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Talent attraction and recruiting

The objectives of the talent attraction and recruiting actions are: To improve our current training programs, both for Early Stage Researchers and for postdoc and senior researchers To attract scientific talent, in all the stages of the scientific career To educate, support and guide the young researchers through their first years of research live And to boost our internationalization. The targets of the actions are especially focused on Master students, PhD and postdoc fellows, but also on our senior and visiting researchers. In total, since our Severo Ochoa (since 2016 and up to 2020), the competitive recruitment has been: 67 Master Students (10 in 2020: JAE and SO, 26 other) 91 PhD Researchers (16 in 2020) 43 Postdoctoral Fellows (14 in 2020) 12 Tenured Scientists (3 in 2020) 12 Laboratory Technicians (3 in 2020) 14 Research Support Staff (Maintenance, Administration, Project Managing, Communication and Technology Transfer)

Tools & Actions

Master students actions

1 - Severo Ochoa Master internships

We have created a Master’s students call, which was first launched in 2016 in collaboration with the CSIC, so that Master students could complete their Master’s final research project in one of our ICMAB research groups. In 2016 we granted 7 scholarships for 3 months and 3,000 € each, in 2017, 7 scholarships for 5 months and 5,000 € each, and in 2018 we granted 7 more scholarships for 5 months and 5,000 € each, and 5 in 2020. A total of 26 scholarships for Master students have been granted since we started the Severo Ochoa period.

2- CSIC “JAE Intro” Introduction to Research Fellowships

The CSIC offers the JAE Intro scholarships for those undergraduate students finishing their bachelor studies and to Master students who are starting or finishing their Master. The scholarships can go from 5 months to 9 months and are remunerated (3,000 € during the first 5 months, and 3,000 € more for the extended 4 months more). The call is for university students with an excellent academic record. Students typically carry out their university research projects with these fellowships, and after that some of them ask for other fellowships to continue their research with us or in other research centers or universities. At the ICMAB, we had 2 JAE Intro fellows in 2016, 1 in 2017, 3 in 2018, 4 in 2019 and 5 in 2020. In total, since the beginning of the Severo Ochoa Period, we had15 JAE Intro fellows who started their research with us.

3 – University of Barcelona Careers Fair (Fira d’Empreses)

In 2020, the University of Barcelona Careers Fair (Fira d'Empreses) was cancelled, due to the Covid pandemic regulations. At ICMAB we have participated in the fair since 2017, and in 2021 we participated again (in an online format). Over 100 companies and research institutes participate in the fair and can interact with students taking the first steps towards a career in science. A good opportunity to explain to the students our PhD program and opportunities to carry out research with us in the fields of materials for energy, electronics and nanomedicine.

4 – MEMEnginy, UAB Engineering School Fair

In 2020 the MEMenginy UAB was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic regulations. We participated in this event on 2019, and we will do so in 2021 to. It is an event to show to engineering students the possibilities of carrying out research with us in the field of materials for energy (superconducting materials, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, laser techniques, photonics…). It is a great way to meet a new profile of students who usually do not have access to our institute or our researchers.

Predoctoral actions

1 - Own doctoral programme MSCA COFUND DOC‐FAM

With this MSCA COFUND DOCtoral training programme in Functional Advanced Materials (DOC-FAM) project, coordinated by the ICMAB and with 4 more partners (ALBA Synchrotron, IMB-CNM-CSIC, IREC, and ICN2) we have incorporated 9 new PhD fellows at the ICMAB: 5 in the first call in 2017 and 4 more in the second call in 2018 (financial assistance 33,000 €/year for 3 years). A total of 22 early stage researchers (ESR) are now part of this programme, in the different institutions. On Thursday, 6 February 2020, the Welcome Day for the COFUND MSCA Doctoral Training Programme on Functional Advanced Materials "DOC-FAM" PhD Fellows (2nd Call) took place at ICMAB. The Welcome Day is aimed to present the project and introduce the second call PhD fellows and their projects. In this second call, the projects are being carried out at ICMAB-CSIC, ICN2, IMB-CNM-CSIC, IREC and ALBA Synchrotron.


We participate in the COFUND MSCA INPhINIT coordinated by “la Caixa” Foundation, hosting 3 PhD fellows from the 2017 call, and 1 PhD fellow from the 2018 call (financial assistance 34,800 €/year for 3 years), making a total of 4 fellows since the Severo Ochoa period started.

3- Severo Ochoa and Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities Program

We host PhD fellows from the National Programme for the Promotion of Talent and its Employability (Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities), in both formats: FPI (Training of Researchers) and FPU (Training of University Professors). We also host some predoctoral researchers with our own Severo Ochoa PhD fellowships proramme to carry out their PhD with us.

