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Career development

2015 FCT Investigator Programme

Purpose and Overview

Call Documents


  • Call for Applications: 16 July - 15 September 2015 (5pm, Lisbon time)
  • Association of host institution to application: 16 - 30 September 2015 (5pm, Lisbon time)
  • The FCT Investigator programme aims to support the recruitment of outstanding researchers into Portugal’s R&D centres. Open to scientists of all nationalities, and across research fields, this highly competitive programme targets scientists with exceptional track-records and clear potential to develop innovative research. Close to 600 new FCT Investigators have been selected in the three previous calls. The 2015 call is expected to fund 200 new FCT Investigator grants.

    Read the Notice of the Call (in Portuguese).

    What's included

    FCT Investigator grants provide a competitive salary, for up to five years, corresponding to research career positions of auxiliar, principal and coordenador.

    Selected FCT Investigators with no new or ongoing FCT-funded research as of 1st January 2016 are entitled to a project grant of up to €50 000.

    This call is funded by the national funds from the Portuguese State budget.


    All researchers holding a PhD degree, of any nationality, and in any research or academic field may apply.

    Applicants need to be associated to one of the following types of host institutions in Portugal: higher education institutions and their associated research centres; Associate Laboratories; State Laboratories; public or private companies with clearly-defined scientific R&D activities, and other public or private, non-profit organisations that carry out scientific research.

    There are three types of FCT investigator grants:

    • Starting Grant – aimed at researchers with more than three years and less than eight years post-PhD experience at the time of application. Previous experience of scientific independence is not required;
    • Development Grant – aimed at researchers with a curriculum of exceptional merit and experience as an independent researcher;
    • Consolidation Grant – aimed at researchers with experience as an independent researcher, with a curriculum of exceptional merit and evidence of scientific leadership in a specific area of knowledge.

    Further information on eligibility requirements may be found in the documents and guides of the call.

    How and when to apply

    The call is open from 16 July to 15 September (5pm, Lisbon time).
    Host institutions should associate themselves to the applications between 16 - 30 September 2015 (5pm, Lisbon time).

    All applications are submitted online, in English, via the FCT Investigator website.

    For detailed guidance notes on applying, please download the Application Guide and the Ethics Guide.


    All submitted proposals will be assessed for compliance with the eligibility criteria of the call. A listing of eligible and non-eligible applications will be published on the FCT website.

    Proposals considered eligible will be evaluated and scored from 1 (minimum) to 9 (maximum), on three criteria: the scientific merit of the applicant, the quality of the research project and of the career development plan.

    Evaluation is carried out in a two-stage process, by an independent panel of leading experts in each research area. The first stage entails a pre-selection of the applicants, based on the assessment of a synopsis of the proposal. A maximum of 800 proposals (four times the number of positions available) is expected to go through to the second stage, where the full application will be evaluated, and a ranked list of applicants will be published.

    Applications scored below 7 will neither be admitted to the second stage nor recommended for funding.

    Further information on the evaluation process is available in the Evaluation Guide.


    For any enquiry related to this call, please e-mail

    The information on this page does not replace or override any requirements set forth in the Regulations or the Notice of the Call for Proposals (in Portuguese).