CES Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson is independent body of the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, and its duties are to defend and promote the legitimate rights and interests of CES Community members.

The Ombudsperson carries out its activities with full independence, impartiality and freedom from the bodies listed in the Statutes of CES.

CES Community members may report or communicate to the Ombudsperson actions or omissions of the bodies, their holders, associates or collaborators, as well as formulate suggestions or recommendations concerning the subjects and matters provided for in the CES Code of Conduct (with the exception of matters that fall within the scientific competence of the Ethics Committee and/or the Scientific Board).


Sílvia Portugal holds a PhD in Sociology, University of Coimbra. Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra (FEUC) since 1990, where she teaches in the three cycles of studies in Sociology. Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) in the Studies on Social Policies, Labour and Inequalities Research Group (POSTRADE). Her research has used network theory to discuss the relationships between formal and informal systems of care production. In this context, she has researched the importance of the family in the Portuguese social protection system, with special emphasis on the role of women. Her more recent interests and research focus on the theme of disability and mental illness.
She was a Member of the FEUC Governing Board (1995-1997); Member of the CES Board (2006-2008); Member of the Board of the Portuguese Sociological Association (2008-2010); Co-coordinator of the Masters Programme in Sociology at FEUC (2008-2012); Vice-President of the CES Scientific Board (2010-2012); Coordinator of the Sociology Unit of FEUC and of the 1st Cycle in Sociology of FEUC (2014-2015); Deputy Director of FEUC in charge of "Education" (2015-2018); and, more recently, Deputy of the Office of the Minister of the Presidency and Administrative Modernization (2018-2019).


CES Ombudsperson, in the exercise of his/her functions, has no decision-making powers, addressing the recommendations deemed necessary or appropriate to the relevant bodies.

In accordance with the relevant Regulation, the Ombudsperson is responsible for:

  1. Assessing reports, complaints or statements from its associates and collaborators on subjects and themes as indicated in the Code of Conduct, providing that, in terms of scientific competence, they do not fall under the scope of the Ethics Committee and the Scientific Council or any other body under the terms stipulated in the Statutes of CES;
  2. Formulating recommendations on the actions and measures to be taken, with the relevant bodies, upon analysis of the matters presented, with a view to preventing and resolving illegalities or injustices and increasing the degree of satisfaction of those who work, study, research or provide other forms of collaboration at CES;

CES Ombudsperson has no competence to cancel, revoke or modify the acts of the statutorily competent bodies and the Ombudsperson's intervention does not suspend the course of any deadlines for the reporting person to exercise their rights.


The Ombudsperson and their employees are legally bound to the duty of secrecy with regard to information related to respecting intimacy and private life, namely by protecting personal data under the privacy policy defined by CES.


CES Community members wishing to make reports or statements to the Ombudsperson must do so in writing, in the relevant field in MyCES electronic platform.

The access details to MyCES platform are anonymized, so that the reporting individuals are not identifiable if they wish to remain anonymous.

The report or statement must contain the circumstances of the active or omissive facts relevant to an adequate investigation and further assessment of the matter by the Ombudsperson.

Before drawing any conclusions, the Ombudsperson shall hear the parties involved in the litigation, allowing them to exercise their right to clarify any necessary matters and state their position on the content of the report.

In addition to the possibility of making recommendations, it is the Ombudsperson's duty to communicate to the Board of Directors, the Public Prosecutor or bodies dealing with offence proceedings, when the facts ascertained indicate that disciplinary, criminal or offence breaches have been committed respectively.

Once the investigation has been completed, the reporting individuals who have not remained anonymous will be informed of the final opinion concerning the report submitted.