Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply for a sandwich or full PhD as part of the Science without Borders programme?

Information about how to apply is available on

2. What subjects can I study on the programme?

The subject areas covered under the Science without Borders programme are mostly STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), plus creative industry subjects which focus on technological and innovative developments. A list of SwB subject areas can be found here. The list of subject areas in Portuguese is available at

3. When does the call for applications open?

The Brazilian funding agencies operate a continous rolling cycle for funding applications for PhD opportunities.

In order to apply for funding you must first identify a supervisor based in Ireland with the support of your supervisor in Brazil. If you need help finding a PhD supervisor a list of PhD projects and supervisor contact details at Irish Institutions on Once a proposed supervisor in Ireland has been identified and a research proposal agreed with that supervisor, you must apply to the University or Institution for a PhD place. Please note that you would need to meet all their entrance requirements, including English language criteria. Once you have a conditional offer you must submit an online application directly to Ciencia sem fronteiras in Brazil.

4. Who decides which applications for sandwich and full time PhD projects are awarded funding through the Science without Borders programme?

Funding of sandwich and full time PhD students is dependent on approval by an Evaluation Committee in Brazil, made up of specialists in innovation and technology. Approval will depend on the research proposal meeting the criteria of the subject areas covered by Science without Borders, with an emphasis placed on innovative aspects. Funding decisions are made solely by Ciência sem Fronteiras.

5. When does the academic programme in Ireland begin?

Institutions have varying registration points but in general students can register and commence at any time during the Academic year. A full list of registration points at each institution is available here

6. How many scholarships are available for Ireland for 2014 and 2015?

For full PhD and Sandwich 400 scholarships are available until the end of 2015.

7. Where can I find information regarding the value of the scholarship?

Information on the value of the scholarship can be found at

8. How will I finance my place on the programme?

Irish Institutions will receive funding for each PhD student for every year of their study in Ireland. For full PhD students funding will be awarded for up to 4 years. This funding goes towards the following costs:
  • The student's academic programme including fees associated with coursework or tests
  • Bench fees up will be assessed on a case by case basis
  • Administrative and student support within the host Irish University
  • Costs of an industrial placement or supervised industrial project
In addition to this funding package, the Brazilian funding agency will provide students directly with a monthly stipend, return flights to Ireland, health insurance and living costs, including accommodation.

9. Where will I live when I am in Ireland?

University and Institutions will help you find accommodation. In some cases on campus accommodation is available.

10. Does the programme provide funding to cover the cost of bringing a spouse/partner and dependents to the Ireland?

Approved full PhD students will be given additional funding to support the cost of a spouse/partner and one dependent during their stay in Ireland. Additional information can be found at Ciência sem Fronteiras.

11. Do I need an acceptance letter from an Irish Institution/University to apply for funding?

Yes. Sandwich PhD students must be able to demonstrate that they have the approval of their proposed Irish supervisor prior to applying for funding from Ciência sem Fronteiras in Brazil. Irish Institutions will make offers directly to students and their Brazilian supervisors if they wish to accept them on a PhD sandwich placement.

Full time PhD students must be able to demonstrate that they have already received an offer to undertake their PhD studies in Ireland. Irish Institutions should make offers directly to the applicants if they wish to accept them as full time PhD students. All applicants are responsible for submitting a research proposal to Ciência sem Fronteiras via an online form.

12. If my University has a link with an Irish Institution, do I have to apply to study at that Institution, or can I apply to study at a different institution?

Where there are existing links between the Brazilian University and an Irish Institution sandwich PhD students will usually be expected to apply to these Irish Institutions. However if the area of research is not available at that university then they can apply elsewhere.

13. How many Institutions can I choose?

Candidates may contact several universities or institutes, but they will only be allowed to submit one application for funding. will contain details about departments and subject areas that may be available. Applicants should check that they meet the criteria for PhD studies before selecting a particular PhD programme. In the case of sandwich PhD placements we also expect Brazilian universities to help their candidates choose an appropriate university and subject area.

14. Is there a brochure for all 7 Irish Universities?

For more information on the 7 Universities you can view our brochure here: Brochure