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FCT PhD Programmes

2013 Call

16.04.2014 - In the 2013 call for FCT PhD Programmes 212 applications were submitted. The breakdown by scientific domain and type of programme is as follows:

National and International PhD Programmes: 199 applications
Exact Sciences and Engineering: 65 | Life and Health Sciences: 26
Natural and Environmental Sciences: 27 | Social Sciences and the Humanities: 81

PhD Programmes with Industry: 13 applications
Exact Sciences and Engineering: 6 | Life and Health Sciences: 3
Natural and Environmental Sciences: 4 | Social Sciences and the Humanities: 0

Purpose and Overview

With the call for funding for FCT PhD Programmes, FCT aims to promote graduate training of the highest quality in Portugal and contribute to establishing close collaborations between higher education institutions (HEI), R&D Units and industry.

Following the 2012 FCT PhD Programmes, in which 58 proposals were recommended for funding, FCT opens the second edition of this programme.

FCT PhD Programmes may be of three types:

  • National: should involve at least one HEI and one research institution registered with FCT (both Portuguese);
  • International: should involve at least one HEI and one research institution registered with FCT (both Portuguese) and an overseas HEI or R&D institution
  • In an Industry setting: should involve at least one HEI, one research institution registered with FCT (both Portuguese) and one industrial partner with significant R&D activity.

Read the Official Announcement for National/International FCT PhD Programmes, and the Official Announcement for FCT PhD Programmes in an Industry Setting (both in Portuguese).

What’s included

FCT PhD Programmes include PhD Studentships, national or mixed, and Bolsas de Investigação Científica – BIC. Supplementary support for courses may also be provided for laboratory rotations or other types of fieldwork deemed essential to the fulfilment of the aims of the Programme, up to a maximum amount of one hundred thousand euros for the duration of the Programme.

This call is supported by the National Budget of the Portuguese Ministry for Education and Science and, whenever eligible, by funds from the European Social Fund through the Programa Operacional Potencial Humano of the QREN Portugal 2007-2013 programme.


Portuguese higher education institutions, overseas higher education institutions, overseas and Portuguese private or public research institutions (including research units, associated laboratories, state laboratories), industry and other private or public institutions with legal standing may apply to set up an FCT PhD Programme.

Applying institutions may be Proponents or Participants.

Only Portuguese HEI and Portuguese research institutions registered with FCT may apply as Proponents. Industry, overseas HEI and overseas research institutions may apply as Participants.

More information on eligibility is available in the Regulations (in Portuguese) and the Application Guide.

How to apply

The call for proposals is open 9 January 2014 until 5pm, Lisbon time, of 24 March 2014.

All applications should be submitted online by the Programme Director, via the FCT online submission system.

Here you will find a blank application form (PDF format), which gives an overview of the different sections to be filled in.

For further information on how to apply and detailed guidance notes, please download the Application Guide.


An evaluation panel composed of internationally leading researchers will perform the evaluation of the applications, as established in the Regulations of the call.
The panel shall assess the overall capacity of the proposed PhD programme to provide the best conditions for students, according to international best practices. Particular aspects to be assessed include:

  • an effective and non-cumbersome governance structure, which should include the Programme Director and at least one member of each participating institution;
  • the scientific merit of the research team(s) associated to the programme;
  • well-structured and interdisciplinary education approaches, that are not extensions of undergraduate teaching modules;
  • student selection criteria based solely on quality and merit;

A full list of the evaluation criteria can be found in the FCT PhD Programmes Regulations. More information is available in the Evaluation Guide.


For additional information or queries about the FCT PhD Programmes:

The information on this page does not replace or override any requirements set forth in the Regulations or the Announcements of the Call for Proposals (National/International FCT PhD Programmes, FCT PhD Programmes in an Industry Setting).