“la Caixa” Doctoral Fellowships INPhINIT – INCOMING at IBEC

Closed for applications —-


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 fellowships for early-stage researchers of any nationality to pursue their PhD studies in the best Spanish and Portuguese research centres and units with excellence distinction. 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.


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: Elucidating the transport of misfolded proteins across the blood brain barrier

GroupMolecular Bionics  and Molecular and cellular neurobiotechnology
Group leader: Giuseppe Battaglia (gbattaglia@ibecbarcelona.eu)  and José Antonio del Rio (jadelrio@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Specific targeting of parasites and bacteria with DNA aptamers

Group: Nanomalaria and Bacterial infections: antimicrobial therapies
Group leader: Xavier Fernàndez-Busquets (jfernandez@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Eduard Torrents (etorrents@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Advanced biomedical signal processing techniques to investigate neurological disorders, sleep quality and neurorehabilitation outcome in patients with spinal cord injury

GroupBiomedical signal processing and interpretation
Group leader: Raimon Jané (rjane@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Real-time metabolic analysis of 3D cell cultures using organ-on-a-chip devices and nuclear magnetic resonance

Group: Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine
Group leader: Irene Marco (imarco@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Human skeletal muscle organoids to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutics in personalized medicine for sporadic inclusion body myositis

GroupBiosensors for bioengineering
Group leader: Javier Ramon Azcon ( jramon@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Quasi-living therapeutics: biomimetic vesicles for bacterial endocytosis

Group Rodriguez-Emmenegger Lab and Nanoprobes and nanoswitches
Group leader: César Rodriguez-Emmenegger (rodriguez@dwi.rwth-aachen) and Marina I. Giannotti (migiannotti@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Engineering hybrid robotics systems by 3D Bioprinting skeletal muscle cells

GroupSmart nano-bio-devices and Biosensors for bioengineering
Group leader: Samuel Sanchez (ssanchez@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Javier Ramón Azcón (jramon@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Design and characterisation of nanorobots to probe brain metabolism

GroupSmart nano-bio-devices
Group leader: Samuel Sánchez (ssanchez@ibecbarcelona.eu)

Project: Beyond Antibiotics: New Therapeutic Approaches for Bacterial Infections

GroupBacterial 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) / Pere Roca-Cusachs (proca@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:

  • Research experience: Candidates must be in the first four years of their research career and must not have previously obtained a PhD degree or be in a position to apply for one.
  • Academic records: Applicants must hold a higher education degree that makes them eligible to enrol in a doctoral programme in Spain/Portugal when starting at their host institutions. The verification of the level of studies equivalent to those mentioned above will be carried out by the host university during the admission procedure.
  • Mobility: Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain/Portugal for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the deadline for applications.
  • Level of English: Candidates must accredit an advanced level of English (B2 or higher).




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.

27 January 2022. Deadline for submitting applications.
10 February 2022. Deadline for submitting the language certificate.
11 April 2022. Notification of the shortlist results and arrangement of interviews.
24, 25 and 26 May 2022. Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.
8 June 2022. Communication of the final results.
From 8 to 30 June 2022. Matching host institution – 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.