FLAD and Fulbright have a partnership aimed at strengthening support for study and research in the US, and promoting Portugal as an academic destination for Americans. Within the scope of this relationship, for the 2023/2024 academic year, FLAD has awarded four grants to Portuguese students and researchers in various scientific areas and two grants to American researchers.

This year, the Fulbright Research Grant, with FLAD’s support, will support four master’s degree students from Portuguese universities, who will develop a 4-month research period in the US, in four different scientific areas. They are:

Ana Mesias from (Biomedical Engineering) is a MSc student in Biomedical Engineering at Faculdade de Biotecnologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa. The student will develop part of her master’s thesis, entitled “Bio-peptides with neuroprotective and neuromodulator potential upon brain disorders”, at Universidade de Stanford. The project aims to develop a biologically based drug using two natural and sustainable protein sources to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Bernardo Gabriel from (Electrical Engineering) is a MSc student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto. During his stay at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, he will join Brett Hobson’s team with the goal of designing and developing a modular, energy-efficient motherboard for autonomous underwater vehicles.

Gabriela Biscotto (Architecture) is a Master of Architecture student at Faculdade de Arquitetura da Universidade do Porto. The student will join, as a Visiting Student Researcher, the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing, a research unit of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture, at The Pennsylvania State University, where she will test new technologies and processes applicable to modular construction, taking advantage of the unparalleled resources of the different technology labs.

Pedro Ligeiro (Entrepreneurial Studies) is a Master’s student in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto. He will do part of his thesis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research is focused on studying the North Carolina Research Triangle Park, and its Innovation ecosystem, with the goal of finding tools to apply to the growth and development of new companies in their home region.

The four new Fulbrighters will start their research programs in the United States from December 2023.



Fulbright and FLAD are also awarding the FLAD Open Study/Research Award that will support two American researchers at Portuguese universities to develop research in Portugal for eight months, in two different scientific areas. They are:

Kenzo Kimura (Public Health) graduated from New York University with a degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. He is visiting public health researcher at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. The student speaks fluent Brazilian Portuguese, a tool he considers important to conduct his research in Portugal. He will develop a study on the elderly in Lisbon and assess their quality of life, interviewing them on the themes of happiness and family, but also focusing on the accessibility of subsidized health care in Portugal.

Michelle Furmanksy (Public Policy) graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s Frederick Honors College, majoring in Economics and Politics and Philosophy, and minoring in Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Culture. She will analyze and evaluate economic policies that target youth unemployment. She hopes that her work at Unversidade de Lisboa will contribute to the creation of more and better economic opportunities for young people in Portugal and the EU as a whole.

The two students will start their research in Portugal as of October 2023.