Global Ph.D. Programme

The new Ph.D. programme sets out to create a real research community of scholars whose work is monitored and guided by the best international standards in the field.

Why a Global Ph.D. Programme





Católica Global School of Law (CGSL) is accepting applications from qualified candidates for the Global PhD Programme in Law. Admitted candidates receive a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend calculated to cover their living expenses as doctoral students in Lisbon for four years.
Following a public tender among doctoral programs across disciplines, the Global PhD Programme in Law was selected by an international panel of experts for comprehensive funding by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in Portugal.

Focused on law in a global context and with English as the working language, the degree builds on the success of Católica's LL.M. programmes. A selected group of students are recruited each year from among the world’s brightest to join CGSL as PhD students. Doctoral candidates will gain direct access to the prominent international faculty that teaches at CGSL. They will also benefit from an extensive set of exchange agreements and scientific protocols that CGSL has with high-profile law schools and research institutions in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. PhD students are encouraged to spend at least one year abroad as visiting fellows at a partner institution and will be funded accordingly.

The Global PhD Programme embodies a new model of doctoral studies in law within continental Europe. The Programme honours the tradition of regarding the doctoral thesis as a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship, evidencing the ability of the candidate to conduct independent high-quality research. Unlike the traditional model, however, which relies on the willingness and natural ability of the candidate to produce a dissertation in an atmosphere of solitary intellectual confinement, the Programme sets out to create a research community of scholars whose work is monitored and guided according to the best international standards in the field.

The aim of the Global PhD Programme in Law is to attract a select group of talented young scholars dedicated exclusively to their doctoral studies and to enable them to write rigorous, readable, original, reasonably-sized and publishable dissertations in four years. At present, the doctorate is often regarded as an entry to the academic profession rather than an advanced step in a scholar’s career. Accordingly, the Global PhD Programme in Law is committed to establishing the Católica Global School of Law as a credible supplier of junior academics to the global law teaching market, in addition to serving other functions — e.g., as a supplier of highly qualified public servants, lawyers and legal consultants — which doctorates in law naturally lend themselves to.

Application Information

Only candidates who satisfy all of the following requirements will be considered for admission:

a) A basic law degree (LL.B., licenciatura, J.D., or equivalent) or, exceptionally, in a neighbouring discipline if the candidate’s purported research falls at the intersection of law and the discipline in question.
b) A master’s degree in law or, exceptionally, a pre-Bologna bachelor degree coupled with an outstanding academic record.
c) Proficiency in English mainly certified by a TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the internet-based test, or an IELTS score of 7.0, obtained within two years prior to the application, or Cambridge’s Certificate of Proficiency in English with a minimum grade of A.
d) Completion of at least one scholarly text, which may be a master’s thesis or a text of comparable scope.
Applications should include the following:
1) Official detailed transcripts (in either English or Portuguese) issued by the higher education institution where the candidate has obtained academic degrees.
2) A curriculum vitae.
3) A personal statement of no more than 1000 words explaining the candidate’s motives to attend the Programme.
4) A preliminary research proposal of no more than 3000 words.
5) Two letters of recommendation.
6) An example of scholarly writing, which may be a master’s thesis or a similar text.
7) A completed application form.
8) Photocopied or digital version of the applicant’s identification document.
9) Three photos.
10) Proof of payment of the application fee.

Candidates with academic degrees obtained in a non-Portuguese university must submit the registration of the recognition of those degrees and the conversion of the obtained final grades in the Portuguese scale (whenever the degree has a final grade attributed), issued by the Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior or by a public Portuguese university or faculty (see Law no. 341/2007). Alternatively, candidates can submit a document containing the recognition or equivalence of their degree to the Portuguese degree, issued by a public Portuguese university or faculty (see Law no. 283/83).

Within the terms of the Framework-Agreement signed by FCT and the Universidade Católica, the Directive Board approves candidates selected by virtue of merit following the procedure outlined in the application for funding. Scholarship contracts are concluded directly between each selected candidate and FCT.
Information about the Programme is available on the webpage of Católica Global School of Law at
Hence, within the terms of the ‘Regime of Research Scholarship Holders’, enacted by Law no. 40/2004 of August 18, as it currently stands, together with the Regulation of Scholarships by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, it is now open the public tender for the selection of candidates to individual scholarships to attend the PhD Programme.

