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Unique identifier: ac1931b9-9f5e-451f-97af-4c478f0abe2c

1. Descrição do cargo/posição/bolsa
1. Job description

Ph.D. Research Fellowships

Job/Fellowship Reference: WJCR/006/4BD/2021

Main research field: Psychological sciences

Sub research field: Psychology

Job summary:

The William James Center for Research (WJCR) located at ISPA – Instituto Universitário (ISPA) and the University of Aveiro (UA) has an opening for 4 PhD Studentships (reference WJCR/006/4BD/2021), hereinafter referred to as PhD Research Fellowships under the FCT Regulation for Research Studentships (Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação da FCT - RBI) and the Research Fellow Holder Statute (Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação - EBI).

The Ph.D. Research Fellowships will be funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the Collaboration Protocol for Funding of the Multi-Annual Research Scholarship Plan for Ph.D. Students signed between the FCT and the R&D Unit WJCR – William James Center for Research (UIDP/04810/2020).

Job description:


The call is open from May 24, 2021 to July 31, 2021, 17h00 (Lisbon Time).

Applications along with all the supporting documents must be submitted by e-mail to both cgi-candidaturas@ispa.pt and concursos-cgi@ispa.pt. The subject of the e-mail should indicate reference No. WJCR/006/4BD/2021.

A candidate may submit only one application to this call. Should the candidate submit further applications to the same call, then the submissions of the candidate will be canceled. False declarations or acts of plagiarism will lead to the dismissal of the application and likely lead to punitive disciplinary measures.



The Ph.D. Research Fellowships are intended to finance research activities leading to the award of a Doctoral Degree by ISPA – Instituto Universitário.

The research will take place at the William James Center for Research (WJCR), located at ISPA – Instituto Universitário (Lisbon, Portugal), which will be the host institution for the fellows. If a fellow is jointly co-supervised by a member of the WJCR-UA unit, located at University of Aveiro, then the research work may be partially conducted at that institution. It is also possible that the research will be conducted in collaboration with other national or international institutions. 

The research activities leading to a Doctoral Degree must be framed in terms of the research and strategic plan of the WJCR and developed in one of the areas of expertise available at the Ph.D. Programme in Psychology of ISPA – Instituto Universitário.

The work plan may be carried out entirely at a national institution or in collaboration with an international institution (i.e. national fellowship and mixed fellowship, respectively).

As a rule, fellowships are given on an annual basis and are renewable up to the maximum number of months requested in the application. They cannot be granted for less than 3 consecutive months or for more than 48 months.

In case of the fellowships are carried out both in Portugal and abroad, the research period in a foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.


The Ph.D. Research Fellowships are for applicants who meet the conditions required to enroll in the Ph.D. Programmes set out in point 3 of this Call and who wish to pursue a research trajectory at the William James Center for Research, ultimately leading to the conferral of a Doctoral Degree by ISPA – Instituto Universitário.




4.1. Applicants’ Admissibility Requirements

The following persons may apply to this call:

  • National citizens or citizens of other Member States of the European Union;
  • Third-party states citizens;
  • Stateless individuals;
  • Citizens who have been granted political refugee status.

To apply for a Ph.D. Research Fellowship, the applicant must:

  • Hold a Master’s Degree in Psychology (preferably in Social, Cognitive, Neuropsychology, Cognitive Science, Health, Forensic Psychology or related fields);
  • Have a document attesting permanent or habitual residence in Portugal, if the applicant (national or foreigner) applies for a mixed fellowship;
  • Not have benefited from an individual Ph.D. fellowship or a Ph.D. fellowship in industry directly funded by the FCT, irrespective of its duration.

4.2. Application Admissibility Requirements

It is mandatory to attach the following documents in English to the application:

  • Detailed curriculum vitae of the applicant;
  • Copy of the certificates of all degrees obtained (Bachelor and Master), specifying the final classification and the transcript of records of attended courses. Only degrees issued in Portuguese and English will be accepted. In alternative, applicants can submit a declaration of honour stating that they will have concluded the Master’s degree by the end of the application deadline;
  • If the degrees were obtained from a foreign higher education institution, then the applicant must submit an official document confirming (a) the academic degree and (b) the conversion of the respective final classification to the Portuguese classification scale. In alternative, applicants can submit a declaration of honour stating that they will have the recognition of the foreign degree by the end of the application deadline;
  • Letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages, indicating research interests and preferred supervisor(s));
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Regarding the above-mentioned requirements, the following should be noted:

If an academic degree was awarded by a foreign higher education institution, then the candidate must ensure that the qualification of the degree is equivalent to the Portuguese classification scale and recognized as such (compulsory).

