Introducing the Investigador FCT programme

The FCT Investigator Programme aims to create a talent base of scientific leaders, by providing 5-year funding for the most talented and promising researchers, across all scientific areas and nationalities. The overall aim of the FCT Programme is to allow the recruitment of 1 000 outstanding researchers by 2016, hosted by research centres across Portugal.

Established in 2012, the programme supports both outstanding post-doctoral researchers who wish to make the transition to independent researcher, and already independent researchers, with a proven track record, who wish to consolidate their research skills and establish leadership in their research fields.

The FCT Investigator Programme is centred on the researcher and his/her research project. The main evaluation criterion is scientific excellence: of the applicant’s background, career and of the research proposal.

FCT Investigator applicants identify the host institution where they will carry out their research programme and career development. Selected FCT Investigators are contracted by the host institution through funding provided by FCT to the institution.

FCT Investigator grants provide a competitive salary and start-up funding for those researchers with no on-going research funding.


2013 call for FCT Investigator open

Following the 2012 call, in which 158 new grants were awarded, FCT launches the 2013 call for funding of up to 150 FCT Investigator grants.
Deadline for applications: 10 September 2013

Who can apply

Researchers of any nationality and any age may apply to one of three types of FCT Investigator grants:
• STARTING GRANT: For researchers with more than 3 and less than 8 years post-PhD experience at the time of application and an excellent track record. Prior experience of independent research is not required.
• DEVELOPMENT GRANT: For researchers with an excellent track-record and significant experience of independent research (as group leaders, principal investigators on research projects or senior/corresponding authors on publications).
• CONSOLIDATION GRANT: for established independent researchers, with an outstanding curriculum and proof of leadership in his/her research area


Applicants have to submit:
• Their curriculum (FCT/SIG-CV platform only)
• An innovative and feasible research project
• A well-structured and ambitious career development plan.

Applications are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 9. Only applications graded equal to or above 7 are approved and may be funded.