Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia has released the results of the 2017 Call for PhD Scholarships. 900 PhD scholarships were assigned through this call for individual applications. 500 additional scholarships have been awarded through FCT PhD Programmes amounting to a total of 1441PhD scholarships awarded in 2017. FCT had not financed such a high number of PhD scholarships in a single year since 2011 (see the evolution of the number of awarded grants between 2006 and 2017 below).
In the 2017 call, 2,760 applications were submitted, of which 2,453 were considered evaluable. There was a 37% success rate; in 2016, the success rate was 33%, and 18% in 2015.
The selected applicants will set the date for the beginning of their work plan between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. The results are thus known before the beginning of the school year, so the doctoral students can better plan their research.
Research grants are grants awarded to researchers to carry out scientific and technological activities in a full commitment regime. The grant allocation process includes several phases between the application and the disclosure of the results. After submission, and after being checked for its admissibility, applications were assessed separately by two researchers recognized in the respective scientific field, using external experts when needed.
After the individual evaluation of all applications, 305 researchers, distributed among 37 scientific panels, reunited in person to achieve consensus between the assessments in the context of their subject area and to sort the candidates. Taking into account the available funding, FCT proposed the funding of the best-placed candidates in each panel. All candidates have now been informed of the decision proposal and have access to the panel's comments that substantiate the rating assigned to their application. Upon notification, and in case of disagreement with the proposed classification, candidates have 10 days to present their arguments before the panel, by which they will be analyzed.