“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them”
William Lawrence Bragg


What is the PGCD?


Why the PGCD?

Education, particularly science education, is arguably the most important driver of social and economic development in a country. The Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PALOP) and East Timor are amongst the poorest in the world, scoring very low in all development indices, including literacy rates, number of trained professionals and infrastructure. 

There is, therefore, an urgent need for scientific and technological training. In the short term, this will help improve the quality of education and scientific research. In the medium to long term, it will reduce the scientific, technological and economic gaps between the PALOP and East Timor and the so-called developed countries.

We believe that by training a new generation of excellent university professors and scientists, we can help the PALOP and East Timor break free from their poverty trap. Through their knowledge and research, these scientists will be able to help their countries develop and these university professors will be able to prepare knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers, who will be better able to engage and prepare their students through secondary and higher  education. And one day, these students too, can become excellent scientists and professors. 

What is the PGCD? 

The PGCD, Graduate Program Science for Development, is an innovative advanced training program. We help prepare African and East Timorese students to pursue a scientific career and train a new generation of University professors. 

The main goals of the PGCD are three-fold:

1) To train the next generation of excellent Portuguese-speaking African and East Timorese students, giving them the opportunity to learn advanced science and become scientists;

2) To improve the quality of science education and scientific research in the Portuguese-speaking African Countries and in East Timor;

3) To use science and technology as effective tools for development.

This is an ambitious goal that can only be achieved with the commitment and dedication of the entire Portuguese-speaking scientific community. We believe that the PGCD is of strategic importance not only for the PALOP and East Timor but also for society in general, and invite everyone to be part of this project.




Who can apply?

The best and most motivated African and East Timorese university professors and recent college graduates.

How is selection made?

A pre-selection is made based on the candidates’ curriculum vitae, motivation and recommendation letters, and about 20 candidates are chosen every year after in person interviews. 

What is the program’s structure?

One year of graduate courses, taking place in Praia, Cape Verde, followed by a 3 to 4 year research period leading to PhD thesis. The classes are divided into weekly or bi-weekly modules. Each module is on a different subject and is administered by different faculty. The research period is split between the home countries and the best institutes and universities in the world.

What type of graduate courses?

The program offers excellent basic training in the life sciences, with a stronger focus on Plant Biology, Marine Biology and Tropical Diseases. In addition to the science curriculum, the PGCD offers a course in English, the language of science. The syllabuses are designed as a collaborative process between the PGCD direction and the various course organizers. They represent the state-of-the-art of the life sciences, paying close attention to the local needs.

Who are the teachers?

More than 100 Portuguese-speaking professors and scientists, all outstanding in their area of specialty, have already traveled to Praia to teach at the PGCD. For every edition, we have teachers coming from more than 60 different institutes and universities in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Oceania!


Be part of the PGCD!


How to apply?

We will  open the call for applications to the 4th edition of the PGCD in 2016. Stay tuned and visit the application page for more information! You can also send us an email to pgcd@igc.gulbenkian.pt if you would like to receive email updates.  

How can you help?

If you believe you can help, either as a lecturer or as a sponsor, please write to us at pgcd@igc.gulbenkian.pt.