PhD in Molecular Biosciences

Education objectives

The Molecular Biosciences (Biociências Moleculares)Doctoral Program gives access to a doctoral degree in the areas defined by Despacho number 5236/2008.

The main objective of the MolBioS program is to train students in molecular approaches to understanding the mechanisms of life, filling the gap between molecules and systems. The program provides a state-of-the-art overview of the fundamental aspects of biological processes, followed by more specific training in one of four key areas (research profiles): Molecular Basis of Biological Processes, Molecular Microbiology and Infection Biology, Biopharmaceutical Technology and Plants for Life.

The strategy behind this program is clearly to generate versatile and transdisciplinary scientists, who have the tools required to develop research and innovation at the interface of various disciplines. This is a trademark of ITQB NOVA and its partners, who are multidisciplinary and have a solid expertise in the several areas encompassed by this program. There is a strong interface with national and international companies, which allied to training in Bioentrepreneurship, will promote a spirit of innovation in areas of high societal impact.

General characterization

DGES code



PhD (3rd Cycle)



Access to other programs

Available soon


Mariana Gomes de Pinho

Opening date

12 September 2019


Students must find different sources of financing their PhD plan (either through national or internacional financing institutions). All students with external financing sources will be accepted in the MolBioS Doctoral Programme if they fulfill all the admission criteria.


For the academic year of 2019/2020 the minimum annual fee is 630.50 euros and the maximum annual fee is 2,750.00 euros.

These amounts are proposed by the Rector of UNL and approved by its General Council.

The annual fees from students with fellowships from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia are directly transferred from this Institution to ITQB NOVA.

PhD students with no financial support from public or private entities, may require a reduction of the annual fee to the Director of ITQB NOVA, according to what it is stipulated in Article 2, point 1, subpoint a) of “Regulamento de Propinas” from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, number 822/2010, of 29th October.

Students may opt for a tuition payment plan in four installments:

    • 1st payment (25% of the total fees) - upon registration;

    • 2nd payment (25%) – due till three months after the registration;

    • 3rd payment 25%) - due till six months after the registration;

    • 4th payment 25%) - due till nine months after the registration.

The non-payment of the annual fees, according to what is established on the Portuguese Law – DL 37/2003, of 22 August – article 29th, point a) and b), stipulates the following:

   a) All academic procedures during this academic year are considered null;

   b) The annual registration is suspended, until the annual fee is paid (with interest). This must be done in the same academic year. The supervisor will be informed of these matters.

In case the student decides not to continue the PhD studies or in case of failure to pay the annual fees, there will be no reimbursements of previous annual fees.


The curricular part of the Doctoral Program 23 weeks, mostly in the first year, and begins in September with the following schedule:

Monday until Friday
09:30am - 01:00pm // 02:30pm - 05:30pm

Teaching language

Available soon

Degree pre-requisites

Attendance of the curricular units of the MolBioS Program is mandatory and the students should obtain approval in a minimum of 240 ECTS.

The curricular part of the Doctoral Program is constituted by core units followed by a specialization in one of the four profiles. The students may replace up to two curricular unit of the chosen profile by others from a different profile.

Students choose one laboratory affiliated with the Program to develop a research project within a competitive scientific environment. The process is accompanied by the Supervisor and the Thesis Committee. At the end, students write a PhD thesis to be presented and discussed orally with a PhD Jury

The Doctoral Program has the following structure:

Core units                                                                   Weeks    ECTS

Orientation week                                                                -            0

1. DNA and RNA Biology                                                   1         1.5

2. Methods for Biosciences                                                1         1.5

3. Protein Biogenesis, Folding and Structure                     1         1.5

4. Metabolism and Bioenergetics                                       1         1.5

5. Systems Biology                                                             1         1.5

6. Frontiers in Biotechnology                                              1         1.5

7. Research Training I (lab rotations)                                 3         4.5

8. Research Training II                                                       3         4.5

Total                                                                                  12         18

9. Science Communication                                                  1        1.5

10. Bioentrepreneurship                                                       2          3


Biopharmaceutical Technology  

11. Fundamentals of Bioengineering                                      1     1.5

12. Technologies for Biopharmaceutical Development           1     1.5

13. Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)               1     1.5

14. Bioprocess data analysis                                                  1     1.5

15. Tools for Discovery and Preclinical Research                  1     1.5

Total                                                                                       5     7.5


Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Processes  

16. Molecular machines of Life                                                1   1.5

17. Proteins in Disease Mechanisms                                       1   1.5

18. Nanoprocesses for Life Sciences                                       1   1.5

19. Chemical Biology                                                                1   1.5

20. Methods for Biosciences II
 (Tools for Structural biology)   1   1.5

Total                                                                                         5   7.5


Molecular Microbiology and Infection Biology  

21. Mechanisms of Gene Expression                                       1   1.5

22. Microbial Cell and Developmental Biology                          1   1.5

23. Host Responses to Microbial Infection                                1   1.5

24. Bacterial Pathogenesis                                                        1   1.5

25. Microbial Ecology and Evolution                                          1   1.5

Total                                                                                           5   7.5


Plants for Life  

26. Plant Cell and Developmental Biology                                1   1.5

27. Plant Metabolic Regulation                                                  1   1.5

28. Eco-Physiology and Plant Interactions                                1   1.5

29. Modern Strategies in Plant Breeding                                   1   1.5

30. Plant Biotechnology for Sustainability and Global Economy 1 1.5

Total                                                                                            5  7.5

Total                                                                                          20   30

31. Thesis                                                                        3.5 years 210

Total                                                                                    4 years 240

Conditions of admittance

Applicants meeting the following requirements may apply to this PhD program:
a) Holding a Master degree or legal equivalent, or a Bachelor’s degree with a total number of academic credits equal or above 240;
b) Holding a Bachelor’s degree and an academic or scientific curriculum vitae of high relevance, recognized by the legally competent ITQB scientific organ as certifying that the candidate has the capacity to complete the third cycle of studies;
c) Exceptionally, applicants with a highly relevant academic, scientific or professional curriculum vitae, recognized by the legally competent ITQB scientific organ as certifying that the candidate has the capacity to complete the third cycle of studies.

Evaluation rules

Each curricular unit has an independent evaluation procedure. Continuous evaluation is complemented withindividual or group assignments during the curricular unit.

The evaluation of the final research work will be made by a PhD jury that will take into account the work of the students in their different research stages, the public papers, the thesis itself, and its oral presentation and public discussion.


Available soon