INESC TEC is now accepting grant applications to award six research grants (BI), aimed at graduates enrolled in a PhD, so as to perform R&D activities. The grants are funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), under the Collaboration Protocol for Financing the Multiannual Plan for Research Scholarships for PhD Students, signed between FCT and INESC TEC (FCT R&D Unit No. 50014).
1. DESCRIPTION OF THE GRANT
Type of grant: Research Grant (BI)
Research grants for PhD students focused on supporting the grant holders’ research activities, towards obtaining a PhD degree in Portuguese higher education institutions.
Generic scientific areas: Exact Sciences and Engineering
Scientific subarea: CS - Computer Science | Informatics
Duration of the grant(s): 12 months, starting on 2021-03-01, renewable up to a maximum of four years. The grant can not be awarded for periods less than three consecutive months.
In the case of mixed grants, the period of the work plan that takes place in a foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.
Workplace: INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal. INESC TEC is the host institution for the grant holders, without prejudice to the work that may be carried out in partnership with other institutions.
The research work leading to the PhD degree of the selected grant holders must be aligned with the activities plan and the strategy of INESC TEC, and will be developed within the scope of accredited Doctoral Programmes, namely those with INESC TEC's involvement.
One or more integrated members belonging to INESC TEC's Computer Science cluster will supervise the research project/work plan.
Grant amount: €1074.64, according to the table of monthly maintenance stipend for FCT grants
, paid via bank transfer. Grant holders may be awarded potential supplements, according to a quarterly evaluation process (Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of INESC TEC and Annex II), up to a maximum limit of 50% of the monthly maintenance stipend.
The grant may also include other components, under the terms provided for in article 18 of the RBI, and according to the amount set out in Annex II of the same document. The payment of registration, enrolment and tuition fees proceeds as follows: a) if the grant holder is registered or enrolled in a national institution, FCT will pay the amount directly to said institution; b) if the grant holder is registered or enrolled in a foreign institution, the amount will be paid to the grant holder, who, in turn, is responsible for paying to the aforementioned institution.
The grant holders shall ensure their right to social security by joining the voluntary social insurance scheme, according to the Social Security Contributory Scheme Code, with FCT responsible for the charges resulting from contributions, under the provisions foreseen in article 10 of the EBI.
The grant holder is entitled to a personal health insurance, paid by INESC TEC.
2. GRANT OBJECTIVES:
To support researchers in the fields of knowledge described in this document, who aim to perform R&D activities and to obtain the PhD degree. The research activities must be carried out at INESC TEC.
3. REQUIRED PROFILE:
Portuguese or foreign citizens, as well as stateless persons who hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Informatics, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, Physics, Mathematics or any other field that the juri considers aligned to the call. The applicants should hold an academic and professional CV that demonstrates the adequacy of their profile to the planned activities.
In order to be eligible, applicants must:
- Not having benefited from a PhD grant awarded by any organisation directly funded by FCT, regardless of its duration.
- In case the work plan of the requested grant takes place totally or partially in foreign institutions (mixed grants or abroad), the candidate must have residence in Portugal, a requirement applicable to both national and foreign citizens.
The candidate's experience will be especially valued in one of the following research lines: Big Data and Machine Learning, Privacy Preserving Computing, Virtual Environments and Tools for Reliable Software Development.
4. EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:
Selection criteria and corresponding weight: the evaluation focuses on the merit and suitability of the applicants, in line with Article 12 of the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of INESC TEC. This process takes into account two evaluation criteria: Applicant Merit (MC) and Work Plan Merit (MPT). The Final Grade (CF) is calculated as follows: MC (60%) + MPT (40%).
The Applicant Merit (MC) criterion is evaluated according to four sub-criteria: Academic Qualifications (FA, with a weight of 50%), Scientific Publications (PC, 20%), Research Experience (EI, 20%) and Motivation Letter (CM, 10%).
The Work Plan Merit criterion (MPT) is evaluated according to three sub-criteria: Relevance of the Study Object (ROE, with a weight of 20%), Scientific Approach - including state of the art and methodology (AbC, 40%) and Feasibility of the Work Plan (EPT, 40%).
All factors are evaluated on a scale of 0 to 100, taking into account the applicants’ merit, suitability and conformity with the preference factors. Applicants who score less than 70 points in the AC average will be considered excluded on absolute merit.
For deciding on the awarding of the grants, the applicants will be ranked according to the weighted average of the two criteria, following the formula:
CF = (60% × MC) + (40% × MPT)
The Selection Jury is composed of the following members:
President of the Jury: José Nuno de Oliveira
Full Member: Alípio Jorge
Full Member: João Cardoso
Full Member: Hugo Paredes
Full Member: Manuel Barbosa
Full Member: Ricardo Rocha
The Selection Jury will assess the applications according to the evaluation criteria established in this Call for Applications, considering the preference factors.
