Governance is established by the Directory Board which includes the Programme Committee, the coordinators of the participating institutions, and a maximum of three experts selected from academic and cultural institutions. The chair of the Directory Board will be the Programme Director (PD), Maria João Melo (REQUIMTE), who is assisted by two Vice-Directors: Márcia Vilarigues (VICARTE) and Conceição Casanova (IICT).

The Programme Committee includes the PD, the two vice-directors as well as members appointed by the President of the DCR and the PD: Leslie Carlyle (REQUIMTE), Ana Ramos (REQUIMTE), Rita Macedo (IHA), M. Fátima Araújo (IST/ITN), and Adelaide Miranda (IEM).

The Directory Board is assisted by two other committees: the Selection Committee and the Advisory Committee. Each year a new Selection Committee is formed, integrating PC members as well as external experts. The composition of the SC is proposed by the Director and endorsed by a vote by the Programme Committee.

To conform to Portuguese legislation, each PhD student has an Advisory Committee, consisting of the supervisor and co-supervisors as well as at least 2 other professors or experts appointed by the PC; these external examiners are selected from a pool of invited national and international experts. To date external examiners have included experts from Italy, the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, The USA, as well as Portugal.

At the end of the candidates’ first year, they will be evaluated on a scale of 1-20 based on a discussion of the candidate’s presentation and report covering their progress on their research topic. Their grade will be decided by consultation with the external AC members, the internal AC members and the candidates’ supervisors. The grade achieved is applied to the curricular units The Preparation of the dissertation project and Research seminars.  Should disagreement arise the Director will have the final decision on the grade (taking into consideration the opinions of the AC members and the supervisors).

In years two and three there is no formal grading of the candidates’ performances; the CA will review annually the student’s progress toward degree. Failure to demonstrate progress may result in termination of candidacy; such terminations will be done in consultation with the Directory Board, the PD and the supervisors. At the end of the 4th year, the candidate’s thesis will be defended in front of a jury.