Documents confirming degree equivalence can be obtained from any public higher education institution, or at the Directorate General for Higher Education (DGES, for automatic recognition only). Please consult the DGES portal for detail:  http://www.dges.gov.pt.

Only applicants who supply proof to have completed the study cycle leading to a Master’s degree by the end of the application deadline will be admitted. If applicants do not yet have the certificate of completion, the declaration of honour will be accepted stating that they have completed the qualifications required for the call by its closing date. The award of the fellowship is always contingent upon the presentation of the mandatory proof of academic qualifications.


The WJCR is funded by the FCT and is one of the top 5 Portuguese R&D Centers in Psychology ranked as “Excellent” in FCT’s last round of evaluation of national R&D units. It brings together outstanding psychological research from the University of Aveiro (UA) and ISPA – Instituto Universitário. One of the goals of the WJCR is to become a European center of excellence for research and training in communication and sociality; cognitive, affective, and developmental processes; and translational Psychology. The research developed by the Center focuses on 4 interrelated clusters: cognition, health, social cognition/body odors, and social development.

Applicants must be strongly motivated to develop their work plan under the scientific supervision of one of the senior researchers of the WJCR, in one of the Center’s main research clusters. Although the WJCR is composed of two collaborating institutions, principal scientific supervisors for fellowships in this year’s call will be from ISPA – Instituto Universitário. Nevertheless, WJCR members from the University of Aveiro are available for jointly supervised projects with ISPA supervisors. For more information about the Center’s research lines and senior researchers as potential supervisors, please check the website www.williamjamescr.org.


The evaluation is based on the applicant’s merit, motivation and the adequacy of their training to the research objectives of the WJCR.

The evaluation process consists of two successive stages, driven by the following evaluation criteria:

- The first stage (S1) (scored from 0 to 20 values and rounded to decimals) will focus on Curriculum Analysis (CA) and Motivation (M) for the completion of the Doctorate. The Curriculum Analysis and the Motivation will each have a weight of 60% and 40%, respectively, in the final classification of the first stage of the competition, which is expressed by the following formula:

S1 = (0,6 × CA) + (0,4 × M)

The Curriculum Analysis (CA) - scored from 0 to 20 values and rounded to decimals - has a weighting of 60% in the final classification of the first stage of this call and will focus on:

  • Subcriterion CA1 - Quality of the academic career, expressed by the final classification of the bachelor and master’s degree, with a weight of 50%. In the case of candidates with an integrated master’s degree, the final mark on the certificate will be evaluated; in the case of candidates with separate bachelor and master’s certificates, the arithmetic averaged of the final marks will be evaluated;
  • Subcriterion CA2 - Scientific production and participation in research projects, with a weight of 40%;
  • Subcriterion CA3 – Work experience and other relevant activities, with a weight of 10%.
The Motivation (M) for this Doctorate, sustained by the justification of the interest to investigate a specific topic with relevance in Psychological Research and the necessary soft skills and training, expressed in the "letter of motivation" - scored from 0 to 20 values and presented to the decimals - has a weight of 40% in the final classification of the first stage of the call.

The first six (6) candidates with the highest final score of S1 and equal to 10 or more points will be admitted to the second stage (S2) and ranked in descending order of score – “Interview Admitted”. All applicants with tied S1 scores in the 6th position will be admitted to the second stage.

Candidates who score less than ten (10) points in the first stage of the competition (S1) will be excluded from the call – “Excluded”.

The second stage (S2) (scored from 0 to 20 and presented to the decimals) consists of an individual interview of the candidate and has a weight of 100 %.

The final classification of the Individual Interview will be determined by the arithmetic average of the scores on all the criteria assessed by the members of the Evaluation Panel: S2 = Final Classification for the Individual Interview.

The Individual Interview will focus on the following criteria: previous contact with research-related environment; know-how of instruments, methodologies, and proficiency in software relevant to the research area in which the project is to be conducted; motivation; knowledge and professional attitude; interpersonal relationships and communication skills (including English language proficiency). Each of these criteria will be evaluated (from 0 to 20 values) by the Evaluation Panel members.

