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Programme Structure

Curricular structure

The duration of the PhD program is 4 years. The first year is dedicated to courses training and Seminar. The second and third years are devoted to research activities and the last year is mainly dedicated to thesis writing.

A total of six courses will be attended by students. Two of these courses and the Seminar are mandatory, the others are optional and tailored to each academic pathway, that is, ECTS can be obtained in any of the 8 optional courses offered.

Course Type Training ECTS
River modeling & Ecohydraulics
Focus on all types of rivers
M IST/ULisboa 6
River Ecosystem Functioning and Monitoring
Focus on all types of rivers
M ISA/ULisboa 6
Urban Riverscapes & Environmental Planning
Focus on heavily urbanised rivers
O FA/ULisboa 6
Watershed & Aquifer Dynamics
Focus on all types of rivers
O IST/ULisboa 6
Land Use and Water Management
Focus on Southern European land use
O ISA/ULisboa 6
Hydromorphological and Riparian restoration
Focus on Mediterranean-type river restoration
Fluvial Processes Restoration
Focus on North American large rivers
Ecohydraulics of Habitat Restoration
Focus on Temperate rivers of North-America
O KE 6
River Conservation under Managed Flows
Focus on Alpine and Temperate rivers of Central Europe
Ecosystem Processes and Pathways
Focus on South American rivers
Seminar Course
Science writing, presentation skills preparatory theses development
M ISA or IST 6

(1) European credit transfer system, ECTS: a measure of training effort including all types of contact hours and study activities. (2) M-mandatory type; O-optional type

Before engaging in these courses, students may be asked by the Coordination Committee (CCFLUVIO) to attend propaedeutic courses from MSC level, in subjects where their background is weaker (e.g. hydraulics for biologists) but without exceeding 12 ECTS.

The Seminar marks the end of the courses training, and is used to acquire skills on science communication and writing, and to develop the structure and calendar of the research activities (2nd to 4rd years). Supervisory Boards will be asked to participate in the Seminar.

Research development will be take place in the institutions of the Supervisors and/or in the institutions with the facilities appropriate for thesis development.


It is intended to foster synergies between the institutions involved, related to special skills and experiences, to laboratorial and field facilities, to predictive models. The creation of a platform for collaborative research actions and peer-review publications is also intended. These goals will be achieved through student’s mobility and research interaction between involved institutions, as well as workshops and meetings in different institutions.

Mobility of researchers between partnership institutions will be a key feature of the grants and the doctoral programs to be developed. The students’ travelling and maintenance abroad will be supported either by the FCT grants or by the research projects that will co-fund research activities. All Universities have social services that may also provide low cost housing and food.


The official language of the FLUVIO programme is English.

Courses are normally delivered in English and thesis will be written and presented in English.

Nevertheless, Portuguese will also be an important language in the program because of permanence in Lisbon and Bahia. The PhD candidates that wish to improve Portuguese skills will have access to courses during their first year at IST (and in following years), allowing a smoother integration and a deeper discover of the Portuguese culture and society.


The career opportunities for doctors in River Restoration and Management include teaching and research in the area, public administration and private sectors with interests in river management and in the design and implementation of river restoration projects and monitoring. Companies experience and the possibility to visit and benefit from different countries realities will provide outreaching opportunities for students career.