Master Thesis Exchange Program in Neuroscience

The Neuroscience Program Fernando Lopes da Silva is a selective exchange Master thesis Program between University of Lisbon and University Medical Center UtrechtThe Program was initiated in honor of Professor Fernando Lopes da Silva, his outstanding accomplishments and his dedication to the academic community in the field of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.

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Prof. Fernando Lopes da Silva
“Through science we may reach real friendship"

Fernando Lopes da Silva (1935–2019) was one of the most influential neurophysiologists of our time. For half a century he enriched the neuroscience community with his research on the mechanisms generating electrophysiological brain activity. He was born in Lisbon and graduated in medicine from the University of Lisbon in 1959. In 1965 he moved to the Netherlands and received his PhD degree in 1970 from the University of Utrecht.

In 2000, he became visiting Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, and in 2005 was appointed Professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico with the task of coordinating teaching and research in Biomedical Engineering. In the last decades he often returned to Portugal to teach and was (proudly) involved in the supervision of many MSc and PhD students in both Portugal and the Netherlands.

Neuroscience Program

The Neuroscience Program Fernando Lopes da Silva is an Awarded Program for a student of academic excellence. Each year one student enrolled in the second year of the Master in Biomedical Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico will be selected for a 9-month Exchange Program (45 ECTs) at Registration and Imaging of Brain Systems (RIBS) groupin the Netherlands.

The award consists of a monetary prize that covers the cost of first 3 months of the exchange program awarded by the IST. The remaining 6 months are eligible for ERASMUS+ funding.

Research Topic 2022

To be anounced…

Who can apply?

Students in the 2nd year of Biomedical Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico who are interested in performing research in the selected topic.

How to apply?

Students must submit

  1. Letter of motivation highlighting why they are the best fit for this program,
  2. Transcript of records (BSc and MSc),
  3. CV,

to InternshipsRamsey @

The selection committee will award one student based on academic performance and motivation.

When to apply?

Applications open yearly on the 1st of July and close on the 30st of July.

Project title and abstract is disclosed beforehand on the website.


The Master thesis will be supervised by a PhDs/Postdoc at the receiving institution and by a Professor at the home institution. During this period the student will do a literature review, a technical internship  and the master thesis. In the end of the internship the student will submit three reports corresponding to a literature thesis, an internship and a master thesis. 

The Master thesis will be presented for the RIBS group (pre-defense), the examiner committee (defense) and during the Annual Meeting of Biomedical Engineering in Lisbon. The supervisor(s) and examiners will attend the defense in person or online. The output reports will be jointly assessed by the examiner committee (as designated by the program coordinator at the home-institution) and supervisor(s) at receiving institution. The student will be graded on a scale from 0 to 20.


For more information about the Program please contact Mariana Branco at m.pedrosobranco @


Bioengineering Department IST

The Bioengineering department at IST focuses on the core of Health Sciences, bridging Biology, Engineering and Medicine.

The Master in Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary course that addresses typical topics of medicine and biology in conjunction with the traditional subjects of engineering and computer science.

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Registration and Imaging of Brain Systems

The RIBS is a group of researchers who unravel the mysteries of the brain on the areas of epilepsy, tumor and sensorimotor paralysis, using functional MRI and electrocorticography.

In the RIBS group all researchers have their home department (neurology, neurosurgery, radiology), but use the same facilities to register, process and manipulate the neural data.

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Program Coordinators

Prof. João Sanches – IST

Dr. Mariana Branco – UMC Utrecht

Selection committee

Prof. João Sanches – IST

Prof. Patrícia Figueiredo – IST

Prof. Nick Ramsey – UMC Utrecht

Dr. Mariana Branco – UMC Utrecht