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Programme description

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  • Descripción del programa


    The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT ”la Caixa” Foundation 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.

    This programme is divided into two different frames:

    • Doctorate INPhINIT Incoming: 35 PhD fellowships for researchers willing to carry out their PhD project 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” according to the evaluation of the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia.

      This frame is addressed exclusively to STEM disciplines: life sciences and health, experimental sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

      For doing their research in Spanish institutions, candidates must have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for less than 12 months in the last 3 years while for Portuguese institutions, candidates must have resided in Portugal for less than 12 months in the last 3 years.

    • Doctorate INPhINIT Retaining: 30 PhD fellowships for researchers willing to carry out their PhD project in any research domain and any university or research center in Spain or Portugal.

      Candidates must have resided or carried out their main activity in the same country, either Spain, or Portugal, more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

    The doctoral INPhINIT fellowships offer a highly competitive salary and complementary opportunities for training on transferrable skills (in annual training sessions), temporary stays in industry, incentives upon completion of the thesis, among other elements that make these fellowships some of the most attractive and complete in Europe.

What we offer

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    Doctoral INPhINIT fellows enjoy a 3-year contract under the Spanish or Portuguese labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security provisions in a stimulating research training environment, with access to appropriate equipment, facilities and opportunities.


    Fellows have a PhD supervisor appointed by the research centre or university, responsible for the research project. Fellows must report on their work progress periodically, detailing their key achievements and future goals for each of the sections included in a career development plan, plus information about any ethical issues. These reports must be signed by both the student and supervisor.


    In addition to the interdisciplinary training activities offered by the host organisation, the Doctoral INPhINIT fellowship programme sets up a comprehensive complementary skills training scheme that includes sessions on:

    • Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, aimed at familiarising fellows with issues such as intellectual property, licensing and spin-outs, entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer.

    • Professional and Career Development, where fellows will consider their supervisory relationship, the importance of their professional development, self-management and planning. Particular attention will be given to ethical values and research integrity, and the wider implications and impact of their research.

    Three sessions will be held: at the start of the fellowship, during the second year, and during the third year. Each session will last between 3 and 5 days, and attendance is required for all fellows from the same call. ”la Caixa” Foundation will cover all costs for these sessions, as well as the fellows’ travel and accommodation expenses.


    High-quality academic and industrial secondments are offered both by the host institutions and the ”la Caixa” Foundation to enhance PhD fellows’ future career opportunities in both academia and industry. They may choose among national and international partners.


    All the Fellows can request, if they want to, the assignment of accompanying figures during the fellowship period:

    • In a first phase, to provide support in the practical aspects related to the arrival at their destination centre.

    • In a more advanced phase, to provide guidance in their professional career.


    PhD fellows will take part in some of the several initiatives that the ”la Caixa” Foundation launches to bring science to the whole society. For further information about these initiatives click Science and Society.


    Scientific conferences and events organised by the host institutions will help researchers to establish contacts, build new ties and initiate collaborations with both industry and academia, and to potentiate their career opportunities as independent researchers. In addition, fellows will be invited to participate to the many social activities promoted by ”la Caixa” Foundation Fellows' Association.

Develop your scientific career in Spain and Portugal

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  • Develop your scientific career in Spain and Portugal


    Every year thousands of students decide to attend one of the many outstanding postgraduate programmes offered by Spanish and Portuguese universities and research centres. Spain and Portugal both offer the opportunity to live a truly enriching experience due to their unique combination of an excellent research ecosystem and attractive lifestyle.

    Spanish and Portuguese university systems join the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). This makes Spain and Portugal attractive and accessible destinations for PhD students seeking high-quality qualifications with international recognition.

    In order to start a doctoral degree in Spain or Portugal, students have to be admitted and enrolled on a doctoral programme involving a research project.

    During the doctorate, fellows develop an individual research project, undertake training activities on complementary skills and attend seminars and conferences. The doctoral period ends with the preparation and defense of the doctoral thesis. Spanish and Portuguese doctoral programmes are designed to be accessible, with teaching and training in English, and provide support for students seeking to improve or acquire Spanish or Portuguese language skills.

    Not only education but culture and lifestyle are strong motivations for a PhD candidate to choose Spain or Portugal as the country to live in for the next years: with a mild climate, delicious cuisine and a long history, Spain and Portugal are among the most attractive destinations in the world.

    Within this framework, the Doctoral INPhINIT Fellowship Programme will contribute towards internationalising the research systems of both countries by attracting international talent through the Incoming subprogramme. Likewise, it will retain talent through the Retaining subprogramme.

    Furthermore, Spain and Portugal participate in the Euraxess initiative, which provides support for researchers and their families upon their arrival to our country. The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) is the national coordinator for this initiative and brings together approximately 100 local support services and centres for researchers coming from outside Spain. In addition, every two years, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) publishes a comprehensive guide for foreign researchers with current information on the job market, everyday life and specific characteristics of Spain, as well as on the required procedures to settle in the country.

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Ethical principles

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  • Ethical evaluation precedure


    Research conducted within the framework of the Doctoral INPhINIT Fellowsip programme must comply with the ethical principles of the EU and national and international legislation applicable in this field, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights (in Spanish only).

    Applications that may raise ethical issues will be sent to the Ethics Committee to check that the proposals do not go against fundamental ethical principles or relevant safety procedures.

  • Responsable research and innovation


    Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a principle promoted by the European Commission and integrated into the Horizon 2020 programme to reconsider the role of science and innovation in society. ”la Caixa” Foundation promotes this concept through its participation in European projects aimed at disseminating RRI, such as the case of RRI Tools or to implement RRI in different contexts— HEIRRI for higher education institutions and COMPASS for the industry. The interdisciplinary training programme that ”la Caixa” Foundation offers to PhD fellows will focus on, among other things, topics about how to align research with the values and needs of society, paying particular attention to integrity in research and the benefits of a professional commitment to the public in the research process.

  • Open science


    Open Science is a priority for Horizon 2020 to open up all stages of the research life cycle. It reflects the current evolution of the way of researching and organising science, wherein the use of new tools and workflows for transparency, reproducibility, dissemination and transfer of knowledge are promoted. It encompasses concepts such as open access to scientific publications and research data, use of new scientific systems and big data, promotion of citizen science and the new ethical aspects of research. These concepts are also part of the training programme for PhD fellows, which will enable them to gain knowledge and skills to implement the new way of doing research and organising science, helping them position themselves at the forefront of a new generation of researchers.

    In line with European initiatives, ”la Caixa” Foundation will ensure that the results of research are published as open access whenever possible and as soon as possible, whether in institutional repositories of the universities or research centres hosting the fellows or in thematic repositories of the relevant disciplines. Better dissemination of these results will make research accessible, readable and replicable, at the same time avoiding duplication of efforts and improving opportunities for multidisciplinary, inter-institutional and intersectoral research.

  • This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No713673.
    The co-funded part of the programme runs from 01/10/2016 to 30/09/2021 and finances the researchers recruited under Call 2017 and 2018