Most scientific research in Portugal takes place in R&D institutions financed and evaluated by FCT. There are currently 307 R&D Units, where 22 000 researchers work everyday.
Research in these R&D Units encompasses all scientific fields, from life and health sciences to social sciences and humanities, from engineering and exact sciences to natural and environmental sciences.
Provided with the capability to perform high quality research, R&D institutions have a central role in both advancing research and national development, while establishing themselves as international centres of excellence that address issues of national and global relevance. The Regime Jurídico de Instituições de Investigação Científica regulates both public and private R&D Units that receive state-funding.
R&D institutions are regularly evaluated by FCT.