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PhD Studentships in a non-academic environment

FCT has an open call for expression of interest to host PhD students in non-academic institutions in the scope of the call for the attribution of Studentships for PhD Research in all Scientific Domains 2023, whose call for applications (Regular Line of Application e Specific Line of Application in a Non-academic Environment) is now available  and applications will take place between 1 and 31 March.

The list of non-academic entities that responded to the expression of interest is now available for consultation.

In this Call, work plans elaborated in close articulation with non-academic entities assume special relevance. These entities will host the grantees during a considerable part of their work leading to the doctoral degree.

The various host configurations that this line allows should include at least one non-academic host institution and one academic host institutionas well as a scientific advisor from each of these institutions.

What is meant by academic and non-academic entities?

  • Academics are considered to be all entities of knowledge production and dissemination, national or international, including public and private higher education institutions, R&D units, Associate Laboratories, as well as other private non-profit institutions whose main purpose is R&D activities.  
  • Non-academic host institutions are considered to be all entities not included in the academic environment, as characterized above. For example, this line includes Companies, Collaborative Laboratories, Technology and Innovation Centers and other Interface Centers, Public Administration entities, State Laboratories, Hospitals, Museums, Libraries, Regulatory Entities, or third sector entities. In cases of R&D units or Associate Laboratories that are also Technology and Innovation Centers, the classification of academic entity prevails.

What are the advantages for a PhD student?

  • PhD students will have the opportunity to receive advanced training in areas of the utmost relevance to both academia and business, culture, or public administration, among others, increasing their employment opportunities after their PhD;
  • They will be scientifically guided by an interdisciplinary guidance team;
  • The student will be able to enjoy international stays and participation in national and international events, providing the necessary contacts to develop professionally in the area of his or her work plan.

What are the advantages for non-academic entities?

  • Non-academic entities (NCEs) will have the possibility to host researchers with a high scientific profile and at the forefront of research, who may contribute to solving concrete problems of these entities that are scientifically relevant or have a significant level of innovation.
  • The NSS will be able to attract talent and empower their teams, improving their competitiveness and internationalization.
  • They will be able to develop a strategic project for the entity, in close collaboration with an academic entity.
  • The teams established within this framework can be instrumental in the development of future funding proposals at the international, national, and regional levels.
  • Implying a commitment to cossupervision of the execution of the work plan in the respective host institutions, this funding instrument does not involve costs for the entities that join the program, whether academic or non-academic.

What are the advantages for the academic entities?

  • Solidify and enhance collaborations and the transfer of knowledge and technology to the business community and/or public administration sectors;
  • To offer diversified training in science, technology, and innovation.
  • Nuclear interdisciplinary and intersectoral teams for the submission of scientific projects to funding agencies, national and international.

I am a non-academic entity. How do I find a potential candidate?

  • Entities wishing to benefit from this public policy of promoting and mobilizing scientific research in non-academic environments, and looking for a suitable candidate, are invited to submit their expression of interest proposal through this form (access here). The information entered will subsequently be published on the FCT webpage, thus reaching potential candidates. All applications will be evaluated competitively. Applicants may submit, in this funding line, applications in other areas and with other entities that will not be on the list being updated with this expression of interest. This expression of interest is optional.
  • You can directly contact an academic entity and/or potential students, expressing your interest in hosting a doctoral student and addressing the specific problem that is the target of the research to be carried out.

I am a potential candidate. How do I find a non-academic host institution?

  • You can consult the list of non-academic entities (see here) that have expressed their interest in hosting a PhD student and discuss potential work plans with the submitted point of contact;
  • You can contact a non-academic entity of your interest directly;
  • You should contact a potential academic advisor directly and jointly articulate a work plan with a non-academic entity.

How to apply?

  • Applications are submitted by the student, with the support of at least one academic and one non-academic entity;
  • Applications are submitted under the national Call of Studentships for doctoral studies 2023, under the specific line of Studentships in a non-academic environment. For details, see Call.
  • Applications are due between March 1 and March 31, 2023.


For more information and a complete list of recurring questions, please refer to Call.