Applicants with a S2 final score below ten (10) will be automatically excluded - "Excluded".

In order to decide the conditional granting of the Ph.D. Fellowships, applicants will be ranked according to the weighted average of the marks obtained for each of the two criteria, expressed by the following formula:

Final Rating = (0,5 × S1) + (0,5 × S2)

For tiebreaking purposes, applicants will be ranked based on the marks awarded to each of the evaluation criteria in the following order of precedence: S1 – (i) Curriculum vitae; (ii) Scientific -Production; (iii) Letter of motivation; (iv) Work experience; S2 - Interview.

If one or more candidates do not present the appropriate and/or necessary skills and competencies required for the successful implementation of the Ph.D. fellowships, then the jury has the right not to award any fellowship. Fellowships that are not granted will be carried over to the next academic year.

Important notice for candidates with diplomas issued by foreign universities:

  • Applicants with diplomas issued by foreign higher education institutions may apply and will be assessed with the same criteria as applicants with diplomas issued by Portuguese institutions, so long as they provide proof of recognition of such academic degrees and conversion of the final classification to the Portuguese classification scale, according to the applicable legislation.
  • Candidates with foreign degrees who do not provide proof of equivalence between the final classification and the Portuguese classification scale will be given the minimum classification (10 points) on criterion “CA.1”.
  • Fellowship contracts for applicants with diplomas issued by foreign institutions will be issued only upon presentation of proof of recognition of academic degrees and conversion of the final classification, as indicated above.


The evaluation panel will consist of:

  • Gün R. Semin (WJCR-ISPA, panel coordinator);
  • Manuela Veríssimo (WJCR-ISPA);
  • Teresa Garcia-Marques (WJCR-ISPA)

Alternate members:

  • João Marôco (WJCR-ISPA);
  • António J. Santos (WJCR-ISPA)

The evaluation panel will assess applications in accordance with the evaluation criteria of this Call, weighing the elements of assessment.

All panel members, including the coordinator, are committed to impartiality, no conflict of interest and confidentiality to ensure the independence of the panel.

Panel members, including the coordinator, shall not be mentors or supervisors of applicants to this call, in which case they shall be replaced by an alternate member. For each application, a final evaluation sheet shall be produced by the panel. This memorandum will clearly document the arguments leading to the marks awarded. Minutes of the meetings of the evaluation panel will be produced. The minutes and their annexes must include the following information:

  • Name and affiliation of all members of the evaluation panel;
  • Identification of all excluded applications and their grounds for exclusion (if applicable);
  • Final Evaluation sheets for each applicant;
  • A provisional ranking and seriation of candidates, in descending order of final ranking, of all evaluated applications;
  • Conflict of Interest Statements from all panel members (if applicable);
  • Possible delegations of vote and competences due to justified absence (if applicable).


Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results via e-mail to the e-mail address indicated in the application.


After communicating the provisional list of the results, applicants, who want to dispute the results, have a period of 10 working days to submit a complaint for a preliminary hearing, in accordance with Articles 121 and the following of the Administrative Procedure Code (CPA).

The final decision will be disclosed after the examination of the arguments explained at the preliminary hearing. After the final decision, a claim may be placed within 15 working days or, alternatively, an appeal within 30 working days, both counting from the respective notification date. Applicants who choose to submit a claim or an appeal should address their complaint to the FCT Board of Directors with the delegated competence.


Research grant contracts are issued directly by the FCT.

The following documents are mandatory for a contract, after the fellowships are awarded, upon conditional granting of the fellowship:

a) Copy of personal identification, tax number and, if applicable, social security documents;

b) Copy of the academic degree certificates;

c) Document attesting the acceptance and registration in the 3rd cycle of studies, i.e. Doctoral Programme (point 3), issued by the university that will grant the academic degree;

d) Supervisor(s) statement accepting the candidate as student and assuming responsibility for the supervision of the work plan, as established in Article no. 5-A of the Statute for Research Fellowships (template to be made available by the FCT);

e) Document from the research unit where research activities will take place ensuring the provision of the necessary conditions for its successful development, as well as the fulfillment of the duties established in Article 13 of the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (template declaration to be made available by the FCT);

f) Updated document signed by the grantee confirming compliance with the exclusive dedication regime (template declaration to be made available by the FCT);

g) Certification of permanent and usual residence in Portugal, if applicable, valid at the fellowship starting date;

h) Registration record for the recognition of foreign academic degrees and conversion of the respective final classifications to the Portuguese classification scale, if applicable;

The granting of the scholarship is further dependent on:

  • Compliance with the requirements listed in this Call;
  • The results of the scientific evaluation;
  • Absence of unjustified non-compliance from the fellowship holder during previous directly or indirectly FCT funded fellowships;
  • The FCT’s available budget.

