“la Caixa” Doctoral Fellowships INPhINIT – INCOMING at IBEC

This call is currently closed


The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT “la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers—of any nationality—who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Spanish or Portuguese territory. Sponsored by ”la Caixa” Foundation, it is aimed at supporting the best scientific talent and fostering innovative and high-quality research in Spain and Portugal by recruiting outstanding international students and offering them an attractive and competitive environment for conducting research of excellence.

35 PhD fellowships for early-stage researchers of any nationality to pursue their PhD studies in research centres accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence Severo Ochoa, María de Maeztu or Health Institute Carlos III and Portuguese units accredited as “excellent” or “exceptional” according to the evaluation of the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia. This frame is addressed exclusively to PhD research projects on STEM disciplines: life sciences and health, experimental sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

The call for applications is intended for the pursuit of a doctoral degree in the fields of technology, engineering, physics, mathematics, life and health sciences and is aimed at individuals who fulfil the requirements to be admitted into a doctoral degree programme, provided that they also fulfil the mobility requirements and that they have not previously enrolled in the doctoral studies applied for.

Download complete information about the programme here.

IBEC is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (in charge of research and innovation policy in Spain), which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.

IBEC has also received the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research’ seal from the European Commission, in recognition of its commitment to continuously improving its HR policies in line with The European Charter of Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

IBEC aims to train the next generation of researchers in bioengineering for future medicine, regenerative therapies and active ageing.

Thanks to IBEC’s interdisciplinarity, the most recent technical and technological approaches developed for research in biology and the biomedical sciences are available. Young researchers can acquire experience and practical training day-to-day in both the classical approaches and new methodologies in imaging techniques, nanomaterials technology, nanofabrication, biosensors, biosignal interpretation, lab-on-a-chip approaches, and many more.

”la Caixa” is a non-profit entity whose activity in education is based on the principle of promoting equal access of citizens to quality qualifications and specializations at national and international levels.

Over the years, thousands of students have advanced their training thanks to a ”la Caixa” Foundation fellowship, enabling them to undertake postgraduate studies in Spain and abroad.

Open projects

Open PhD positions at IBEC

Please feel free to contact our group leaders. They will happy to answer your questions.


Project: Determining Biofilm Structure by Deep Mutagenesis

Group: Protein phase transitions in health and disease and Bacterial infections: antimicrobial therapies.
Group leader: Benedetta Bolognesi (bbolognesi@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Eduard Torrents (etorrents@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Aptamer-based inhibition of vesicle trafficking as a new therapeutic strategy against malaria.

Group: Nanomalaria and Targeted therapeutics and nanodevices
Group leader: Xavier Fernandez-Busquets (xfernandez@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Silvia Muro (smuro@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Membrane biophysics to understand rare Lysosomal Storage Disorder

Group: Nanoprobes and nanoswitches and Targeted therapeutics and nanodevices
Group leader: Marina I. Giannotti (migiannotti@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Silvia Muro (smuro@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Transcranial photopharmacological modulation of excitatory-inhibitory unbalance in neurodevelopmental diseases.

Group: Nanoprobes and nanoswitches and Molecular and cellular neurobiotechnology
Group leader: Pau Gorostiza (pgorostiza@ibecbarcelona.eu) and José Antonio del Rio (jadelrio@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Development of tensorial signal processing and machine learning tools tailored to the analysis of urine metabolomics: Application to colorectal cancer screening.

Group: Signal and information processing for sensing systems
Group leader: Santiago Marco (smarco@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Understanding and treating pulmonary biomechanical alterations in Niemann-Pick disease.

Group: Targeted therapeutics and nanodevices and Respiratory, cardiovascular and renal pathobiology and bioengineering
Group leader: Silvia Muro (smuro@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Ramón Ferrer(rfarre@ub.edu)

Project: In vitro model of central nervous barriers and neuro muscular circuit to mimic spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Group: Nanobioengineering
Group leader: Josep Samitier (jsamitier@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Beyond Antibiotics: New Therapeutic Approaches for Bacterial Infections.

Group: Bacterial infections: antimicrobial therapies and Nanoscale bioelectrical characterization.
Group leader: Eduard Torrents (etorrents@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Gabriel Gomila (ggomila@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Nuclear mechanotransduction in intestinal organoids

Group: Integrative cell and tissue dynamics and Cellular and molecular mechanobiology
Group leader: Xavier Trepat (xtrepat@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Pere Roca-Cusachs (proca@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Analysis, modeling and visualization of brain physiological data using the multi-scale network platform BrainX3: a novel computational medicine tool for the diagnostics, prognostics and intervention of neurological disorder.

