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The “Instituto de Ciências da Terra” (ICT), (English name: Institute of Earth Sciences) is a new research unit that resulted from the merger of the former CGE and CGUP, and is organized in 3 poles located at the Universities of Évora, Minho (Braga), and Porto. It will be headed by a Director elected by a Scientific Council composed of all team members, according to the “Regulation of the ICT” to be approved shortly. The Scientific Council will also elect a Steering Committee to work together with the Director in the ICT management.
The scientific activity is organized into 4 research groups:
(I) Atmosphere and Climate;
(II) Energy and Environment;
(III) Geodynamics, Georesources and Geological Materials;
(IV) Geoheritage and Geosciences Education.
Team members were selected for having «4 indicators in the last 3 years», a criterion which was stricter than that of FCT. The team aims at enhancing cooperation and complimentarity, and to further improve the already high performances achieved by the “old” units.
Each group is composed of researchers of the different poles, forming solid and productive research teams. Each researcher may be included in 2 research groups although more than 50% of the activity must be devoted to one group. The eventual split of the activity by 2 groups though not compulsory is sought to foster inter-group cooperation and facilitate the development of interdisciplinary projects.

Finally, the four groups cover the major topics of Earth Sciences, therefore justifying the name given to the new unit. Beyond the traditional areas of Earth Sciences, ICT will pay particular attention to geo-resources: geological materials and environmental energies (solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, fossil), and also to environmental impacts – namely on water and the water cycle, seismic hazards, geoheritage, and education for a sustainable Earth. ICT researchers are also committed with science outreach and to the promotion of scientific literacy of the society.