, API-Tree, EUFRUIT, EMPHASIS, BIOCOMES, etc. All these projects are (or were) research projects related to plant health issues as emerging pest and diseases, sustainable use of pesticides, developing new products and methodologies for pest control.
Until now, all completed and ongoing curricula reform EU projects on plant health topic were focused on undergraduate and graduate programs. The aims were to develop modern teaching contents at the agricultural faculties, to improve the quality and modularization of their curricula to improve the teaching skills of staff or to develop strategic planning management. Some of them aimed to develop and improve Master study programs in plant health (International Joint Master Degree in Plant Medicine and Plant Health project) but no projects and activities are carried out to harmonize the doctoral education neither in agriculture nor in plant health.

Deliverable / NoTitle of deliverableType or natureDelivery Date
Work package 1
D1.1.University reports on the PhD SPReport2019-2-10
D1.2.Workshop on partners PhD SPEvents: Conferences and Seminars2019-2-28
D1.3Joint analyses of the partners PhD SPMethodology2019-4-30
Work package 2
D2.1.University reports on PhD SP management and mentoringReport2019-4-30
D2.2.Workshop -action planEvents: Conferences and Seminars2019-6-15
D2.3.Workshop -curriculum draftEvents: Conferences and Seminars2022-03-15
D2.4.Draft of the curriculumReport2022-05-15
D2.5Specific documents for PhD programme accreditation at chosen partners and their submission to the Faculty levelReport2022-09-30
Work package 3
D3.1.Workshops organizedEvents: Conferences and Seminars2020-4-15
Scientific needs identified and research topics for PhD thesis and joint mentorship proposedReport2019-10-15
The improvements of the existing coursesLearning resources2022-05-15
New subjects related to plant healthLearning resources2022-05-15
Jointly prepared teaching materialLearning resources2021-10-15
D3.6.Scientific conference organizationEvents: Conferences and Seminars2022-09-30
Work package 4
D4.1.Selection criteria and evaluation procedure for DTHReport2019-5-15
D4.2.Workshop- selection of candidatesEvents: Conferences and Seminars2019-10-15
D4.3.Procurement of the equipmentOther products2021-10-30
D4.4.Agreement between DTHsOther products2020-03-15
Work package 5
D5.1.Mobility plan for PhD students and staffMethodology2020-11-15
D5.2.Student and staff mobility implementedReport2022-08-15
D5.3.Trainings for mentorsTraining2021-01-15
D5.4.Mobility documents developedOther products2021-01-15
Work package 6 
D6.1.Evaluation Board (EB)Other products2019-03-15
D6.2.Action plan for quality assuranceOther products2019-05-15
D6.3.Reports on mid- term and final monitoring on project implementationReport2020-07-15
D6.4.Review of the draft of the curriculumReport2022-10-15
D6.5.Survey with students and staff after mobilityOther products2022-08-14
Work package 7 
D7.1.Communication and visibility planReport2019-4-30
D7.2.Web page and social mediaOther products2019-4-30
D7.3.Project materialsOther products2022-10-14
D7.4.Research resultsOther products2022-10-14
Work package 8
D8.1.MB meetings organized, meeting minutesReport2019-2-15
D8.2.Consortium agreementOther products2019-2-15
D8.3.Project management plan developedReport2019-2-15
D8.4.Stakeholder board functioningOther products2019-2-15
D8.5.Interim and final narrative and financial reportsReport2020-7-15

Erasmus+ is the EU's program to support Capacity-building projects in higher education promoting cooperation and partnerships that have an impact on the modernization and internationalization of higher education institutions and systems in Partner Countries, with a special focus on Partner Countries neighboring the EU.
HarISA Project is funded by European Union and its budget correlates with proposed activities. The 29.64 % of the project is dedicated to staff cost, 24.63 % for equipment, and 40.3 % for travel cost and cost of stay and 5.43 % for subcontracting. Dissemination costs and administrative costs will be co-financed by each PI. Equipment will be purchased to equip diagnostic and training hubs at PIs facilities from partner countries. Overall, 37.11 % of the work will be carried out by teachers/trainers, 47.00 % by administrative support, 4.87 % by technicians and 11.02 % by management support.
Management days are allocated to the PC and WPLs to lead their WPs and to the partners to be represented in the MB meetings. Researcher days will be allocated for teachers working during the WP meetings and to produce intellectual outputs of the project (documents, teaching material, draft of curriculum etc…). Technical and administrative days will be used for preparation of material to be published on the web page and to carry out all administrative and financial support at 12 partners. Cost of stay and travel costs are proposed for meetings and for student (182 students) and staff (442) mobility.

No.Category of costAmountConditions
IStaff cost331.148Can't exceed 40% of total Grant requested
IITravel costs +  Exceptional travel costs96.715
IIICost of stay283.300
IVEquipment238.000Can't exceed 30% of total  Grant requested
VSubcontracting18.451Can't exceed 10% of total  Grant requested
TOTAL GRANT CONTRIBUTION967.614,00Should be equal or above 500.000,00€ and can't exceed 1.000.000,00€

Work PackageStaff costsTravel costsCosts of stayEquipment costs Subcontracting costsExceptional travel costsTotal (€)














Quality Plan







Dissemination & Exploitation























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This project has the ambition of harmonizing and modernizing doctoral education at PIs and to create a network of researchers that is capable to respond to challenges related to plant health in sustanaible agriculture.Therfore, the need for highly educated professionals with deep understanding in the area of plant health is high and this is the reason why we believe that sustainability of the project will be ensured.

The most important project deliverable will be the draft of a curriculum for the International Joint PhD study program (WP2). This draft will serve as initial document for interested partners to continue and accredit the Joint International PhD study program in plant health for sustainable agriculture and to apply for a new project.

Additionally, the sustainability will be achieved by ensuring the sustainability of harmonized and improved PhD study program in plant health for sustainable agriculture (WP3) what will also be the result of the project. Developed teaching materials will be used from many partners in the project after the project will terminate.

PhD students and staff mobility proposed in the project will contribute to the better networking of teachers and PhD students (WP5). The number of dissertation under double supervision will increase. The project will help WBC partners to be more involved in EU networks and projects. The network of teachers and students will be created.

By the creation of diagnostic and training hubs (WP4) the intra-WBC networking and creation of the platform of competences will be supported.

By improving skills of teachers for preparing project application (WP5) the number of scientific project application at PIs will increase what will ensure more research topics and more PhD candidates in future. By improving mentoring skills and empowering less experienced teachers for mentoring PhD study programs in plant health will sustain in the future.

University of Zagreb

Faculty of Agriculture

Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek

Faculty of Agrobiotehnical Sciences Osijek (FAZOS)

University of Bari Aldo Moro

Agricultural University Plovdiv

Agricultural University of Athens

Agricultural University of Tirana

„F. San Noli” University of Korce

Faculty of Agriculture

University of Sarajevo

Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences

University of Mostar

Agricultural and food tehnology faculties

University of Belgrade

University of Novi Sad

Faculty of Agriculture

University of Montenegro

Biotehnical Faculty

Management Board

Stakeholder Board

  • Agronomski fakultet, Svetošimunska cesta 25, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Project coordinator: Renata Bažok