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Atlas of Associate Laboratories

FCT presented the Atlas of Associate Laboratories (Atlas of Associate Laboratories 2022) during the conference "25 years of FCT in Science: Scientific Employment and Scientific Careers", event held at the University of Coimbra, on March 31. This conference was part of the program of the 25 years of FCTconsisting of 12 scientific sessions, in which important issues for the future of science in Portugal and in Europe will be addressed.

The Atlas of Associate Laboratories (LA) is a publication of FCT that gathers information about the 40 institutions or consortia of institutions for the attribution of the Statute of Associate Laboratory. It presents data on the area of activity of the LA, the work developed, number of doctoral researchers, among others. This Call established the allocation of additional funding for the specific activities of the LA of 23 843 000€ per year, starting in 2021 and for a period of 5 years, which is in addition to the financing of 53 469 000€ per year already granted to the Research Units that integrate the LA. The results are available here and the evaluation reports here.

The LA are structural components of the National Scientific and Technological System (SCTN) and consist of research and development institutions (R&D) or consortia of R&D institutions, which make explicit institutional commitments to the pursuit of national scientific and technological policy objectives. To this end, these laboratories must have human resources and scientific infrastructure that enable them to sustainably promote scientific and technical careers for doctoral graduates.

Initiated in 2019, the process of granting LA status was prepared and conducted by FCT with transparency criteria and the involvement of the scientific community, in which extensive informal discussions on the regulations of the process were promoted, culminating in a public discussion and publication of the Regulation of the Associate Laboratories on November 12, 2019.

The application process for this Call is open continuously, with a single annual evaluation period. The evaluated applications were submitted between September 28th and October 29th, 2020. R&D units funded by FCT, with a classification of Excellent or Very Good and with a minimum of 80 integrated researchers with doctoral degrees at the time of application, could apply, individually or in consortia. 45 applications were submitted, encompassing a total of 118 Units and 10,088 integrated researchers. The evaluation was conducted by a national panelcoordinated by Manuel Nunes da Ponte and with the collaboration of a international scientific board. All applications were presented and discussed in public (videos of the sessions).

This publication joins the Atlas of R&D UnitsFCT publication launched in January, which brings together information on the 312 R&D Units selected for funding in the last FCT evaluation process for the period 2020-2023.