Course Structure

The DP_AEM has 240 ECTS (4 years): 198 ECTS (Thesis project); 42 ECTS (curricular units).

The curricular structure is an upgraded specialization of the PhD Programs in Molecular & Environmental Biology and Chemical & Biological Engineering (UMinho), Biotechnology (IST), Biology (FCUL), Molecular Biosciences (UNL), already certified by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES). Each student will be enrolled in one of these PhDs and the degree will be awarded by the respective University. 

Seminar (6 ECTS) 1st semester

The course will start at UMinho, and at the end of the semester all students will meet again in Lisbon (UL, UNL). In the first two intensive weeks of work, numerous activities (meetings with tutors, seminars/lectures by scientists on cutting-edge topics, journal club, visits to labs), will be organized. The students will have the chance to interact and to know each other as a group. At the end of the two weeks each student will present a seminar on a topic relevant for their interests and possible future Doctoral project. They will participate in a 2-day Wintod Mycology; Innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer in School in Systems Biology, organized every year at IST in the context of the Erasmus Mundus euSYSBIO Master´s program in Systems Biology.

Research Methodologies (18 ECTS) 1st semester

Optional curricular units covering the topics of the DP are provided every year. Examples: DNA and RNA Biology; Gene expression; Methods for biosciences (including deep sequencing, metagenomics, microbiome studies); Molecular biotechnology; Molecular ecology and evolution; Biodiversity and ecology; Advanced topics on chemical and biological engineering; Advanced
experimental techniques and methodologies in microbiology; Advanced topics in microbial diversity and evolution.

Thesis project (6 ECTS) 1st semester

Supervised research lab rotations (in the scope of participant institutions or outside of the consortia labs), allowing that the students´ decision regarding the thesis project can take place before the 2nd semester.

Advanced Training (12 ECTS) 2nd semester

International advanced courses in Applied and Environmental Microbiology will be offered. Examples: Microbial genomics and metagenomics, Microbial genetics: new developments in RNA biology, Methods for ecotoxicological assessment, Biomarker discovery using multiplex proteomic technology, Microbial taxonomy and molecular methods for genomic analysis of microorganisms,
Microbial ecology and environmental microbiology, Bacterial pathogenesis, Ecology and evolution of microbial populations, Host responses to microbial infection.

Thesis project (12 ECTS) 2nd semester

The students will organize and present their PhD thesis work plan to be discussed with the Accompanying Thesis Committee (ATC).

Free option (6 ECTS) 2nd semester

In cooperation with the supervisor, students will select options according to their specific interests, improving their self-learning competencies and interpersonal skills.

PhD thesis project (60 ECTS/year) All year

The plan of these 2 years includes research, training and writing of scientific publications, and thesis preparation with discussion at the end of each year with the ATC (accompanying thesis committee).

PhD thesis project (60 ECTS/year) All year

This year is fully occupied with the completion of the thesis.

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