• Graduate Training
Graduate Training
International PhDs in Neuroscience or Cancer
Fundação Champalimaud

International PhDs in Neuroscience or Cancer


We provide PhD students with an integrative, state-of-the-art education in either Neuroscience or Cancer. A central goal is to foster inquiry and discovery by encouraging active participation, critical thinking, and problem-solving by the students. 

When applying, students should choose one of the following tracks: Neuroscience or Cancer. The initial year consists of classes and lab rotations. After a common module about the fundamentals in Biology of neuroscience and cancer, students have specific modules depending on the track they select.

The Neuroscience track includes courses focused on the neuronal and circuit basis of behaviour, whereas the Cancer track is focused on cancer-body interactions, spanning the molecular, cellular, and clinical basis of physiology and cancer within the broader context of the organism. The courses have a strong practical component, as well as focus on quantitative skills. In addition, students also perform laboratory rotations, which allow them to familiarise themselves with the research done across different labs and join the lab where they will conduct their doctoral research. 

Admitted students will receive full funding, renewable every year up to a maximum of 6 years, covering living expenses, tuition, and fees, and will be mentored to apply for external fellowships as part of the curriculum.

Our Students, Our Team


We seek talented students to work in a supportive, inclusive, and collaborative environment that trains individuals to participate in the process of scientific inquiry leading to discoveries. Emphasis is given to diverse thinking, positive behaviour, and well-being as core elements for creativity, critical thinking, and leadership.

Our Team

Neuroscience PhD Programme Directors: Megan Carey and Memming Park

Cancer Programme:  Ana Luísa Correia and Bruno Costa-Silva 

Graduate Studies Office: Isabel Palmeirim (Director of Education) & Mette Kienhorst

Inquiries regarding INDP applications must be sent to: appindp@research.fchampalimaud.org

What we offer


International PhDs in Neuroscience or Cancer 2024

Each PhD student will receive:

- A fully-funded position up to a maximum of 6 years (internal and/or external funding). This includes a monthly stipend, tuition, and academic fees;
- A curricular plan involving intense training on Neuroscience or Cancer with classes and lab rotations in the first year;
- The chance to choose the PhD research project and supervisor. Get access to the full list here.
- Support by a thesis committee (selected by the students and supervisor) that monitors the progress and provides input, composed by two Faculty members other than the supervisor;
- Enrollment in a leading European research institute with a strong International environment;
- Access to cutting-edge research labs in Neuroscience or Cancer and specialised technical platforms;
- A vibrant academic environment, including weekly research and clinical seminars. Access to a wide range of workshops;
- A good support system when relocating to Lisbon/Portugal and joining CR. This includes a buddy programme, housing assistance, and an orientation week to welcome you at the CR; 
- Support throughout the PhD with administrative affairs (fellowship renewal, thesis submission, etc.) and other issues, including mental health;
- An active PhD student community involved in the organisation of advanced courses, an annual retreat, and social activities.

Admission Requirements


Applicants must have:

- A  Master’s degree and/or a 4+ year undergraduate degree by the time classes start;
- The ability to tackle complex intellectual challenges, to learn new skills and ways of thinking and to work passionately as part of a research team;
- Depending on the tracks, predoctoral training in quantitative disciplines (e.g. physics, mathematics, computer science), biological sciences (e.g. biology, medicine, bioengineering) or related fields;
- This programme is also open to medical doctors aiming to develop a PhD thesis in neuroscience or oncology areas.
- High proficiency in the English language is crucial for the applicant’s success since this is the official language at Champalimaud Research. 

Application process:

- Candidates will be evaluated by their Curriculum Vitae, letter of motivation and letters of recommendation;
- Preselected candidates will be invited to an open house and interviews;
- Top evaluated candidates will receive an offer to pursue a PhD at Champalimaud.


Applications for enrollment in September 2024 are now closed. 



INCDP application timeline

2024 application timeline

Open call for applications: 11th December 2023 - 7th February 2024 

Interviews and open house: early-mid March 2024

Final results: End of March 2024

2024 Classes start: September 2024


Inquiries regarding applications should be sent to: appindp@research.fchampalimaud.org

Our Students

Since 2007

Our PhD students come from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds, including life sciences, physics, psychology, mathematics and computational sciences. The PhD programme in numbers: #16 editions #79 graduations #75 current students #20 different nationalities.

Our alumni


Our 79 alumni work all over the world in different areas. Around 60% completed/ are completing postdoctoral training in leading universities/research institutes (e.g. Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, University of Oxford).

From the ~30% who are employed by companies, the majority work in data science applied to a wide range of sectors, including research, health, business, software, biotechnology, videogames and robotics (e.g. Google, G-Research, Meta, Mastercard, NeuroGEARS Ltd, Opplane, Oligo, Yelp).

Some are employed in scientific publishing (Dotdash Meredith, Frontiers). 

Finally, ~15% of the alumni have science management/outreach jobs (e.g. project management in research institutes, science communication/illustration).

Banner Alumni PHD 2024 - Numbers


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