The CIBB – Centre for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology opens a call for the attribution of 4 (four) research grants, designated by PhD Research Grants, in the areas of Biological Sciences and basic Medicine, under the FCT Research Grant Regulation and the Research Grant Holder Statutes.
The grants will be financed by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) under the Collaboration Protocol for the Financing of the Multiannual Plan for Research Grants for Doctoral Students, signed between FCT and the R&D Unit Center for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology (CIBB), 04539 RDU.
1. APPLICATION SUBMITION
The call is open between March 27th 2023 and April 26th 2023 (11h59 pm, Lisbon local time).
Applications and supporting documents for the application provided for in this Tender Opening Notice must be submitted, mandatorily, as a single file by email sent/submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following subject: CIBB-BD/2023/4 - #candidate name#.
Each candidate may submit only one application, under penalty of cancellation of all submitted applications.
The provision of false statements or the performance of acts of plagiarism by candidates is reason for cancellation of the candidacy without prejudice to the adoption of other measures of sanctioning nature.
2. GRANT TYPE AND DURATION
Research grants for doctoral studies are intended to finance the carrying out, by the grantee, of research activities leading to the achievement of the academic degree of doctor in Portuguese universities.
The research activities leading to obtaining the academic degree of doctor will take place at CIBB, which will be the host institution for the grant holders, without prejudice to the work being carried out in collaboration between more than one institution.
The research activities leading to the academic degree of Doctor of the selected scholarship holders must be framed in the CIBB activity and strategy plan, and must be developed within the scope of the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute from the University of Coimbra.
The work plan may take place in full or in part in a national institution (in-country grant or mixed grant, respectively).
The duration of the grants is, as a rule, annual, renewable up to a maximum of four years (48 months), and the grant cannot be awarded for a period of less than 3 consecutive months.
In the case of a mixed grant, the period of the work plan that takes place in a foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.
3. GRANT RECIPIENTS
The PhD Research Grants are intended for registered candidates or candidates who meet the necessary conditions to apply for the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine and who intend to develop research activities leading to obtaining the academic degree of Doctor at CIBB, or in host institutions associated with it.
4.1 Candidate Eligibility Requirements
Can apply for this call:
• National citizens or citizens from other member states of the European Union;
• Citizens of third States;
• Citizens benefiting from political refugee status.
To apply for the PhD Research Grant, it is necessary:
• Be graduated or have a master's degree in the areas of Biological Sciences and Basic Medicine or in areas considered to be related;
• Permanently and habitually reside in Portugal at the start of the work plan period abroad, if the work plan proposed for the grant includes a period in foreign institutions (mixed scholarships), a requirement applicable both to national citizens and to the foreign citizens;
• Not having benefited from a doctoral or doctoral grant in companies directly financed by the FCT, regardless of its duration;
• Not hold a Doctor's degree.
4.2 Application Eligibility Requirements
It is essential, under penalty of non-admission to the Competition, to attach the following documents to the application:
• Elements of the identity card/citizen card/passport;
• Candidate Curriculum vitae;
• Qualification certificates of the academic degrees held, specifying the final classification and, if possible, the classifications obtained in all the subjects taken, or, alternatively, declaration of honor by the candidate that he/she completed the bachelor's or master's degree until the end application deadline;
• Record of recognition of the academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions and record of the conversion of the respective final classification to the Portuguese classification scale, or, alternatively, declaration of honor by the candidate that he/she obtained the recognition of the foreign degree equivalent to that of graduate or master with effect at the end of the application period;
• Motivation letter, justifying the interest in developing a PhD in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) at the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra;
• Recommendation Letters (2);
• Write the application and all documents associated with it, including motivation and recommendation letters, in Portuguese or English.
Regarding the admissibility requirements mentioned above, the following should be noted:
• In the case of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions, and in order to ensure the application of the principle of equal treatment to candidates who hold foreign and national academic degrees, the recognition of these degrees and the conversion of the respective final classification for the Portuguese rating scale is mandatory.
The recognition of foreign academic degrees and diplomas as well as the conversion of the final classification to the Portuguese classification scale can be requested at any public higher education institution, or at the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES, only in the case of automatic recognition). Regarding to this matter, it is advisable to consult the DGES portal at the following address: http://www.dges.gov.pt.
• Only candidates who have completed the cycle of studies leading to a Bachelor's or Master's degree by the end of the application period will be admitted. If they do not yet have a course completion certificate, a declaration of honor from candidates that they have completed the necessary qualifications for the purposes of the competition will be accepted by the end of the application deadline. The granting of the scholarship is subject to the presentation of proof of the academic qualifications, in the contractualisation phase.
5. WORK PLAN AND GRANT SCIENTIFIC GUIDANCE
The work plan should be developed within the scope of the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra.
