The main decision structure of the doctoral programme is the Directive Board (DB). The DB comprises the programme director (who chairs), and 1 member from each of the proponent institutions, who would be preferably the sponsor (with the coordinators of the doctoral programmes of the accredited degree awarding institutions to which this doctoral programme is attached participating as observers). The DB meetings are open to all the sponsors of the proponent teams as observers.

The DB member for a given institution is chosen by the proponents belonging to that research institution.

The main tasks of the DB are:

1) manage the recruitment of the doctoral programme including advertising and divulgation;

2) appoint a selection committee and supervise the selection, ranking, and admission of the students to the doctoral programme;

3) coordinate the organization of the December and July semi-yearly workshops;

4) coordinate the organization of the teaching of the curricular courses;

5) coordinate the organization of the Doctoral Proposal Presentation and Thesis committees;

6) evaluate and approve the research proposals submitted to the students. In particular, the equilibrium of the distribution of the projects by the proponents will be considered;

7) organize the process of selection of research proposals by the 1st year students;

8) evaluate the feedback of students, faculty, and external advisory committee;

9) coordinate the reporting activities to the host institutions, FCT, and to the external advisory committee;

10) approve the yearly budget and expenses of the doctoral programme.

11) maintain an overall supervision of the doctoral programme, namely the coordination between partners, the feedback of the students and faculty, the progress of the individual research work.

The DB will meet ordinarily 4 times a year (next to the workshops of December and July, in late August/early September (meeting focused on the admissions and the start of the 1st semester) and in late January/February (meeting focused on the start of the 2nd semester and the research project by the students).

The proponents of this programme constitute the Scientific Council of the doctoral programme, and are an advisory group to the DB. Ordinarily, there is a meeting of the Scientific Council next to the December and July workshops. The Scientific Council is chaired by the programme director.

The programme director is responsible for the day to day running of the programme, including the interaction with the proponent teams and participating institutions. The programme director and the DB will be assisted by a part-time administrative assistant. This administrative assistant will report to the programme director.