Applications to the IBB PhD Programme

The programme usually takes 6 to 10 students per year. Selected students receive a fellowship, either funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia or by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, depending on eligibility of candidates, renewable every year up to a maximum of four years. Programme starts on 01/09/2023.


Who We Are Looking For

The IBB seeks highly motivated students, passionate for science, who 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, biochemistry, 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 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 also 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 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 enrolling on the PhD Programme. The PhD programme office will provide successful candidates with information and guidance.


The call was open from 14/02/2023 to 20/03/2023 (23:59).

The deadline for references will be 27/03/2023 (23:59).

Applications must be submitted exclusively in English via the online platform.

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 1 week after the end of the applications deadline. We advise you to independently inform your references that they will be receiving these emails.


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.

For information on degree recognition and grade conversion, please consult the DGES website. You may also send an e-mail to [email protected] for further information.


Motivation Letter
4000 characters maximum

When writing your motivation letter, please remember to clearly state: why you are applying for this Programme, and how this Programme can contribute to your future and what makes you the ideal candidate to join us?

Edital (in Portuguese)



The group leaders of the IGC 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 available soon.

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

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

2- Interview (50%)

Communication of Results

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


Private and Public Funding

The IBB PhD Programme has private and public funding. Parallel to the international call to the IBB PhD Programme, the IGC is opening a call for PhD fellowships of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in the context of the Governmentally funded Research & Development Unit 4555. Applications are automatically submitted to both calls.


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.



Updated on 21 march 2023

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