PhD Scholarship PCTM/BDE/17

Call for Applications for PhD Scholarship at Hovione, Reference: PCTM/BDE/17

Call for Applications for a PhD Scholarship at Hovione (M/F)

Ref: PCTM/BDE/17

Hovione FarmaCiencia SA (Hovione) is a Portuguese company specialized in Health sciences, dedicated to the research, development and production of Active Pharmaceutical Substances (APIs), and drug products for pulmonary inhalation and oral delivery. Hovione innovates and leads worldwide in the field of pharmaceutical chemistry, as demonstrated by about 400 worldwide patents. The products and procedures developed at Hovione meet the high standards of compliance established by the International Conference Harmonization (ICH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Authorities of European countries and Japan.

As an integral part of Hovione's Innovation Strategy, the PhD program Development and Optimization of feeding and blending steps for Pharmaceutical Continuous tableting Manufacturing: Integrated PAT for Process design was created and awarded a PhD in Business (BDE) scholarship.

Thus, under the terms of the ”Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação Ciêntifica”, approved by “Lei nº 40/2004” amended by “Decreto-Lei nº 202/2012”, of 27th August, and amended by “Decreto-Lei nº. 233/2012, of 29th October and by “lei nº12/2013, of 29th January and “Decreto-Lei nº. 89/2013”, of 9th July (Research Grants Regulation of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)), now in force, a call for the selection of scholars and grant of an individual scholarship is open:


The present call is open to a PhD in Business (BDE) Scholarship under the conditions and characteristics set forth in Article 6 of the FCT Research Grant Regulation in force in 2021.

Chemical engineering, biological engineering, material engineering. mechanical engineering, physics, pharmaceutical sciences or related fields

Masters in chemical engineering, biological engineering, material engineering. mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, pharmaceutical sciences or related fields with a minimum grade of 16 may apply for this call. Preference will be given to candidates with proven experience in areas related to the detailed work plan below and fluent in English. Personal characteristics: Enthusiasm, organization and objectivity; Analytical sense (attention to detail); Sense of responsibility and ethics; Ability to analyze and solve problems; Good interpersonal skills.

The activity of the scholar should focus on the following tasks:

The goal of this PhD is to develop and validate a methodology to evaluate, optimize and transfer between rigs the continuous feeding and blending of pharmaceutical powders and excipients with minimum material and time requirements.

The continuous direct compression (CDC) line consists in gravimetric feeders discharging the formulation powders at a specific mass rate and composition into a primary blender to promote homogenization; the blend in then loaded into a secondary blender where a lubricant is added. The final blend is then discharged into a rotary tablet press. The tablets will later be coated and packed. The preliminary and detailed study of these steps in the development stage as well as the understanding of the powders physical and rheology parameters influencing them is essential for a smooth transfer to the integrated continuous stream and for future applications. A development methodology should be proposed and validated to establish the continuous feeding parameters for the loss-in-weight (LiW) feeders and blenders (simulating 1st and 2nd blending steps) minimizing the use of the Manufacturing line.

The purpose of the program is therefore to:

  • Predict the material behavior in gravimetric feeders by using excipients and database with respective bulk properties, flowability and rheology: This database can be used to minimize the API required for the experimentation in the lab and in the manufacturing units (if rheological behavior is identical), nevertheless, tests with the API will always be required to support the development;
  • Establish correlations between material properties and feeding behavior;
  • Define a methodology to improve feeding behavior of challenging compounds and gain critical knowledge to support the development of future continuous manufacturing programs;
  • Develop a strategy to evaluate in the development equipment the mixing behavior of a formulation and predict the residence time distribution in the manufacturing rig with the monitorization of the PAT tools;
  • Validate the lab development methodology to support manufacturing at the CDC-line with minimal testing.

The implementation of the program will take place at Hovione's premises, in close collaboration with FFUL and possibly other international universities (to be defined).

The scientific supervisors of the program will be Professor João Pedro Martins de Almeida Lopes (Institute Supervisor) and Cláudia Consuelo Vieira Reis Leite Moura (Hovione Supervisor).

The scholarship has a maximum duration of 4 years; it is granted on a full-time basis and is awarded annually, for periods of 12 consecutive months and automatically renewable, unless under the applicable legislation the scholar fails to fulfill his / her assigned duties. The scholarship is scheduled to start in October 2021 on an exclusive basis.

This call is addressed to anyone who is eligible to participate in the Program.

The call is open between 07/07/2021 and 31/08/2021.

Applications must be completed through a motivation letter to, mentioning the Program and this announcement, together with the following documents: Letter of Motivation, detailed Curriculum Vitae of the applicant [proving the above mentioned requirements] copy of relevant diploma, a valid email address and a contact telephone number, contact details of 2 persons as referrals and other documents which the applicant considers relevant for the evaluation of his / her application.

Only applications received until 17:00 until August 31st 2021 will be considered.


The selection methods are as follows:

  1. Preliminary evaluation of CVs by Human Resources and supervisor
  2. Psychotechnical tests (eliminatory factor) - candidates with negative results will not be considered for points ii, iii, iv and v;
  3. Scientific merit taking into account the curriculum vitae of the candidate, degree / masters grade (minimum 16/20), participation in research projects, suitability of the candidate's profile to the Program theme and candidate experience in the Program theme;
  4. Level of English;
  5. Motivation Letter
  6. Interview

Each item will be scored on a scale of 0-20, with the following weights: Curriculum vitae and experience (40%), English (10%), motivation letter (10%) and interview (40%).

The evaluation of the applications will be carried out by the Evaluation Panel defined in accordance with Article 17 of the FCT Research Grants Regulation.

The evaluation panel comprises the Hovione's Scientific Advisors panel, Hovione Innovation Manager and Hovione Business Partner R&D.

The results of the evaluation, presented in descending order, are published through the Hovione website and sent to the applicants within the deadline set in Article 18 of the FCT Research Grants Regulation.

The scholarship has a value of € 1.104.64, which is in accordance with the table of values for scholarships awarded directly by FCT, I.P., and is 100% funded by Hovione. The scholarship payment will be made monthly.
The tuition fees of the Academic Institution will also be paid entirely by Hovione.

Only requests made by e-mail to will be considered.