There are eight scholarships available to candidates who fulfill the criteria laid down in Article 30 (1) of Decree-Law n. 74/2006, of March 24. The duration of the scholarship is annual and extendible to a maximum of four years. A scholarship cannot be assigned for a period shorter than six consecutive months.

The following may apply to this tender:
— Portuguese nationals or nationals of other EU countries;
— non-EU citizens who hold a valid title of residency or who enjoy long-term residency status within the terms of Law n. 23/2007, of July 4;
— citizens of countries with which Portugal has a reciprocity agreement.

The host institutions are Universidade Católica Portuguesa, through the Católica Global School of Law of the Escola de Lisboa da Faculdade de Direito, and the Católica Research Centre for the Future of Law.

Applications will be accepted subject to the requirements laid down at

In addition to filling the application form, in order to formalize the application to a doctoral fellowship candidates should address a letter to the Director of the Global Ph.D. Programme stating their knowledge and acceptance of the norms and terms of the Regulation of Scholarships by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, namely where it refers to the delivery of required documentation.
Candidates who at the time of the application do not hold the academic degree required for its acceptance may state in the application form that they expect to receive the degree at a date no later than December 31, 2018. No scholarship will be awarded to a candidate whose application does not fulfill these requirements.

The tender is open from November 1st to December 20th.

The evaluation and selection of applications will be carried out by a Committee of three academics who hold the title of ‘Doctor’. The Committee will determine the merit of the candidates and submit to the Directive Board of the Programme a ranking of the candidates according to the following criteria:

First Phase:

a) Academic performance of the applicant, namely class ranking as an undergraduate and as a masters student, prizes received, works published, participation in research projects: 0 to 5 grade points;
b) Intellectual, ethical, and social qualities of the candidate as they result from the two letters of recommendation submitted, so long as the Committee has no reason to doubt the latter’s credibility: 0 to 5 grade points;
c) Quality of the scholarly piece submitted by the applicant: 0 to 5 grade points.

Second Phase:

d) Interview to evaluate the candidate’s motivation, intellectual maturity, seriousness of purpose, collegiality, and other attributes relevant to succeed as a doctoral student and, more generally, as an academic; the Committee also decides whether the candidate is prepared to undertake the responsibilities of a full-time doctoral candidate: 0 to 5 grade points.
Candidates who do not fulfil the formal requirements to be admitted to the Global PhD Programme in Law will not be admitted to the second phase.

The letter formalizing the application should be sent to Directive Board of the Global Ph.D. Programme in Law, Católica Global School of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Palma de Cima — 1649-023 Lisboa, Portugal or to the email address, within the aforementioned deadline.

The results of the evaluation procedure shall be disclosed to the candidates through the webpage of Católica Global School of Law:
Candidates whose applications were rejected have 10 weekdays upon the date of disclosure to express their views, if they so desire, in a preliminary hearing within the terms set by the Code of Administrative Procedure. The final decision may be appealed to the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within 15 days of its reception.

Scholarships awarded under this call are sponsored by Portuguese public funds from the ‘Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (FCT/MCTES)’ (the Portuguese Government annual budget), and, if eligible, by funds from ‘Fundo Social Europeu’, through the ‘Programas Operacionais do Período de Programação 2014-2020’, namely the ‘Programa Operacional Temático do Capital Humano’ and the ‘Programa Operacional Regional do Norte, Centro ou do Alentejo’, according to the provisions of the specific regulation applicable.
Any issue not covered by the present call shall be governed by the Regulation of Scholarships by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, which is available at

Lisbon, October 30th, 2018

Global Ph.D. Programme in Law Director,
Professor Jan Hendrick Dalhuisen

Rita Sobral
Rita Sobral
"(...) If you are looking for a unique, highly captivating intellectual and life changing experience, the LL.M. Law in a European and Global Context at the Católica Global School of Law is the place to be. (...)"
Martinho Lucas Pires
Martinho Lucas Pires
"(...) you will attend challenging courses, taught by some of the most competent and prestigious academics in the world (...) you will be provoked through innovative, creative and deep perspectives about how law and the world work. (...)"