Program Structure

TropiKMan is organized in 4 years (240ECTS), awarding the PhD title in Tropical Knowledge and Management, in 3 possible headings: Agribusiness and Governance for Development, Agrobiotechnology or Health Sciences.

In the 1st semester, students, to whom a coach is appointed, will take core interdisciplinary courses-REQUIRED COURSES (15ECTS), introducing the group to the DP context, and leveling their background, to be acquired in a modular structure, each module ending in with an evaluation. Still in the first semester, students will tailor their DP with the coaches’ assistance, attending 6ECTS from NOVA DOCTORAL SCHOOL and 9ECTS from SPECIALIZATION COURSES-SC, the choice of the later leading to the PhD specialization.

Tropikman structure


  1. African Development Successes: history and prospect (3ECTS)
  2. Science and Business for Development and North-South-South Triangular Cooperation (3ECTS)
  3. Neglected Tropical Diseases (3ECTS)
  4. Trends in Agronomics and Environment for Tropical Regions (3ECTS)
  5. Agribusiness Economics and Management (3ECTS)

3. Nova Doctoral School (2ECTS/course)

Complementary and transferable activities to support personal and professional development

  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Research ethics
  • Research skills development


We offer 3 different Specializations which of them have its own lists of courses suggested, and each accounting for 3 ECTS. Attendance of 9 ECTS from the intended specialization course’s list is mandatory to fulfil this part of the program. Beyond these, the students may attend additional specialization courses of their choice, which will be mentioned in the Diploma supplement.

All NDS courses and at least 3 courses from Specialization Courses must be attended. It is possible to attend more, that being mentioned in the Diploma supplement. To allow the students to tailor their academic diploma but guaranteeing the coherence of the courses, groups of SC are offered to be chosen by specialization:

  • Agribusiness and Governance for Development
  • Agrobiotechnology
  • Health Sciences

In the end of the 1st semester, coach and student will plan lab/group ROTATIONS (ROT) (20ECTS), starting at the 2nd semester. Heads of Research group from the IC will inform the EB of their availability to host ROTs and a list of available ROTs will be provided. Each student will visit at least 2 labs/groups during this period, for 2 months each. By the end of the 1st year, the student will choose a group and a topic for the PhD PROJECT.

The onset of the 2nd year coincides with the start of the THESIS (180ECTS), which will take 3 years, and will be examined annually by the Thesis Advisory Committee, to evaluate achievements, verify adequacy of the designed plan and remove bottlenecks. During the THESIS, students are urged to attend at least 12 seminars per year, attend and present their works in international conferences, and also publish their results in international journals with referees. Moreover, students must attend one NDS Annual Retreat(5ECTS), where they should present their PhD project progresses. On DP end, a dissertation will be elaborated and discussed by a jury. The whole DP should be attended in full time dedication.