Applications IBB

The programme usually takes 6 to 10 students per year and in this edition there are 18 positions available. Selected students receive a fellowship, renewable every year and limited to a maximum of 48 months. The IGC also provides additional support to PhD students.

IBB Students 2019


Applicants Profile

The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência seeks highly motivated students, totally committed to the pursuit of knowledge in a multidisciplinary environment. The PhD Programme welcomes applications from university graduates in any field, including those outside life sciences.

In-house research groups at the IGC explore four main axis: Evolutionary Biology, Quantitative Biology, Immunobiology and Integrative Cell and Developmental Biology. The broad scope of IGC’s research programme favours original approaches to pressing biological questions promoting bridges across different disciplines and methodologies.

In this light, the PhD Programme welcomes applications from candidates with backgrounds in quantitative sciences such as Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Statistics and Computer Science. However, by no means does this limit the programme’s interest in receiving applications from Medical Doctors, Biologists, Biochemists or any other field in in life sciences.



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

Candidates holding a degree that pre-dates the Bologna Process are usually eligible. If you are applying from a country with a 4 or 5-year university degree programme, you are also potentially eligible, and should contact the office of the PhD programme for information on your specific case.

Any non-Portuguese degree must be legally recognized by the Portuguese State Higher Education Agency - DGES, before the start of the PhD Programme. The PhD programme office will provide successful candidates with information and guidance.



Call open between 01/03/2021 and 09/04/2021 (23:59).

The deadline for references is 16/04/2021.

Applications must be submitted exclusively in English via the online platform (available only during call dates).

Applicants need to provide the following elements:

  • Name and contact of at least two references including their academic affiliation and professional connection with the candidate. Please note that upon saving this information your referees are contacted by us and the deadline for reference submission is one week after application submission.
  • List of all degrees, stating name, institution and classification; Diplomas must be uploaded as a pdf file name without special characters and limited to a max of 10 characters. 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 Programme enrolment.
  • Motivation letter (4000 characters).
Edital Applications




A panel of no less than four IGC Principal Investigators (PIs) evaluate all applications using the elements provided by the applicant and the letters of reference. In the first selection round, candidates will be ranked and selected for interview.

The criteria for this ranking will be:

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

2- Motivation letter (40%)

3- Letters of reference (20%)

Candidates that ranked 8/10 and above will be selected for and interview in the second round.

Interviews will be conducted in English by a panel of four PIs from the IGC and the Programme Director.

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

1- Mark from previous round of ranking (60%)

2- Interview (40%)

List of Evaluators (all PhD holders):

Élio Sucena
Isabel Gordo
Jorge Carneiro
Raquel Oliveira


Communication of Results

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


Host Labs

After completing successfully, 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 are encouraged and nurtured benefiting from the diversity of the research groups.

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



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


More information: 
[email protected]
Tel: +351 214 407910



External Scientific Committee:
Dieter Ebert
(University of Basel) 
Michael Lässig
(University of Cologne)
Anthony Hyman
(Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics)


Support from Training Unit:
Ana Aranda da Silva
Patrícia Gomes