ORGANISATION/COMPANYUniversidade de Coimbra
RESEARCH FIELDEngineering › Biomedical engineering
RESEARCHER PROFILEFirst Stage Researcher (R1)
APPLICATION DEADLINE09/11/2021 23:00 - Europe/London
LOCATIONPortugal › Coimbra
TYPE OF CONTRACTTemporary
HOURS PER WEEK35
OFFER STARTING DATE01/01/2022
Call for Applications for PhD Research Grants
The R&D unit Laboratory for Instrumentation, Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Physics hereby opens this Call for Applications for one research grants, hereinafter called PhD Research Grants, in the field(s) of Biomedical Engineering, in compliance with the provisions of the FCT Regulations for Research Grants and Fellowships (RBI) and the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (EBI).
The scholarships will be financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) (FCT) under the Collaboration Agreement of the Multiannual Financing Plan for Doctoral Research Grants, signed between FCT and the R&D Research Unit Laboratory for Instrumentation, Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Physics, UIDP/04559/2020.
1. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS
The Call for Applications is open from 26-10-2021 on 09-11-2021.
Applications and all the supporting documents described in this Call must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each applicant can only submit one application, under penalty of cancellation of all the applications submitted.
Please note that false declarations or acts of plagiarism from the applicants will lead to the exclusion of the application notwithstanding the need to take other corrective or punitive disciplinary measures.
2. TYPE AND DURATION OF THE SCHOLARSHIPS
The PhD scholarships are intended to finance research activities carried out by the doctoral candidate that will lead to the attainment of the academic degree of doctor in Portuguese Universities.
The research activities leading to the attainment of the academic degree of doctor will take place at the R&D Unit LIBPhys-UC, which will be the candidates’ host institution(s), notwithstanding that the research work may be carried out in collaboration with more than one institution.
The research activities leading to the attainment of the academic degree of doctor of the selected applicants must be framed within the activity plan and strategy of the R&D research unit LIBPhys-UC , and must be carried out within the following Doctoral Programmes:
Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering of the University of Coimbra
The work programme may be entirely or partially carried out on a national institution (national or blended scholarships, respectively).
As a rule, PhD scholarships are annual, renewable for up to the maximum of four years (48 months), and cannot be granted for a period less than three consecutive months.
In the case of a blended scholarship, i.e., carried out both in Portugal and abroad, the research period at the foreign institution cannot exceed 24 months.
3. RECIPIENTS OF THE SCHOLARSHIPS
PhD scholarships are intended for candidates who are enrolled or who comply with the requirements to enroll in the Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering of the University of Coimbra, who wish to carry out research activities as part of this degree in the R&D unit LIBPhys-UC, or at another associated host institution.
4. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
4.1 Admission requirements for applicants
The following candidates may apply to this Call:
- National (Portuguese) citizens or citizens from other member states of the European Union;
- Third-country nationals;
- Stateless individuals;
- Citizens with political refugee status.
To apply for a PhD scholarship, applicants must comply with the following requirements:
- Be a Master in Biomedical Engineering, or related areas
- Not holding a PhD degree
- Reside permanently and habitually in Portugal at the beginning of the work plan at a foreign institution, in cases in which the work plan includes a research period at foreign institutions (blended scholarships); this requirement is applicable to both national and foreign citizens.
- Has not benefited previously from a PhD scholarship or a PhD Industry scholarship directly funded by FCT, regardless of its duration.
4.2 Application requirements
The following documents are mandatory, under penalty of exclusion from the Call:
- Elements of identity card/citizen card/passport;
- Curriculum Vitae of the candidate
- Certificates of qualification of the academic degrees held, necessarily specifying the final classification and, if possible, the classifications obtained in all subjects taken, or, alternatively, a declaration of honor by the candidate on how he/she completed the bachelor degree and Master by the end of the application.
