Background requirements

Preferentially, applicants to the Biotechnology PhD programme (Portuguese or foreign) should have a background in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or similar, although other areas may be considered if justified by an adequate academic or scientific curriculum in the previously mentioned areas.  

The target population of this PhD programme are graduate students, either finalizing their university studies or already engaged in a professional career, willing to improve their expertise and research skills in Biotechnology, mainly in domains related with Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology or Engineering. This PhD programme is suited to prepare professionals for research, academic, industry and entrepreneurship careers. 

According to the Decreto-Lei nº 74/2006 (24 of March), applicants to this PhD programme should, at the starting date:

  1. hold of a Master's degree or equivalent legal; or
  2. hold a bachelor (licenciatura in Portugal) degree and an academic or scientific curriculum that is recognized as relevant attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies by the national scientific and legal statutorily competent body; or
  3. hold a recognized academic, scientific or professional curriculum, attesting ability to complete this cycle studies by the scientific body statutorily competent.   


Admission Criteria

Candidates to the PhD in Biotechnology shall have a BSc, MSc or recognized career in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Bioengineering, or similar areas.  

To be admitted to the PhD programme, applicants should hold a degree of: i) Bachelor (licenciatura in Portugal), with a minimum of 180 ECTS, and a final classification higher or equal to 17/20; ii) higher diploma degree (pre-Bologna – 4 to 5 years of studies) with a final classification higher or equal to 16/20; or a Master degree (120 ECTS) with a final classification higher or equal to 14/20. Applicants failing these criteria can be eligible if holding a recognized professional or scientific experience (e.g. technical management or supervision; international peer-reviewed publications; registered patents). 

Another admission criterion is the research interests of the applicant and his/her agreement with the research lines available in the PhD programme.  An essay written by the candidate on state of purpose and an interview evaluate this parameter.  

Finally, students must show language (English) skills through the presentation of an official diploma (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge FCE, Cambridge-Michigan ECCE and ECPE; grading over 60%) or through an internal examination (grading over 60%) performed ESB; this is a standard test evaluating oral, reading and writing skills.


Application procedure

The PhD in Biotechnology lasts for 4 years / 8 semesters (240 ECTS), and the application is always open.

Applications are evaluated by ESB Scientific Board.  

The following documents are required:
  • Filled application form (see online application)
  • CV including reference to published papers or other works
  • Copy of the identification number
  • Copy of the VAT number
  • Authenticated copy of the official academic transcript of all candidate’s degrees
  • Other documents that support the information given in candidate’s CV
  • Provisional plan of the research work, including: the scientific basis detail, the methodology and predictable goals and proposed supervisor or supervisors
  • Declaration of acceptance by the supervisor or supervisors
  • Other elements that the candidate considers relevant for the assessment of his/her application
Candidate’s Diploma needs to be authenticated by:
  • the Portuguese Consulate/Embassy in the country of home University; or
  • The Hague Apostille (applies to the countries that have joined the Hague Convention).
For this purpose the careful reading of the regulations concerning recognition in Portugal of higher education degrees and diplomas awarded by foreign higher education institutions is advised.