The Doctoral Programme in ‘Governance, Knowledge, and Innovation’ offered by the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, and organized by the Centre for Social Studies (CES), initiated in 2005/2006, is opening its seventh series in 2017/2018. The programme is adapted to the organisational forms proposed by the Bologna Declaration for the 3rd Cycle of Higher Education. Presently the third, fourth and fifth series are on-going and comprises research seminars and research work in the preparation of doctoral dissertations. Students are developing research on themes linked to the economics of innovation and knowledge, the institutions of social economics, innovation in public administration, social movements, participatory processes in the definition of public policies, industrial property rights and traditional knowledge, art and health. Examples of thesis subjects include: institutions of social economy, innovation in public administration, housing credit and the financial system, the crisis and the Economic and Monetary Union, values, and valuation in environmental policies, the role of patient organizations within the health system, the perceptions and narratives of illness, global health challenges and knowledge networks, European policies and higher education, social movements, participation in the definition of public policies, industrial property rights and traditional knowledge.

During the course of the first year of the doctoral programme students attend four seminars in each semester. Two seminars are common to the group of students, and two other seminars depend on the students chosen component, ‘Knowledge and Innovation’ or ‘Social Impacts of Science and Technology’.

The programme is a partnership between CES and the Faculty of Economics, to whom students should present their application and where they formerly register. Hence, the doctoral programme students are hosted by CES and are also students of the Faculty of Economics, which offers complete support at academic level and appropriate IT conditions. CES has been acknowledged as an hosting institution of excellence, namely in the context of applications to doctoral grants financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

Diversity and openness

PhD students come to Coimbra from diverse cultural backgrounds and belong to a genuinely international centre. CES teaching and research reflect this diversity. Our researchers have expertise in a wide range of topics and countries and our students are caring out research in four continents. Unlike some departments where students are expected to follow the research agendas of their supervisors, we are open to any proposal where we think we can help PhD students fulfil their objectives. The diversity in our student cohort lies partly in the fact that several of our PhD students come to us already with career experience, sometimes taking time off from work. Others have recently obtained their Masters and want to research more deeply into their chosen field. Others, having recently concluded the Master’s degree, intend to develop a project in order to explore more deeply their research field.

An interdisplinary spirit at a centre of excellence for research in social sciences

Socially and culturally diverse, CES also benefits from its status as a multidisciplinary environment for research in social science and humanities, where students are able to attend classes, conferences and seminars on several academic fields.

A friendly and supportive environment for the development of research projects

In addition to CES diversity and openness, there is a welcoming and supportive atmosphere conveyed by the teaching and administrative staff. Students receive a high level of personal attention, training and supervision from teachers, designed to meet students’ individual interests. Each student can have two supervisors, usually with complementary expertise; they will also benefit from the wide range of knowledge of the CES's academic team.

"At CES, the recognition of acquired knowledges throughout academic and professional paths of each PhD student is guaranteed. Seminars take into account that diversity and challenge our knowledges from a critical perspective, allowing from the beginning for in depth reflections on the individual research interests."

Samuel Vilela, all but dissertation (Portugal)