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Transnational Cooperation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Scientific Bilateral Agreement?

Bilateral Scientific Agreements are agreements signed by two Ministries or two similar governmental institutions between Portugal and other countries in the field of Science and Technology.

What is a Cultural Agreement?

Cultural Agreements are governmental agreements negotiated and signed between the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of other Countries, covering many different fields of knowledge. FCT is responsible for the implementing of the agreements, in Science and Technology field. The procedures involved are always carried out through diplomatic channels, including the calls for proposals and the selection of applications.

How does the opening of the calls process under Scientific Bilateral Agreements work?

The calls will open either annually, every two or three years according to the established in each Agreement. The announcement of the calls will be published on the FCT web page, in: Transnational Cooperation and in the web pages of the similar foreign institutions.

How does the submission of applications process work?

The applications must be submitted by email in a specific form, available at the time of the opening of the call, in the FCT website. Usually, the application consists in the following documentation:

  • Work plan;
  • Curricula of Portuguese and foreign researchers involved in the project;
  • Letter from the Scientific Council or from the Department Director in which the candidate develops his work, expressing the institution's interest in the project;
  • Declaration of acceptance by the foreign institution.

The same application must be submitted by the Portuguese researcher to FCT, Portugal, and the one from the foreign researcher to the corresponding institution in his own country, in a form provided by each institution. The applications that are not presented in the two countries will not be considered. In the announcement of each call there will be specified all the conditions to apply, as well as the contacts of the person responsible for the Agreement at FCT.

What are the main criteria used in the evaluation of the applications?
  • Scientific merit and quality of the proposal;
  • Quality of the research teams;
  • Participation of young researchers;
  • Adequacy of the mobility missions to the proposed program
What is the definition of Young Researcher?

A Young Researcher is a person who is doing research work during no more than 10 years. In case of having a doctoral degree (PhD), it is required to have the degree for less than 3 years.

How does FCT assesses the applications?

After the reception of applications, they are checked technically and then submitted to an evaluation panel, organized by scientific areas. The foreign party does an identical procedure. The results of the evaluations of the two parties are compared and selected at a Joint Commission in order to fund the selected applications.

How and when are known the results of the selection process, in Portugal?

By letter, addressed to the responsible of the Portuguese application, after the decision of the Joint Commission.

What is eligible for funding under these agreements?

The mobility of researchers in joint projects, ie, trips and short-term missions of researchers, both in national territory or in foreign territory.

What is meant by short-term missions?

The missions that last between one week and one month.

Can foreign researchers be part of the teams?

Yes. The participation of foreign researchers is possible.

Can Young Researchers, with fellowships, be part of the teams?

Yes. The participation of Young Researchers is an essencial requirement for the evaluation of the application or even mandatory in some agreements, whether they have scholarships or not.

How often must be presented the financial and scientific reports?

Reports must be submitted annually by filling a form of a technical-financial report prepared by FCT. By the end of the project, a final report must be submitted to FCT, which will include the description of the activities, the discrimination of the scientific production carried out under the project (eg, publications, communications, workshops, etc..) and the description of the financial part.