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Results from Call of Studentships of Research for Doctorate Maria de Sousa

FCT has announced the provisional results of the Call de Studentships de Sousa I SEAGULL - Seeking Epidemiological and Virological Answers, opened in collaboration with the Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation (AICIB), under which 33 Studentships will be funded, corresponding to an investment of 2.4 million euros.

This Call aims to fund Studentships doctoral research oriented to obtain new knowledge and create skills for responses to epidemiological and virological phenomena, including pandemic, and that translate into efficient prevention measures, better health care and effective support to citizens. 

A total of 46 applications were submitted, of which 38 met the requirements for evaluation. The 33 Studentships to be awarded correspond to a success rate of 87% of the applications evaluated. The provisional results of the evaluation show that 79% of the selected applicants are women, 15% are of foreign nationality, and 18% of the work plans are carried out in conjunction with foreign researchers and institutions.

The Studentships to be awarded contributes to the following objectives:

1) Epidemiology and risk factors for virus infection and severe disease. 

2) Human-animal interaction, mechanisms of resistance and interspecies transmission of the virus, and the risk of pandemics. 

3) Prevention strategies and preparedness for new epidemics, including vaccines. 

4) Innovative approaches, including new methods and new technologies, for diagnosing the disease. 

5) Characterization of the mechanisms of viral infection. 

6) Characterization of the host immune cellular and serological response to virus infection, impact of age and comorbidities. 

7) Development of new therapies and new therapeutic approaches, including life support and personal protective equipment to combat the disease. 

8) Repercussions of viral infection on maternal and newborn health. 

9) Psychological impact and behavioral changes associated with the pandemic.

The framing of the work plans of the funded applications in the Call mirrored objectives shows a higher incidence in objective 7, with a total of 12 Studentships (23%), followed by objectives 6 and 9, with a total of 9 Studentships each (17%).

The applications were evaluated by a scientific panel using a peer review system, with three evaluation criteria: merit of the candidate, merit of the work plan, and merit of the hosting conditions. This evaluation panel included 13 experts from the scientific community, affiliated to 9 research units, and of which 7 (54%) are women.

The title Maria de Sousa given to this Call of Studentships of Research for PhD is a tribute to the researcher, Professor emeritus of the University of Porto and researcher emeritus of the i3S Institute, and also full professor jubilate of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, internationally renowned for their studies in the immunological area and especially on the thymus-dependent area, or T-area. 

The FCT doctoral research Studentships are grants awarded competitively to support advanced training in all areas of knowledge for obtaining a doctoral degree. These Studentships allow doctoral students to dedicate themselves exclusively to their research, thus contributing to the scientific and technological development of the country.

This is the 2nd edition of the Call for the attribution of Studentships for PhD research in Epidemiology and Virology. The 1st Edition Doctorates4Covid funded 50 Studentships, which corresponds to an investment of 3,5 million euros. See the news here.