Doctoral degree program

Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The graduate program in Ecology at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia – INPA offers a four-year full-time doctoral course that focuses on academic specialization and research in tropical Ecology.

Presently the course has the second highest evaluation grade by the CAPES

Foundation, the governmental authority that manages graduate education in Brazil. CAPES grade 6 (on a scale from 3 to 7) stands for a high quality faculty, competitive scientific productivity, and a significant contribution to human resource training and qualification for research and management in biodiversity and environmental sciences in the Amazon.

Students have to obtain credits from theoretical and practical courses, and have to approve a thesis based on original research data and with potential to be published in indexed journals with high impact factor.

The course is financed by public funds from the Brazilian government, and is free of charge for students.

The main thesis supervisor has to belong to the program’s faculty (see Faculty on this website). Up to two co-supervisors are accepted, who may be external to the program, but need to have a PhD.

All regular classes are taught in Portuguese. The thesis chapters may be submitted as manuscripts in English, prepared for publication in or submitted to scientific journals, but it is mandatory to format introductory elements, as well as a general discussion and conclusions in Portuguese.

To study in a doctoral course in Brazil, candidates need to have a university degree and preferably also a masters degree. Diplomas from non-Brazilian universities do not need to be fully legalized in Brazil, but should be registered with the Brazilian consulate in the country of origin. Diplomas in English or Spanish can be presented as original documents only, but diplomas in other languages need to be accompanied by an official translation.

Information about legalization in Brazil of diplomas from foreign institutions can be obtained from Brazil’s Ministry of Education and Culture’s website (in Portuguese).

Candidates approved for the doctoral course are responsible for obtaining their student visa through the Brazilian consulate in their country of origin, as well as for all necessary procedures with federal police upon their arrival in Brazil.


There are two ways of access to INPA’s doctoral course in Ecology:

The CAPES/PEC-PG Program 

Nationals from countries listed by the CAPES Foundation  (Brazil) for the Programa de Estudantes-Convênio de Pós-Graduação (PEC-PG) may apply for a grant for doctoral studies in a graduate program of their choice in Brazil. The grant is awarded individually through a yearly selection process among candidates for all recommended doctoral courses in Brazil. The PEC-PG selection process is independent of specific selection procedures offered by the graduate programas.

Candidates must present a declaration of conditional acceptance from the graduate program and have to contact his/her desired advisor among INPA’s Ecology program faculty (see Faculty on this website).

Non-Brazilian nationals with residence in Brazil cannot apply for PEC-PG grants.

PEC-PG candidates have to be approved in the CELPE-Brasil exam of sufficiency in Portuguese.

Candidates approved by the PEC-PG selection process have their entry into the doctoral course guaranteed, as well as a four-year grant, and flight tickets to Brazil from their country of origin and back to their country of origin at the end of the four-year period.

Doctoral students that enter INPA’s graduate program in Ecology through PEC-PG have to pass a sufficiency exam in English up to six months after starting the course.

Click here for more information on PEC-PG.

Selection procedure by the Program 

A selection process for doctoral candidates is held twice a year. For more information on the selection process and necessary documents, please check the call for submissions (Edital de seleção, in Portuguese) available on this site at Downloads > Applications.

The thesis project should be compatible with at least one of the research lines of the Program (check Program/Research Lines on this website) and the research interests of the thesis supervisor. The project should be contain an introduction, objectives, sampling or experimental design, material and methods, expected results, activity schedule, budget and potential funding sources. The thesis chapters should be planned according to their publication potential.


Candidates accepted for doctoral studies will have to pass a sufficiency exam in English up to six months after they start the course.


The four-year period of the doctoral course starts on the date of final approval by the Coordination Committee of the thesis project that received favourable reviews. The thesis is to be submitted for evaluation 48 months after the date of entry.

The graduate program has no funds to cover travel expenses to or from Manaus. INPA does not provide student accommodation.

All efforts are made to seek scholarships for all doctoral students, but we cannot guarantee that all students will obtain scholarships. As required by Brazilian funding agencies, priority for scholarship assignment is given to Brazilian students.

For more information, check the program regulations (in Portuguese) on this website at Program/Rules and Regulations.

INPA has no student accommodations. Students usually share rented flats and houses in the vicinity of the Institute.

The vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for travel and residence in the tropics.

Some regions of the Amazon are more prone to malaria infection than others, which also varies among years and with local human population density. Malaria infection in the more urbanized areas of Manaus is rare, but may occur in the outskirts. Infection with the dengue, zica and chikungunya viruses may occur in the city.

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