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A unique opportunity

Exposes students to a wide spectrum of different topics in the biological sciences promoting independent and critical thinking through many different exercises. Unlike traditional programmes, students in our PhD programme are not required (or even encouraged) to choose a laboratory or topic until they have had a semester to discover the Institute’s scientific opportunities and discuss them with their peers, postdocs and PIs. We accept students from diverse backgrounds, including those outside life science disciplines, to join our international research community (40 distinct nationalities and counting). In the future we will modify the courses to promote even further quantitative thinking and correct experimental design.



First year students take a series of courses, starting in September, covering both basic concepts and cutting-edge research in modern biology. Module topics range from structural and molecular biology to evolution and ecology and are taught by IGC faculty and invited lecturers from top universities and research institutes all over the world. The programme also includes modules in partnership with the Champalimaud Foundation and the University of Cologne/ Max Planck Institute, Cologne. Modules are taught in a very active way, with journal clubs, grant proposal exercises, rotations in some of them, amongst many other activities that promote critical thought. Once the basic modules are concluded, students are free to take advantage of the various workshops and courses at the Institute, as well as advanced training in statistics and bioinformatics.


Choosing a lab

At the end of their first semester, students have one month to develop a research proposal for their theses, together with finding an IGC principal investigator to supervise their doctoral work. The development of the project along the years is helped by the PhD Programme Director, as well as by a thesis committee of two IGC researchers, and when needed an external member, who will then follow the students throughout their PhD.




Participating Institutions:

Logo IGC           ITQB      ISPA


Institutions conferring the degree:

Universidade Nova   ISPA

Financing Institutions:

IBB PhD Programme Committee:
Jorge Carneiro (Director) 
Élio Sucena (outgoing Director) 
Isabel Gordo 
Raquel Oliveira


For more information: 
[email protected]
Tel: +351 214 464 549