The doctoral programme Heritages of Portuguese Influence (DPIP) operates in an interdisciplinary basis. The approach used combines the analytical tools provided by Architecture, Urban Planning, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, History, Anthropology and Sociology. The students will be awarded a Doctoral degree in Cultural Studies or Architecture and Urban Planning, depending on the focus of their dissertation. DPIP started in 2010 and was re-accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES) in 2020, for another six years. The programme opens bi-annually.

Thanks to the agreements established during the internationalization process launched in 2013 with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, students can obtain a Jointly Supervised PhD by the University of Coimbra (UC) and, simultaneously, by one or two other universities from the network: University of Algarve; University of Bologna; Paris-Ouest Nanterre University; Federal Fluminense University (Rio de Janeiro); and Eduardo Mondlane University (Maputo). The recent creation of the UNESCO Chair in Inter-cultural Dialogue in Heritages of Portuguese Influence enlarged the network, adding the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Camões - Institute for the Cooperation and Language, the Lúrio University (Nampula) and MEIA (University Institute of Art, Technology and Culture) of Cape Verde as new partners.

The analytical and methodological principles of DPIP, as well as its post-colonial approach and the promotion of North-South dialogues, places this doctoral programme at an unique level of excellence regarding scientific thinking, research and production in Europe. Based on student and teacher mobility, DPIP aims to promote the creation of a critical mass in the field of Heritages of Portuguese Influence, taking heritage as a cultural and political concept and providing a comprehensive training programme capable of forming specialized consultants in these areas.

At the moment, DPIP students currently develop their research work in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Japan, India, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sri Lanka and Timor, as well as with Portuguese-speaking communities in the traditionally designated emigration territories.


Besides the overall advanced training objectives in research methods and knowledge production, PhD students are expected to develop teamwork and network skills thus enabling a multiplier effect in this field of studies. Students are also expected to acquire extensive cultural frameworks related to the central theme of the programme, as well as about the multiple geographies and respective human and natural resources that form those cultural universes. The same must happen with the narratives that address the latter. For this reason, it is fundamental that they develop a solid theoretical basis about the topics of memory and representation. It is crucial that they acquire skills to develop initiatives of cooperation in the various themes and territories associated with the Heritages of Portuguese Influence. Doctoral students should have an educational background and a diversified curriculum in their scientific and geographic areas of origin. The importance of DPIP’s internationalization also derives from this aspect, aiming to build an international network of scientific training, research and action in the field of Heritages.


The PhD Programme in Heritage of Portuguese Influence (DPIP) arises from the interdisciplinary dialogue between several researchers of the Centre for Social Studies (CES), connecting the research lines of two of its research groups: Humanities, Migrations and Peace Studies and Cities, Cultures and Architecture, to which other Portuguese and international institutions from several subject areas have joined. In this dialogue, we must highlight:

a) The previous work developed by António Sousa Ribeiro and Margarida Calafate Ribeiro in the doctoral programme “Postcolonialisms and Global Citizenship”; the work developed by António Sousa Ribeiro on the basic concepts of DPIP, such as memory, identity, testimony, inheritance and postcolonialism, among others; and Margarida Calafate Ribeiro’s considerations about Portugal and its empire, synthesized in the book Uma História de Regressos: império, guerra colonial e pós-colonialismo [A History of Returns: empire, colonial war and post-colonialism].

b) The long term work developed by Paulo Varela Gomes and Walter Rossa on the history of architecture and urbanism of Portuguese influence in the world, with a special focus on Asia. The first related outcome was the creation of the MA programme in “Architecture, Territory and Memory” at the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra. More recently, this work led to the edition and writing of a considerable part of Património de Origem Portuguesa no Mundo: arquitetura e urbanismo [Heritage of Portuguese Origin in the World: architecture and urbanism], directed by José Mattoso and produced by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This later nourished the interactive website of Heritage of Portuguese Influence/ Património de Influência Portuguesa (hpip.org).

c) The work by Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo about the history of the so-called “third Portuguese empire”, since the nineteenth-century until decolonization, including research on the problem of labour, the intersections between internationalism and imperialism, the question of development or the topic of “colonial legacies”. This research has led to numerous publications, of single and collective authorship.
The creation of DPIP occurred in 2009, first with the approval at the various instances of UC, followed by the process of accreditation by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES) in March 2010 (File nº NCE/09/01387). The first edition of the programme began in 2010, the second in 2012, the third in 2015, the fourth in 2017 and the fifth is due in 2019.

For the second edition, a cooperation agreement with the University of Algarve was concluded, through the Odebrecht/Capistrano de Abreu Chair, aiming already at an internationalization process. In 2013, DPIP was granted the 2013 Gulbenkian Programme Qualifying the New Generations/Innovative Projects in Education of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Award. It provided funding for the beginning of DPIP’s internationalization, supporting institutional meetings of the consortium and teachers and students’ mobility. The latter benefitted from short-term scholarships for the development of their research projects in international contexts. As a consequence, the Universities of Algarve, Bologna, Paris Nanterre, Federal Fluminense and Eduardo Mondlane joined the third edition of the programme, in a Joint Supervised PhD regime.

In June 2018, the creation of the UNESCO Chair in Inter-cultural Dialogue in Heritages of Portuguese Influence [Patrimónios] was approved. Patrimónios has the DPIP project as cornerstone and its network of institutional partnerships is preserved, now with new members. Patrimónios will develop the area of projects of international cooperation, in which DPIP has increasingly been able to affirm its capacity, providing opportunities to its PhD students to exercise the skills acquired in the doctoral programme. 

"The PIP and the CES offer a stimulating academic environment, comprehensive in terms of the fields of knowledge and specialties covered, which promotes inter/transdisciplinary research. This allowed me to broaden my knowledge and analytical perspectives and to develop my project in a solid way."

André Caiado, all but dissertation (Portugal)

"The CES doctoral programme perfectly fulfils my expectations, considering the advanced learning, the deep analysis of the acquired knowledge and the premise of integrating research projects, factors that are relevant for the internationalization of my professional and academic process."

Marcelle Oliveira Dutra Neder, all but dissertation (Brazil)