Towards a sustainable research career with progression based on merit

Category Archives: ANICT in the press

Nature mentions ongoing ANICT survey

ANICT survey is available until 12H (GMT) of the 30th of April, in the following website:

All researchers (with connections to Portuguese Institutions) are invited to participate.

nature anict


Notícias na Science mencionam actividades da ANICT

O prestigioso jornal científico Science, publicou recentemente duas notícias onde se encontram referidas actividades da ANICT.  No artigo “Charting the careers of European researchers“, o antigo presidente da ANICT, Miguel Jorge, dá uma entrevista onde se refere à implementação do European Charter for Researchers  em Portugal, um assunto cuja implementação levou a cabo durante a sua presidência da ANICT. Em “Head of Portuguese science foundation leaves under a cloud“, a jornalista da Science foca a sua reportagem na demissão de Miguel Seabra, da presidência da FCT, recordando algumas das polémicas em que a FCT esteve envolvida nos últimos anos, com menção às actividades da ANICT no âmbito da problemática dos conflitos de interesse nos painéis de avaliação de bolsas individuais, problema que acabou por ser corrigido no último concurso levado a cabo pela FCT.


“E que avalia os avaliadores?” – artigo de opinião no Público


Nature cites ANICT during interview to the recently elected president of Science Europe

On a recent interview, conducted by Nature, to the recently elected president of Science Europe, Elizabeth Gibney questioned Professor Miguel Seabra about the problems on the  evaluation procedures for recruitment of researchers in Portugal, that ANICT reported on a previous letter to Nature.  Professor Miguel Seabra answer was not only evasive, but was also, we believe, unfair towards our efforts to promote transparency in the academic recruitment processes. We posted a reply to that interview on Nature web site, that we now transcribe here:


“On the 26th of March 2014, the three former presidents of the Portuguese Association of Science and Technology Researchers (ANICT) published a note on Nature, highlighting some of the most striking problems of the National scientific policy, especially to what concerns meritocracy or lack of it (Nature 507, 431 (2014)). A few days ago, on the 6th of June, Nature published an interview with the recently appointed Chairman of Science Europe, Prof. Miguel Seabra (currently President of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) (Nature, doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15328). On this interview for Nature, Prof. Miguel Seabra was confronted with Nature’s published ANICT comment (we attach an excerpt of this interview). His answer was totally evasive and remarkably unfair towards ANICT’s efforts to promote scientific research in Portugal towards the best international practices. We do strongly believe that a reply to his interview is required, especially now that Prof. Miguel Seabra is about to take a leading position on a very important European scientific entity. We do expect Science Europe to become an increasingly important scientific policy stakeholder in the forthcoming years as the ERA is gradually being consolidated across Europe.
Nuno Cerca (U.Minho, PT), João Lopes (U.Lisbon, PT), Miguel Jorge (U.Strathclyde, UK)”


You can read the full interview at Nature website:


Research problems in Portugal run deep (in Nature (2014) 507, 431)

ANICT has recently assessed the transparency of the National PhD and post-doc fellowship competition and quantified the lack of transparency in the process.The full report (in Portuguese) can be downloaded here. An opinion article was submited to Nature and is available at

The text is as follows:

“As founders of the Portuguese National Association of Researchers in Science and Technology (ANICT), we believe that research problems in the country run deeper than just funding (see Nature 507, 306; 2014).Evaluation procedures for recruitment, career progression and funding allocation are in need of fundamental reform. They must become more transparent and be based solely on merit. Selection for nationally funded PhD and postdoc scholarships, for example, is beset by conflicting interests and insufficient transparency (see The recent cuts in scholarship numbers have exacerbated these factors. Currently, merit has little influence on career stability or advancement. Many researchers, even team leaders with students and ongoing grants, are being driven to leave the country because of their non-renewable, short-term contracts.Instead of bickering and passing the buck, Portugal’s politicians need to agree on long-term plans to foster and retain the country’s talented young researchers.
Nuno Cerca University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.
João Lopes University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Miguel Jorge University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK”