Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier

Bioengineering - MIT


Terceiro ciclo



Course director

Manuel Nunes da Ponte (FCT/UNL)

Opening date

The contact person for the Bioengineering Focus Area is:

Doctor Fátima Lopes
Tel: +351 21 294 78 58


The annual tuition fee for the Bioengineering PhD Course is about 3000 €.


The courses will be held on a rotating basis at each of the Portuguese participating universities. Students travel as a group throughout these institutions and live locally to attend the various courses.

Classes are taught in two-week blocks. Lectures and work assignments run on a full time bais (09:00-18:00), with some small variations between courses. Students attend lectures for mandatory courses in the fall term (1st Semester), and attend lectures for elective courses in January and February.
Depending on the choice of courses, the lecturing periods may not be continuous.

Education objectives

The Bioengineering Systems Doctoral program attracts the highest-performing students and involves exchanges with MIT faculty and their laboratories. Curriculum development as well as teaching activities involves the Portuguese institutions as well as MIT faculty.

The PhD program will continue for 36–48 months past the first curricular year (equivalent to the Executive Masters program), and will accommodate extensive training periods at MIT (approximately 12-18 months).

Depending on student's interest and expertise, placements in other international laboratories are possible.

Degree pre-requisites

•Ability to understand in depth a specific research area and a particular field of knowledge within the Bioengineering Systems;
•Ability to implement, develop and use research methods in close relation with one or more Bioengineering fields of expertise;
•Ability to conceive, project, adapt and perform in R & D projects in Academia or in Industry in Bio-Engineering;
•Ability to do critical thinking and evaluation of new and complex ideas;
•Ability to communicate with her/his peers and the rest of the academic/scientific community as well as the ability to communicate with the rest of the society, in general;
•Comprehensive understanding of the need to promote in a professional/academic environment, the technological progress closely connected with the cultural and social visions of the world;
•Ability to understand ways of transferring scientific achievements to entrepreneurial environments;
•Ability to integrate different research areas in Bioengineering in problem-solving situations;
•Ability to identify the best path for commercializing a novel technology through an innovation process based on a go-to-market strategy;

At the end of the PhD program, the student is also expected to have completed a significant amount of original research work which represents an important contribution to extend the knowledge in the Bioengineering field and that has quality enough to be published in peered reviewed international scientific journals and communicated at international conferences.

Evaluation rules

Each student in the first year of the PhD program follows six curricular course (two weeks each, intensive). Four of these courses are mandatory and the two remaining requirements are electives from a selection of four courses, which may change from year to year.

After successfully completing the 1st year, students will prepare a thesis proposal and will start their research work. While conducting their research, students will also attend several doctoral seminars. The research work of each PhD student will be supervised by a thesis committee composed by professors and researchers both from MIT and the Portuguese participating institutions.

The development of the course curricula, the teaching methodologies and the evaluation process of the PhD course are conducted by a team of Portuguese and MIT faculty, coordinated by a Portuguese professor and an MIT professor.