Notice of the Opening of a Tender for the Award of Doctoral Research Scholarships 

Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP hereafter) hereby opens a tender for the award of two research scholarships, hereafter referred to as Doctoral Research Scholarships, in the area of Culture Studies, under the FCT Research Grant Regulations and the Research Grant Holder Statute (RBI and EBI respectively hereafter). 

These scholarships are financed by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) under the Collaboration Protocol for the Pluriannual Financing Plan for Doctoral Student Degree Research Student Grants, signed between FCT and CECC – the Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura (UIDB2021.2/00126/2020). 


The tender shall be open from 16 to 29 June 2021, at 5pm (Lisbon time). 

Applications and their respective supporting documentation, stipulated in the present Notice of the Opening of a Tender, must be submitted via email to 

Candidates may submit one application only. The submission of more than one application will result in the annulment of all applications. 

False statements or plagiarism on the part of candidate are grounds for annulment of the application, without prejudice to any other punitive measures. 


Doctoral Research Scholarships are intended to finance students’ PhD research in Portuguese universities. 

The research leading to a PhD shall take place at Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura – CECC (UIDB2021.2/00126/2020), which shall thus be the scholarship recipient’s host institution, without prejudice to any other work undertaken in collaboration with one or more institutions. 

The research leading to a PhD by the scholarship recipients must fall within the framework of CECC’s (UIDB2021.2/00126/2020) strategic activities plan and must be developed under the auspices of the Doctoral Degree Programme in Culture Studies of UCP’s Faculdade de Ciências Humanas (FCH hereafter). 

The work plan should take place entirely or partially in a national institution (national scholarship or mixed scholarship, respectively). One national and one mixed scholarship will be awarded. 

These are, as a rule, annual scholarships, renewable for a maximum period of four years (48 months). Scholarships cannot be awarded for periods of less than three consecutive months. 

In the case of mixed scholarships, the period stipulated by the work plan to be hosted by a non-national institution cannot be greater than 24 months. 


Doctoral Research Scholarships are awarded to candidates who are either enrolled or who meet the requirements to enrol in the Doctoral Programme in Culture Studies at FCH/UCP and who seek to develop research leading to a doctoral degree at the Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura – CECC (UIDB2021.2/00126/2020) – or in its associated host institutions. 

4.1 Candidate eligibility requirements 

The following are eligible to apply: 

  • Portuguese citizens or citizens of other European Union member states; 
  • Citizens from other states; 
  • Stateless persons; 
  • Citizens holding political refugee status. 

In order to apply for a Doctoral Research Scholarship, applicants must: 

• hold an undergraduate or Master’s degree in the fields of Culture Studies, Literature Studies or in other areas deemed relevant both to the programme and to the project development; 

• reside in Portugal on a permanent and regular basis, whenever the work plan associated with the scholarship takes place partially or in totality in international institutions (mixed or abroad scholarships), a requirement applicable to both national and international candidates. 

• not have previously been the recipient of a doctoral scholarship or an in-company doctoral degree financed by FCT, irrespective of its length. 

• not hold a PhD degree. 

4.2 Application Eligibility Requirements 

The following documents, without exception, must be included in the application, on penalty of exclusion from the tender: 

  • The details stated on the identity card, citizen’s card or passport; 
  • The candidate’s CV; 
  • Certificates for each academic qualification held, which must specify the final classification and, whenever possible, the marks received in each subject studied or, alternatively, a declaration upon honour that the candidate completed their undergraduate or Master’s degree studies prior to the application deadline; 
  • Records of the awarding of academic titles by international higher education institutions alongside a record of the conversion of the respective final classification to the scale applied in the Portuguese classification system or, alternatively, a declaration upon honour that the candidate completed the respective international equivalent to a Master’s degree prior to the application deadline; 
  • Letter of motivation; 
  • Preliminary PhD project within the scope of one of the following research groups at CECC: a) Culture, Art and Conflict, b) Literature and the Global Contemporary, c) Cognition and Translatability or d) Media Narratives and Cultural Change (max. 2,000 words). 

As regards the aforementioned eligibility requirements, the following should be noted: 

  • In the case of academic qualifications awarded by non-national higher education institutions, and in order to ensure the principle of equal treatment of candidates with national and non-national academic degrees, the recognition of all academic qualifications and the conversion of their final classification grades to the Portuguese classification scale is mandatory. 

The recognition of non-national academic titles and diplomas as well as the conversion of final classifications to the Portuguese classification scale may be requested at any public higher education institution or from DGES – the General Directorate of Higher Education (only for cases of automatic recognition). On this matter, we would suggest consulting the DGES website at the following address: 

  • Candidates will only be considered if they have completed the cycle of studies leading to undergraduate or Master’s degrees by the deadline of the tender. Should they not have the certificates testifying to attaining the necessary qualifications for the submission of their applications by the tender deadline, then a declaration upon honour shall be provisionally accepted. However, the awarding of the scholarship shall remain contingent on the submission of the certificates attesting to the attainment of the academic qualifications necessary for the awarding of the scholarship. 


