IBEC PhD FPI fellowships associated with the MCIN funded projects «Generación del Conocimiento»

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by Ministry of Science and Innovation, which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.

IBEC was established in 2005 by the Ministries of Innovation, Universities and Enterprises and Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Today, IBEC’s relationship with the UB and UPC researchers continues to operate under a framework agreement signed in 2008.

With the aim to train the next generation of experts in bioengineering, IBEC offers in this call 5 PhD fellowships associated to the research projects Generación de Conocimiento, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.



The PhD fellowships offer a 4-year predoctoral contract with the following gross annual salary:

  • 19.500 € for the 1st year and 2nd year
  • 22.500 € for the 3rd year
  • 24.500€ for the 4th year

Moreover, 6.860€ are also offered for mobility and training, including the university enrolment fees, during the 4-year period. Indemnities will be paid at the end of the labour contract.

Predoctoral researchers will have to enrol in a university of their choice (mainly University of Barcelona-UB; Polytechnic University of Catalonia-UPC and University Pompeu Fabra-UPF). IBEC doesn’t grant the doctorate degree, instead, it provides the experimental experience you need to complete your PhD. The awarding body of your PhD will be the University at which you are enrolled as a doctoral student.

University enrolment fees will be covered by the fellowship. PhDs will provide an annual report from the Doctoral School confirming the positive scientific progress related to the PhD thesis carried out during the year. PhDs who finish and defend their PhD thesis before the end of the 4-year period of the fellowship will be able to sign a up to 1-year postdoctoral contract (POP). The aim of this contract is to provide an orientation period to consolidate the knowledge acquired during the PhD thesis and start looking for postdoctoral opportunities, including those through other competitive fellowships. The total duration of the PhD and postdoc contract cannot exceed 4 years under no circumstance.

The expected initial date is between December 1st 2023 and January 1st 2024 contract (to be confirmed, depending on the publication date of the final resolution of the call Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022), when a predoctoral contract will be issued , once they have been admitted on a Doctoral Programme.

Other general conditions:

Gross salaries provide full social security coverage, which includes health and accident insurance, pension and unemployment benefits. Working conditions at IBEC also include:

  • Yearly 23 working days of paid holidays
  • 9 leave days for personal matters
  • Measures to reconcile work and family life, such as:
    • Parental leave (16 weeks)
    • Leave for breastfeeding
    • Shorter hours for guardianship or leave to care for children and relatives
  • Flexible schedule working hours
  • Induction programme to facilitate incorporation at IBEC
  • Additional support is provided for foreigners to obtain Visa-working permit and to install in Barcelona

IBEC provides Training and PhD discussions specially devoted for PhDs to prepare the thesis and presentation skills. IBEC also 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. IBEC also offers different courses to give the opportunity to learn new skills related to leadership, communication, time management, project management, wellbeing and language skills, among others. 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.

As part of the PhD fellowship, PhD’s are encouraged to take up research placements in other centers. Thanks to these stay, young researchers benefit from transnational and multidisciplinary mobility and have the added value of enabling PhDs to obtain an international PhD, a recognized distinction which significantly improves their chances of a successful career.

All PhDs should commit themselves to participate in outreach and education activities.

In order to enhance and acknowledge the excellence of the training program developed for IBEC’s PhD fellows, we issue a Doctoral Certificate of Excellence funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa award. This certificate is awarded to those fellows who meet the quality requirements of the institute. Additionally, all candidates that received a Doctoral Certificate of Excellence will be eligible for a Doctoral Award. The awardees will receive a prize in an award ceremony at the IBEC Symposium.

IBEC is committed to awareness of diversity and gender equality in science and society. This follows our mission to carry out interdisciplinary research at the highest international quality level which, by creating knowledge, help to improve health and quality of live, and generate wealth.


Highly qualified researchers of all nationalities willing to join a stimulating, interdisciplinary research and high-quality scientific environment are welcome to apply.

