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Plants for Life, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #351 (WUR) Lisbon, Portugal
The international PhD Program Plants for Life aims to train a prominent body of future world-class researchers in plant sciences able to address key biological questions related to plant growth and development, to plant responses to environmental stress and to the improvement of crop varieties and plant products.
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Current climate changes combined with the reduction of per capita agricultural land area and other natural resources pose major limitations for securing food, feed, and energy demands of the escalating world population. Overcoming these limitations through the generation of better food, feed and energy crops, while ensuring sustainability and environmental health, is one of the contemporary challenges for plant scientists.

The innovative training provided by Plants for Life PhD Program offered by ITQB Universidade Nova de Lisboa is unique in the country, representing an opportune and highly valuable input to increase the competitiveness and innovation ability in an area of crucial importance for the sustainable development and future of human society.

The PhD Program Plants for Life associates five of the most recognized plant research centers in Portugal (ITQB NOVA, iBET, IGC, INIAV, and FCUL) with four world-class research centers in Europe (VIB-Plant Systems Biology-Gent Univ.; Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, The Sainsbury Laboratory and The Sainsbury Laboratory - Cambridge University). These institutions promote basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into agricultural and industrial applications.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    240 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include

  • Plant Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Plant Metabolic Regulation
  • Eco-Physiology and Plant Interactions
  • Modern Strategies in Crop Breeding
  • Plant Biotechnology for Sustainability and Global Economy

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Academic qualification: The graduation record of the applicants should be strong and meet one of the following requirements:

  • hold a Masters degree or legal equivalent at the date of application;
  • hold a Bachelor’s degree with a total number of academic credits equal or above 240 (pre-Bologna degrees);
  • exceptionally, hold a Bachelor’s degree with a total number of academic credits below 240 (post-Bologna degrees) and an academic or scientific curriculum vitae of outstanding quality recognized by the Directive Board of the PhD Program. 
  • A good knowledge of English is absolutely required and, although not mandatory, applicants should support the candidature with scores of internationally valid language exams 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    2750 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2750 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2750 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2750 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Students with a Plants for Life or FCT fellowship have their tuition fees covered.

Living costs for Lisbon

  • 630 - 1130 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Six PhD fellowships each year (two national and four mixed) are funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and in past years there was one more position (mixed) funded by the company Aralab. Students with a national fellowship must perform most of their research project in Portugal while students with a mixed position can stay up to 24 months in a foreign laboratory associated with the program. Mixed positions are only available for Portuguese citizens.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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