• The scholarship holder’s work plan must be developed within the framework of one of the following Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura (CECC) research groups: a) Culture, Art and Conflict, b) Literature and the Global Contemporary, c) Cognition and Translatability or d) Media Narratives and Cultural Change. 


The assessment takes into account the academic merit and the potential of each candidate (as expressed in the letter of motivation, the preliminary PhD project and the interview). 

Candidates deemed eligible are assessed on a scale of 1 to 20 in each of the following assessment criteria: 

• Criterion A – Candidate merit, with a weighting of 55%;
o Sub-criterion A1 – Relevance and quality of academic training, with a weighting of 40% o Sub-criterion A2 – Other relevant experience, with a weighting of 15% 

• Criterion B – Candidate potential, with a weighting of 45%;
o Sub-criterion B1 – Letter of motivation, with a weighting of 10%
o Sub-criterion B2 – Preliminary PhD project, with a weighting of 20% o Sub-criterion B3 – Interview, with a weighting of 15% 

For the purposes of the scholarship awarding decision, candidates are ranked based on the weighted classification obtained in each of the two criteria (and the respective five sub-criteria), as set out in the following formula: 

𝑭𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝑪𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 = (𝟎. 𝟓𝟓 × 𝑨) + (𝟎. 𝟒𝟓 × 𝑩) 

In the case of a tie, the ranking of candidates will be made based on the classifications awarded in each assessment sub-criterion, in the following order: sub-criterion A1, sub-criterion B2, sub-criterion B3, sub- criterion A2 and sub-criterion B1. 

Important advice for candidates holding diplomas issued by non-national higher education institutions: 

  • Candidates holding diplomas issued by non-national higher education institutions may apply and be subject to the same assessment criteria as candidates holding diplomas issued by Portuguese institutions whenever their respective applications contain duly recognized academic title(s) as well as the conversion of the final classification to the Portuguese classification scale, in accordance with the terms of the applicable legislation. 
  • Candidates with non-national diplomas who fail to submit evidence of conversion of their final classification to the Portuguese classification scale shall be awarded the minimum classification (10 points) in sub-criterion A1. 
  • In all cases, scholarship contracts with candidates holding diplomas issued by non-national higher education institutions shall only be signed after submission of the evidence of their academic titles and the conversion of their final classification as detailed above. 


The candidate assessment panel is composed of the following members: 

  • Isabel Capeloa Gil, CECC, UCP (Chair)
  • Peter Hanenberg, CECC, UCP 
  • Alexandra Lopes, CECC, UCP 
  • Diana Gonçalves, CECC, UCP (stand-in) 
  • Nelson Costa Ribeiro, CECC, UCP (stand-in) 

The assessment panel shall evaluate each application in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the present Notice of Tender Opening, taking into consideration the respective assessment elements. 

Every panel member, including the Chair, shall commit to respecting a set of core responsibilities in this assessment process, such as the duties of impartiality, the disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest, and confidentiality. In every stage of the assessment process, confidentiality is entirely protected and ensured so as to guarantee the independence of all determinations issued. 

Members of the panel, including the Chair, may not act as supervisors or co-supervisors to candidates applying within the scope of this tender. 

For each candidate, the panel shall produce a final assessment file that clearly, coherently and consistently sets out the arguments leading to the classifications awarded across each of the assessment criteria and sub-criteria. 

The assessment panel meetings shall be recorded in minutes that must be signed off by every serving member. The minutes and their annexes must include the following information: 

  • Name and affiliation of all assessment panel members; 
  • Identification of all excluded applications alongside the respective reasons; 
  • Methodology adopted by the panel for any special cases; 
  • Final Assessment Files for each of the applications accepted; 
  • Provisional list with the classification and ranking of candidates, in descending order of final classifications, for all applications assessed by the panel; 
  • COI Statements from every panel member; 
  • Any cases of vote or assignment of roles by proxy on grounds of the justified absence of panel members. 


The assessment results shall be released via e-mail, and sent to the address disclosed by the candidate on their scholarship application. 


Following the release of the provisional assessment results list, candidates have a period of ten working days in which, should they wish it, they may express their response at a prior audience of interested parties under the terms of Articles 121 and subsequent of the Code of Administrative Procedures. 

The final decision shall be issued following analysis of the responses submitted under the auspices of the prior audience of interested parties. The final decision may be subject to a complaint within a period of 15 working days or, alternatively, of an appeal within a period of thirty working days, with both durations beginning on the date of the initial notification. Candidates who opt to submit a complaint or an appeal should address this to the Rector’s Office (Reitoria) of Universidade Católica Portuguesa. 


The research scholarship contracts are signed directly with FCT. 

