Selection and Ranking Criteria

The selection and ranking criteria is a two-step procedure. The evaluation panel includes the PD and up to 7 other scientists nominated by the PD, from outside or inside the Executive Board. Candidates apply electronically, sending cv (with indication of final grades obtained), two reference letters and a letter of motivation. The motivation letter may include a 2-3 pages annex where applicants can explain why they think are most adequate for the PhD program and the selected topic AND explain their ideas for their own pre-project/topic of thesis work that they are applying with.


Candidates are ranked according to the submitted written information. Each is evaluated by a minimum of 3 members (always the PD, to assure a minimum of consistency, and 2 panel members), accordingly to the following weights: 30% for the degree grades (DG), 70% for the cv experience (CV) (publications, previous project participation, other relevant aspects). The guidelines for ranking candidates according to their degree grades will follow closely those used by the FCT PhD grants evaluation panels. In the case of academic degrees outside Portugal, the panel members will adopt the degree system of conversions that is widely accepted or used elsewhere (e.g. the ERASMUS system, the one used by the Univ of Calgary)

Criteria for the CV experience (CV):

(A) relevance of the professional experience within the area of the PhD (up to 10 points),

(B) scientific component of the cv, accordingly to: (a) 5 points for each paper published in a SCI journal, as first or last author, and 2 if author in other positions; (b) 4 points for authorship of a relevant textbook or other; (c) up to 5 points for congress presentations, oral or poster.

(C) up to 10 points for the clarity / quality of the motivation letter.

(A), (B) e (C) will add up to a maximum of 20 points, and the final classification will be transformed on a scale of 1 to 5, accordingly to the following: (i) Total equal to 20 or more: 5; (ii) Total lower than 20 points: classification = (‘x’ points * 5/20)

Candidates will be ranked accordingly to the formula: 30% DG + 70% CV


A short list of candidates is then selected for an interview. The interviews are conducted by a fixed panel of three scientists (the PD and two other scientists), and they can be done in person (in the case of Portuguese applicants, or those that live in Portugal) or at distance (via skype or conference call). During the interview the student’s motivation, maturity and availability to carry an international research project are assessed. The interview is ranked from 1 to 10. Final ranking is the result of 40% of the 1st step evaluation + 60% of the interview.

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