Failure to submit any of the documents required to complete the fellowship contract process within 6 months of the date of notification of the conditional grant decision will result in the forfeiture of the grant and the closing of the process.



Payment of fellowships will start after the applicants return the duly signed Ph.D. fellowship contract, which should occur within a maximum of 15 working days from the date of its receipt.

The fellowships granted in this call will be funded by the FCT using the State Budget fund and, whenever eligible, the European Social Fund (ESF), under the PORTUGAL2020 programme, in particular, under Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020) and Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), according to the respective requirements.



A monthly maintenance allowance is granted in accordance with the table in Annex I of the RBI. The grant may also include additional allowances, according to RBI’s Article 18 and the values set out in its Annex II.

All fellows are covered by a workplace personal accident insurance supported by the FCT.

Fellows who are not beneficiaries of any social protection regime may exercise their right to social security by adhering to the voluntary social security regime, under the terms of the Code of Contributory Schemes of the Social Security System. The FCT will cover the costs resulting from the contributions under the terms and within the limits set out in Article 10 of the EBI.


Payments due to the fellow are made by bank transfer to the indicated bank account. Payment of the monthly maintenance allowance is made on the first working day of each month. Partial payments of registration, enrolment or tuition fees are made by the FCT directly to the national institution where the fellow is registered or enrolled in the Doctorate.


The renewal of the fellowship is always dependent on a yearly request submitted by the fellow, within 60 working days prior to the date of the renewal. The request for renewal should be accompanied by the following documents:

a) Declaration issued by the supervisor(s) and by the host institution(s) on the monitoring of the fellowship holder's work and the evaluation of his/her activities;

b) Updated document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication regime;

c) Registration document issued by the university confirming the enrollment in the cycle of studies leading to the Doctoral degree.



All R&D activities, directly or indirectly funded by the fellowship, namely communications, publications and scientific output, as well as dissertations, carried out with the support provided by the fellowship, must include a reference to the FCT and the European Social Fund, specifically the North Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), Centre Regional Operational Programme (Centre 2020) and Alentejo Regional Operational Programme (Alentejo 2020). For this purpose, the FCT, MCTES, ESF and EU logos shall be inscribed in the documents relating to these actions, in accordance with the graphic guidelines of each Operational Programme.

The dissemination of research results funded under the RBI provisions must comply with the current practices on open science, namely for open access publications and data and other research results in accordance with FCT rules.

For all the fellowships, particularly in the case of European funded actions, namely the ESF, monitoring actions may be performed by national or European entities according to the applicable legislation. Fellows must therefore collaborate and provide all the required information, including answering surveys and evaluation studies in this area, including after the termination of the fellowship.


The FCT endorses a policy of non-discrimination and equal access. No applicant may be privileged, benefitted, harmed or deprived of any right or exempted from any duty on the grounds of ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family situation, economic situation, education, origin or social condition, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, land of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs or trade union affiliation.


The present call is framed by this Notice, the FCT Regulation for Research Fellowships, approved by the Regulation n.º 950/2019, published in the Series II of the DR, of 16th December 2019, by the Research Fellowship Holder Statute, approved by the Law no. 40/2004, of 18th of August, in its current version, and by other applicable national and European legislation.

Vacant posts: 4

Type of contract: Information not available

Job country: Portugal

Job city: Lisboa

Job company/institute: William James Center for Research, ISPA - Instituto Universitário

Application deadline: 31 julho 2021
(The Application's deadline must be confirmed on the Job Description)

2. Dados de contactos da organização
2. Organization contact data

Organization/institute: ISPA - Instituto Universitário

Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34
Lisboa - 1149-041

Email: wjrc@ispa.pt

Website: http://www.ispa.pt

3. Habilitações académicas
3. Required education Level

4. Línguas exigidas
4. Required languages

5. Experiência exigida em investigação
5. Required research experience