R&D Centres, Poles and Nuclei



CERNAS – Centre for Studies in Natural Resources, Environment and Society is a research unit of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, recognized by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), which operates in the fields of Agricultural Sciences, Food Science and Engineering, Environment and Society. It is the only research centre in the Central Region of the country that develops research in the strategic areas of agriculture, agro-industry, forestry and rural development. It is structured in three territorial poles: Coimbra (based in the IPC Agricultural School), Castelo Branco (based in the IPCB Agricultural School) and Viseu (based in the IPV Agricultural School and School of Technology and Management).


CITUR – Centre for Research, Development and Innovation in Tourism is a research and development unit of the national higher education polytechnic subsystem, recognized by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and of which the IPC is an integral part. Its main research areas are: tourism economy and management, tourism in terms of hospitality and restaurants, tourism in terms of territory and destinations, planning and management of tourism products and animation, and tourism in terms of culture, society and language. CiTUR Coimbra is based in the School of Education of the IPC and integrates researchers associated with the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), Polytechnic Institute of Porto (IPP) and Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC).



The CDPH – Human Potential Development Centre is a research unit of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra which aims to promote fundamental and applied research in the field of human potential development. It is based in the School of Education of the IPC and its main research lines are: social and behavioural sciences, psychology, sociology, political science and citizenship, communication sciences and journalism, management and administration and organizational behaviour.


The CEF – Centre for Functional Ecology Unit at IPC focuses its research in the area of forest ecology, including all aspects related to the characterization and functioning of ecosystems called woody plants, whether native or exotic, and the biotic and abiotic factors that interact with these ecosystems. This pole develops its activity in the School of Agriculture of Coimbra.



The scientific research centres of the IPC are integrated in the Centre for the Development of Human Potential (CDPH):

  • NIEFI – Nucleus for Research in Education, Training and Intervention
  • NICSH – Social and Human Sciences Research Unit
  • ASSERT/UNICID – Unit for Applied Research in Sports Sciences