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PhD Studentships – CIBIO-InBIO 2020

The Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIOInBIO) open a Call for 1 (one) PhD studentships grant in biologic science, complying with the provisions of the FCT Regulation for Studentships and Fellowships (RBI) and the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (EBI).
The scholarship will be funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT) under the Financing Collaboration Protocol of the Multiannual Plan for Research Scholarships for PhD Students, signed between FCT and the R&D Unit, Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (InBIO), No. 50027.

The Call is open from April 10th to 00:00 pm (Lisbon time) of April 23th, 2021.
Applications, and all the supporting documents described in this Notice, must be submitted online using the application form available at https://www.biodiv.pt/en/phd-programme/call-for-phd-studentships-20-21/.
Applications submitted by other means will not be accepted.
Each applicant can only submit one application; submission of more than one application will result in the rejection of all applications.
False declarations or acts of plagiarism by applicants will lead to the exclusion of the application without prejudice of other corrective and punitive disciplinary measures.

Aiming to support advanced training, PhD studentships will be granted to applicants fulfil ling all the requirements necessary to integrate a study cycle that allows to obtain a PhD degree in Portugal, and that wish to develop research work that allows obtaining that degree. The research activities may be developed in CIBIO-InBIO, which will be the host institution of the grantee, without prejudice to the work that may be carried out in collaboration between more than one institution, including foreign institutions.
The research activities leading to obtaining the doctoral academic degree will be conducted within the scope of the Doctoral Programme in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto.
The work plan may be developed entirely in a national institution (studentship in Portugal).
As a rule, the duration of PhD studentships is annual, renewable up to 48 months.

PhD studentships are aimed at applicants enrolled or that comply with the requirements to enroll at the Doctoral Progamme in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto and who wish to carry out research at CIBIO-InBIO and other(s) associated institution(s), including abroad.


4.1 Applicants’ admissibility requirements
The following citizens may apply to this call:
  • National citizens or citizens from other member-states of the European Union;
  • Third-party states citizens;
  • Stateless individuals;
  • Citizens holding a political refugee status.
  • To apply for a PhD studentship it is necessary:
  • Not to have benefited from a PhD or a PhD in industry studentship directly funded by FCT, regardless of its duration.

4.2 Application’s admissibility requirements
It is mandatory, under penalty of non-admissibility:
  • Information about ID card/passport
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Motivation letter
  • Recommendation letters (two)
  • To present/prepare and submit the application and all related documents, including the recommendation letters and the most representative document of the applicant’s scientific/professional path, in Portuguese or in English.

The rich phenotype diversity contained in the local breeds is yet understudied and of particular concern, as many are facing some degree of extinction. Here, we propose the simultaneous assessment of the gut microbiome and the host genome-wide variation of several local livestock breeds. Individuals from native Namibia livestock breeds from three species (Cattle, Sheep, Goat) will be compared with others representing extreme environments, domestication centers, and highly-selected breeds. These will allow testing the hypothesis that individuals exposed to the different environments might show differential signatures of selection, population stratification, and microbiomes. The distribution of the diversity enclosed in local breeds and its relation with their resilience to extreme environments is very promising but yet very few studies have deeply analyzed it. The aims of this project will help (1) to identify genomic regions associated with local adaptation, (2) to estimate the diversity contained in functional important regions of the genome of local breeds, which is not found in the highselected cosmopolitan breeds, (3) develop efficient breeding for resilience and conservation, and (4) identify SNPs that can help securing and protecting the identity and food security of the products derived (e.g., meat, milk) from these local breeds. The successful candidate will have to analyze genetic data obtained through high throughput sequencing technologies, and will be responsible for conducting sampling in Namibia and to record all metadata regarding the samples of interest in databases.

All admitted applications must be graded from zero (0.000, minimum) to five (5.000, maximum) in each of the evaluation criteria:
Criterion A – Professional path (which reflects the scientific path, research activities, publications, and relevant experience in activities covered by the specific areas of the call), 50%
Criterion B – Motivation Letter, 20%
Criterion C – Recommendation Letter, 20%
Criterion D – Interview, 10%. Candidates in which the jury decides not to interview Criterion C will have a weight of 30%.

In order to decide the conditional granting of the PhD studentships, applicants will be ranked according to the weighted average of the score obtained in the four criteria, following the relative weighting:
Final Grade = (0.5 x A) + (0,2 x B) + (0,2 x C) + (0,1 x D)

For tiebreaking purposes, the final ranking list will be based on the scores assigned to each of the evaluation criteria in the following order: criterion A, criterion B, criterion C and criterion D.

Composition of the Evaluation Panel:
- Coordinator: Nuno Ferrand de Almeida, Full Professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, and Scientific Coordinator of the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO).
- 1st Member: Paulo Célio Alves, Associate Professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, and ViceScientific Coordinator of the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO)
- 2nd Member: Fernando Sequeira, Auxiliary Researcher at Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO).
- 1st Substitute member: Pedro José de Castro Esteves, Invited Professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, and Researcher at Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO).
- 2nd Substitute Member: Miguel Carneiro, Researcher at Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO).

The evaluation panel will analyze applications considering the evaluation criteria disclosed in the Notice of the Call, considering all the appreciation elements.
All panel members, including the coordinator, make a commitment to respect a set of responsibilities essential to the evaluation process, such as the duties of impartiality, declaration of any potential conflict of interest, and confidentiality.
During all moments of the evaluation process, confidentiality is fully protected and ensured in order to guarantee the independence of all statements.
Panel members, including the coordinator, cannot be supervisor or co-supervisors of candidates with applications submitted to the call.
For each application, a final evaluation form will be produced by the panel, in which the arguments that led to the ratings attributed to each of the evaluation criteria will be present in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.

