Curricular Structure

BEGC is a 4 year program, totalizing 240 credit units (CUs). BEGC is highly individualized tailored to the academic and career goals of each student. Although students follow an overall course structure, not many students in the program are likely to take an identical set of individual courses. The curricular structure encompasses 2 phases: one dedicated to advanced courses, formative actions and seminars (70 CUs, y-1 and part of y-2) and another strictly devoted to the thesis project and writing of papers (170 CUs, part of y-2,y-3 and y-4). 

The 70 CUs of the 1st phase are organized as follows: ADVANCED COURSES (30 CUs, y-1) - to 1st-y students a set of courses covering both basic concepts and cutting edge research in modern biology, ecology or relevant disciplines to the aims of BEGC are offered. Module topics may range from structural and molecular biology to evolution and ecology and stress biology (in accordance with the specializations of the program) and are taught by experienced lecturers from inside and outside the consortium; usually, a module that addresses transferable skills (e.g. how to write papers and present talks) is also offer within the program. Courses can be taken within the consortium or elsewhere, provided they are offered by a recognized institution. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of the various workshops, lectures and seminars, run at the host institutions. TUTORIALS (Pratica Tutorial) (20 CUs,y-1+10 CUs, y-2) - here students are encouraged to participate in teaching or attend both laboratory and lecture- based courses to undergraduate and MSc students, to gain as much as possible the broadest training skills; THESIS PREPARATION (10 CUs,y-1) - after the 1st semester and at the latest by the end of the 2nd semester students must have concluded a project thesis and suggest a supervisor(s). This time flexibility allows each student to make an opportune choice. If needed, the development of the project is guided by the Program Director, as well as by the Executive Board. This initial incursion into the thesis project is concluded with an open session where students present and defend their project and comments and suggestions can be made. Afterwards, students immediately start their thesis (2nd year) and a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) is formed, that will follow the student thorough the thesis work. Thesis projects must necessarily address cross-cutting theoretical, quantitative, and/or predictive/modeling aspects within the identified areas of specialization of the program. The consortium of the BEGC PhD program offers wider facilities for developing any kind of project, more theoretical, computational, and laboratory- or field-base. Many field stations are available within the consortium, covering a wider range of biomes. Students will be devoted to their chosen thesis projects throughout most of the y-2 (THESIS PROJECT-50 CUs) and fully during y-3 (THESIS, 60CUs) and y-4 (THESIS-56 CUs + THESIS SEMINAR-4CUs). 

Each non-Portuguese host institution can host up to 2 students per academic year. Notwithstanding, the choice of the theme and the supervisor is subject to the usual constraints of available facilities and mutual interest of the student and supervisor, and is dependent from approval (thesis preparation in y-1) and a positive joint evaluation between the Program Executive Board and the host institution(s).


Partners & Associated Partners