The Agricultural Production Chains – from fork to farm PhD Programme is designed to completely fulfill the demands of the students and the needs of national and international stakeholders on scientific field, in order to boost the employment perspectives of the future doctors. It is planned according to the European Union policies, defined on Horizon 2020.

The multidisciplinary and excellence of the knowledge of the Institutions will promote a higher learning and training on the agro-food field, with quality research projects, besides a stimulating scientific and technological environment, which will expand entrepreneurship perspectives.

The programme totals 240 credits (ETCs): 218 ECTs will be acquired within Agrarian, Biological and Food Sciences, and Environmental Protection, and the remaining 12 ETCs will be attained on multidisciplinary themes.

The curricular units correspond to 54 ETCs and the PhD Thesis has 186 ETCs.

Get the Student's Guide here.



Agrarian Sciences Building – UTAD
Microbiology Lab – UMinho

1st year (60 ECTs)

Consists of 2 mandatory curricular units (Seminar I and Interpersonal Skills I), of 12 ECTS each, from any of the scientific areas, corresponding to 324 hours (40% are contact hours).

A curricular unit (CU) designed “Research Methodologies” corresponds to an optional CU with 6 ECTs. The remaining 30 ECTS will be distributed by a free optional CU, chosen from the list of available CU's Masters in the host institutions, and by the “Thesis Project”. The work load of the PhD Thesis must correspond to 486 total hours (18 ECTs).

2nd and 3rd years (60 ECTs each)
The plan of these 2-year studies consists of UC Seminar II and III (12 ECTs each), Interpersonal Skills II and III (12 ECTs each) and PhD Thesis (36 ECTs).

4th Year (60 ECTs)
The fourth year will be fully occupied with the completion of the PhD Thesis (60 ECTs).


Research Methodologies 

A range of laboratory methodologies, practice field or qualitative methods, will be chosen by the student together with the supervisor which addresses the necessary basis to develop the work plan.

Seminar I, II and III

Each student will choose at least 6 seminars per year according to his personal interests and research area always advised by supervisor. Students are due to acquire a deeper understanding on several subjects, e.g. social and economic business, communication, negotiation and management.

Interpersonal Skills I, II and III

A work project will be outlined following the specific interests of the PhD student, but in a strict cooperation with the supervisor and the head of the course. The presentation of oral communications (scientific or educational), the participation in science communication actions and/or acquisition of skills in the teaching/learning area should be conducted by the student to exploit and improve his self-learning competencies.

Thesis Project

Following previous work with the supervisor, students are due to present a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation exploiting the state-of-the art of the thesis topic, present the planned scientific work and describe each task in a realistic work plan.

Thesis Project
Following previous work with the supervisor, students are due to present a PowerPoint presentation exploiting the state-of-the art of the thesis topic, present the planned scientific work and describe each task in a realistic work plan.


This partnership will offer a broad training programme in Agricultural Production Chains to students, assuring complementarity of research opportunities and experience in training under different environments, such as universities and companies.

The collaborator from the Federal Institute of Paraíba (IFPB) – Brazil, in the Campus João Pessoa, has 260 ha of land for experiment and a rich germplasm bank with high biodiversity, which is available to explore. IFPB has also available a set of labs, fully equipped.

We will build on previous and ongoing successful SME's collaborations, which focus on applied research and on dissemination of science, and also host MSc and PhD students. They work on wine, fruit, honey, water and other agriculture related items. Among those are Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense (ADVID), Sogevinus, Symington Vinhos, Mirtilusa, Sortegel, Frulact, Cooperativa Agrícola dos Olivicultores de Murça (CAOM), Douromel, Regiefrutas, Adventech, Águas de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (AdTMAD), Adega de Vila Real, Resinorte, ADP Fertilizantes de Portugal, Sogrape Vinhos SA, Geointegral, Instituto de Investigação da Floresta e do Papel – RAIZ. A fruitful collaboration has been developed with Business Innovation Centre (BIC) of Trás-os-Montes, particularly on fostering students to entrepreneurship.


Mobility of students during the Doctoral Programme is a must. Tutor and supervisor will establish a partnership mobility plan, according to students' needs along the 4-year study period.

Students will conduct research but at the same time they can attend lectures in specific subjects according to the recommendations of supervisors. Thus, students can stay abroad not only to complete/develop part of their research but also to attend lectures.

Since mobility of teachers is much easier than mobility of a group of students, it is foreseen that specific lectures can be given in Portugal by teachers from partner institutions, when necessary. There will also be seminars to promote the knowledge across the topic of the PhD.

The policy of the programme is to foster transfer of knowledge through the research activities of students and their training. They will act as “science carrying” between CITAB and CQ and the other institutions abroad. Mostly, students are intended to have short stays (max. 3 months) but exceptionally, if required and justified, the stay can last longer, up to 12 months, eventually and preferably implemented in a programme involving 2 or 3 visits.
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