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Open Vacancies

Research Fellowship Grant (Master)


1. Scope, objectives, and work plan

The Research Fellowship is open to Master degree holders to collaborate in the activities of the project FEASTS - Fostering European Cellular Agriculture for Sustainable Transition Solutions, financed by the European Commission, HORIZON-CL6-2023-FARM2FORK-01-13, Research and Innovation Actions No. 101136749. The fellowship work program includes the following activities:

1) Literature review on cell types suitable for cell-based food and on fish cell lines available for cultivated seafood; data collection on cell isolation, expansion, maintenance, immortalization, reprogramming, differentiation, and banking;

2) Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protocols to ensure accuracy and reproducibility in fish cell line development;

3) Establishment, maintenance and characterization of primary cultures and cell lines derived from fish.


2. Submission of applications

The call is open between December 11th and 11:59 pm on December 29th, 2023. To apply for this research fellowship you must send an email to with the subject “S2AQUAcoLAB/Bolsa/Ref_07/2023”. Each candidate can only submit one application, otherwise, all applications will be cancelled. The provision of false declarations or the performance of acts of corruption is grounds for cancellation of the application and other sanctions may be enforced.

3. Type and duration of the fellowship

A Research Grant will be awarded to a holder of a Master degree. The fellowship will start on February 1 st, 2024, it has a duration of 9 months. The fellowship is a temporary position and has no continuity beyond the completion of the project task. The fellowship must be carried out on an exclusive basis, in accordance with S2AQUAcoLAB’s (S2AQUAcoLAB statutes of Scientific Research Fellowships) and FCT’s fellowship regulations, based on the Portuguese Law 40/2004 of August 18 (statutes of the Scientific Research Fellow) amended by Decree-Law 123/2019 of August 28.


4. Beneficiaries (required conditions)

The fellowship is intended for holders of a Master degree in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or similar areas. Applicants must be enrolled in an doctoral programme, or in a non-academic degree course integrated in the educational project of a higher education institution developed in association or cooperation with one or more R&D units.

5. Supervision and place where the activity will be developed

The fellowship takes place in the framework of the activities of S2AQUAcoLAB, between the Centre of Marine Sciences of Algarve (CCMAR, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal) and the Estação Piloto de Piscicultura de Olhão (Av. Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, s/n, 8700-194 Olhão, Portugal), under the guidance of Dr. Joana Rosa, Researcher at S2AQUAcoLAB, and Dr. Vincent Laizé, Researcher at CCMAR and S2AQUAcoLAB.

6. Amount of monthly maintenance allowance

The amount of the fellowship is 1.199,64€, according to the table of fellowships approved by FCT, I.P. The fellow is entitled to the reimbursement of the voluntary social insurance (1st level), if applicable, in accordance with the conditions defined in the Statute of the Research Fellow. The fellow will receive personal accident insurance during the duration of the fellowship. The payment of the fellowship will be made on a monthly basis by S2AQUAcoLAB, through bank transfer to the account indicated by the fellow.

7. Admissibility

7.1 Requirements for applicant admissibility

Who can apply for the Research Fellowship:

A. Portuguese Citizens or citizens of Member States of the European Union;

B. Citizens of third states.

To apply for the Research Fellowship, it is necessary to:

C. Reside in Portugal permanently and habitually;

D. Not have benefited from a research fellowship in companies directly financed by FCT, regardless of their duration.

7.2 Application Admissibility

Requirements It is indispensable, under penalty of non-admission of the application:

E. Detailed and signed Curriculum Vitae of the candidate;

F. A motivation letter (maximum one-page, double space, letter Arial, size 12) where the reason for the application is clearly and briefly stated, as well as the academic and professional background, such as academic training, supplementary training and other information considered relevant for the evaluation of the CV;

G. Copy of the ID card or passport;

H. Permanent residence certificate, permanent residence permit, or long-term resident status, if applicable;

I. Documents proving the conditions required for the respective type of fellowship, in particular certificates of qualifications indicating the degree and final classification, all recognised by a Portuguese university if diplomas were obtained abroad;

J. Copy of evidence related to professional experience and training, including letters of recommendation, proof of courses or traineeships, if applicable;

K. Evidence of a Master degree, integrated Master degree, doctoral programme registration or registration in a course not conferring of an academic degree integrated in an educational project of a higher education institution developed in association or cooperation with one or more R&D units;

L. Updated document proving the professional status, indicating the nature of the bond and functions, which may be replaced by a declaration of honour if the candidate does not perform any professional activity, if applicable;

M. Declaration of the candidate, under commitment of honour, that they meet the requirements of admission for this fellowship – a template is available in Declaration under oath. Failure to submit the requested documentation implies the non-granting of a scholarship.

8. Composition of the jury

The jury of this fellowship was appointed by the Board of Directors of S2AQUAcoLAB and is composed by the following members:

President: Pedro Pousão Ferreira, President of the Board - S2AQUAcoLAB;

1 st Effective Member: Cátia Marques, Scientific Coordinator - S2AQUAcoLAB;

2 nd Effective Member: Joana Rosa, Researcher - S2AQUAcoLAB;

1 st Vowel Member: Vincent Laizé, Researcher – CCMAR and S2AQUAcoLAB;

2 nd Vowel Member: Iris Silva, Researcher - S2AQUAcoLAB.

9. Selection methods and criteria

Eligible Applications will be scored from zero (0 minimum rating) to twenty (20 maximum rating).

Admission criteria: all candidates who meet the requirements of this notice.

Evaluation method: applications will be evaluated through a curricular evaluation (CA) (100%) of the applicant. An interview will only be conducted if the jury deems it necessary or in case of a tie.


9.1 Curriculum assessment (CA)

The curricular evaluation (CA) will be expressed from 0 to 20 which corresponds to the score obtained with the following formula:

CA = 0.35 × A + 0.65 × B where:


A - Evaluates the academic merit of the candidate based on the University 1st degree and Master average classification (0-20 values);

B - Evaluates the previous experience to perform the required functions:

1) Proficient in establishing primary cell cultures and maintaining cell lines, with a particular focus on those of fish origin (0-5 points);

2) Expertise in cell culture techniques, including authentication, functional assay, proliferation rate and karyotyping (0-5 points);

3) Expertise in molecular biology techniques, including RNA, DNA, and protein extraction, qPCR and RNA-seq analysis (0-4 points).

4) Experience in working with fish for research purposes (0-3 points).

5) Experience in data analysis, report preparation, and results dissemination (0-3 points).

9.2. Interview

The candidates will be ranked based on the curricular evaluation. An interview will be held if the jury deems it necessary, or in case of a tie.


The interview will be conducted in person or by videoconference, where the final score will correspond to the sum of the following criteria:

a) knowledge of the areas covered by the project;

b) verbal expression and fluency;

c) adaptability and integration to work as a team;

d) motivation;

e) autonomy.


These criteria will be classified from zero to twenty, with the total of the interview resulting from the sum of the criteria to be divided by five (0 to 20 points).


9.3 Final Classification

The candidates´ final classification will be decided by a majority of the jury.

All candidates that applied for the fellowship will be ranked according to the classification awarded by the jury, based on the CA.

If the interview (I) is necessary, the final classification (FC) will be obtained through the weighted sum of the curriculum evaluation (CA) - with a weight of 40% - and the interview (I) - with a weight of 60%.

FC = 0.4 × CA + 0.6 × I

The jury will hold the necessary meetings to obtain a final decision, documenting the procedures in minutes, as well as all the elements deemed relevant to reach the final decision. If there are applications without merit, the jury may decide not to award this fellowship.

10. Reporting the results

The results of the evaluation are published at the location indicated in the opening notice and by email within 90 working days after the application submission deadline.

Candidates have a period of 10 working days after the disclosure of the results to present any objections, in the pre-hearing of interested parties and in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Administrative Procedure.

The final decision shall be taken no later than 60 working days after the conclusion of the prior hearing of interested parties.

The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall not apply where the draft decision leads to the granting of a fellowship to all applicants, in which case the draft shall be equivalent to the final decision.

11. Approval

After the conclusion of the hearing process of interested parties, the jury´s decision will be taken to the Board of Directors of S2AQUAcoLAB for approval.

12. Other information

Hiring documents:

After the selection of the candidate, the following documents/information will be requested for the purpose of hiring:

- Copy of the civil, tax, and social security identification number (if applicable);

- Document disclosing the country of residence, residence permit, or other legally equivalent document (if applicable) which should be valid at the starting date of the fellowship;

- Documents proving that the applicant meets the conditions required for the respective type of fellowship, including proof of registration;

- Declaration of commitment acknowledging the exclusivity regime;

- Certificates of qualifications;

- Bank account number


Fellowship contract model

After the selection of the candidate and reception of all documentation, a fellowship contract will be signed according to the model: Fellowship Contract.

Fellowship evaluation

The activity developed by the fellow will be evaluated by the supervisors, who will apply the criteria defined in the Fellow´s Final Activities Report .

1. Analysis of the report and compliance with the work plan.


Fellowship report
At the end of each fellowship period (if applicable) the fellow must submit a report following the template available in the Fellow´s Final Report .
The Board of Directors reserves the right, by change of circumstances at the date of this announcement, to cancel this call without any recruitment.
Applicants with disabilities will have preference in a situation of equal classification, and such preference prevails over any legal preferences.
Applicants must declare, under commitment of honour, their disability degree, type of disability and means of communication/expression to be used during the selection period.

S2AQUAcoLAB's non-discrimination and equal opportunities policy

No candidate may be privileged, benefited, impaired or deprived of any right or exempt from any claim as to descent, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, economic situation, origin, social status, genetic inheritance, disability, chronic disease, nationality, ethnicity, territory of origin, language, religion, politics, ideology or trade union affiliation.


13. Applicable legislation and regulations

Statute of the Research Fellow, approved by Law No. 40/2004, of August 18, in the wording conferred by Decree-Law No. 202/2012, of August 27, by Law No. 12/2013, of January 29, by Decree-Law No. 89/2013, of July 9, by Decree-Law No. 233/2012, of October 29 and by Decree-Law No. 123/2019, of August 28.

FCT, I.P. Research Fellowship Regulation, adopted by Regulation No. 950/2019 of November 29 2019, published in Diário da República, II Series, Part C of December 16, 2019 with the amendments introduced by Regulation No. 643/2021 of June 30, 2021, published in Diário da República, Series II, part C of 14 July 2021.

Code of Administrative Procedure, approved by Decree-Law No. 4/2015, of January 7, in the wording currently in force.

S2AQUA - Collaborative Laboratory, Association for Sustainable and Smart Aquaculture’s Regulation of Research Fellowships, approved in the document FCT/109/06/01/2023/S by FCT, I.P.

The President of the Jury Pedro Pousão


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Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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