*Applications can be submitted from November 1st.

Today we launch the largest award to support Mental Health research in Portugal. That’s 300.000 euros in an annual edition. This initiative is recognized by the Portuguese Minister of Health, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.

Why Mental Health?

A “devastating impact”. Is how the World Health Organization (WHO) describes the effect of the pandemic on access to Mental Health care, which requires an “urgent increase in funding.” In the face of a new virus, it is natural that attention should be focused on the protection of physical health, but it is also evident that this context of pandemic and confinement has brought great challenges to our psychological and emotional well-being. It has become even more evident to all of us that it is crucial to value Mental Health and to fight the stigma to which mental disorders are associated.

For too long mental health has been neglected. I am very pleased that FLAD (Luso-American Development Foundation) is directing its resources to mental health towards a research award with a focus on prevention and clinical care in mental health.”Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Mental Health is a critical part of our wellbeing and should be at the heart of COVID-19 response and recovery. A Human Rights based approach requires the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of Mental Health services as a key priority. As part of our recovery efforts, it is essential to build and invest in good quality Mental Health services at all levels to support societies’ recovery from the pandemic, and to ensure that those who have Mental Health conditions are not left behind.”United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, on the launch of the FLAD Science Award Mental Health.

Promote clinical research of Mental Health in Portugal.

The FLAD Science Award Mental Health, the largest scientific award for Mental Health in Portugal, aims to support clinical research projects of young psychologists, psychiatrists, family doctors, neurologists, and other professionals in this area in Portugal, with the cooperation in the UnitedStates.

“In the field of Mental Health there are several research structures in the US with enormous worldwide prestige, and that can contribute much to two relevant aspects in this award: the scientific quality of the research line to be created, and the establishment of a collaborative relationship that is fundamental to the temporal sustainability of research work.” – Dr. Miguel Xavier, member of the Scientific Committee of FLAD’s Science Award Mental Health.

But also contribute to the quality of the life of patients, at a time when the needs around Mental Health are even more evident.

Rita Faden, President of FLAD, points out that“by rewarding innovative projects in this area, we want to help promote the quality of the life of patients and contribute to reducing the impact that mental disorders have, not only on each person, but in society.”

“The Portuguese Ministry of Health praises the sense of opportunity of this FLAD initiative, for the stimulus it brings to Portuguese scientific research, in an area that is transversal to all sectors of society and absolutely central in the life of each of us. Having research results on Mental Health determinants is a decisive contribution to adapt policies, strategies, and plans for the promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of the disease. On the other hand, we welcome the possibility of providing young professionals working in the field of Mental Health the development of autonomous lines of research, stimulating their growth as clinical doctors and researchers. This is a valuable contribution to improving the Mental Health of populations, a priority for which there is no more time to lose in the work of politicians, leaders, clinical doctors, and researchers.” – Marta Temida, Minister of Health.

Key research areas for the 2021 edition

In this first edition, FLAD preferred not to close the field of research in a particular group or in a specific pathology. The focus is on developing new clinical approaches, which can be dedicated from prevention to treatment and rehabilitation. The idea is that these approaches reflect a better understanding of the impact of different factors – biological, life experiences, family history, epidemiological, among others – on the development of mental disorders.


The award has a maximum value of 300.000 euros for a maximum of 3 years, which corresponds to 100.000/year.


The evaluation is carried out by a scientific committee composed of:

Candidates profile

  • Doctorate, for no longer than 8 years.
  • To be associated with a research center recognized by FCT (Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia) in the area of Mental Health and clinical research.
  • Statement of support from the health unit and research center associated with the applicant’s research plan.
  • Research in Portugal, independently, autonomously, and with scientific quality.
  • Include a research interaction with a US entity.


The award will be granted after an analysis of the applications in two phases:

  • Phase 1: The first phase of applications opens between November 1st and November 30th, 2020, where a review of the scientific and professional curriculum of the candidate is carried out, together with the evaluation of the main ideas presented in the research proposal.
  • Phase 2: The highest-ranked candidates in the first phase are called upon to participate in the second phase of the application. It will be necessary to submit the proposal for the research plan for the 3 years of duration of the award, between January 15th and February 15th, 2021. If some more assessment is needed, there is the possibility of conducting a final interview.

The final results will be announced on March 31st, 2021.


For the first stage of the application, it is necessary to attach the Applicant Biosketch.

We advise you to read the notice of this open call (Notice – FLAD Science Award Mental Health), where you can find all the details about the award.

For more information or clarifications, please contact fatima.fonseca@flad.pt

Follow us through this website and our social media to stay briefed about the selection process.