The minutes of the meeting are the responsibility of the of all evaluation panel and must include the following information:
- Name and affiliation of all members of the evaluation panel;
- Identification of all excluded applications and respective grounds, if applicable;
- Methodology adopted by the panel for each particular cases, if applicable;
- Final Evaluation Sheets for each candidate;
- Provisional list of classification and ranking of candidates, in descending order of the final classification, of all applications evaluated by the panel;
- Conflict of interest statements by all panel members
- Possible delegations of votes and powers due to justified absence, if applicable.

Evaluation results will be send for each applicant by e-mail. Results communication will also be announced on the webpage of the BIODIV (www.biodiv.pt)

Once the provisional ranked list of the evaluation results has been communicated, applicants who have an unfavorable provisional decision may use their rights to dispute it during the preliminary hearing phase, which takes place within 10 working days, according to Articles no. 121 and following of the Administrative Procedure Code (CPA). The final decision will be disclosed after the analysis of applicants’ arguments presented in the preliminary hearing. Final decision can be claimed within 15 working days or, alternatively, appealed within 30 working days, after the communication of the final results, respectively.

The following documents are of mandatory submission, upon conditional granting of the studentship for purposes of contracting thereof:
a) Copy of the documents of personal identification, tax number and, if applicable, social security (1);
b) Copy of the academic degree certificates,
c) The recognition of foreign academic degrees and diplomas, and the conversion of the respective final grade to the Portuguese grading scale (if applicable).
d) Document proving the acceptance and registration in the 3 rd study of Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution, Faculty of sciences, University of Porto.
e) Supervisor(s) statement declaring willing to coordinate the work plan, as established in Article no.5-A of the Statute for Research Fellowships (template will be made available by FCT);
f) Document proving the exclusivity dedication regime (template will be made available by FCT).

The studentship granting is still dependent on:
• The fulfilment of all the requirements listed in this Notice of the Call;
• The results of scientific evaluation;
• The absence of unjustified non-compliance of the fellowship holder during previous directly or indirectly FCT funded fellowships;
• FCT available budget.

The lack of any of the necessary documents to complete the contracting procedure implies the expiration of the studentship granting and conclusion of the process; applicants have up to 6 months after the disclosure of the provisional granting to present all of the listed documents.

Studentships payment will start after returning the signed contract to FCT, which should happen within the 15 working days after its delivery. The studentships granted in this call will be financed by FCT using the State Budget fund and, whenever eligible, using the European Social Fund (ESF), under the PORTUGAL2020 programme, in particular, under Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020) and Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), or any other funding schemes that might be approved, according to the respective requirements.

- A monthly maintenance allowance is granted, in accordance with the table in Annex I of the RBI.
- The studentship may also include additional allowances, according to RBI’s Article no. 18 and the values indicated in its Annex II.
- All the studentship holders have a personal accident insurance related to the research activities, which FCT will support.
- All studentship holders who are not beneficiaries of any social protection regime can use the right to social security through the voluntary social insurance regime, under the terms of the Contributory Scheme of the Social Security System. FCT will ensure the charges resulting from contributions under the terms and with the limits provided in Article no.10 of the EBI.

Payments due to the studentship holder are made by bank transfer to the respective indicated account. The monthly maintenance allowance is paid on the first working day of each month. Registration, enrolment or tuition fees components are pay by FCT directly to the institution.

The renewal of the studentship always depends on applicant’s submission, within 60 working days prior to the renewal start date, of the following documents:
a) Declaration issued by the supervisor(s) and by the host institution(s) attesting the work plan development and the evaluation of the respective activities;
b) Document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication regime;
c) Declaration demonstrating the enrolment renewal in the study cycle leading to the doctoral degree.

All the R&D activities carried out by the grantee, directly or indirectly financed by the studentship, namely communications, publications and scientific creations, as well as thesis, must include the reference to FCT and European Social Fund (ESF) financing. In particular, these references should mention the following operational programmes: Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020), and Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), or additional funding schemes that might be approved. Insignia of FCT, MCTES, ESF and EU must therefore be included in the documents referring to these actions, according to the graphic rules of each operational programme. The disclosure of research results funded according to the RBI provisions must comply with the open access guidelines, publications and other research results in accordance with FCT rules. For all the studentships, in particular in case of European funded actions, namely the ESF, may be performed monitoring and controlling actions by national or European entities according to the applicable legislation. Grantees must therefore collaborate and provide all the required information, including answering to surveys and evaluation studies in this area, even though the studentship might has already ceased.

FCT promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, thus no applicant may be privileged, benefited, damaged, or deprived of any right or exempted from any duty. This includes ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family situation, economic situation, education, origin or social condition, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic disease, nationality, ethnicity or race, land of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs or trade union affiliation.

The present call is governed by this Notice of the Call, the FCT Regulation of Research Fellowships, approved by the Regulation no. 950/2019, published in the Series II of the DR, of 16th December, by the Research Fellowship Holder Statute, approved by the Law no. 40/2004, of 18th of August, in its current version, and by other applicable national and European legislation.

FCT Regulation for Research Studentships and Fellowships:
Research Fellowship Holder Statute:

Any doubts should be addressed to: post.graduation@cibio.up.pt

(1) The presentation of these documents may optionally be substituted by the in-person presentation in the funding agency, which will keep all the elements needed for the validation and execution of the contract, including the numbers of personal identification, taxation and social security, as well as the respective dates of expiry.

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