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PhD scholarship opportunity @ CENSE


Doctoral Scholarship - Project CitySelfy

Open a call for applications for grant of one (1) Doctoral Scholarship, within the framework of the Research project “CitySelfy - Assessing the self-sufficiency of natural resources at local scale as a driver for sustainability transition: the case of water-energy-food nexus (reference PTDC/CTA- AMB/6629/2020) funded by national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P./ OE.

The PhD will be conducted under the supervision of Professor Dra. Júlia Seixas, NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) and co-supervisor Dra. Mónica Truninger (ICS- ULisboa).

The main task to be developed are:

  1. Map the water-energy-food system of the municipality of Cascais, based on the information available;

  2. Participate in the implementation of a survey of the population of Cascais with a view to identifying different resource consumption profiles (for example, acceptance levels of more plant-based diets), defining upper limits on the acceptance of new technologies (for example, food from hydroponic production systems);

  3. Validate and analyze the survey results, in order to draw assumptions for the integrated modeling of water-energy-food systems;

  4. Participate in the preparation and execution of two workshops with local stakeholders;

  5. Participate in the development and expansion of the integrated modeling tool for energy-water-food systems, with emphasis on the integration of the component relating to human behavior and social preferences, and its relationship with the technological options inherent in those systems;

  6. Design and evaluate prospective scenarios for Cascais, with a view to analyzing the impact of self-sufficiency on the city's sustainability, in climate change scenarios and carbon neutral goals;

  7. Participate in the writing of scientific articles;

  8. Promote the dissemination of the project in various digital media and other actions to be decided.

Deadline for applications: 15th of July 2021.

Applications must be sent by email to, obligatorily indicating the reference “Research Scholarship call No. 17/2021”), otherwise it will not be considered in the call.

More information here and at


Basic eligibility criteria to apply to this PhD grant:

  1. Academic background: Candidates must have a degree and/or Master in the areas of Physics, Environmental Science or Engineering, Social Sciences or related fields;

  2. Degree certificates: to apply for this opportunity, candidates from abroad will have to ask for the conversion of diplomas and grades to the Portuguese system (for equality reasons). Check more info about this process here

  3. Geographic mobility: Candidates must reside in Portugal or be willing to move to Portugal as soon as the grant is attributed.

  4. Level of English: Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

There is a possibility to have a mixed grant, where you can stay abroad in another institution for a maximum of 1 year, but your main residence must be in Portugal.

Mandatory documents for the application process:

  1. Personal data form and Declaration of Consent for Communication of Results via e-mail (see attached form);

  2. Elements of the ID card / citizen card / passport;

  3. Candidate's curriculum vitae (with a maximum of 10 pages), with reference to the candidate's CiênciaVitae and ORCID.

  4. Certificates of qualification of the academic degrees held, specifying the final classification and, if possible, the classifications obtained in all subjects taken, or, alternatively, the candidate's declaration of honour on how he completed his master's degree by the end of the term application.

  5. Registration of recognition of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions and registration of the conversion of the respective final classification to the Portuguese classification scale, or, alternatively, the candidate's declaration of honour (template here) on how to obtain recognition of the foreign degree equivalent to that of the master until the date of conclusion of the scholarship contract indicated by the Research Unit. The score of this item will be affected if the candidate only presents the masters' degree certificate conversion. Check all the info about how to ask for the conversion of your degrees at:

  6. Motivation Letter (maximum of 600 words) justifying the interest in the research project theme and the skills with which you think you can contribute to the project.

  7. 2 (two) letters of recommendation.

  8. Proof of enrollment in a PhD program in the areas of Physics, Environmental Sciences or Engineering, Social Sciences or similar areas;

  9. It is also required that the application and all documents associated with it, including the motivation and recommendation letters, be written in English.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to have a permanent residence in Portugal for benefiting from this scholarship?

Please check the notice for the call, point "4.1. Requisitos de Admissibilidade do candidato". "4.1. Applicable Admissibility Requirements: - To have permanent residence in Portugal, if the work plan associated with the scholarship is partially carried out in foreign institutions (mixed scholarships), a requirement applicable to both national and foreign citizens to be demonstrated when the scholarship is conditionally granted to effects of its contracting.”

Tenho de ter residência permanente em Portugal para beneficiar de uma destas bolsas?

Por favor consulte o edital, ponto "4.1. Requisitos de Admissibilidade do candidato: - Residir em Portugal de forma permanente e habitual, caso o plano de trabalhos associado à bolsa decorra, parcialmente, em instituições estrangeiras (bolsas mistas), requisito aplicável tanto a cidadãos nacionais como a cidadãos estrangeiros, a ser demonstrado aquando da concessão condicional da bolsa para efeitos da sua contratualização.”


In which language should I write my application? 


Em que língua devo escrever a minha candidatura?



Can I apply to this call, even if I am applying to FCT’s 2021 Call for PhD Grants?

Yes, you can apply to both as these are non-exclusive calls.

Posso candidatar-me a estas bolsas se também me for candidatar ao concurso individual de bolsas de doutoramento da FCT 2021?

Sim, pode candidatar-se a ambas pois não são candidaturas exclusivas.


Do I have to be enrolled in a doctoral program to apply for this scholarship?

No. Nonetheless, the applicant needs to guarantee (s)he meets the requirements to enrol in a PhD Program. Also, if selected, you will need to enrol (preferably) in one of the two PhD programs associated with CENSE: PhD in Environment and Sustainability or PhD in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies.

É necessário já estar inscrito(a) num programa doutoral para me candidatar a estas bolsas?

Não. No entanto, o(a) candidato(a) tem de garantir que cumpre as exigências para inscrição num programa doutoral. Adicionalmente, se for selecionado para uma destas bolsas, deverá inscrever-se (preferencialmente) num dos dois programas doutorais associados ao CENSE: Programa Doutoral em Ambiente e Sustentabilidade ou Programa Doutoral em Alterações Climáticas e Políticas de Desenvolvimento Sustentável.


Are the grants paid by the CENSE, FCT NOVA?

No, these grants are paid by directly the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). All grantees will sign a Grant contract with FCT, in compliance with the Research Fellowship Holder Statute, in the FCT Regulation for Research Studentships and Fellowships.

As bolsas são pagas pelo CENSE, FCT NOVA?

Não, estas bolsas são pagas diretamente pela Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). Todos os(as) bolseiros(as) assinarão um contrato de bolsa com a FCT, em conformidade com o Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação, presente no Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação da FCT.


What if I need extra help?

Questions related to the application, application form or its filling in should be sent to CENSE through the following email address: (Luís Dias) referring to “Call for PhD grant - CitySelfy” in the message subject. CENSE guarantees answers only up to 2 working days before the application submission deadline. We recommend that, before contacting CENSE, you carefully read all the documents related to the Call, including the list of FAQs, available on this page.

E se eu precisar de mais ajuda?

Para questões relacionadas à candidatura, formulário de candidatura ou o seu preenchimento, devem ser enviadas para o CENSE através do seguinte endereço de email: (Luís Dias), colocando no assunto da mensagem “Call for PhD Grant - CitySelfy”. O CENSE apenas garante respostas até 2 dias úteis antes do prazo de envio da inscrição. Recomendamos que, antes de entrar em contato com o CENSE, leia com atenção todos os documentos relacionados com a candidatura, incluindo a lista de perguntas frequentes disponíveis nesta página.