The following requirements are common to the fellowships available:

  • Candidates should be ready to enter an official doctoral programme on December 2023 (under Spanish Law). By this time, they must have obtained a university degree and a master’s degree; or must hold an official university qualification from a country of the European Higher Education Area with a minimum of 300 ECTS of official university studies, of which at least 60 are at master’s level. Candidates who expect to be awarded with such degrees by October 2023 are eligible to apply.
  • Candidates must have a strong commitment to scientific research and an excellent academic record.
  • Candidates must have good working knowledge of English.
  • Candidates must not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates must not have held a PhD contract exceeding twelve months by the beginning of the fellowship (December 2023 to January 2024).


The following research projects offered in this call are:

Project: High-throughput autonomous multiparametric Scanning Force Microscope for applications in life sciences and medicine

Project: Development of inhibitory photoswitchable drugs and noninvasive illumination methods for neuromodulation and studies of neural circuits

Project: Understanding the regulatory role of ECM-nucleus force transmission in mechanotransduction

Project: Predatory Synthetic Cells: a quasi-living therapeutic technology to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Project: Fast superstructural imaging of misfolded proteins dynamic in liquid water


From September 14th to October 15th 2023 an online application form will be available through the IBEC dedicated site

You will be required to provide the following information in your application:

  • Personal data
  • A scan of your degree and Certified Academic Record, showing grades obtained (degree and masters). It should include the grades obtained and the date of obtention for each individual subject. If these are not in Catalan, Spanish or English, applicants should attach a translation in one of these languages.[1]
  • Education, training and research experience.
  • Research outputs, including publications, Presentations in conferences, Awards/fellowships
  • Scientific and technical skills acquired during your academic and research track
  • Cover letter, including motivation for applying and adequacy to the group and IBEC
  • Up to 2 contacts from lecturers or researchers with whom you have studied or worked and who can judge your potential as a PhD student.
  • Only those applications submitted before the deadline at IBEC’s online application form and provided with all the required information and documents will be evaluated.
  • Once the application is submitted, candidate will automatically receive an acknowledgment of receipt.

[1] For the future enrolment in the Doctoral program, Official University only accepts an official translation of educational certificates. The verification of an equivalent level of studies will be made by the university when the admission to the PhD Programme procedure starts. Should this verification not be successful, the fellowship would be withdrawn.


IBEC holds the HR Excellence in Research Award in recognition of our ongoing commitment. The recognition by the European Commission has been renewed several times, last one in February 2022.

Our Recruitment and Selection Policy is based on the OTM Strategy (Open, Transparent and Merit-based recruitment)  and accept applications without distinction on any grounds. Candidates with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Our commitment to OTM-R principles can also be found in our Gender and Diversity plan. In line with the principles defined in the OTM-R procedure, selection processes are governed by the following principles:

  • Transparency throughout the whole process
  • Equal opportunities in the selection and hiring of personnel
  • Non-discrimination on grounds of sex, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinions or social and economic condition
  • Merit based evaluation
  • Confidentiality as the cornerstone of the selection process
  • Principle of public dissemination of the selection processes, which must also be internationally comparable

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee led by the corresponding IBEC Principal Investigator of the Research Group. Candidates will be evaluated according to the following criteria, set by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation:

Academic and professional career of the candidate0-50
Scientific and technological contributions0-45
Mobility and internationalization0-5
Adequacy of the candidate to the research activities to develop0-50


  • September 14th, 2023: Launch of the call.
  • October 15th, 2023: Deadline for submission of applications.
  • October 16th – November 13th, 2023: Evaluation of the candidates: CVs and online interviews.
  • November 16th, 2023: Communication of the results: the acceptance letters will be sent to the shortlisted candidates. Applicants who have not been successful but have received a positive evaluation will be put on a waiting list for future positions in case a final candidate withdraw the offer.
  • As of December 1st, 2023: Start of the predoctoral contract (to be confirmed, based on the resolution of the call Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation).

Download complete information about the programme here.

If you have any further questions about PhD fellowships, or if there are particular issues you’d like to discuss regarding your application, please contact

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