Strategic Plan for Research

Outstanding Research for a Dignified Life

Research is a methodologically controlled practice of production and broadening of knowledge, organized according to parameters specific to each field of study. By focusing on the fields of the social and natural sciences, technology, the arts and the humanities, research at UCP aims to improve the human condition and the planet, broadening the horizons of art and culture, for the common good. Thus, its action is developed both in the production of basic knowledge and in practical applications that generate innovation, respect for the environment and economic growth and contributes to the creation of societies that are more prosperous, healthy, socially robust, cohesive, and respectful of diversity and of human dignity.


Strategic Plan for Research 2021-2025

Through its 15 research units and working in collaboration with national and international partners from academia, business, and culture, in continuity to the work of centers and laboratories of excellence, UCP intends to offer robust answers to the central questions of contemporary life, accompanying society in its urgent challenges. UCP conducts basic research according to the standards of excellence of the international scientific community, recognized by peers and presented in the relevant media.

Similarly, it promotes applied research and collaboration with entities in the business, industrial, social, cultural, and artistic sectors, pursuing the goal of transferring the acquired knowledge and a tangible impact. As in the areas of Bioengineering, Management and Economics, the Arts, Communication, Culture, Political and Social Institutions and Law, a particular attention is being given to the area of health in the development of clinical and applied research, with the new Center for Human Intelligence. Similarly, the UCP's contribution to mobilizing agendas for the country will be reinforced, with continued participation in large collaborative laboratories and a deeper commitment to large science-based projects of national interest.

Over the past few years, UCP has significantly increased research funding, with a 69% growth in FCT funding in the 2019 R&D units evaluation exercise, while at the same time broadening the diversity of funding sources, coming from state agencies, European funds and private actors. This trend is expected to continue, extending to the securing of funds through applications to national funds, namely at the level of multi-annual funding for research units and projects in all scientific areas ensured by FCT, but also by ambitiously investing in applications to Portugal2030 and other national funds of public and private nature. Given the increasingly competitive nature of this field and the growing scarcity of resources, it is even more important to strengthen the commitment to attracting funds through international programs (with emphasis on Horizon Europe and placing special emphasis on obtaining ERC grants).

In the XXI century, research is bound to be international and collaborative. In this sense the UCP is committed in building, participating and leading international networks and alliances of high intensity. Examples of this are the many national, European and global, academic and professional, institutional and business networks in which the centers collaborate in their specialty. At the institutional level, the promotion of the SACRU alliance and the inclusion of UCP as a full member of EUROPAEUM (which brings together some of the best universities in Europe) are of growing importance, and the goal is now to integrate and/or lead the participation in a strategic consortium of European universities program. Networking and alliance cooperation is a decisive driver to respond to the complexity of today's challenges and to take responsibility for the common home.

Open Science represents an approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of disseminating knowledge through the use of digital technologies and new collaborative tools.

Over the last few years, UCP has developed a range of measures that promote the Open Science policies defined by OECD, the European Commission and FCT, and will assume as a strategic commitment in line with international benchmark practices. In this field we highlight the active participation of UCP in the Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal (RCAAP) through its VERITATI repository, an editorial policy that increasingly contemplates open access and, more recently, through the creation of the portal which provides access to the contents of 22 scientific journals edited by UCP research centers. It is now a matter of extending the open science policy to the whole research cycle, namely with the implementation of a new portal of monographs in open access (OMP), of routines in the process of dissemination of research results through the management system ciência.ucp as well as with the expansion of the concept at the level of research data and other collaborative forms.

UCP intends to structure an innovative commitment in 4 interdisciplinary clusters, seeking impact on the SDGs.  A first cluster focuses on the relationship between Ethics, Law and Technology, aiming to respond to the changes that digital transformation brings to contemporary society and is articulated with the Digital Ethics Lab (LED). A particularly relevant aspect in this area is the issue of Artificial Intelligence, whose impact on everyday life is becoming increasingly evident. UCP reformulates the issues underlying AI through the creation of a second cluster of Human Intelligence studies that intends to understand it as an inexhaustible field of learning: from the somatic intelligence of the human organism to the most surprising manifestations in its cognitive and emotional capacities. This study of human intelligence in its holistic dimension leads to a third area: phenomena such as migration, poverty, and the endless list of wars and conflicts make it ever more urgent to reflect on ways of living together that guarantee both diversity and peace in our common home. A third cluster of studies on Global Cultural Futures offers a reflection on the dynamics inherent in intercultural relations in resistance to a standardizing globalization. Enabling fairer futures, with less poverty and in the understanding of global responsibility is also the challenge to which a fourth cluster CARE for our Common Home is dedicated, elaborating an integral ecology of sustainability.

Mission Dimension Strategic Areas Strategic Goals


Outstanding Research for a Dignified Life


Research in context: strengthening discovery,promoting impact

  • To invest in research in context, broadening horizons through basic research
  • To invest in research in context, promoting impact and the transfer of knowledge and stimulating university-business partnerships


Funding & Competitiveness

  • To increase competitiveness in access to R&D funding
  • To attract and retain top national and international researchers

International Networks & Alliances

  • To intensify active participation in international networks and alliances

Open Science

  • To develop good practice in Open Science


Interdisciplinarity & Clusters

  • To create problem-based research clusters, connecting areas of knowledge and R&D units
  • To take on the responsibility of research that is aware of its ethical and societal implications,deepening the link with SDGs