FLAD maintains its commitment to research in the Atlantic and for 2021 extends the scientific scope of the award to Social Sciences and Humanities – Economy, Management, Sociology and Geography –, indispensable in view of the variety of research perspectives on the ocean and its resources.

Why the Atlantic?

Studying the Atlantic is fundamental to understand very diverse and multidisciplinary areas with an impact on the sustainability of the planet and our quality of life, from the interaction between oceans, the atmosphere and space, to climate change, natural phenomena and sustainability.

“Sustainably managing the oceanic space is a fundamental challenge, possible only if it is based on a better knowledge of the Atlantic, and the way it determines and is determined by human activity. The FLAD Science Award Atlantic aims to recognize the potential and the work carried out by young researchers who develop science in Portugal, but also to motivate and create the conditions for them to grow their teams oriented towards knowledge and sustainability in the Atlantic.” – Elsa Henriques, Administrator of FLAD and Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico.

What’s our goal?

In the context of the strong commitment to Science and Technology that characterizes FLAD, it is important that this research can develop practical results, such as the creation of strategies, engineering and technologies, that facilitate our understanding and sustainable exploration of Atlantic ecosystems.

FLAD wants to support and distinguish researchers starting their careers, thus promoting the promising new generation of researchers we have in Portugal, in close collaboration with the main research centers in the US.

“Time is scarce to develop the necessary initiatives to avoid climatic and environmental apocalypse. Portugal, with its inescapable Atlantic connection, has a duty to contribute in a relevant way to the study of the Atlantic basin. The FLAD Science Award Atlantic supports projects of young researchers, with the capacity to reinforce the link between Atlantic communities in a transversal and innovative way. I believe that the unbureaucratic support for disruptive research ideas contains the capacity to make a difference by itself.” Miguel Miranda, Full Professor at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and President of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere.

Key research areas for the 2021 edition

The 2nd edition of the FLAD Science Award Atlantic includes the engineering/technology and environment/natural sciences areas of the previous edition, and adds the social sciences and humanities as areas of study, with the aim of creating and developing transversal tools and strategic solutions to the challenges of human activity in the Atlantic.

  • The future impact of climate change on coastal human populations in the Atlantic region with the design of adaptation and mitigation actions;
  • Assess the value of the Atlantic in natural assets and ecosystems, in particular in its contribution to the Blue Economy, using advanced economic analyses and big data;
  • Technologies to make oceans healthy and clean;
  • Sustainable mobility and logistics, in the context of growing digital transformation;
  • Environmental and energy transition strategies for islands and isolated areas;
  • New approaches in the planning, monitoring and management of the Atlantic area: low-cost satellite systems, advanced sensing systems, artificial intelligence or data science;
  • Production of new technologies such as underwater robotics, unmanned shipping, acoustic communications, sensors and data analysis.


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 made by a jury of excellence composed of three elements:

Candidates profile

  • Having a Ph.D. for at most 5 years;
  • Be associated with a research center recognized by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) in the research areas of this open call;
  • Do research in Portugal, independently, autonomously and with scientific quality;
  • Have a declaration of support from the research center to which the applicant is associated in the research plan;
  • Include a research interaction with a United States entity.


The award will be granted after an analysis of a two-stage application:

  • Phase 1: The first phase of applications opens between the 1st and 28th of February, where a review of the scientific 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 a research plan proposal for the 3 years of the award, between the 1st and 30th of April. If any more evaluation element is needed, there is the possibility of conducting a final interview.

The winning candidate will be selected on May 31st, 2021.


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

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

Additional information or questions

If you have questions about the award or the application process, please email fatima.fonseca@flad.pt.

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

The future is in the Atlantic!