Applications to the IBB PhD Programme

The IBB programme, in 2024, will receive up to 8 students. All selected students receive a fellowship by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian which is renewable every year for four years. The program starts on 02/09/2024.


Who We Are Looking For

The IBB seeks highly motivated students who are passionate about science and wish to fully commit to the pursuit of knowledge in a multidisciplinary environment. We welcome applications from university graduates in any field, in life sciences and beyond. 

Curiosity-driven IGC researchers explore the interdisciplinary frontiers of life sciences. Academics navigate the convergence of biology, physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics in a highly collaborative environment in order to make ground-breaking discoveries. The wide-ranging research agenda of the institute encourages novel solutions to urgent biological problems by building bridges between various methodologies and disciplines. Evolutionary Biology, Quantitative Biology, Host-Pathogen Interaction, Immunobiology, Biological Physics, and Integrative Cell and Developmental Biology are just a few of the topics that we investigate as part of a vibrant academic community. Cutting-edge technology and first-rate support facilities further empower the IGC as a centre for innovative research.



We welcome applications from any nationality. A Master’s degree is mandatory for candidates from countries that signed the Bologna Process/Agreement or those with similar 3-year undergraduate programs.

Candidates holding a degree that pre-dates the Bologna Process are also eligible. If you are applying from a country with a four-or five-year university degree program, you are also potentially eligible and should contact the Ph.D. program for information on your specific case.



The call closes on 29/03/2024 (23:59). 

The deadline for references will be 29/03/2024 (23:59). 

Applicants are requested to upload the following documents in PDF format on our application platform. All applications must be submitted in English. 

Applicants need to submit the following elements on the platform in PDF files.

Curriculum Vitae - 2 pages maximum. 

Motivation Letter - 5000 characters maximum

When writing your motivation letter, please remember to state clearly:

i) why you are applying for this program;

ii) how this program can contribute to your future and

iii) what makes you the ideal candidate to join us?

iv) name three potential host labs that you would mostly be interested in joining and briefly describe why. 


References - We need to receive at least 2 references by the deadline of the call, sent to [email protected]

It is the applicant's responsibility to send the references on time. 

The references must have the format LastNameCandidate_LastNameReferee_2024.

The reference letters must have official letterheads containing basic information about the professional status of the referee and contact information and be signed (in pdf format).

Degrees - List of all degrees, stating name, institution, and classification. If a degree has not been completed by the time of application submission, you must submit a binding document stating your commitment to submit your diploma by the time of program enrollment.




The IGC group leaders will evaluate and classify all applications using the elements provided by the applicant and the letters of reference. Each applicant will be reviewed by at least three evaluators. The selection committee will consider these classifications to produce the documental rank. 

The criteria for this ranking will be:

1- Strength of the academic, scientific, and (if applicable) professional CV (40%);

2- Motivation letter (40%);

3- Letters of reference (20%).

Candidates that rank 8/10 and above will be selected for an interview that represents the second round of selection.

Interviews will be conducted in English by four panels of three PIs from the IGC. Each candidate will be interviewed by two of the panels.

Dates for interviews will be the 15th and 16th 05/2024 (by zoom). 

In the second round, interviewed candidates will be assessed as follows:

1- Mark from the previous round of ranking (50%);

2- Interview (50%).


Results Communication

Evaluation and final selection results are sent by e-mail. Applicants have a period of 10 working days to contest the decision.


Host Labs

After completing the course work, IBB students are given up to five weeks to conceive their thesis proposal and find one or more group leaders who will host and supervise them. Each student is assisted in this vital choice by the PhD Programme Director and a Thesis Committee composed of two IGC scientists.

The Thesis Committee will support the students throughout their entire life cycle at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Student research projects involving collaborations between laboratories at the IGC and IMM are encouraged and benefit from the diversity of the research groups. 

Research Groups present at the IGC at the start of the IBB2024 program can be found below. Potential co-supervisors from the iMM can be found here (

Not all research groups at the IGC will necessarily be taking new students every year. 

Caren Norden Giulia Ghedini

Ilana Gabanyi

Isabel Gordo Jocelyne Demengeot

Karina Xavier

Marco Fumasoni Miguel Soares 

Moises Mallo

Mónica Bettencourt Dias Waldan Kwong

Moritz Treeck

Ricardo Henriques Rui Oliveira

Paula Duque

Pablo Sartori




Updated on 07 march 2024

Cookies settings

Cookies Selection

This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, security, and its website performance. We may also use cookies to share information on social media and to display messages and advertisements personalised to your interests, both on our website and in others.