The PhD Programme is structured for a 4-year period. It must include (i) a set of curricular units with a minimum workload equivalent to 30 ECTS, (ii) a seminar/project of the thesis and (iii) the thesis itself.
The curricular program will be anchored on existing doctoral and advanced master level curricular units of the PIs, namely in Civil Engineering. This will promote diversity (in terms of areas), flexibility (in terms of the type of thesis) and mobility (in terms of the PI/PIs where the curricular units are given and the co-supervision provided) in what concerns the students’ chosen path. The set of curricular units should preferably cover all the PhD programme main domains. However, depending on the inclination of each student in terms of research interests and future thesis theme, the Board of Studies (BoS), together with the student, can provide guidance to define the Personal Study Plan (PSP) leading to a more focused set of curricular units. The next curricular units are examples of existing offers at the several PIs:
(i) Advanced Course in Structural Dynamics (IST),
(ii) Risk Assessment and Management (UMinho),
Besides conventional skills developed within the core curricular units, students will be encouraged to acquire transferable skills (namely concerning language, communication and scientific writing) and entrepreneurship skills within the wider scope of the PIs curricular offer. Whenever applicable, industrial placement within an industrial or any other organization that is part of the PIs network of contacts will be promoted. Students will also be encouraged to attend and deliver research seminars, in which they are expected to present their research development to delegates of the different PIs and industrial contacts.
A summer school will be organized annually to promote synergies and internal/external performance assessment. Students shall present their on-going research and discuss future development with colleagues and the PIs academic staff. This event will be organized rotatively by the PIs.
The aim of the seminar/project of the thesis is to promote the collection of the data/knowledge necessary to define the thesis scope, the objectives and the methodology to be followed and the working plan/timeline. Whenever applicable, this should include the writing of a state-of-the-art on the subject to be pursued. The final purpose is to assess the student’s maturity in terms of going forward with the main part of the research leading to the thesis.
The PhD programme will offer a pool of potential thesis themes, preferably within on-going or future PIs research projects. All themes are subjected to an analysis by the BoS. The thesis to be presented will be accepted provided that it complies with the regulations of PhD Programmes within the PIs. Two different formats will be accepted, namely (i) a conventional format or (ii) a collection of ISI journal papers format. Regardless of the format, before the public presentation of the thesis, students will be strongly encouraged to be fully involved in the preparation and submission of papers in ISI journals and also to participate in international conferences. This concern aims at guaranteeing additional screening of the PhD work before it is finalized, as well as promoting the scientific relevance and impact of the research developed within the PhD programme.