According to data collected by the Directorate-General of Education and Science Statistics, made available in the new Scientific and Teaching Employment Observatory, 6,047 contracts have been established with doctorate holders since 2017.
Just over half of these professionals (52 percent) were hired to teach at universities and polytechnics, with the remaining 2,902 PhD holders (48 percent) dedicated exclusively to research.
The vast majority of the around six thousand contracts (87 percent) were with public institutions and 13 percent with private institutions, namely private higher education establishments and private non-profit institutions.
In relation to the type of contract, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education also said in a statement that 42 percent of these contracts corresponded to integration in a career and 39 percent of the contracts were concluded following regular competitive examinations for entry into teaching and research careers.
"The funding mechanisms made available by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) are the main generators of contractual positions, with 44 percent of the contracts (2,635) being established following FCT calls for applications integrated in the programme to stimulate scientific employment," the statement added.
These data are now aggregated and available on the Scientific and Teaching Employment Observatory (https://empregocientificoedocente.dgeec.mec.pt/), launched on 6 July and which represents, according to the Ministry, the first public record of the list of all doctorate holders involved in (R&D) activities, teaching or management and communication of science and technology.
The new platform was created following the recommendations of the Council of the European Union approved in May, still during the Portuguese Presidency, on the "implementation of continuous monitoring systems for the hiring of researchers with doctorates and careers in research".
The goal, says the Ministry of Education, is to "know in detail the effects of the measures to stimulate scientific employment that were designed between 2016 and 2017 and applied since then", through an observatory that allows the identification of the mechanisms for hiring teachers and researchers.
And since that time, considers the Ministry, the effects of the measures to stimulate scientific employment have been positive, with an increase in hiring.
According to the same data, the total number of open-ended contracts with teachers and researchers has increased by 9 percent since the beginning of the previous legislature, in 2015.
This evolution "demonstrates a clear political intention to deepen the stability of labour relations in scientific activity and to enshrine a new vision on the labour relations established in the scientific community," reads the statement, in which the minister underlines that the employment contract has become the rule.
The same growth trend is even more pronounced in the hiring of researchers, with the number of those hired rising from 1,133 in 2015 to 5,831 in 2020, which represents an 81 percent increase.
At the time, in 2015, most researchers were grant holders, a situation that, according to the Ministry, is now residual.
"The panorama of labour relations in scientific activity is now substantially different from that in force until 2017, when employment contracts were an exception and the awarding of post-doctoral grants was completely normalised," explains the statement, adding that currently the norm is career integration or fixed-term contracts for the development of specific projects.