FCT funds 3 out of 7 applications for PhD studentships submitted by ciTechCare

ciTechCare received funding for 3 PhD research grants, out of the 7 applications submitted between 1 and 31 March, while the call for Research Grants for PhD 2023, promoted by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) was ongoing.

The doctoral projects submitted by researchers Maria João Batalha, Sónia Santos and Susana Lopes, were analyzed, selected and are among the projects that will be funded, all in collaboration with non-academic institutions.

Over the next 4 years, these future PhD students will be able to carry out their research activities leading to the achievement of the academic degree of a doctor, in the areas of Public Health, Health Sciences and Health, disability, dependence and well-being.

The non-academic scholarship awarded to Maria João Batalha will be developed at ciTechCare together with the Municipality of Leiria and the National School of Public Health, in order to complete her PhD in Public Health, with a specialization in health promotion, under the guidance of Sara Simões Dias (ciTechCare), Anabela Graça (CML) and Ana Rita Pedro (ENSP).

Sónia Santos will be a PhD Student in Health Sciences, with a specialization in Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra (FMUC) and will be guided by Rui Fonseca-Pinto (ciTechCare) and João Morais, from the Hospital Center of Leiria – Hospital Santo André, institution that will be working together with ciTechCare on the project developments.

The third non-academic studentship awarded is addressed to the researcher Susana Lopes, who will develop her PhD in Health, disability, dependence and well-being, under the guidance of Marlene Rosa and co-supervision of Raul Antunes. The work will be developed at ciTechCare, in collaboration with the company Minutos Emblemáticos, a Spin-off of the Polytechnic of Leiria, along side with the University of Salamanca, the graduate institution.

From the 7 applications submitted, 3 were for doctoral projects in academic environment and 4 in a non-academic environment. The merit of the candidate, the merit of the work plan and the merit of the host conditions, were decisive aspects for the selection of candidates. 

According to Maria Guarino, Coordinator of the Research Unit, “this was the year in which ciTechCare submitted more applications for this financial instrument and received the largest funding for PhD studentships in an edition. This result confirms the confidence in the Unit and the quality of the work that has been developed, representing an important step in the sustained growth of the Research Unit on the promotion and development of scientific research in a close collaboration with our societal partners.”

The assessment process involved the participation of 482 evaluators, through 39 evaluation panels, which analyzed, classified and ranked the applications. From the 39 panels, 3 were dedicated to the evaluation of applications with activities proposed in a non-academic environment, whose research work will take place in collaboration with entities such as Companies, Collaborative Laboratories, Technology and Innovation Centers, Interface Centers, Public Administration entities, Public Laboratories, Hospitals, Museums, Libraries or other third sector entities.

From the 3525 applications received and analyzed, the FCT foresees the allocation of 1450 research grants for PhD projects, 300 of them in non-academic scope, less 100 than those initially planned in this context. The final results of the call will be announced by FCT until the end of October 2023.