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PhD Research Fellowship in African Studies

Reference: BD_EA_2022

Application deadline: 28-11-2022 to 14-12-2022

Duration: 1 year, renewable up to 4 years

Starts: January 2024


The Centre for International Studies (CEI-Iscte) of Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon is is accepting applications for 1 (one) Research Fellowship for a PhD Student, in the area of African Studies, under the FCT ‘Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação’ (RBI) and the ‘Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação’ (EBI).

The grant will be funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) under the framework of the Collaboration Protocol for Funding the Pluriannual Research Grant Plan for PhD Students, signed between FCT and the Centre for International Studies (CEI-Iscte), with the reference UIDP/03122/2020.

See the full notice for more detailed information.


Submission of applications

The call is open from 28 November 2022 to 23.59 (Lisbon time) on 14 December 2022.

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by e-mail to with the subject: BD_EA_[name of the applicant].

Each candidate may submit only one application, under penalty of cancellation of all applications submitted.

False statements or plagiarism submitted by the candidates will lead to the cancellation of the application, without prejudice to the adoption of other sanctioning measures.

Other details


The research fellowship for PhD students is intended to fund the research activities leading to the award of a doctoral degree in Portuguese universities.

The research activities leading to the doctoral degree will be held at the Centre for International Studies (CEI-Iscte) of the Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon, which will be the host institution, although the work may be carried out in collaboration with more than one institution.

The research activities of the selected grantees must be framed within the activities and strategic plan of the Centre for International Studies (CEI-Iscte) and must be developed within the framework of the following Doctoral Programme:

  • PhD Programme in African Studies, of the Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon.

The work plan may take place in full or in part at a national institution (national fellowship or blended fellowship, respectively). The duration of the grant is annual, renewable for up to a maximum of four years (48 months) and cannot be awarded for a period of less than three consecutive months.

In the case of blended grants, the period of the work plan that takes place in a foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.



The Research Fellowship for a PhD Student is intended for candidates enrolled or candidates that satisfy the necessary conditions for enrolment in the PhD Programme mentioned in point 2 of this call, and that intend to develop research activities leading to the award of a doctoral degree at the Centre for International Studies (CEI-Iscte), or at associated host institutions.



4.1 Requirements for Admissibility of the candidates

The following are eligible to apply to this call for proposals

  • National citizens or citizens from other Member States of the European Union;
  • Non-EU citizens;
  • Stateless persons;
  • Citizens benefiting from the status of political refugee.

To apply for a PhD Research Fellowship, it is necessary

  • Hold a degree or master’s degree in the areas of African Studies, and related fields.
  • To be a permanent and habitual resident in Portugal at the starting date of the period of the work plan abroad, if the proposed work plan includes a period in foreign institutions (mixed grants), a requirement applicable to both Portuguese and foreign citizens.
  • Not to have benefited from a PhD or in-company PhD grant directly funded by FCT, regardless of its duration.
  • Not hold a PhD degree


4.2 Requirements for Admissibility of the application

 The following documents must be annexed to the application, otherwise admission to the competition will be refused:

  • Elements of the identity card/citizen card/passport;
  • Curriculum Vitae of the candidate;
  • Certificates of the academic degrees held, specifying the final classification and, if possible, the classifications obtained in all the courses taken, or, alternatively, a declaration of honour from the candidate stating that he/she has concluded the Bachelor or Master’s degree by the end of the application deadline;
  • A record of recognition of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions and a record of the conversion of the respective final classification into the Portuguese classification scale, or alternatively, a declaration of honour from the applicant stating that he/she has obtained the recognition of the foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor or master until the application deadline;
  • Letter of motivation;
  • Letters of recommendation (optional, maximum 2);
  • To write the application and all the documents associated with it, including the letters of motivation and recommendation, in Portuguese or in English;
  • Detailed work plan and timeline;
  • Plan for collaboration with CEI-Iscte.


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 guarantee the application of the principle of equal treatment to applicants holding foreign and national academic degrees, it is mandatory to recognize those degrees and to convert the respective final classification into the Portuguese classification scale;

– The recognition of foreign academic degrees and diplomas as well as the conversion of the final classification into the Portuguese classification scale may be requested in any public higher education institution, or in the Directorate General of Higher Education (DGES, only in the case of automatic recognition). Regarding this matter, we suggest that you consult the DGES portal at the following address:

– Applicants will only be admitted if they have completed the cycle of studies leading to a bachelor or master’s degree by the application deadline. If candidates do not yet have the certificate of degree completion, a declaration of honour will be accepted that they have completed the necessary qualifications for the competition by the application deadline. The awarding of the scholarship is subject to the presentation, during the contractual stage, of the proof of academic qualifications.


The work plan submitted should be done according to the rules in the FCT Call for PhD Research Fellowships, namely:

  • Title of the Work Plan;
  • Name of the PhD program to be attended;
  • Four keywords that best identify the content of the work plan;
  • Identification of the Objectives of the United Nations Agenda 2030 that align with the workplan (available at;
  • Suitability of the Supervisor’s Team and of the Host Institution (300 words);
  • Summary (150 words);
  • State of the Art (500 words);
  • Methodological approach (1000 words);
  • Alignment of the proposal with the priority research lines of the CEI-Iscte (300 words);
  • Expected deliverables (200 words);
  • Chronogram;
  • References (maximum 30).




The evaluation takes into account the quality of the work plan, the applicant’s merit, the merit of the orientation, the plan of collaboration with the CEI-Iscte’s activity and an interview. The admissible applications will be scored on a scale from 0 to 100 in each of the following evaluation criteria:


Criterion A – Quality of the work plan, with a weight of 35%:

Sub-criterion A1 – Relevance and comprehensiveness of the state of the art, with the weight of 12.5%;

Sub-criterion A2 – Quality and feasibility of the methodology, with a weight of 12.5%;

Sub-criterion A3 – Expected deliverables, with a weight of 5%;

Sub-criterion A4 – Alignment with the priority research lines of the CEI-Iscte, with a weight of 5%.


Criterion B – Merit of the applicant, with a weight of 30%:

Sub-criterion B1 – Academic degrees obtained, with a weight of 10%.

Sub-criterion B2 – Publications with scientific evaluation, with a weight of 10%;

Sub-criterion B3 – Participation in financed research projects, with a weight of 5%;

Sub-criterion B4 – Professional experience aligned with the research topic, with a weight of 3%;

Sub-criterion B5 – Other scientific activities, with a weight of 2%.


Criterion C – Merit of the supervision, with a weight of 5%:

Sub-criterion C1 – Alignment of the topic with the supervisor’s work and curriculum, with the weight of 5%.


Criterion D – Collaboration plan with CEI-Iscte’s activity, with a weight of 10%:

Sub-criterion D1 – Co-organisation of scientific events, with a weight of 4%;

Sub-criterion D2 – Dissemination activities, with a weight of 3%;

Sub-criterion D3 – Networks and international collaborations, with a weight of 3%.


Criterion E – Interview, with a weight of 20%:

Sub-criterion E1 – Motivation and organisation, with the weight of 5%;

Sub-criterion E2 – Knowledge of the proposed work theme, with a weight of 5%;

Sub-criterion E3 – Knowledge of the scientific work methodology, with a weight of 5%;

Sub-criterion E4 – Capacity for communication, with a weight of 5%.

For the purpose of the decision, the candidates will be ordered according to the weighted average of the classification obtained in each of the 5 (five) criteria, translated by the following formula:

Final Classification = (0,35 ×A)+(0,30 ×B)+(0,05×C)+(0,10×D)+(0,20 ×E)

For the purposes of tie-breaking, candidates will be ranked based on the grades awarded for each of the evaluation criteria in the following order of precedence: criterion A, criterion B, criterion E, criterion D, criterion C.


