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20.04.2020 – Results of the funding for “RESEARCH 4 COVID-19” – 66 projects were approved for funding. See list here (download).

Important Documents

Important Dates:

  • Applications: 24 March - 5 April 2020, 5pm (Lisbon Time)

Special support for rapid implementation projects for innovative response solutions to COVID-19 pandemic

Taking into account the current outbreak of the new coronavirus and COVID-19 and the situation of increasing uncertainty and social alarm in which we live, but also the scientific and technological capacity existing in Portugal, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in collaboration with the Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation (AICIB) open a special funding, “RESEARCH 4 COVID-19”, to R&D projects and initiatives that respond to the needs of the National Health Service (SNS) as a response to this and future pandemics in a very short time horizon.

The intention is to stimulate collaborative national R&D networks, as well as the retargeting of activity in the R&D units supported by FCT towards R&D initiatives that respond to the needs of the National Health Service (SNS). This new support from FCT is, therefore, mainly to complement ongoing initiatives and to support the reorientation of existing teams.

In parallel and in addition to this initiative, FCT will launch with the health authorities another initiative to mobilize the national scientific and technological community to combat the pandemic caused by the coronavirus in a context of open data for research and innovation, which integrate, namely, metadata, datasets or hyperlinks, problems report, research results in epidemiological surveillance and other secondary public health and anonymized data necessary to combat the coronavirus epidemic, such as clinical, analytical and demographic results.

Considering the dynamic and rapid evolution of the situation and the context of uncertainty in which we live, the call will have two application periods.

Scope and Impact

The proposed R&D projects should contribute to improving the response of health systems to the impact of COVID-19, contributing to better patient management and / or the implementation of public health measures, in line with the provisions of the National Plan of Preparation and Response to Disease due to new coronavirus (COVID-19) from the General Directorate of Health (DGS):

  • R&D proposals within the scope of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and Covid-19 disease are accepted, including new prevention tools, therapeutic development, diagnostic techniques, clinical and epidemiological studies, as well as projects with a socio-cultural component and actions promoting a resilient society with the capacity to face the context of uncertainty in which we live, especially in the older population and in groups at higher risk;
  • The R&D proposals presented must be of rapid implementation (maximum 3 months of development time) and must be oriented to complement ongoing initiatives and the reorientation of existing teams;
  • R&D proposals must include innovative, focused and realistic ideas, with concrete results, ready to respond to the immediate needs of the SNS;
  • Participation in the project of services and healthcare providers (of any type) is mandatory.


Higher education institutions and their institutes, State Laboratories and other public research institutions, Scientific societies or non-profit scientific associations, public or private non-profit institutions, who may apply individually or in partnership, may be recipients, being mandatory the participation of services and healthcare providers entities. Business entities can participate, provided the partnership with research institutions.

How to Apply

Proposals must be submitted in Portuguese or English language, through the fulfilment of a specific form that can be accessed here.

Additional information can be obtained by e-mail:

Proposals will be submitted in two application periods.

The first period is between March 24 and 17:00, Lisbon time, on April 5, 2020.

The second application period will be determined according to the evolution of the situation, expectedly one month after the completion of the first application period.


The evaluation of R&D proposals will be carried out by the President of the Board of Directors of FCT, assisted by a committee including experts to be appointed by FCT / AICIB, together with public health experts, and the selection criteria will be based on the feasibility of the achievement / implementation and the impact on public health, as well as the degree of real involvement of participating entities, namely health care units.

The decision on the granting of supports rests with the President of the Board of Directors of FCT.

The result of the evaluation of the proposals for the first application period will be communicated by April 20.

Commission of Experts

  • Catarina Resende de Oliveira (Coordinator)
  • Henrique Barros
  • Baltazar Nunes
  • Luís Taborda Barata
  • Helena Canhão
  • Jorge Pedrosa
  • Margarida Correia Neves
  • Joana Palha
  • Pedro Morgado
  • Daniel Pinto
  • Sofia Pereira
  • Nuno Lunet
  • Nuno Marques
  • Teresa Gonçalves
  • Alexandrina Mendes


Bearing in mind the urgency, projects of rapid implementation (maximum 3 months of development) will be supported. The maximum funding limit for each project is 30 thousand euros, mainly to complement ongoing initiatives and to reorient existing teams.

For the two application periods, a budget allocation of 1.5 million euros is foreseen. The approved projects will be funded by national funds through FCT budget.

Legal Framework

The supports to be granted are funded under the Special Support Regulation, published in the Diário da República through Notice 11367/2010, of 8th June.