Applications for funding open today for a thousand researchers to enter the career

The hiring, co-financed by FCT, will be carried out under a new program, FCT Tenure

From today onwards, higher education institutions and research laboratories have to submit an application to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) competition to co-finance the career integration of a thousand teachers or researchers.

The hiring, co-financed by FCT, will be carried out under a new program, FCT Tenure, and the deadline for submitting an application is March 1, 2024.

The program foresees that FCT will co-finance, for a maximum period of three years, each teaching career position in higher education allocated, and for the scientific research career the co-financing period is extended up to six years.

During the first three years, FCT will co-finance 67% of salary costs and guarantee 33% of salaries in the scientific research career in the second three-year period.

For both, the remaining part of the financing will be provided by higher education institutions (universities and polytechnic institutes) and scientific research.

While FCT support is in force, researchers can only teach at universities for a maximum of four hours per week.

A second edition of the competition is planned for 2025, which should include the hiring of 400 PhD researchers for the same careers.

Institutions that hire researchers for both careers with approved FCT co-financing will have to open recruitment competitions by July 31, 2025. Otherwise, they will be considered ineligible for the second edition of the program, scheduled to open in 2025.

The new program was criticized by rectors, who asked for more money so that universities could assume the financial burden of integrating researchers, and also by unions, with the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof) considering that the available vacancies are not enough to avoid the mass unemployment of researchers with precarious employment contracts, nor the continued non-compliance with the law.

The 2017 law to stimulate scientific employment provides that employment contracts have a maximum term of six years, after which researchers, with completed doctorates, have the possibility of entering a scientific or teaching career.

In Portugal, scientific work is carried out, above all, by researchers with scholarships and fixed-term contracts.

Entry into a scientific career, in a more consistent way, has been demanded by researchers for several years.

Although researchers work in scientific units attached to universities, and also give classes, institutions have resisted, over the years, opening competitions for entry into the scientific career, opting instead to launch competitions for the teaching career, citing underfunding and lack of teachers.