Important notice for applicants with diplomas issued by foreign higher education institutions:

Applicants with diplomas issued by foreign higher education institutions may apply and will be evaluated with the same criteria as applicants with diplomas issued by Portuguese institutions, provided that they present, in the application, proof of recognition of the academic degrees and of the conversion of the final classification to the Portuguese classification scale under the terms of the applicable legislation.

– Applicants with recognised foreign degrees who do not submit proof of the conversion of the final classification into the Portuguese classification scale will be assessed with the minimum classification (10 points) in criterion B1.

– In any case, the grant contracts with applicants with diplomas issued by foreign institutions will only be concluded upon presentation of the proof of recognition of the academic degrees and conversion of the final classification, as indicated above.


6.2 Bonus systems

Applicants with a disability of 90% or more will have a 20% bonus on Criterion A – Applicants’ Merit. Applicants with a degree of disability equal or superior to 60% and less than 90% will have a bonus of 10% in the same criteria. The degree of incapacity shall be proven through the presentation, in candidature, of the Multipurpose Disability Certificate, issued under the terms of Decree-Law no. 202/96, of 23rd October, as amended.


The evaluation panel of the applications is composed of the following elements:

  • Doctor Ana Lúcia Sá, Assistant Professor at Iscte (panel coordinator)
  • Doctor Ana Mónica Fonseca, Assistant Professor at Iscte (effective member)
  • Doctor Edalina Sanches, Assistan Researcher at ICS  – University of Lisbon (effective member).

In the event of a conflict of interest situation of a member of the jury, he will be replaced by one of the substitute members:

  • Doctor Helena Carvalho, Full Professor at Iscte (alternate member);
  • Doctor Pedro Seabra, Integrated Researcher at CEI-Iscte (alternate member).

The evaluation panel shall assess the applications in accordance with the evaluation criteria set out in the present Notice of Call for Applications, weighing the elements of assessment.

All panel members, including the coordinator, commit to a set of responsibilities essential to the evaluation process, such as the duties of impartiality, declaration of any potential conflict of interest and confidentiality. At all moments of the evaluation process, confidentiality is fully protected and ensured in order to guarantee the independence of all opinions produced.

For each application, the panel will produce a final evaluation sheet where, in a clear, coherent and consistent way, the arguments that led to the classifications attributed to each of the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria are presented.

The minutes of the evaluation panel meetings shall be produced under the responsibility of all its members. The minutes and their annexes shall obligatorily include the following information

  • Name and affiliation of all members of the evaluation panel;
  • Identification of all excluded applications and respective justifications;
  • Final Evaluation Sheet for each candidate;
  • Provisional ranking and seriation list of the candidates, in descending order of the final ranking, of all the applications evaluated by the panel;
  • Declarations of conflict of interest from all members of the panel;
  • Possible delegation of vote and competencies due to justified absence.



The results of the evaluation will be communicated via e-mail to the e-mail address used by the applicant to send the application/indicated in the application.



After communication of the provisional list of the results of the evaluation, the candidates have a period of 10 working days to make their comments during a prior hearing of interested parties, under the terms of Article 121 and following the Administrative Procedure Code.

The final decision will be issued after the analysis of the statements presented during 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 file a complaint must address their appeal to a member of the FCT Board of Directors with delegated authority. Candidates who choose to file an appeal should address their appeal to the FCT Director Council.


The research fellowship contract is signed directly with FCT. The following documents must be submitted for contractualization purposes:

a) Copy of the civil, tax and, when applicable, social security identification document(s) (the provision of these documents may be substituted, at the option of the applicant, by presentation in person at the funding entity, which will keep the elements contained therein that are relevant to the validity and execution of the contract, including civil, tax and social security identification numbers, as well as the validity of the respective documents);

b) Copy of the qualification certificates of the academic degrees held;

c) Presentation of the foreign academic degree recognition register and conversion of the respective final classifications to the Portuguese classification scale, if applicable

d) Work plan;

e) Document proving enrolment and registration in the Doctoral Programme identified in the present Notice

f) Statement from the supervisor(s) assuming responsibility for the supervision of the work plan, under the terms of article 5-A of the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (draft of the statement to be made available by FCT)

g) Document proving the acceptance of the candidate by the institution where the research activities will take place, guaranteeing the necessary conditions for the good development of the research activities, as well as fulfilment of the duties established in article 13 of the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (draft statement to be made available by FCT);

h) Document proving compliance with the regime of exclusive dedication (draft statement to be made available by FCT).