For each application, the Jury will produce a final evaluation form, presenting the arguments that led to the rating attributed to each of the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria, in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.
The summary of the Jury's meetings will be included in the respective minutes, as well as the Jury's results.
The minutes will be made available to the applicants whenever requested.
Release of results and prior hearing: the results of the selection process, as well as the terms and procedures for prior hearing, will be released to the applicants by email, under the terms referred to in Article 13 of the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of INESC TEC.
5. FORMALISATION OF APPLICATIONS:
1. Motivation letter (in which the applicant clarifies the reasons for his/her application, presenting his/her academic and/or professional experience, and the suitability of his/her work plan, when applicable);
2. Two separate letters of recommendation, signed by the respective issuers. These letters should include the context of the applicant's academic and/or professional relationship with the person who recommends him/her, indicating a reference to this call;
3. Curriculum Vitae (must include the list of previous Grants, their type, beginning and end dates, funding entities and host institutions);
4. Supervisors: identification of the scientific supervisor, as well as potential co-supervisors.
5. Work plan (presenting, in detail, the research activities and work plan to be developed during the PhD; this document should contain the following sections: summary, state of the art, objectives, detailed description, schedule, and bibliographic references). The work plan should state to which of the following research lines the PhD project is related: Big Data and Machine Learning, Privacy Preserving Computing, Virtual Environments and Tools for Reliable Software Development.
6. Certificate or diploma degree dully recognised in Portugal;
- Documents proving the awarding of academic degrees and diplomas, and the according recognition - in cases of academic degrees or diplomas granted by a foreign higher education institution - can be dismissed in the application process, and replaced by the applicant's declaration of honour, with the verification of said condition taking place during the grant's hiring stage.
7. Proof of enrolment in the study cycle required for the awarding of the PhD degree.
- This proof of enrolment can only be presented during the grant's hiring stage.
8. Declaration of compliance with the grant holder's duties.
9. Other supporting documents relevant to the evaluation process.
The application and all associated documents, including the motivation letter and letter of recommendation, should be written in Portuguese or in English.
Failure to deliver the required documents within the 90-day period after the date of the notice of the conditional awarding of the grant implies the expiration of the above-mentioned grant.
Each applicant may submit only one application, under penalty of cancellation of all applications submitted.
False statements or plagiarism by the applicants will lead to the cancellation of his/her application, without prejudice to the adoption of other measures of a sanctioning nature.
Application period: From December 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021
Submission of applications: the application will be formalised by submitting the form available in the Work With Us section of INESC TEC’s website.
Research grants contracts are signed directly with FCT.
The grants awarded under this call will be supported by the FCT, with funds from the State Budget of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and, when eligible, funds from the European Social Fund - through the Regional Operational Programmes, Portugal 2020, or other programmes that may succeed it, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable specific regulation.
7. RENEWAL OF GRANTS:
The renewal of the grant depends on an application submitted by the grant holder, within 60 working days prior to the renewal start date, accompanied by the following documents:
a) evaluation reports by the supervisor(s) and by the host entity/entities on the mentoring of the grant holder's work and on the evaluation of his/her activities;
b) updated document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication scheme;
c) document proving the applicant's renewed acceptance in the study cycle required for the awarding of the PhD degree.
8. MENTION OF SUPPORT AND DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS
Mention of the financial support provided by FCT and the European Social Fund (through the Norte’s Regional Operational Programme - NORTE 2020, the Centro Regional Operational Programme - CENTRO 2020, and the Alentejo Regional Operational Programme - Alentejo 2020) shall be included in all R&D activities - directly or indirectly funded by the grant - as well as in communications, publications, scientific creations and theses carried out. Moreover, all documents should include the logos of the FCT, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, the European Social Fund and the UE, according to the published style guide of each operational programme.
9. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY AND EQUAL ACCESS
INESC TEC actively promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, so that applicants do not benefit from any privilege or benefit, or are deprived of any right, based on ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family and/or economic situation, education, social origin or condition, genetic background, degree of disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, country of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs and union membership.
Disabled applicants will be selected over others, in case of equal final grade. Applicants must declare their respective degree of disability, the type of disability and the means of communication to be used in the selection process, under the terms of the aforementioned diploma.
10. BINDING LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
The hiring process shall comply with the current legislation regarding the Research Grant Holder Statute, approved by Law no. 40/2004 of August 18, in its current wording, as well as by the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of INESC TEC and the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of the FCT.
For more information, please check the Regulations for Studentships and Grants of INESC TEC and relevant annexes at www.inesctec.pt/bolsas