Susana Varela Flor obtained her PhD in History (Early Modern Art) from the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa for a dissertation entitled "Aurum Reginae or Queen-Gold”: a Iconografia de D. Catarina de Bragança entre Portugal e Inglaterra de Seiscentos" in 2010.
Between 2006 and 2012 she coordinated the Rede Temática em Estudos de Azulejaria e Cerâmica João Miguel dos Santos Simões and was responsible for inventorying Santos Simões’s collection and supervising its transfer to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo. She was a member of the scientific committee of a 2007 exhibition commemorating the centenary of João Miguel dos Santos Simões’s birth. In 2012-2015 she was the coordinator of the "DigiTile Library: Tiles and Ceramic online" project (PTDC/EAT-EAT/117315/2010), funded by Portuguese national funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC).
She is currently an associate researcher of the Instituto de História da Arte da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a collaborator of the Instituto HERCULES. It is in these two institutions that she is conducting her post-doctoral project, entitled O Retrato Barroco em Portugal (1612-1706): história, arte e laboratório (SFRH/BPD/101741/2014) and sponsored by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia with funding from the European Social Fund and from national funds of the Ministério da Educação e Ciência.