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2021 Call for PhD Research Studentships

Concurso para Atribuição de Bolsas de Investigação para Doutoramento - 2021

Latest News

21.10.2021 - FCT has published the final result of the 2021 Call for PhD Research Scholarships: Final List e Results by Panel. A total of 1454 PhD Research Scholarships were proposed for funding. (see News)
29.07.2021 - A FCT anunciou os resultados provisórios do Concurso para a Atribuição de Bolsas de Investigação para Doutoramento 2021, que preveem a atribuição de 1.450 bolsas. (Ver Notícia)
15.06.2021 - A FCT publicou a composição Painéis de Avaliação do Concurso para Atribuição de Bolsas de Investigação para Doutoramento – 2021.
26.04.2021 - Concurso de Bolsas de Investigação para Doutoramento da FCT de 2021 recebeu um total de 3381 candidaturas. (ver Notícia e Relatório estatístico do processo de candidatura)
01.03.2021 - Abriu o Concurso para Atribuição de Bolsas de Investigação para Doutoramento 2021. (ver Notícia)
15.02.2021 - Nota informativa - A FCT informa que os prazos para a submissão de candidaturas dos grandes Concursos anuais vão ser cumpridos, de acordo com os anúncios feitos atempadamente no momento de divulgação dos respetivos editais dos concursos. (ver notícia)

Purpose and Overview

The 2021 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 in, or that comply with the requirements to enrol in PhD studies, and who wish to carry out research activities towards this degree, in any scientific domain.

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 with R&D activity, as well as private non-profit institutions developing R&D activities.

Similarly, companies acknowledged for their scientific interest or consortia that include any of the mentioned institutions will be considered as host institutions.

Of note, research activities may be performed in collaboration with different host institutions, public or private, including companies and Public Administration, promoting institutional cooperation, as well as transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. 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).

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.

In case of a “in Portugal and abroad” studentship, the period of the work plan that takes place in a foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.

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:

  • Be a citizen permanently and usually living 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.
  • Not have held any prior PhD or PhD in Industry studentship directly funded by FCT, of any duration;
  • Not to hold a doctoral degree.


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), or any other funding schemes that might be approved, according with the legal requirements to the regulatory provisions applicable for this purpose.

How and when to apply

Applications should be submitted online, using the respective application form, in the myFCT portal. Only one proposal per applicant is allowed.

Before application submission, FCT recommends the careful reading of the following documents: Notice of Call, Annex I (Evaluation Guide), Application Guide, Research Fellowship Holder Statute and the FCT Regulation for Students and Fellowships.


Proposals will be assessed 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 the applicant will be evaluated based on two sub-criteria: academic career, with a relative weight of 50% and personal curriculum, also with a relative weight of 50%.

Applicant personal curriculum will be analysed in an integrated manner, considering a global view of scientific and professional achievements.

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

Applications 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 (in Portuguese), Notice of Call, Evaluation Guide (Annex I of the Notice of Call), and the Application Guide, applicable to this call.