Critical Skills in Research


Students are expected to learn about the functioning of the course, its major goals and future career opportunities.

Students are also expected to use a variety of research skills, including the generation of new ideas, translating ideas into verifiable hypothesis, design of experimental approaches and critical analysis of the results obtained:

-  Students should present and critically discuss a scientific paper, assessing the relevance of the study as well as its impact;

-  Student are further expected to plan, write and present the main sections of a research grant addressing a specific hypothesis and taking into consideration the main constrains and alternative strategies.

-  A strong emphasis will be placed in the ethical issues involved in research in life and health sciences;

-  Students should be able to recognize opportunities for knowledge mobilization and are also expected to make informed choices when planning the early stages of their careers in different settings.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Professor Doutor Paulo de Carvalho Pereira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





 The main bibliography or other relevant learning resources will be provided by the various scientists that participate in the teaching activities.

Whenever applicable bibliography should consist in scientific papers that are available in open access or in specific repositories accessible by the students. In each edition of the course the most updated and current bibliography will be provided. Students are encouraged to share notes and other relevant information concerning the UC in virtual fora or virtual blackboards.

Teaching method

Achieving the goals is based on a combination of theoretical practical classes, seminars and workshops.

The focus is, whenever possible and appropriate, models involving the participation of students and contribute to a critical analysis of the different syllabus.

They include informal discussion sessions with students from previous editions of the course or (in the early years) with students of similar courses.

For transversal and transferable skills (career planning, entrepreneurship) teaching will be based on discussion of real life situations, case studies and success stories preferably in the first person. Based on the seminars and classes students are expected to generate an idea for a research grant and to present relevant scientific paper in the format of “Journal club” or similar.

Evaluation method

The assessment will involve two componentes: a written grant proposal, detailing the experimental approach to be used and its presentation and discussion (50%); and a peer review report, detailing the experimental shortcomings and its presentation and discussion (50%).

Subject matter

- Critical issues in career planning and development, main constrains and alternative/unconventional career paths;

- Methods and means to plan, present and discuss experimental results in the form of a scientific paper;

- Generating ideas and scientifically valid hypothesis and their translation into in well structured and organized grant application that allows its funding;

- Main concepts, principles and regulations in bioethics and scientific integrity; practical application of these principles in a research grant;

- Case studies and success stories in science and innovation;

- Industry and regulation of intellectual property;

- The peer review process – main uses and constrains – publishing, grant assessment and recruitment of researchers;

- Scientific literacy and knowledge mobilization in life and health sciences.


Programs where the course is taught: