In view of requests made by several institutions and in order to encourage the opening of calls for proposals provided for in the transitory rule of Decree-Law no. 57/2016 amended by Law no. 57/2017, the FCT is available to establish prior program-contracts, signed before the signing of the employment contracts between the institutions and the doctoral candidates selected in the calls for proposals, after validation of the lists of grant recipients identified by the institutions as giving rise to positions to be funded by the FCT. The signing of these program-contracts does not exempt the FCT from verifying effective compliance with the requirements of the call for proposals and of the contract at the end of the process, at which time any budgetary adjustments will be made.
The pre-programme contracts will be concluded only if the contracting institution so wishes. These program contracts are not necessary for the opening of tenders, which are the sole responsibility of the institutions, nor can they be invoked as a cause for possible delays in the tendering procedures.
FCT first gives this possibility to all institutions that have already submitted lists of grant recip ients under the transitional rule. Other institutions that wish to establish prior program contracts with FCT must send the lists of eligible grant recipients by May 31st, 2018. It is up to the institutions to verify the eligibility of the grant recipients. FCT can only validate the eligibility of grant recipients for whom the institutions provide evidence of such eligibility, such as the references of Fellowships, references of projects and units (provided that the contracting process has been previously sent to FCT), or contracts of Fellowships.
For cases where it is not possible to pre-validate the eligibility of some grantees, they will not appear in the pre-program contract but may be added after verification of the hiring process of the researcher selected in the call, including validation of the documents proving the eligibility of the grantee that originated the open position.
With this measure, the FCT intends to contribute to accelerating institutions' compliance with the transitional rule, assisting them in their decision to open the competitions in order to meet the legal deadline of August 31 stipulated in Law 57/2017.