- Record of recognition of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions and record of the conversion of the respective final classification to the Portuguese classification scale, or, alternatively, the candidate's declaration of honor that he obtained recognition of the foreign degree equivalent to that of graduate or master by the end of the application period;
- Letter of Motivation;
- Letters of Recommendation (2);
- Write the application and all documents associated with it, including letters of motivation and recommendation, in Portuguese or in English.
Regarding the aforementioned admission requirements, the following should be noted:
In the case of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions, and to guarantee the principle of equal treatment among applicants with national and foreign academic degrees, the applicant must submit proof of recognition of such degrees and the conversion of the respective final average grade to the Portuguese grading scale.
The recognition of foreign academic degrees and diplomas and the conversion of the respective final average grade to the Portuguese grading scale, can be issued by a Portuguese public higher education institution, or by the Directorate-General for Higher Education (Direção Geral do Ensino Superior, DGES: only in the case of automatic recognition). Candidates should consult the DGES portal for more information at https://www.dges.gov.pt/en.
Only applicants who have completed the cycle of studies leading to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree until the application deadline will be admitted. Applicants who have not yet received their degree certificate/diploma must submit a declaration of honour stating that they will conclude the Bachelor’s or Master's degree by the end of the application period. Granting the scholarship will depend on the presentation of proof of the academic qualifications required at the contracting stage.
5. WORK PLAN AND SCIENTIFIC SUPERVISION OF THE SCHOLARSHIPS
The student will develop his/her research activities in the Electronics and Instrumentation Group of LIBPhys-UC. The work plan is focused on the development of entropy based algorithms for texture analysis of biomedical signals: bidimensional signals (dermatology image analysis) and tridimensional (pneumology CAT scans analysis). The biomedical signal analysis algorithms based on entropy assessment is a powerful tool to systematize an pre-screen data (2D and 3D) and one of the hot topics of information pre-processing in the clinical field, usually prone to subjectivity and critical sensitivity. The current work plan includes the following tasks:
- Development of diffuse permutation entropy (PFE) for the 2 data scenarios (2D and 3D)
- Implementation of color segmentation for the 2D PFE
- Development of validation methodologies using images and volumes with synthetic textures
- Application of PFE algorithms to publicly available clinical data-sets (feature extraction)
- Application of classification models for the analysis of melanoma (dermatology) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF in pneumology)
- Implementation of PFE algorithms on FPGA a hardware processing platform and proposal of architecture for an instrumentation solution of an entropy camera.
- Scientific production and support of the research activities of LIBPhys-UC in this field.
6. EVALUATION CRITERIA AND BONUSES
6.1 Evaluation Criteria
The evaluation will be based on the merit of the candidate taking into account his/her academic path (70%) and the interview (30%).
All admitted applications will be ranked according to the weighted average of the score obtained on a scale of 0 to 100 in each of the following evaluation criteria:
- Criterion A – Curricular Assessment, with a weight of 70%
- Sub-criterion A1 – Scientific Path and Academic Path with weight of 50% (which reflects the classification of academic degrees of Bachelor + Master or Integrated Master. If the classification is qualitative, it will be converted in accordance with the table of the University of Coimbra, into a quantitative classification);
- Sub-criterion A2 - Motivation Letter (10%) and Recommendation Letters (10%)
Criterion B – Interview with weight of 30%
- Sub-criterion B1 - Demonstration of knowledge of the English language, with a weight of 5%
- Sub-criterion B2 - Demonstration of knowledge in the proposed research area, with a weight of 25%
In order to decide the granting of a PhD scholarship, applicants will be ranked according to the weighted average of the score obtained in each of the 2 criteria, according to the following formula:
Final classification = (A1 × 50%) +(A2 × 20%) + (B1 × 5%) + (B2 × 25%)
For tiebreaking purposes, the final ranking list will be based on the scores assigned to each of the evaluation criteria in the following order: criterion B, criterion A.
Important note for candidates holding a degree issued by foreign higher education institutions:
- In the case of academic degrees awarded by foreign higher education institutions, and to guarantee the principle of equal treatment among applicants with national and foreign academic degrees, the applicants must submit proof of recognition of such degrees and the conversion of the respective final average grade to the Portuguese grading scale under the terms of the applicable legislation.
