Title: Research Grant under the FCT Project “I-CATER- Intelligent Robotic Coworker Assistant for Industrial Tasks with an Ergonomics Rationale”; 1 vacancy (URL to PT version: Edital BI_DTx_iCATER)

Open call for the attribution of a research grant (BI) within the scope of the R&D project “I-CATER – Intelligent Robotic Coworker Assistant for Industrial Tasks with an Ergonomics Rationale” (Ref. PTDC/EEI-ROB/3488/2021), at Associação Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx, funded by national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT), under the following conditions:

Scientific Areas: Electronic and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Technology and Information Systems, or related areas.

Category of recipients: The BI is aimed at students enrolled in a doctoral program in the areas of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Technology and Information Systems, or similar areas.

The documents proving the ownership of academic degrees and diplomas, or the respective recognition when awarded by foreign higher education institutions, may be waived during the application phase, being replaced by a declaration of honor of the candidate, with verification of this condition only occurring in the contracting phase of the research grant. This declaration must attest to facts that occurred on a date prior to the application. In situations of discrepancy between the information contained in the declaration and the documentation delivered for the purposes of contracting a research grant, only the information contained in the latter will be considered. If it turns out that the documents proving ownership of the academic degree and diploma, or the respective recognition under the terms of Decree-Law no. 66/2018, of August 16, do not correspond to the classifications attributed in the evaluation of the academic path and may, consequently, change the candidate’s ranking, the contracting of the research grant will not be effective.

Note: Applicants with degrees obtained abroad must present proof of recognition of qualifications in Portugal and conversion of the final classification obtained in them to the Portuguese classification scale or declaration under the terms indicated in the previous point. Candidates who do not comply with one of these provisions, the selection panel will assign “0” in the grade of the graduation and/or master course. Candidates will be evaluated on the remaining parameters.

Research grant typology: Research Grant

Requirements for awarding the research grant:

  • Candidates may apply without prior enrollment in the course for which the research grant is open. The enrollment requirement for a degree-awarding or non-awarding course will be verified on the date of contracting the research grant. When applying, in case there is no proof of enrollment, a declaration of honor is requested to send a declaration on your honor that proves the eligibility and intention to become enrolled.
  • Only those research grants whose selected candidates present valid proof of enrollment in the degree-conferring or non-degree-conferring course will be contracted, according to the type of scholarship in competition, issued by the academic services of the Higher Education Institution, respectively with the indication of the current academic year or of its duration (beginning and end).
  • Enrollment in non-credited non-degree-awarding courses will not be considered as proof of enrollment.

Recipient profile:

  1. To be or expected to be enrolled in a doctoral program in Electronic and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, or related areas;
  2. Academic background and/or proven experience in the field of computer vision and machine learning (including deep learning);
  3. Preferred factors: Training and/or proven experience in applying machine learning algorithms for detecting human actions.

Applicants eligibility: Applicants must comply with the eligibility conditions laid down in article no. 9 of “Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação” of FCT I.P (2019).

Work plan and objectives to be achieved: Within the scope of the project I-CATER (project funded by FCT, ref. PTDC/EEI-ROB/3488/2021) a framework supported by a vision system will be developed to evaluate human-robot collaboration tasks with ergonomic rationale. In this sense, the goal is to develop a perception model for recognizing human actions in the context of human-robot collaboration. Note: The work plan is suitable for consolidating the scientific training of the research grant holder within the scope of the course that confers the degree, and framed in the development of a doctoral thesis. The tasks to be performed are:

  • Definition of the taxonomy of activities and creation of a dataset to generate predictive models for recognizing actions in contexts of collaborative human-robot tasks;
  • Implement and test models / algorithms for recognizing human actions;
  • Report on the work carried out and documentation of the results.

Applicable legislation: “Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação (EBI)”, according to Law no. 123/2019, dated August 28, in its current redaction, and also by Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P. “Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação (RBI)” of Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P. – in effect.

Host Institution: The work plan will be developed at Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx, under the scientific guidance of Researcher Duarte Fernandes, Researcher Ana Colim and Professor Estela Bicho.

Duration: The research grant will have a minimum duration of 6 months, starting in January 2023. The research grant may eventually be renewed up to the maximum limit of the project budget allocation, or project duration and/or applicable legislation.

Monthly salary: 1 144,64€ according to the table of grant amounts awarded directly by FCT for positions held in Portugal (www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). The payment will be made by bank transfer.
Other benefits: Reimbursement of the Voluntary Social Security, corresponding to the 1st Echelon of the contribution base and Personal Accident Insurance.

Exclusivity: The performance of duties as a research grant holder is exercised on an exclusive basis, under the terms set out in article no. 5 of “Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação” and applicable research grant regulations.

