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2020 Call for PhD Research Scholarships

Latest News

03.12.2020 - Nota Informativa sobre documentos a submeter, prazos, reclamação e recurso
30.11.2020 - FCT has published the final result of the 2020 Call for PhD Research Scholarships: Final List e Results by Panel. A total of 1360 PhD Research Scholarships were proposed for funding. (see News)
30.09.2020 - FCT has announced the preliminary results of the 2020 Call for PhD Research Scholarships, which foresees the award of 1350 grants. (see News)
07.09.2020 - FCT informs that the announcement of the preliminary results of the 2020 Call for PhD Research Scholarships will take place on 30 September and that the announcement of the final results of the call will take place by 30 November. We remind that, in accordance with FCT Regulation for Research Studentships and Fellowships, the contractualisation process of the scholarships will take place after the announcement of the final results of the call, that is, after 30 November. Therefore, the postponement of the announcement of the preliminary results of the call will in no way affect the candidates or put into question the financing of their work plan, which may start from 1 September, as in previous editions of the call.
13.03.2020 - Notice - Submission deadline postponed. New deadline for applications: until 28 April. (see News)
13.03.2020 - Notice - FCT advises updating the CIÊNCIAVITAE curriculum and carefully reading the Application Guide and CIÊNCIAVITAE Guide, namely with regard to the definition of the level of privacy - public or semi-public - of all the relevant elements of its curriculum for evaluation of your application. Submit your application in a timely manner, avoiding any constraints resulting from the excessive influx of user near the deadline of the call

Purpose and Overview

The 2020 Call for PhD Studentships aims to support researchers, in all areas of knowledge, who wish to develop research activities leading to a PhD degree.

PhD studentships are aimed at applicants enrolled or that comply with the requirements to enrol for PhD studies and who wish to carry out research towards this degree.

Research activities may be carried out in any environment of production and dissemination of knowledge, national or international, including higher education institutions, R&D units, Associated Laboratories, Collaborative Laboratories, Technological Interface Centres, State Laboratories and other public research institutions, hospitals and healthcare units, other Public Administration entities or private non-profit institutions developing R&D activities, companies acknowledged for their scientific interest or consortia that includes any of the mentioned institutions.

The work plan may be entirely or partially carried out in a national institution (national or both in Portugal and abroad studentship, respectively), or in a foreign institution (abroad studentship). For both in Portugal and abroad studentships, the period of the work plan that takes place in a foreign institution cannot exceed a total of 24 months.

As a rule, studentships are annual, and can be renewed for the number of months for which they have been requested. No studentships are granted for periods of less than 3 consecutive months or more than 48 months.

Read about changes in relation to previous calls here.

Who Can Apply

Portuguese citizens, citizens of EU member states and citizens from third-party states, stateless citizens and citizens beneficiaries of political refugee status.

Applicants need to:

  • Not have held any prior FCT-funded PhD or PhD in Industry studentship of any duration;
  • Hold a status of long-term residents in Portugal in case the work plan will be carried out entirely or partially at foreign institutions (both in Portugal and abroad or entirely abroad); this requirement applies to both national and foreign citizens.


Selected applicants will have monthly allowances and supplementary support, which may include tuition fees, relocation costs, travel awards and health insurance, whenever applicable, as detailed in the Regulations.

The studentships granted in this call shall be financed by the FCT with funds from the State Budget and, whenever eligible, by the European Social Fund (ESF) within the framework of PORTUGAL2020, namely through the Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020) and the Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), according with the legal requirements to the regulatory provisions applicable for this purpose.

How and when to apply

The call for applications is open from 2 March to 28 April 2020 (5pm, Lisbon time). Applications should be submitted online on myFCT portal. Only one proposal per applicant is allowed.

For further information on how to apply and detailed guidance notes, FCT recommends a careful reading of the Notice of Call and the Annex I (Evaluation Guide), Application Guide, Research Fellowship Holder Statute and the FCT Regulation for Students and Fellowships


Proposals will be evaluated by evaluation panels specifically set up for this call, involving experts of acknowledged experience and scientific merit. Applications will be graded using scores from 0 (0,000 minimum score) to 5 (5,000 maximum score), for each of the following three criteria:

  1. merit of the applicant;
  2. merit of the work plan;
  3. merit of the hosting conditions.

The relative weights of three criteria are 40%, 40%, 20%, respectively.

The merit of applicants will be assessed based on three sub-criteria: academic career, with a relative weight of 50%; personal curriculum, with a relative weight of 40%; motivation letter with relative weight of 10%, from the merit of the applicant.

Applicants’ personal curricula will be analysed in an integrated manner, considering a global view of scientific and professional achievements. Thus, in this assessment it will be important to consider the reference letters (required documents) and the various dimensions of the curriculum that may demonstrate relevant scientific and professional backgrounds.

Assessment of the work plan and of the host institution conditions will be based on a duly substantiated assessment decision by the review panel.

Applicants will be ranked according to the weighted average of the scores for each three criteria.

The information on this page does not replace or override any requirements set forth in the Regulation for Studentships and Fellowships, Notice of Call and in the Evaluation Guide (Annex I of the Notice of Call), and Application Guide, applicable to this call.