PhD in Biology


PhD in Biology

Started in 2009/2010. The required minimum number of credits to graduate is 240 (4 years). 


The Doctoral Program in Biology has as main objective the further scientific and professional differentiation, thus  contributing to the advanced training of specialized human resources with a view to their integration into the growing action network within the scope of the competences of the Life Sciences area and in particular by the nuclear branch of biology. The ultimate goal of the program, with strong focus on research, will be to train highly qualified researchers  capable to perform and develop autonomously R & D projects , integrating sectors of the economic and social activity and / or in an university context. The programmes includes different biology special areas (Molecular Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics), each of which represent a domain of biological knowledge and meet a particular set of knowledge whose approach requires, in general, specific methodologies.



The PhD program is organized according to a credit system. The doctoral program consists of the Project PhD thesis which is taking place in the 1st semester, and has 30 ECTS, and the PhD thesis taking place within seven semesters, which counts 210 ECTS. The complete duration of the study period corresponding to the PhD program is 8 semesters long (four years).

In each Biology doctoral program areas and,  in in what regards the 1st semester of the Doctoral Thesis Project, 30 ECTS are awarded , divided into Doctoral Seminars and disciplines (s) belonging to the second or third cycle (s), which are advised to students according to their training needs within the doctoral specialty integrating  the project they wish to develop. These disciplines are offered by the Life Sciences Department (CVD), by any other NOVA FCT’s Departments, or by other Organic Units belonging to NOVA. The PhD course structure is individually set for each student, according to their training need, and submitted to the Doctoral Programm Scientific Committee on a joint proposal of the mentor and the student.

The 2nd semester of the 1st year and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years correspond to the development of experimental research, writing and public presentation of the PhD thesis and corresponds to 210 ECTS.


Career opportunities

Teaching in Higher Education Institutions, Scientific Research, Integration in multidisciplinary scientific teams, Scientific Laboratories, Biotech Industries, Pharmaceutical and similar.



Tuition fee

Portuguese students:

2 750 Euros/ year 

Foreign students:

2 750 Euros/ year 


1st phase: 11th march to 5th april 2024


Entrance requirements for the 2024/2025 academic year

Vacancies for 2024/2025:


Admission rules:

It is possible to apply for access to the PhD program in Biology for:

Master degree holders, or legal equivalent, awarded by a Portuguese or foreign higher education institutions, legally recognized;

Bachelor degree holders and holders of an academic or scientific curriculum particularly relevant and that is recognized as attesting the capacity to accomplish this cycle of studies by the Scientific Council;

Holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum that is recognized by the Scientific Council of FCT-NOVA, as attesting the capacity to accomplish this cycle of studies.


The candidates selection is carried out by the Scientific Committee through the examination of the the submitted documentation.

Candidates who meet the conditions both from the academic as well as from the curricular point of view, as previously indicated , will be selected taking into account the following criteria:

a) academic and scientific curriculum;

b) Professional Curriculum;

c) Motivation letter.

The application process can include an individual interview for clarification of intentions, interests and motivations of the candidate.

Course coordinator:

Professor Isabel de Sá Nogueira

Registration and Accreditation


Registration number R/A-Ef 3064/2011 on 18/03/2011


Publication date of the accreditation decision: 28/09/2016

for 6 years

About the Department of Life Sciences

The Department of Life Sciences (Departamento de Ciências da Vida - DCV) focuses its activity on teaching and research in fundamental Biology relevant for application in Biotechnology and Biomedicine.

DCV is responsibel for BSc's Courses - Licenciatura em Biologia Celular e Molecular (1st Cycle), MSc's - Mestrado em Genética molecular e Biomedicina (2nd Cycle) and PhD Program in Biology and PhD Program in Biotechnology (Co-coordination with DQ/NOVA FCT), while collaborating in several other courses with NOVA.

DCV is organised in a single Scientific Section, grouping the scientific ares of Microbiology, Genetics and Cell Biology. Research at DCV is integrated into International and National collaborative efforts in the areas of Microbiology, Human and Molecular Genetics, Biotechnology, Nanobiotechnology and Cell Biology.

More info