As part of the World Mental Health Day, which takes place on October 10th, FLAD launches the 3rd edition ofthe Science Award Mental Health, the largest award to support Mental Health research in Portugal. The winner will be awarded 300 thousand euros to develop its project, in this initiative with the recognition of World Health Organization and the United Nations.

After the choice of Pedro Morgado, a psychiatrist and researcher at the University of Minho in 2021, and Manuela Silva, a psychiatrist and researcher at Santa Maria Hospital, in 2022, the FLAD Science Award Mental Health is back. This is the largest prize for investigating Mental Health issues in Portugal, an area of fundamental importance and that has had greater visibility since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the application criteria were changed to include an extension of the number of years considered limit since the completion of the doctorate from 8 to 10 years, and also the suspension of the time count for maternity and parental leave. We believe that the absence of this safeguard harmed mostly women, who saw limited opportunities to compete for these kinds of opportunities.

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 cooperation in the United States.

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

Key research areas for the 2023 edition

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.

Among the areas considered key will be, not exclusively, qualified conditions in the spectrum of autism and other developmental diseases, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, obsessive-compulsive syndrome, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.


The prize has the value of 300,000 euros, for a maximum of 3 years, which corresponds to the financing of 100,000 euros/year.


We advise you to read the notice of this contest (Flad Science Award Mental Health), where you can find all the details about the award.

Any question related to the prize or the application process, please email


The evaluation shall be carried out by a scientific committee composed of:

  • Catarina Resende de Oliveira, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, former Director of the Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, President of the Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation (AICIB).
  • Miguel Xavier, Director of the National Coordination for Mental Health Policies (MoH), Psychiatrist at the Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental and Professor at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the NOVA University of Lisbon.
  • Margaret Lanca, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, President of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and Director of Adult Neuropsychology and Psychological Testing and Training at the Cambridge Health Alliance.

Candidates profile

  • Doctorate, no later than 10 years at the opening date of the contest.
  • Counting the years after the completion of the doctorate will take into account maternity and paternity leave. In case of maternity, 18 months will be subtracted from the counting of years after the completion of the doctoral degree, for each child born after obtaining that degree. In the case of parental leave, the months of proven leave will be subtracted.
  • To be associated with a research center recognized by FCT (Science and Technology Foundation) in the area of Mental Health and clinical research.
  • Have the support of the health unit and research center associated with the research plan.
  • Research in Portugal, independently, autonomously, and with scientific quality.
  • Include a research interaction with a United States entity.


The prize will be awarded after an analysis of the applications for two phases:

  • Phase 1: The first phase of applications opens between November 1st and November 30th, 2022, focusing on the evaluation in the scientific and professional curriculum of the candidate, and on the main ideas presented in the research proposal.
    Candidates selected in the first phase will be known until January 15th, 2023
  • Phase 2: The best qualified candidates in the first phase are invited to participate in a second phase of application. The proposal for the research plan for the 3 years of duration of the prize, between January 15th and February 15th, 2023. A final interview can also be anticipated.

The final results will be known on March 31st, 2023.