Calls :: 2014 Announcement

Download PDF: 2014_Call_PhD-SPACE_final


Doctoral Network in Space Sciences

2014 Call for 5 PhD Fellowships


Call for up to 5 PhD Fellowships is open in the context of the PhD::SPACE programme, hosted by CAUP and CAAUL. The positions are to be appointed for projects in the fields of research of both institutions.

The 2014 call is open from March 7th to April 30th, 2014.


The Doctoral Network in Space Sciences (PhD::SPACE) is run by Universidade do Porto and Universidade de Lisboa, and supported by two Research Institutes, Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) and Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa (CAAUL). More information on this programme is available at the website.

The programme has been selected for funding through a national call by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia IP (FCT), and has available for each edition a total of 5 PhD Fellowships for up to four years each. The selection of applicants is entrusted to the Selection Committee of each call, including elements of the Scientific Committee of the Programme and external experts, appointed by the Scientific Committee. The selected applicants will sign a PhD Fellowship contract directly with FCT. These contracts are drawn in accordance of the Regulations for Fellowships of FCT (including values for allowance and eligible components) and the Regulations for Research Fellows (Law 40/2004).

PhD degrees:

The network PhD::SPACE opens its first call (for the 2014-2015 edition), for PhD students enrolling in any of the following PhD programmes:

-         PhD Programme in Astronomy, Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto;

-         PhD Programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.

These are PhD degrees including a curricular and a research component, to be supervised by senior researchers from any of the host institutes (CAUP and CAAUL). Joint supervisions with external researchers from other universities or international organizations, like ESO or ESA, are also encouraged.


In order to apply, candidates must comply with the following conditions:

1. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree or a master degree in Astronomy, Physics, Engineering Physics, or related field.

2. A Masters Degree or a minimum of a full year of postgraduate studies is preferred. Previous research experience is an advantage.

3. To qualify for FCT Fellowships, one of the following is required:

a) Citizenship of any country of the European Union;

b) Citizenship of any country with which Portugal has a reciprocity agreement;

c) Long term residency title as defined if Law no. 23/2007 of July 4, as altered by law no. 29/2012 of August 9.

4. Citizens of other countries, not satisfying item 3, may apply, but they will be subject to an individual interview, before a grant can be awarded.

5. In the case of work plans partially carried out outside Portugal (mixed fellowships), applicants must have permanent residency in Portugal.


Applications must be submitted according to the specifications described in this website and sent by email (PDF files) to the Director of the Programme. These include:

1)     Presentation letter (up to 2 pages) indicating the motivation and expectations of the candidate as well as the acceptance of the procedures of the program.

2)     Academic and scientific curriculum (up to 4 pages).

3)     Copies of the degree certificates and complete list of curricular units and marks obtained in these (a description of the marking scale is required as well as the percentile of the global classification, if available).

4)     A minimum of two reference letters, together with the contact details for up to 3 referees (to be contacted by email and/or phone), that will be available to provide additional information on request.


The evaluation of the candidates is done based on the following criteria (a minimum mark of 25 points in each criteria is required for final selection):

i)       50 points – curricular evaluation of the candidate: (1) degrees, including marks and contents of curricular units completed; (2) complementary training; (3) other curricular activities; (4) references; (5) English language proficiency; (6) participation in mobility programs; (7) communication and social interaction skills; (8) other relevant items.

ii)     50 points – motivation and demonstrated competencies for pursuing a PhD project: (1) participation in research activities, including meetings, research internships, participation in research teams, etc; (2) scientific results, with explicit identification of the candidate’s contribution, including publications in journals and proceedings, oral and poster communications, research reports, etc; (3) computational and/or astronomical observation experience; (4) references; (5) interview; (6) presentation letter; (7) other relevant items.

Research topics:

The decision on the PhD Project by the successful applicants is done, following the ordered list of selected applicants, from a list of proposals validated by PhD::SPACE and made available to the candidates. The list of topics and scientific priorities, as well as the research expertise at the host institutes is provided at the website of the programme.

All fellows will be integrated in the ongoing research programs and teams of the host institutes. PhD::SPACE will also organize research schools and regular meetings, while the host institutes will provide support for the students to participate in international meetings and visits to other cooperating institutes and organizations. For mixed Fellowships (with up to one year mobility) the fellow will spend extended periods in other institutions under the agreement for joint supervisions and double degrees (if relevant). Joint supervisions can be organized with ESO, ESA or other research institutes in Europe or elsewhere.


The PhD Fellowships are annual, renewable up to three times (total of 4 years maximum) and cannot be offered for periods below six months (please, see the relevant fellowship regulations). These cover:

  • A monthly stipend of 980 € (tax free). An additional amount may be added for stays abroad, in the case of mixed fellowships.
  • The tuition fees for the doctoral degree of the participating universities.
  • Social security (voluntary registration), with basic health coverage.

The amount of the stipend for PhD Fellowships is over twice the minimum wage in Portugal and corresponds to a good standard of living for any of the two cities of the network.


PhD::SPACE (including monitoring and complementary activities) and the annual calls for PhD Fellowships are described in the website.

For contacts, inquires and to submit the application please use:

Programme Director: Prof. Mário J. P. F. G. Monteiro


Phone: +351 226 089 856

Publication date: 2014/03/07