PhD in Biosciences

General Objectives of the Course

The training at postgraduate level is of paramount importance in the preparation of specialized researchers, teachers and other professionals in the field of Biosciences. The third cycle aims to provide advanced training and multidisciplinary areas of Ecology, Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bioenergetics, Bioinorganic, and Cell Biophysics Molecular Microbiology, Neuroscience and Toxicology, using the scientific resources of the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra (DCV), and the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra (CNC- National Associated Laboratory), Institute of Marine Research-Coimbra (IMAR, and Center for Functional Ecology (CFE). A Doctoral Thesis is developed for a minimum period of 2 years (120 ECTS), following a first year of course work. Optional course work requirements are fulfilled by attending a variety of advanced courses. The grades obtaned in these courses are then transferred to fixed curricular units, thus ensuring a great deal of flexibility to the program.
It is extremely important to note that the Mandatory units (Thesis Project and Seminars I and II of the different specializations) are carried out in a one-on-one relationship between a Student and a Supervisor, and not in classroom model, common to other study cycles (this the notations in section 2). Each Student is responsible for contacting/choosing a Supervisor who, in turn, will provide a Thesis Topic to be developed in the curricular year, as well as the methodology and activities to be scheduled. The Student must provide a Literature Review on the Topic proposed (Seminar I), possible avenues for future research (Seminar II) and a concrete plan of experimental approaches to be developed as a Thesis in the following years (Thesis Project). The Supervisor will grade these activities, but a Committee named by the PhD Coordinator must validate the Thesis Project, to ensure quality/feasibility.
This course of study allows different specializations: Specialization in Ecology, Marine Ecology, Catchment Ecology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Toxicology, Biotechnology, Cellular Biophysics, Molecular Biophysics, Inorganic Biochemistry and in Bioenergetics.

Admission Requirements

Masters Degree with research expertise or previous professional expertise in scientific research

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Professional Goals

Lecturers and researchers at a college level; Senior Researchers and Lab Tecnicians in Research Institututes, Clinical environments, companies, government agencies, natural parks, etc.

Mode of Study

Full time and day-time learning, but with a very reasonable and flexible schedule that allows for other activities.

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)

Portuguese and English

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

As assessment is a pedagogical activity inseparable from the teaching process, its aim is to establish the students' competencies and knowledge, their critical sense, ability to recognize and resolve problems, as well as their written and oral presentation skills. Students may only register for exams for classes they are currently registered for under the terms of number 6 of article 4 of the University of Coimbra Pedagogical Policy. The following are examples of assessment items: Oral or written exams, written or practical work, individual and group projects that may require an oral defense, as well as class participation. Assessment for each class may include one or more of the above mentioned items. Grading is based on a scale of 0 to 20 and a grade of 10 is required to pass. Whenever assessment includes more than one item, the final grade is calculated by taking into account the relative weight of each item according to a formula published in the course outline under the terms of number 2 of article 7 of the UC Pedagogical Policy.

Course Coordinator(s)

Isabel da Silva Henriques

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

António Xavier de Barros e Cunha Pereira Coutinho

Recognition of Prior Learning

When applicable credits are given for previous experience mentioned in point h.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

Originally published in Despacho n.º 11949 -BC/2007, in Diário da República n.º 114, 2.ª série, 1.º Suplement June 15. Modified by Despacho n.º 20220/2009 in Diário da República, 2.ª série — N.º 173 — September 7 2009

Graduation Requirements

Public defense of a written Thesis including original high-quality research (following approval of the Project) in the chosen field which must include at least one research paper with the student as first author.

Access to Further Studies

Access to post-Doctoral Training

Study Programme

Specialization in Biochemistry
Specialization in Biotechnology
Specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology
Specialization in Ecology
Specialization in Microbiology
Specialization in Neuroscience

Academic year

Course Type
3rd Cycle Studies

DGES Code: 5106

Qualification Awarded: Doutor

Duration: 6 Semester(s)

ECTS Credits: 180.0

Annual Fee: 2750.0


Call for Applications


1st Semester
Start date: 21-09-2020
End date: 18-12-2020
2nd Semester
Start date: 15-02-2021
End date: 21-05-2021


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2017-06-30 a 2023-06-29
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior