SPBD prize for best PhD thesis in developmental biology

Fourth edition: 2022 / 2023

With the aim of stimulating and rewarding the work performed by our community of PhD students, the Portuguese Society for Developmental Biology (SPBD) has created a prize to be awarded to the best PhD thesis in the field of Developmental Biology, for its outstanding quality and achievement.  The prize will distinguish, every two years, a PhD thesis describing work performed mainly at a Portuguese research institution. Nominations for the second edition of the prize are now open, and the SPBD board urges all eligible candidates to apply, following the rules made available at the SPBD website. 

1 – In the current edition only theses reporting to 2022 and 2023 may apply.  This means the thesis defense must have taken place from January 1st 2022 to December 31st 2023.  Candidates must be SPBD members at the time of nomination.

2 – It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that all documents (in PDF format) are sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Nominations require the following parts:

2.1. A digital version of the thesis.

2.2. By the candidate, a description (up to 6,000 characters with spaces) of main findings and their impact to the research field.

2.3. A letter of support (up to 3,000 characters with spaces) sent independently by the PhD thesis supervisor, stating why the student deserves such award.  This letter must also describe the status of publications arising/expected from the thesis work.

3 – The decision will be the sole responsibility of a committee of three experts nominated by the SPBD board.  It is responsibility of the committee to decide on the eligibility of nominated theses, considering the specific research subject.

4 – Communication of results and prize award will take place at a date to be announced, after nominations period is closed. 


WINNER IN 2020/2021: 

Catarina Nunes

"Co-option of immune response mechanisms by the metamorphosis hormonal signalling system"

Supervisor: Élio Sucena, IGC/FCUL


We thank the Evaluation Committee of the 3rd edition: Domingos Henrique (IMM), Claudio Franco (IMM), Solveig Thorsteinsdottir (FCUL)



WINNER IN 2018/2019: 

Sofia Raquel Moreira

"Phosphoregulation of the Drosophila tumour suppressor Lgl during the cell-cycle"

Supervisor: Eurico Moreira de Sá, i3S


Honorable Mentions in 2018/2019:

Ana Brandão

Mechanisms of osteoblast reprogramming and differentiation during zebrafish cauda fin regeneration

Supervisor: António Jacinto, CEDOC – NOVA   

Ana Rita Pinto Costa

Profilin I delivery tunes cytoskeleton dynamics towards CNS axon regeneration

Supervisor: Mónica Sousa, i3S


We thank the Evaluation Committee of the 2nd edition: José Bessa (SPBD/i3S), Florence Janody (i3S), Moises Mallo (IGC)


WINNER IN 2016/2017: 

Rita Aires

"Oct4 is a key regulator of vertebrate trunk diversity". 

Supervisor: Moises Mallo, IGC.