The following documentation must be submitted should a scholarship be awarded, for the purposes of signing the respective contract: 

a)  Copy of each civil and fiscal identification document and, whenever applicable, of social security1; 

b)  Copy of certificates for each of the academic degrees held; 

c)  Submission of records of non-national academic qualifications and conversion of the respective final classifications to the Portuguese classification scale whenever applicable; 

d)  Document attesting to enrolment and registration for the Doctoral Degree Program in Culture Studies at FCH/UCP; 

e)  Declaration from supervisor(s) expressing their acceptance of responsibility for the supervision of the work plan under the terms of Article 5-A of the Research Grant Statute (term of declaration to be provided by FCT); 

f)  Document attesting to the acceptance of the candidate by the institution hosting the respective research, guaranteeing the conditions necessary for their efficient development, as well as complying with the obligations stipulated under Article 13 of the Research Grant Statute; 

g)  An updated document demonstrating compliance with the exclusive dedication regime. 

The awarding of the scholarship is also contingent on: 

  • compliance with the requirements stipulated by the present Tender Notice; 
  • the results of the scientific evaluation; 
  • the non-existence of any unjustified non-compliance with the duties of scholarship holders within the framework of any prior awarding of a financial grant contract, whether directly or indirectly, by FCT; 
  • FCT’s budgetary capacity. 

Failure to submit any of the documentation necessary to comply with the scholarship contractual process within a period of six months beginning on the date of communication of the conditional award of the scholarship shall result in the annulment of the aforementioned award and the closure of the respective file. 


The disbursement of the scholarship shall begin after the candidate has returned the duly signed research scholarship contract, which must take place within a maximum period of 15 working days beginning on the date of its receipt. 

Scholarships awarded under the auspices of the current tender shall be financed by FCT with funding from the State Budget and, whenever eligible, with funding from the European Social Fund provided within the framework of PORTUGAL2020, namely through the Operational Program for the Norte Region (NORTE 2020), the Operational Program for the Centro Region (Centro 2020) and the Operational Program for the Alentejo Region (Alentejo 2020), in accordance with the regulatory stipulations defined to this end. 


Scholarship holders are awarded a monthly maintenance stipend in accordance with the terms of the table in RBI Annex I. 

The scholarship may also include other components in pursuant to Article 18 of the RBI and the values established in its Annex II. 

All scholarship recipients benefit from researcher’s personal accident insurance, whose cost shall be covered by FCT. 

All scholarship recipients who are not otherwise covered by any social protection regime may take up the right to social security by registering with the social security voluntary regime, under the terms of the Contributory Regimes Code for the Social Security Welfare System, with CECC meeting any costs resulting from the respective contributions, in accordance with the terms and limits stipulated in Article 10 of the EBI. 


Disbursements to scholarship holders are made via bank transfer to the account number they have provided. The monthly maintenance stipend is paid on the first working day of each month.

Payment of registration, enrolment or other fees are made directly by FCT to the respective national institution where the scholarship holder is registered/enrolled in a PhD program. 


Scholarship renewal is invariably contingent on the submission of a request by the scholarship holder within sixty working days prior to the date of renewal, accompanied by the following documents: 

a) opinions issued by the candidate’s supervisor(s) and by their host institution(s) resulting from the monitoring of the scholarship holder’s work and assessing their activity; 

b) anupdateddocumentdemonstratingcompliancewiththeexclusivededicationregime; c) a document demonstrating renewal of enrolment in the PhD study cycle. 


In all R&D activities, whether directly or indirectly financed by the scholarship, namely conference participations, publications and any scientific output, as well as the resulting theses, carried out with scholarship-related support, scholarship holders must explicitly mention the financial support received from FCT and the European Social Fund (ESF), namely through the Operational Program for the Norte Region (NORTE 2020), the Operational Program for the Centro Region (Centro 2020) and the Operational Program for the Alentejo Region (Alentejo 2020). To this end, any relevant documents must include references to the acronyms of FCT, MCTES, of ESF and the EU according to the norms in effect for each operational program. 

The dissemination of research results financed under the auspices of the RBI must follow all the norms for open access to data, publications and other research results in effect at FCT. 

Every scholarship, in particular in the case of projects receiving EU support, specifically from the ESF, may be subject to monitoring and control undertaken on behalf of national and European organs in accordance with the legislation applicable. Scholarship holders in receipt of support must cooperate and provide the information requested, which shall include the completion of evaluation surveys and studies in this area, including after the expiry of the scholarship. 


UCP promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access. Accordingly, no candidate may be favoured, advantaged, disadvantaged or deprived of any right or exempted from any duty, namely as a result of their parentage, age, gender, sexual orientation, civil status, family situation, economic situation, education, social origin or condition, genetic heritage, reduced working capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic or racial background, territory of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs and trade union membership. 


The Tender falls under the auspices of the regulations of the current Notice of Tender Opening, the Regulations for FCT Research Grants, as approved by Regulation no. 950/2019, published in the 2nd Series of Diário da República on 16 December 2019, the Research Grant Holder Statute approved by Law no. 40/2004, of 18 August, in accordance with the version in effect, as well as any further applicable national and EU legislation. 

1 The submission of these documents may be replaced, should the candidate so wish, by their in-person appearance at the financing entity, which shall then record the documentation details required for the validity and execution of the contract, including the civil, fiscal and social security identification numbers, as well as the expiry date of the respective documents.