- Applicants with recognized foreign academic degrees who do not submit a proof of conversion of the final average grade to the Portuguese grading scale will be evaluated with the minimum grade of 25 points in criterion A – Sub-criterion A1.
- In any case, scholarship contracts with applicants whose diplomas have been issued by foreign institutions will only be concluded upon presentation of proof of recognition of academic degrees and conversion of the final average grade, as indicated above.
Applicants whose application is scored with a final grade lower than 60 points are not eligible for scholarship award.
The evaluation panel is composed of the following members:
- Joaquim Marques Ferreira dos Santos, Full Professor, FCTUC University of Coimbra (President)
- João Manuel Rendeiro Cardoso, Assistant Professor, FCTUC University of Coimbra
- Custódio Francisco de Melo Loureiro, Assistant Professor, FCTUC University of Coimbra
- Luis Manuel Panchorrinha Fernandes, Assistant Professor, FCTUC University of Coimbra
- Pedro Guilherme da Cunha Leitão Dias Vaz, Junior Investigator, LIBPhys, University of Coimbra
- José Paulo Pires Domingues (substitute), Assistant Professor, FCTUC University of Coimbra
The evaluation panel will assess applications based on the evaluation criteria described in this Call for Applications, considering the components of evaluation.
All panel members, including the coordinator, will make a commitment to respect the responsibilities of the evaluation process, such as the duties of impartiality, the declaration of any potential conflicts of interest, and confidentiality. At all times during the evaluation process, confidentiality is fully protected and ensured in order to guarantee the independence of all opinions produced.
For each application, a final evaluation form will be produced by the panel, in which the arguments that led to the scores attributed to each of the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria will be presented in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.
Minutes of the meetings of the evaluation panel will be taken under the responsibility of all its members.
The minutes and their attachments must include the following information:
- Name and affiliation of all members of the evaluation panel;
- Identification of all excluded applications and respective reasons ;
- Methodology employed by the panel for particular cases;
- Final Evaluation Sheets for each application;
- Provisional list of the scoring and ranking of the candidates, in descending order of the final grade, of all applications evaluated by the panel;
- Conflict of Interest (COI) statements from all members of the panel;
- Delegations of voting and decision powers by reason of justified absence.
8. DISCLOSURE OF THE RESULTS
Evaluation results will be communicated by email to the address provided by the candidates in the application form.
9. DEADLINES AND PROCEDURES FOR PRELIMINARY HEARING, COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
Once the provisional ranked list of the evaluation results has been communicated, applicants may request a preliminary hearing with the interested parties, under the terms of Articles no. 121 and following of the Code of Administrative Procedures (CPA).
The final decision will be announced after the analysis of applicants’ arguments presented in the preliminary hearing. Following the final decision, the applicant can file a formal complaint within 15 working days or, alternatively, file an appeal within 30 working days, counting after the communication of the final results.
Applicants who choose to file a complaint should address their request to the member of the FCT Board of the Directors with the delegated competence. Applicants who choose to file an appeal must address their request to the FCT Board of Directors.
10. REQUIREMENTS TO AWARD THE SCHOLARSHIPS
The research scholarship contracts are signed directly with FCT.
The following documents are mandatory, upon conditional awarding of the scholarship for the purposes of contract preparation:
a) Copy of the document(s) of personal identification, tax number and, if applicable, social security
b) Copy of the academic degree certificates held by the applicant;
c) Recognition of the academic degrees obtained abroad and conversion of the final grade to the
Portuguese grading scale, if applicable;
d) Document proving acceptance and enrolment in the Doctoral Programme identified in the present Call for Applications;
e) Statement from the supervisor(s) declaring their acceptance to coordinate and supervise the work plan, as established in Article no. 5-A of the Statute for Research Fellowships (template will be made available by FCT);
f) Institutional document supporting the applicant, issued by the institution where the work plan will be carried out, guaranteeing the necessary conditions to its successful development, as well as the fulfilment of the duties established in Article no. 13 of the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (template will be made available by FCT);
g) Updated document proving the exclusive dedication regime (template will be made available by FCT);
h) Work Plan.