Selection Jury:

  • PhD Estela Guerreiro da Silva Bicho Erlhagen (President of the Jury), Full Professor at the Department of Industrial Electronics at the School of Engineering at the University of Minho;
  • PhD Ana Sofia Pinho Colim (Effective Member), Assistant Researcher at Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx;
  • PhD Duarte Manuel Azevedo Fernandes (Effective Member), Assistant Researcher at Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx;
  • PhD Pedro Miguel Ferreira Martins Arezes (Substitute Member), Full Professor at the Department of Production and Systems at the University of Minho;
  • PhD Sacha Trevelyan Mold (Substitute Member), Principal Investigator at Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx.

In case of impediment of the President of the Jury, they will be replaced by the first effective member, and the substitute member will be appointed to replace the effective member.

Evaluation and selection criteria: The evaluation of applications will focus on the Candidate’s Merit (CM), applying the following evaluation criteria, valued on a scale of 1 to 5 values:

Candidate’s Merit – CM (100%):

  1. Academic path (valuing the scientific adequacy of academic training, the number and suitability of curricular units and their classifications), with a weighting of 50%;
  2. Personal curriculum (reflecting the scientific and professional path, and proven experience in robotics in industrial contexts, industrial engineering and work safety), with a weight of 40%;
  3. Motivation letter and/or letter of recommendation, with a weight of 10%.


The final ranking of the candidate’s merit will be obtained by applying the following formula:

CM=(a×0,5) + (b×0,4) + (c×0,1)


The jury reserves the right not to award the scholarship in the event that candidates with the appropriate profile do not apply for the contest. In addition, the jury also reserves the right to call one or more candidates admitted to an interview to clarify additional aspects.

Communication of results: The provisional results of applications, based in the selection panel minutes, will be sent to the applicants by email, under the terms of article no. 12 of the RBI of the FCT.

If case of unfavorable results, the candidates have a period of 10 working days to comment, if desired, in a prior hearing to interested parties, pursuant to articles no. 121 and 122 of the Code of Administrative Procedure (CPA) (DL no. 4 / 2015 of January 7th).

(The hearing of the interested parties, if excluded, should be justified accordingly with article no 124 of CPA)

Complaint and appeal procedures: The final results of the evaluation will be published through an ordered list (alphabetically, by final grade obtained), posted in a visible and public place of the host unit, as well as by email to all applicants, enclosing for that purpose, the minutes of the jury deliberations.

The selected candidate must inform its willingness to accept the grant, in writing. In case of rejection, the research grant will be awarded to the next candidate in the ordered list of applicants.

The final decision can be contested within 15 working days, by sending to the President of the Jury the corresponding claim. Interested parties may also submit an optional hierarchical appeal, addressed to the Executive Board Director of Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx

Constitution of selection reserve list: Candidates ranked in the following positions on the call’s final ordering list are included in a selection reserve list, which can be used until February 28th, 2023.

Application deadline and form of submission of applications: The call is open from December 13th to January 31st, 2023.

Applications must be formalized, obligatorily, by sending an application letter accompanied by the following documents: curriculum vitae; proof of registration or declaration of honor proving the intention to register, certificate of qualifications or declaration of the candidate (if applicable); letter of motivation; other documents relevant to the evaluation process.

Applications must be sent by email to recrutamento@dtx-colab.pt, indicating the reference of the competition in Subject. Applications sent by other means will not be accepted. The lack of any of the documents required in the application, or sending/delivering it to a location other than the one indicated above, may lead to its exclusion.

Research grant contractualization: The contractualization of the research grant takes place through the signing of a contract between Laboratório Colaborativo em Transformação Digital – DTx and the research grant holder, according to the draft provided by FCT I.P.

The contract can only be celebrated after reception of all required documentation depending on the type of grant, which must occur within a maximum period of 6 months.

After receiving all the documentation, the contracting entity has a period of 60 working days to sign the research grant contract. Once received by the research grant holder, it must be returned duly signed contract within 15 working days.

Research grant contracts can only begin after due authorization from the contracting entity.

Expiration and cancellation of research grants contracts: Without prejudice to the other causes provided for in the applicable research grants regulation (FCT) and in the EBI, the research grant ceases with the conclusion of the contracted work plan, as well as with the end of the period for which it was granted or renewed.

At the end of the research grant, the grant holder is obliged to present the Final Report of the work carried out, in accordance with the objectives and evaluation criteria defined with the scientific advisor, within 30 days after the end of the scholarship.

The final report must be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the “Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação (EBI)”, approved by Law no.40/2004 of August 18th, in the current wording published by Decree-Law no. 123/2019 of August 28th; and “Regulamento de Bolsas de Investigação”, no. 950/2019 of 12-16-2019, from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. – in effect.