The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has approved 400 new fixed-term employment contracts for researchers, most of whom are juniors, with an investment of more than 119 million euros, the responsible ministry announced today.
The results of the 2021 competition, the fourth since 2018, are still provisional, as they can be contested by the contenders at a preliminary hearing.
In this competition – the results of which were published on Tuesday by the FCT and released today, National Science Culture Day, by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education – 3,730 applications were evaluated, with 400 selected.
Selected employment contracts – 208 for the junior researcher, 156 for the assistant researcher, 35 for the principal investigator and 1 for the coordinating researcher – have a maximum term of six years, according to legislation to encourage scholarly employment.
According to the FCT, the distribution of contracts by category is “proportional to the number of candidates evaluated.”
The humanities, engineering, technology, and natural sciences are the research areas with the most approved decades. Most contracts are for Portuguese researchers, followed by Spanish, Italian, and French researchers, and women.
Compared to the 2020 competition, which approved 300 candidates, the 2021 competition saw an increase of 4.5% of selected foreign researchers, representing 31.5% of the total number of scholars who will benefit from the employment contract. Candidates are evaluated by international expert panels.
In the first edition of the competition, in 2018, 500 fixed-term employment contracts were awarded. In four editions, 1,500 were approved.
The competitions, to which researchers can apply individually, are annual, with applications submitted at the beginning of each year and results released no later than six months later.
Contracts are signed only between researchers and scientific institutions where they will work in the year following the competition, after the operation contract is signed between the institutions and the FCT, the funder of the work contracts.
The FCT, under the responsibility of the government, is the main entity that supports scientific research in Portugal, ie through grants and fixed-term employment contracts.
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