The granting of the scholarship is still dependent on:
• The fulfilment of all the requirements listed in this Call for Applications;
• The results of the scientific evaluation;
• The absence of unjustified non-compliance of the fellowship holder during previous directly or
indirectly funded FCT fellowships;
• The FCT's available budget.
The lack of any of the necessary documents to complete the contracting procedure implies the expiration of the scholarship granting and conclusion of the process; applicants have up to 6 months after the disclosure of the provisional granting to present all of the documents listed.
Scholarship payment will start after the signed contract is returned to FCT, which should happen within 15 working days after its delivery.
The scholarships granted in this call will be financed by FCT using the State Budget fund and, whenever eligible, using the European Social Fund (ESF), under the PORTUGAL2020 programme, in particular the Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020) e do Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020), according to the legal requirements of the regulatory provisions applicable for this purpose.
12. SCHOLARSHIP COMPONENTS
A monthly maintenance allowance is granted to the fellows in accordance with the table in Annex I of the RBI.
The scholarship may also include additional allowances, according to RBI’s Article no. 18 and the values indicated in its Annex II.
All the scholarship holders have a personal accident insurance related to the research activities, which FCT will support.
All scholarship holders who are not beneficiaries of any social protection regime have the right to register for social security through the voluntary social insurance regime, under the terms of the Contributory Scheme of the Social Security System. FCT will ensure the charges resulting from contributions under the terms and the limits provided in Article no. 10 of the EBI.
13. PAYMENT OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
Payments due to the scholarship holder are made by bank transfer to the bank account indicated. The monthly maintenance allowance is paid on the first working day of each month.
Registration, enrolment and tuition fees are payed directly by FCT to the national institution where the scholarship holder has enrolled or is registered in a 3rd Cycle of Studies/PhD Programme.
14. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF PhD SCHOLARSHIP RENEWAL
The renewal of the scholarship always depends upon the applicant’s request, within 60 working days prior to the renewal start date, which must include the following documents:
a) Declaration(s) issued by the supervisor(s) and by the host institution(s) attesting the work plan development and the evaluation of the respective activities;
b) Updated document proving compliance with the exclusive dedication regime;
c) Declaration proving enrolment renewal in the study cycle leading to the doctoral degree.
15. INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY OF THE GRANTED FUNDING
All the R&D activities carried out by the grantee, directly or indirectly financed by the scholarship, namely, papers, publications and scientific creations, as well as the thesis, must include the reference to FCT and the European Social Fund (ESF) financing through, namely, following operational programs: Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE 2020), Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020) and Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Alentejo 2020). Therefore, the FCT, MCTES, ESF, EU logos must be included in the documents referring to these actions, according to the graphic rules of each operational programme.
The disclosure of research results funded according to the RBI provisions must comply with the open access guidelines, publications and other research results in accordance with FCT rules.
For all the scholarships, in particular in case of European funded actions, namely the ESF, may be performed monitoring and controlling actions by national or European entities according to the applicable legislation.
Grantees must therefore collaborate and provide all the required information, including answering to surveys and evaluation studies in this area, even though the scholarship might has already ceased.
16. NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL ACCESS POLICY
FCT promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, thus no applicant may be privileged, benefited, damaged or deprived of any right or exempted from any duty, due to ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, economic status, education, origin or social condition, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic disease, nationality, ethnicity or race, territory of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs or trade union affiliation.
17. APPLICABLE LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS
The present call is governed by the FCT Regulations for Research Fellowships approved by the Regulation no. 950/2019 (published in the Series II of the DR, of 16th December), by the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (approved by Law no. 40/2004, of 18th of August, in its current version), and by other applicable national and European legislation.
EURAXESS offer ID: 699842
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