It is the largest Portuguese university by number of enrolled students and has one of the most noted research outputs in Portugal. It is considered one of the 100 best Universities in Europe.
R&D activities at the University of Porto have significantly expanded over the last years, mainly as a result of academic qualification and increased funding of R&D centers and concession of research grants through competitive programs with external independent evaluation by international peer review committees. Although R&D centers vary noticeably in dimension, aims and structure — from small units to large centers, conducting specialized or interdisciplinary work, faculty integrated or independent — they are present in almost every field of knowledge showing a shared vision towards a modern research-oriented university.
Many of these centers are interface institutions whose aim is the development of links of cooperation between the University and external entities such as enterprises or governmental organizations. Among the most recognized research centers of the university are IBMC – Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular (Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology), IPATIMUP – Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto (Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto) and INESC-Porto – Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (Research Institute of Computer Systems).