The award of the grant is also subject to

  • fulfilment of the requirements set out in this Announcement of the Call
  • the result of the scientific evaluation
  • The non-existence of unjustified breach of duties by the grant recipient under a previous grant contract funded directly or indirectly by FCT;
  • FCT budget availability.

Failure to submit any of the documents by the contractualization process within 6 months of the date of communication of the decision to award a conditional grant will result in the expiration of the grant and the termination of the process.



Payment of the grant will begin after the duly signed grant contract, which should occur within a maximum of 15 working days from the date of receipt.

The grant awarded under this call will be financed by FCT with funds from the State Budget and, when eligible, with funds from the European Social Fund, to be made available under the PORTUGAL2020 programme, namely through the Regional Operational Programme of the North (NORTE 2020), the Regional Operational Programme of the Centre (Centro 2020) and the Regional Operational Programme of the Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), in accordance with the regulations established for this purpose.


The fellowship holder shall receive a monthly maintenance allowance in accordance with the table in Annex I of the RBI (, in the amount of EUR 1,144.64. The grant may also include other components, under the terms set out in Article 18 of the RBI and in the amounts set out in Annex II thereto.

All grant recipients shall be covered by personal accident insurance for research activities, supported by FCT.

All grant recipients who are not covered by any social protection scheme may exercise their right to social security by joining the voluntary social insurance scheme, under the terms of the Social Security Contributions Code, with Iscte paying the costs resulting from the contributions under the terms and within the limits set forth in article 10 of the EBI.



Payments to the fellowship holder are made by bank transfer to the account identified by the person concerned. The payment of the monthly maintenance allowance is made on the first working day of each month.

FCT shall make payments for registration, enrolment, and tuition fees directly to the national institution where the grant recipient is enrolled or enrolled in the doctoral program.



The renewal of the grant always depends on a request presented by the grant holder within the 60 working days prior to the renewal start date, accompanied by the following documents

  1. a) Statements issued by the supervisor(s) and by the host entity(ies) on the monitoring of the grant holder’s work and the evaluation of his/her activities
  2. b) up-to-date document proving compliance with the regime of exclusive dedication
  3. c) document proving the renewal of the enrolment in the cycle of studies leading to a doctoral degree.



In all R&D activities directly or indirectly funded by the grant, namely in all communications, publications and scientific creations, as well as thesis, carried out with the support provided by the grant, financial support from FCT and the European Social Fund, through the Regional Operational Program of the North (NORTE 2020), the Regional Operational Program of the Center (Centro 2020) and the Regional Operational Program of Alentejo (Alentejo 2020) must be mentioned. To this end, the insignia of the FCT, the MCTES, the ESF and the EU shall be included in the documents relating to these actions, in compliance with the graphic standards of each operational program.

Dissemination of results of research funded under the RBI shall 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 EU funding, namely from the ESF, monitoring and control actions may be carried out by national and EU bodies, in accordance with the applicable legislation in this area, with the fellowship holders being required to cooperate and provide the requested information, which includes surveys and evaluation studies in this area, even if the grant has already ended.



The FCT promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, whereby no candidate may be privileged, benefited, prejudiced, or deprived of any right or exempt from any duty on the basis of ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family situation, economic situation, education, origin or social condition, genetic patrimony, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, territory of origin, language, religion, political or ideological convictions, or union membership.



The Call is governed by this Opening Notice, by the FCT Research Fellowships’ Regulation, approved by Regulation no. 950/2019, published in the II Series of the DR of 16 December 2019, by the Research Fellowship Holder Statute approved by Law no. 40/2004, of 18 August, as amended, and by all other applicable national and EU legislation.