Group: Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS)
Group leader: Paul Verschure (pverschure@ibecbarcelona.eu)


Life at IBEC

Living with us: Training, mobility and social activities

IBEC encourages its PhD students to participate in various activities, such as workshops,
discussions and outreach events, in order to develop themselves as international researchers.

IBEC Seminars and PhD Discussions

IBEC provides Seminars with top names in bioengineering and nanomedicine from all over the world in order to offer the opportunity to discuss and network the developments.

At the same time IBEC provides PhD discussions, Training for specially devoted for PhD and early postdocs such workshops to prepare the thesis and presentation skills.

IBEC also offers different courses to give the opportunity to learn new skills such a leadership communication, time management, and language skills. The institute also holds an annual symposium on a different scientific theme, as well as hosting and organizing several other project-based or general scientific meetings and workshops throughout the year.

Practical training

Thanks to IBEC’s interdisciplinarity, the most recent technical and technological approaches developed for research in biology and the biomedical sciences are available at the institute. PhD students can acquire experience and practical training in both the classical approaches and new methodologies in imaging techniques, nanomaterials technology, nanofabrication, biosensors, biosignal interpretation, lab-on-a-chip approaches, and many more.

Complementary skills training

Besides the mandatory doctoral courses offered by the universities, IBEC offers several training courses specifically devoted to PhD students and early postdocs, covering such topics as Scientific writing, Effective communication, Leadership, Guidance for women in their research, How to publish in high ranking journals, Preparing a PhD thesis, Presentation skills in English, Career development, Diversity and cross-cultural awareness in research, Entrepreneurship or Technology transfer.

All courses in complementary and transferrable skills are designed to enhance future employability and career progress.

Outreach activities

As part of its mission, IBEC aims to inform society about the research being carried by its scientists in bioengineering and nanomedicine, both to help citizens understand the importance of research and make informed decisions, and to encourage young people to consider scientific careers.

To do this, the institute organizes or takes part in a range of outreach activities throughout the year. IBEC’s PhD students are required to volunteer for these activities, as they offer the perfect opportunity to gain experience in explaining your research in terms that a lay audience can understand, a skill that is essential for your career in areas such as achieving funding for projects.

IBEC’s outreach activities include group visits from schools, universities and other organizations, one-on-one mentoring, workshops for teachers, science fairs and festivals, talks in public spaces, Open Doors days, and many more.

Research Placements

As part of their training, young researchers are encouraged to take up research placements in other centres. Thanks to these stays, students benefit from intense transnational and multidisciplinary mobility, as well as the expertise and facilities of the best institutions worldwide. Such mobility provides them with multicultural skills, including languages, and proves highly beneficial in crossing
cultural borders and enhancing their future employability in a globalised job market.

Placements take place in any of the many institutions with which our researchers collaborate, including but not restricted to centres linked to IBEC by strategic research agreements or funded exchange programmes such as Marie Curie or the Networks of Excellence. These stays have the added value of enabling PhD students to obtain an international PhD, a recognised distinction which significantly improves their chances of a successful career.

IBEC PhD Students’ Committee

The PhD Students’ Committee is a group of highly motivated representatives of different research groups at IBEC, mainly graduate students, that work voluntarily with two major aims: to be the voice of the PhD students inside the institute, and to improve the PhD experience. The Committee works jointly with IBEC’s support service units to organize workshops, courses and seminars in response to the PhD community’s needs and requests. Social and sports activities where students can relax and mingle with others, such as bowling, tennis table and beach volley, are held frequently too. The representatives of the Committee convene regularly with HR and the Directorate to organize all these activities, as well as to pass on ideas and suggestions from the young IBEC community.



The INPhINIT programme will be open to Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) of all nationalities. In order to be accepted, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Experience: At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Studies pursued: At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:- To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.- To have completed a degree in university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.
  • Geographic mobility: For candidates applying to Spanish centres or units: Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.
  • Level of English: Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).
  • Complete applications: Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.


How to apply

To apply for an INPhINIT fellowship, click here to create your personal account and fill in the on-line “la Caixa” application form.

If you have any further questions please contact phd@ibecbarcelona.eu.

IBEC is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission. Thus, there are no restrictions of citizenship or gender and candidates with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklowdowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713673



Useful dates

No projects or additional documentation can be presented outside the deadlines established in the rules of the call for applications.


4 February 2021: Deadline for submitting applications.
18 February 2021: Deadline for submitting the language certificate.
22 April 2021: Notification of the shortlist results and arrangement of interviews.
25, 26 and 27 May 2021: Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.
7 June 2021: Communication of the final result.
From 7 to 30 June 2021: Matching research centre – fellow.


If you have any further questions, or if there are particular issues you’d like to discuss regarding your potential PhD project, please contact phd@ibecbarcelona.eu

For details of the grant, applications and selection criteria process, and other general questions, please visit the INPhINIT programme website.