The Ph.D. Programme in Neuroscience consists of two parts. The first, the curricular year, is understood as a propaedeutic and probationary period when the students acquire knowledge of fundamental subjects in Neurosciences and soft skills necessary for research work, scientific method, statistics, and neuroethics, among others. They also contact a wide range of  lecturers and research topics for an informed and mature choice of the experimental project to be conducted in subsequent years.

The syllabus of the curricular year comprises course units that cover different areas of training over 2 semesters (60 ECTS), according to the Table.

The second part of the cycle of studies corresponds to the execution of an original experimental work, under supervision, leading to the writing of a Ph.D. thesis that will have to contain original research, contributing to an advance in the knowledge that is publishable in specialty journals with international dissemination and recognized scientific merit. It is desirable that Ph.D. students perform some specific tasks of their projects in collaboration with other research groups, preferably from abroad in order to enhance the internationalization of work and the students’ progressive autonomy.



The Ph.D. Programme in Neurosciences aims to provide a deep level of systematic understanding in Neurosciences, research skills and methods, the ability to conceive, design and carry out relevant research with an academic level of quality, solidity for the critical analysis of new concepts, means for communicating with peers, as well as instruments to promote technological progress. This objective is part of the broader process of creating a European area for higher education, which is competitive, of high quality, and which favours the mobility and employability of its graduates.

Specific objectives

The Ph.D. programme in Neurosciences aims to promote scientific research on the nervous system, through a dynamic and integrated training that encourages the interrelationship between different areas of knowledge in the field of Neurosciences.

Skills Acquisition


The Ph.D. in Neurosciences allows the acquisition of skills and research practice in Neurosciences in its various aspects: bibliographic analysis and contextualization of objectives, conception, planning and execution of a research project, publication and dissemination of results. Achieving greater competitiveness in the academic or business job market.

Professional Opportunities


  • Research career in the field of Experimental Neurosciences or Clinical Neurosciences
  • Academic career
  • Entrepreneurial career whenever the in-depth knowledge about the research activity in Neurosciences constitutes an added value.


Target Students | vacancies


Candidates to an experimental research career in the field of internal Neurosciences specializing in Neurology, Neurosurgery or Psychiatry, neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, biologists, biochemists, pharmacists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, biomedical engineers.

Candidates to an academic career

No. of Places – 5

Fees/ Registration Fee


The tuition fee may be paid, in full or in instalments, according to the terms and amounts indicated in the tuition fee determination for the academic year  2020/2021



The Lisbon School of Medicine, together with the Associated Laboratory Institute of Molecular Medicine and Santa Maria University Hospital, has a teaching staff with extensive experience in research about the Nervous System, documented in a high number of publications and citations, according to bibliometrics published by international databases (Science Citation Index). Altogether, the researchers participating in this programme publish more than full 100 scientific articles each year in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. These publications cover areas that include molecule, cognition, basic research and clinical research and are regularly cited in international literature. Several researchers have more than 1000 citations of their scientific articles, according to the Science Citation Index.

Each of the Neuroscience Research Units includes several Ph.D. holders who conduct their own research strands, albeit in close interaction with colleagues from the same institution and/or other institutions in Portugal and abroad. The PIs of the IMM Neuroscience research programmes collaborate with other national and international research groups, enabling the two-way flow of students for traineeships. Most of them are members of National and International Scientific Societies, and several belong or have belonged to governing bodies and international committees of these Societies. The Ph.D. Programme in Neuroscience of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon belongs to the European network of postgraduate programmes in Neurosciences, NENS (

For operational reasons, only the professors responsible for coordinating the different modules of the course units are listed; the number of professors of the Ph.D. in Neurosciences is, however, much broader and encompasses several dozen Ph.D. holders. The teaching activity is also enriched with the participation of invited speakers, from other institutions, with the aim of giving students a broad view of the various research areas in the country. Invitations to colleagues from outside the country complete the range of lecturers.

The Coordinators of Course Units in their various modules are: Alexandre de Mendonça, Ana M. Sebastião, António Gonçalves Ferreira, Isabel Pavão Martins, Manuela Guerreiro, Joaquim Alexandre Ribeiro, Joaquim Ferreira, José Ferro, José Pimentel, Isabel Rocha, Mamede de Carvalho, Ruy Ribeiro, Patrícia Canhão, Tiago Maia.


Scientific Committee

Professor Ana Sebastião
Professor Isabel Pavão Martins
Professor Mamede de Carvalho