6. EVALUATION CRITERIA
The evaluation considers the merit of the candidate as well as the additional criteria defined below.
Applications considered admissible will be scored on a scale of zero to one hundred (0-100) in each of the following:
• Criterion A – Candidate scientific and academic merit with a weight of 40%, considering the following formula in this criterion:
Criterion A = (0.10 × bachelor degree grade*) + (0.10 × master degree grade*) + (0.8 × merit of the scientific curriculum*)
* is graded between zero and twenty (0-20) values
• Criterion B – Letter of motivation justifying the interest in developing a doctorate within the scope of the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra, justifying its suitability for the program, and recommendation letters, with a final weight of 20%;
Criterion B = (0.75 × motivation letter*) + (0.25 × recommendation letters*)
* is graded between zero and twenty (0-20) values
• Criterion C – Interview with the weight of 40%, using the following criteria:
Criterion C = (0.25 × communication and oral expression*) + (0.25 × interest for the Program*) + (0.25 × analysis and critical sense capacity and investigation perspectives*) + (0.25 × knowledge of the doctoral program and of the hosting institution*)
* is graded between zero and twenty (0-20) values
Only candidates with the best 15 (fifteen) classifications resulting from the following partial formula will be invited for an interview: (0.4 × A) + (0.2 × B).
For the final decision on grant assignment, candidates selected for the interview phase will be ranked according to the weighted average of the classification obtained in each of the 3 criteria, translated by the following formula:
Final Classification = (0.4 × A) + (0.2 × B) + (0.4 × C)
For the purposes of breaking the tie, candidates will be ranked based on the classifications given to each of the evaluation criteria in the following order of precedence: criterion A, criterion C, criterion B.
Important notice for candidates with degrees issued by foreign higher education institutions:
• Candidates with diplomas issued by foreign higher education institutions may apply and will be evaluated using the same criteria as candidates with diplomas issued by Portuguese institutions, provided that they present, in the application, proof of recognition of academic degrees and conversion of the final classification for the Portuguese classification scale under the applicable legislation.
• Candidates with recognized foreign diplomas who do not present proof of conversion from the final classification to the Portuguese classification scale will be evaluated with the minimum classification (0 points) in criterion A.
In any case, grant contracts with candidates with diplomas issued by foreign institutions will only be concluded upon presentation of proof of recognition of academic degrees and conversion of the final classification, as indicated above.
The evaluation panel is constituted by the following elements:
• Effective element: Paulo J. Oliveira, PhD, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra (panel coordinator)
• Effective element: Ana Luísa Carvalho, PhD, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra
• Effective element: Nuno Empadinhas, PhD, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra
• Substitute element: Emília Duarte, PhD, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra
• Substitute element: Isabel Nunes Correia, PhD, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University
The evaluation panel will assess the applications according to the evaluation criteria contained in this Tender Opening Notice, weighing the assessment elements.
All panel members, including the coordinator, commit to respect a set of responsibilities essential to the evaluation process, such as the duties of impartiality, the declaration of any potential situations of conflict of interest and confidentiality. At all times during the evaluation process, confidentiality is fully protected and ensured in order to guarantee the independence of all opinions produced.
A final evaluation form will be produced by the panel for each application, where the arguments that led to the classifications attributed to each of the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria are presented in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.
In all evaluation panel's meetings a minute from all members responsibility will be produced.
The minutes and their annexes must include the following information:
• Name and affiliation of all members of the evaluation panel;
• Identification of all excluded applications and respective justification (if applicable);
• Methodology adopted by the panel for cases considered particular (if applicable);
• Final Assessment Sheets for each candidate;
• Provisional list of classification and ranking of candidates, in descending order of final classification, of all applications evaluated by the panel;
• Conflict of Interest declarations from all members of the panel;
• Possible delegation of votes and abilities due to justified absence (if applicable).
8. RESULTS PUBLICATION
The evaluation results will be communicated via e-mail to the e-mail address used by the candidate to send the application/indicated in the application.
9. DEADLINES AND PROCEDURES FOR PRIOR HEARING, COMPLAINT AND APPEAL
After communication of the provisional list of the evaluation results, candidates have a period of 10 working days to, if they wish, speak at a prior hearing of interested parties, under the terms of articles 121 and following, of the Administrative Code Procedure.
The final decision will be rendered after the analysis of the pronunciations presented in the seat of the prior hearing of interested parties. A complaint may be lodged against the final decision within 15 working days, or, alternatively, an appeal may be lodged within 30 working days, both counting from the respective notification. Candidates who choose to submit a complaint must address their pronunciation to the member of the FCT Board of Directors with delegated competence. Candidates who choose to appeal must address the same to the FCT Board of Directors.
10. REQUISITES FOR GRANT AWARD
Research grant contracts are celebrated directly with FCT.
The following documents must be sent, at the time of the eventual grant concession, for the purposes of its contractualisation&:
a) Copy of the civil identification and taxpayer documents and of the social security1 document, if applicable;
b) Copy of the qualifications certificates of the academic degrees held;
c) Presentation of the registration of recognition of foreign academic degrees and conversion of the respective final classifications to the Portuguese classification scale, if applicable;
d) Work plan;
e) Document proving registration and enrollment in the Doctoral Program identified in this Notice;
f) Statement by the supervisor(s) assuming responsibility for supervising the work plan, under the terms of article 5.º-A of the Research Fellowship Statute (draft statement to be made available by the FCT);
g) Document proving the candidate's acceptance by the institution where the research activities will take place, guaranteeing the necessary conditions for its good development, as well as the fulfillment of the duties provided for in article 13.º of the Research Fellowship Statute (draft declaration to be made available by the FCT);
h) Updated document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication regime (draft declaration to be made available by FCT).
The grant award is still dependent on:
• compliance with the requirements set out in this Opening Notice;
• the result of the evaluation;
• non-existence of unjustified non-compliance with the grantee's duties within the scope of a previous grant contract financed, directly or indirectly, by the FCT;
• FCT's budget availability.
Failure on the delivery of any of the documents necessary to complete the grant contracting process, within 6 months from the date of communication of the conditional grant award decision, implies the expiry of said concession and the termination of the process.
&The availability of these documents can be replaced, at the option of the candidate, by the presentation in person at the financing entity, which will keep the elements contained therein that are relevant for the validity and execution of the contract, including the civil, fiscal and security identification numbers, social security, as well as the validity of the respective documents.
Payment of the grants will begin after the candidates return the duly signed grant contract, which must occur within a maximum period of 15 working days from the date of receipt.
The grants awarded under this call for proposals will be financed by FCT with funds from the State Budget and, when eligible, with funds from the European Social Fund, through the Program Demografia, Qualificações e Inclusão (PDQI), in accordance with the regulatory provisions established for this purpose.
12. GRANT COMPONENTS
Grant holders receive a monthly maintenance allowance in accordance with the table in Annex I of the Unconditional Basic Income.
The grant may also include other components, under the terms set out in article 18º of the Unconditional Basic Income and for the amounts provided for in its Annex II.
All grant holders benefit from a personal accident insurance in relation to research activities, supported by FCT.
All grant holders who are not covered by any social protection scheme can ensure the exercise of the right to social security by joining the voluntary social insurance scheme, under the terms of the Code of Contributory Schemes of the Social Security System, with the FCT assuring the charges resulting from contributions under the terms and within the limits set out in article 10º of the Research Fellow Status.
13. GRANT COMPONENTS PAYMENT
Payments due to the grantee are made by bank transfer to the account identified by the grantee. Payment of the monthly maintenance allowance is made on the first working day of each month.
Payments for the registration, enrollment or tuition fees are made by FCT directly to the national institution where the scholarship holder is registered or enrolled in the doctorate.
14. GRANT RENEWAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The renewal of the grant always depends on a request submitted by the grantee, within 60 working days prior to the start date of the renewal, accompanied by the following documents:
a) declarations issued by the supervisor/s and the host entity/ies on the monitoring of the grant holder's work and the evaluation of his/her activities;
b) updated document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication regime;
c) document proving the renewal of enrollment in the cycle of studies leading to the doctorate degree.
15. INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY OF THE FUNDING GRANTED
In all R&D activities directly or indirectly financed by the grant, namely, in all communications, publications and scientific creations, as well as theses, carried out with the support provided for in the grant, mention must be made of financial support from FCT and from the European Social Fund, namely through the Program Demografia, Qualificações e Inclusão (PDQI). For this purpose, the insignia of the FCT, MCTES, ESF and EU must be inscribed in the documents referring to these actions, in accordance with the graphic standards of each operational program.
The dissemination of research results funded under the research grant regulation must comply with the open access rules for data, publications and other research results in force at the FCT.
In all grants, and in particular in the case of actions supported by community funding, namely from the European Social Fund, monitoring and control actions may be carried out by national and community entities in accordance with the applicable legislation in this matter, with the grant holders being obliged to collaboration and provision of the requested information, which includes carrying out surveys and evaluation studies in this area, even if the grant has already ended.
16. NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL ACCESS POLICY
FCT promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, whereby no candidate can be privileged, benefited, harmed or deprived of any right or exempt from any duty on grounds, in particular, of ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family situation, economic situation, education, social origin or condition, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic or racial origin, territory of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs and affiliation union.
17. APPLICABLE LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS
The Call is governed by this Opening Notice, by the FCT Research Grants Regulation, approved by Regulation nº 950/2019, published in the II Series of the Republic Diary of december 16, 2019, by the Research Fellowship Statute approved by Law nº 40/2004, of august 18, in the current wording, and by the other applicable national and community legislation.