Call for Applications for 6 Individual Doctoral Scholarships

Doctoral program in Innovation in Railway Systems and Technologies (iRail)

Call for Applications for 6 Individual Doctoral Scholarships

The doctoral program iRail– Innovation in Railway Systems and Technologies – was selected for funding by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, IP (FCT), which will support six (6) doctoral scholarships (BD) in the second edition.

The doctoral program is developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering/University of Porto (FE/UP) and the School of Engineering/University of Minho (EE/UM), from Portugal, and the Polytechnic School/University of São Paulo (Poli-USP), from Brazil.

The six (6) BD research scholarships are allocated to FE/UP and EE/UM and will be integrated in the research streamlines of the i Rail programme, close to the Innovation Programmes (IP1: Cost-efficient and Reliable Trains; IP2: Advanced Traffic Management & Control Systems; IP3: Cost-efficient, Sustainable and Reliable High Capacity Infrastructure; IP4: IT Solutions for Attractive Railway Services; IP5: Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Freight) established in the Strategic Master Plan of Shift2Rail (, the first European rail Joint Undertaking (JU) aiming to foster research and innovation in rail products and solutions.

The scholarship holder must enrol in a Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering doctoral program, included at FE/UP, or in a Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering or Polymers doctoral program included at EE/UM, no more than 180 days after the scholarship is awarded.

In the framework of this call, the Board of Directors (BD), composed by the Program Director and one representative from each partner, will be responsible for selecting the students that will receive the scholarships funded by FCT. The scholarship contracts will be signed directly with FCT.

Thus, in accordance with the Research Scholarship Holder Statute, published by Law no. 40/2004 of August 18, in its current wording, and the Regulations for Fellowships and Scholarships of FCT, the BD of the program hereby opens this call for individual scholarship applications.


These scholarships are intended for individuals who meet the requirements set forth in Article 30, paragraph 1, of Decree Law no. 74/2006, of March 24, as amended by Decree-Law no. 107/2008 of June 25, and 230/2009 of September 14. These scholarships are one year in duration, renewable for up to a total of four years and not of less than three consecutive months.


The basic requirement for admission in the doctoral programme is holding a nationally recognized Civil, Mechanical, Electronics (Electrical) or Polymer and Computer Engineering Master’s degree or a Master’s degree in related areas, such as Materials Engineering, with 300 ECTS, i.e. five year university education (or more). Exceptionally, other candidates that don´t have this qualification but have a remarkable academic curriculum can be admitted.

In addition, the minimum grade of the candidates in the degrees mentioned above is “B-“ in the ECTS grading scale (corresponding to a score of at least 70%), or an equivalent grade in the national scale of the candidates. If requested, candidates must demonstrate that their degree is equivalent to the degree required for the application, and provide official recognition documents translated/written in English. Since English is the official language of the doctoral programme, a minimum fluency in English communication is required. Students from non-English speaking countries should preferentially have one of the following certificates: TOEFL certificate paper based (minimum score 500), TOEFL certificate internet based (minimum score 61), IELTS certificate (academic version, minimum score 6.0) or other recognized English language certificate.

The candidates must agree to enrol in the Doctoral Programme and remain engaged in the programme for a minimum period of 3 years.

The following individuals may apply to this program: Portuguese citizens, or citizens of other European Union member states; citizens of other countries who hold permanent residence permits in Portugal or who hold the status of long-term resident, under the terms of Law 23/2007 of July 4, amended by Law no. 29/2012 of August 9; citizens of other countries with whom Portugal holds reciprocity agreements; citizens of other countries, through a preliminary personal interview.


The call is open between April 1 and April 30, 2016.

PhD programme on Innovation in railway systems and technologies (iRail)

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