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 Applications will be opened from 12th September till 22nd October 2017

The Plants for Life PhD Program is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia with six PhD fellowships (two national and four mixed) for 2018. Mixed fellowships (students can stay up to two years in an associated foreign lab) are only available for students with Portuguese nationality or students with proved permanent residency in Portugal.  Nevertheless, students with other sources of funding may also be admitted. This PhD program provides a high quality and state-of-the-art training to exceptionally motivated students. PhD candidates enrolling in this Program will receive comprehensive and multidisciplinary training required to carry out state-of-the-art research at the interface of various disciplines in plant sciences. They will be in a privileged position to contribute to basic discoveries and deliver valuable inputs for more sustainable agriculture and forestry systems as well as for innovative uses of plant systems.

Admission of applicants is competitive and based on the educational background, academic qualification, track record and motivation.

Educational background: Applicants with a background in agronomical and biological sciences or areas that interface with these are encouraged to apply to the PlantsforLife PhD Program. Non Portuguese academic degrees can only be considered upon recognition by Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior or by a Portuguese Higher Education Institution, according to the applicable legislation (Decreto-Lei n.º 341/2007, de 12 de outubro, and Decreto-Lei n.º 283/83, de 21 de junho).

Academic qualification: The graduation record of the applicants should be strong and meet one of the following requirements:

a) hold a Masters degree or legal equivalent at the date of application;
b) hold a Bachelor’s degree with a total number of academic credits equal or above 240 (pre-Bologna degrees);
c) exceptionally, hold a Bachelor’s degree with a total number of academic credits below 240 (post-Bologna degrees) and an academic or scientific curriculum vitae of outstanding quality recognized by the Directive Board of the PhD Program. 

To apply follow the instructions in the online application platform.


A good knowledge of English is absolutely required and, although not mandatory, applicants should support the candidature with scores of internationally valid language exams (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS).


Admission criteria are verified by analysis of a written application that should include the following documents received prior to the deadline:

a) Curriculum vitae including personal and educational information (degrees, grades obtained, courses attended, research experience) and publications, if any;
b) Personal statement including a description of scientific interests and career goals and reasons for applying to the Program;
c) Detailed documentation of the academic record including certified copies of Diplomas/Certificates of relevant examinations (e.g. Bachelor's and Master's degree) in Portuguese or English or official academic transcripts in one of these languages; Bachelor's and Master's degree certificates including the final grade are mandatory.
d) Two reference letters are strictly required and must be submitted online by the referees. Contact information of two referees must be provided by the applicant.

To apply follow the instructions in the online application platform.


The Selection Committee, will select the candidates according to a two-step selection procedure based on their written application (Step I) and on a presentation by the applicants and interview (Step II).

Step I, written application
The written applications will be ranked based on the academic and scientific curriculum vitae and the personal statement. The evaluation of the curriculum vitae will take into account the classification of degrees according to the European scale of comparability, the publication record (if any) and laboratory experience.
The Selection Committee will elaborate a shortlist of selected candidates (3 times the number of available fellowships) that will be invited for Step II, while the unsuccessful applicants will be informed of their rejection.

Step II, presentation and interview
This step will evaluate the intellectual capacity and general scientific knowledge of the applicants, rationale for pursuing a PhD (“Why is this important for the applicant?”), their career goals (“What does the applicant intend to do after PhD and how will the Program help?”), research interests, potential for future career development, and English proficiency.
Applicants will be required to make a 10-minute oral presentation in English, including a personal and a scientific component, focusing on their own research experience or on a paper or short literature review of a relevant topic in plant sciences. The presentation will be followed by an interview by the Selection Committee.
Presentations and interviews will be carried out in English and take place at ITQB, including by video conference if appropriate. Applicants will be notified in advance of the planned schedule.
The criteria used for ranking the applicants during the selection process will be provided in advance to all candidates.

The Selection Committee will reach a decision with regard to ranking of short-listed applicants based on the written application (50% of the score obtained in step I), the presentation (25%) and the interview (25%).
Selected candidates will be admitted for a period of 4 years of funding through the PhD program Plants for Life.

Plants for Life PhD 2018 will start on March 1st

Stipend of Plants for Life Fellowships
The stipend for national and mixed fellowships will be according to the values of FCT Scientific Fellowships (see Bolsa de Doutoramento - BD).

Tuition Fees
Tuition fees are 2750 €/year. Students with a Plants for Life or FCT fellowship have their tuition fees covered.

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