Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies

Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies

Portuguese, with possibility of using English

The PhD in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies is a joint initiative between the Universidade de Lisboa and the NOVA University of Lisbon. It had its first intake in the academic year 2009-2010. It is part of an interdisciplinary network focusing on the environmental and social sciences, and works in partnership with the University of East Anglia, UK, a leading international institution in these fields. It draws on the expertise of teachers and scientific researchers from the three state universities in Lisbon, all with acknowledged records of academic publication in the areas of climate change and sustainable development.

This PhD is a three-year programme and includes an advanced interdisciplinary training course combining the physical, natural, social and human sciences in the first and second semesters. The target audience is diverse. It includes environmental, planning and energy professionals, amongst others, as well as students interested in pursuing an academic career.


This PhD programme is destined for:

  • National citizens, or citizens of other Member States of the European Union;
  • Citizens of third countries, holders of permanent residence permits or beneficiaries of long-term resident status, attested by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, under the terms, respectively, of article 80 and article 125 of Lei n.º 23/2007, 4th July.

For the work plan to be developed wholly or partially in foreign institutions, only national or foreign citizens who have permanent residence in Portugal can apply.

The PhD in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies is a three-year programme in which students must obtain a total of 180 ECTS (credits). It comprises:

  • Courses (60 ECTS credits);
  • Preparation, submission and defence of thesis (120 ECTS).

Courses are taught in the first year of the Programme over 2 semesters. They are:


Curricular Units ECTS
Sustainability Sciences and Climate Change Seminar 4 ECTS
Climate Change Science 5 ECTS
Environmental Sociology and Communication 5 ECTS
Earth and Oceanic Systems 5 ECTS
Economy, Regulation and Markets 5 ECTS
Elective Unit [Area of Social Sciences or Environmental Sciences or Technology] 6 ECTS




Curricular Units ECTS
Energy and Climate Change Seminar 4 ECTS
Theories and Practices of Sustainable Development 5 ECTS
Climate Change and Spatial Planning 5 ECTS
Ethics, Public Policies and Environmental Diplomacy 5 ECTS
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation 5 ECTS
Elective Unit [Area of Social Sciences or Environmental Sciences or Technology] 6 ECTS



2nd YEAR

Curricular Unit ECTS
Thesis 60 ECTS


3rd YEAR

Curricular Unit ECTS
Thesis 60 ECTS



The following are admitted as applicants:

  • Holders of a master's degree or legal equivalent in the fields of social sciences and humanities, physical and natural sciences, and engineering;
  • Holders of a bachelor's degree or legal equivalent, holders of an academic, scientific, or professional curriculum of relevance that is recognized as attesting to the ability to carry out this cycle of studies.


Applications 2023/2024

1st Call:

  • Applications: 20th March 2023 [2 pm] to 4th May 2023 [5 pm]
  • Interviews: 15th May 2023
  • Results: 16th May 2023

2nd Call:

  • Applications: 22nd May 2023 [2 pm] to 30th June 2023 [5 pm]
  • Interviews: 10th July 2023
  • Results: 11th July 2023

Applications through the ICS FenixEdu platform:
To create a registration, please access
In case you already have a registration, you can recover the access at
In case you already have a student number at ICS, you should use your Campus account credentials. You may recover your access to this account at

The application fee is € 50.

Applications must be submitted with the following documents:

  • Certificate of Qualifications (master's or equivalent academic degree);
  • Academic, scientific and professional curriculum;
  • Supporting documents referenced in the Curriculum;
  • Letter of Motivation;
  • One letter of recommendation.

The validation of the application implies the payment of the respective fee.


According to the regulation, the criteria for the 1st phase of selection and ranking of applicants are based on:

  1. the excellence of the candidate's academic and professional career (EAPR);
  2. the letter of motivation and the reference letter(s) (LMRL).

The first criterion (EAPR) i) has a weight of 80% and ii) has a weight of 20%. Both criteria are evaluated on a scale of 0-5 and each document is evaluated by at least 2 members of the Scientific Committee (SC). Generally, these 2 members are: the Director of the PDACPDS and another member of the candidate's area of specialization. In this first criterion, the 'excellence of the candidate' (EAPR) is evaluated and we try to be as objective as possible. It is calculated based on the following factors:

  • 5-year master's degree or academic degree note (pre-Bologna degree or equivalent);
  • curriculum vitae (including research activity), professional career and other relevant skills and qualifications.

The weighting, within the EAPR criteria, will be 30% (I), 50% (ii), 10% (iii) and 10% (iv), respectively. All applications will be evaluated on a scale of 0-5. The score will be calculated as follows:

  • Research articles will be calculated according to the number of articles as first author (0.5 points / each) and co-author (0.25 / each);
  • Events organized by the candidate (0.3 / each);
  • Lectures (oral presentation = 0.15 / each and poster = 0.1 / each) until the candidate reaches a maximum score of 5.

As for professional career (including coordination, innovation and participation in relevant projects) and other competence and qualification factors, they will be evaluated by each of the evaluators. The final criterion score (EAPR) for each candidate is calculated according to the percentages indicated above.

The second criterion (LMRL) (50%) is more subjective and values, the candidate's ability to express their motivation using positive and constructive 'statements', identifying real societal challenges, indicating the area of study in which they are most familiar or motivated to tackle during his/her PhD Thesis. This criterion is also evaluated on a scale of 0-5. Each rater submits their score, which is averaged to arrive at an LMRL score.

Candidates are ranked according to their EAPR and LMRL scores.

The top 30 resulting from this ranking are selected for the 2nd phase, which consists of a brief interview (20 to 30 minutes) by at least 2 members form the Scientific Committee (usually the director and an expert in the field of the research candidate) to assess the level of knowledge, skills and conditions to engage in a 3 to 4 year commitment. A score from 0 to 20 is assigned by each evaluator, and the arithmetic mean of the evaluations is determined. The Scientific Committee meets and decides on the final ranking, the 30 candidates are ranked.


Approved applications in the said competition and financed by institutions or companies must be duly documented and must be regularized by October of each year.

Coordenador Externo 
Filipe Duarte Santos