FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia announced the provisional results on February 24, granting 40 institutions, research centers and consortia the title of Associate Laboratory (AL).
ALs are structural components of the National Scientific and Technological System. The attribution of this statute aims to encourage the organisation of human and material resources with the necessary quality and dimension to meet specific policy objectives, within the realms of science and technology.
José Carlos Pedro, who coordinated IT’s application for Associate Laboratory Status, explains that this kind of evaluation always carries two components: “The first depends on the research unit itself and its intrinsic quality, while the second depends on how the board prepares the proposal — it must highlight our very best qualities and present an ambitious and convincing plan for the future”.
IT first earned the statute of AL in 2001 and, with this renewal, received the maximum score (5/5) on all three assessment criteria: contributions to public policies; talent attraction and career development for doctorate holders; and diversification of funding and international projection.
In total, 45 applications were submitted between September and October 2020, comprising 118 research units and 10 088 researchers. The assessment was conducted by a national panel coordinated by Manuel Nunes da Ponte and with the collaboration of an international scientific council.
The applications were submitted and discussed publicly, and the evaluation reports are available here.