In 2016, 3 fellows were granted with a FPI, 3 with a FPU and 6 with a Severo Ochoa fellowship. In 2017, the numbers were 4 FPI, 1 FPU and 4 Severo Ochoa, in 2018, we granted 1 FPI, 1 FPU and 4 Severo Ochoa fellowships, and in 2019, 3 FPI, 1 FPU and 4 Severo Ochoa Fellowships, and in 2020, 8 fellows were granted FPI. In total, during these 4 years, 19 PhD fellows have started their PhD with a FPI grant, 7 with a FPU and 18 with a Severo Ochoa predoctoral fellowship (44 in total). They receive a financial assistance between 18,000 and 20,600 € per year, during 3 or 4 years.

4 – Generalitat Program

We host PhD fellows with a fellowship from the Generalitat de Catalunya, granted by the AGAUR. In 2017, we hosted 1 fellow with one of these FI (Training of Researchers) PhD grants. The numbers are low since we have to share the FI call with all the CSIC centers in Catalunya.

5 – China Scholarship Program

The China Scholarship Program allows Chinese students to carry out their PhD at the ICMAB. During the Severo Ochoa period we attracted 22 PhD fellows at the ICMAB: 6 in 2016, 2 in 2017, 10 in 2018 and 2 in 2019, and 3 in 2020. 


The ICMAB is also partner and coordinator of some ITN projects, which enable the training of Early Stage Researchers for their PhD. In 2017, 1 PhD researcher started within the SEPOMO ITN, in 2019, 1 PhD researcher with the UHMob, and in 2020 another one. For 2021, the HORATES project will contract 2 more fellows. In total, 3 PhD fellows have started at the ICMAB in the framework of MSCA ITN projects.

Postdoctoral actions


We are partners of the UAB-coordinated COFUND MSCA p-SPHERE for postdoctoral fellows. At the Institute we have 1 fellow from 2016 and 4 from 2017 (financial assistance 48,900 € for 3 years).

2 – MSCA Individual Fellowships (IF)

We support researchers in the preparation of proposals to MSCA-IF. Since the Severo Ochoa period started, in 2016, 8 postdoctoral researchers have started their research with us with one of these excellent grants, 2 every year: In 2016, the proposals 3D-PRINTGRAPH and NANOTER) were awarded, in 2017, 2 more (BATCA and TUNING COPS), in 2018, EMPHASIS and TELIOTES), and in 2019, 1 more: PLASMIONICO, and in 2020 1 more (SHINE). These MSCA Individual Fellowships are for 2 years of postdoctoral research within a research group at the ICMAB.

3 - National and regional calls (JdC, RyC, BdP, Tecniospring)

We support the already existing calls for pre-doc and postdoc researchers, including the Juan de la Cierva (Training and Incorporation) (8 researchers have started between 2016 and 2020), Beatriu de Pinós and Tecniospring (4 researchers), Ramón y Cajal (3 researchers have started in this period), and Jóvenes Investigadores (1 researcher). In 2020, 1 reserachers were incorporated with these grants, and 8 more were contracted with different research projects (such as ERC projects). 

Permanent researchers

1 - Start‐up package for new permanent researchers

We support the new permanent researchers with 25,000 € so that they can begin new projects, thanks to the Severo Ochoa project. In total, 3 CSIC Tenured Scientists were incorporated in 2017 (Núria Crivillers, Sebastián Reparaz and Alberto Verdaguer – this last one changed his affiliation, coming from another research center), 3 in 2018 (Mariona Coll, Agustín Mihi and Joffre Gutiérrez), 3 more won the position in 2019 and were incorporated in 2020 (Jaume Gázquez, Alexandre Ponrouch, Anna Laromaine), and 4 in 2020 (Ignasi Fina, Ana M. López and Arancha González, and Miquel Royo). 

Technicians and Support Staff

1- Severo Ochoa contracts

Apart from scientific staff, the Severo Ochoa project has allowed us to hire personnel for research support staff, including Technicians (4), Maintenance staff (2), Administration staff (2), Communication and Outreach Officer (1), Technology Transfer Officer (1), Information Technology (1) and Project Managers (2).

2- PTA: Personal Técnico de Apoyo

During the Severo Ochoa project, one technician started with a PTA in 2016, three more have started in 2019, and three more in 2020, in the Bioservice, Magnetometry and Low Temperatures Lab, and Thim Films (PLD) Lab. 

3- Garantía Juvenil

Every year we offer positions within the CSIC and the MCIU Garantía Juvenil positions, open to people under 30 years old, and with a specific degree, which varies according to the position offered. In the Severo Ochoa period we had in total 7 people with Garantía Juvenil contracts (6 CSIC and 1 MCIU). In 2016, one in the Technology Transfer and Marketing Dept, one in Maintenance, one Technician and one in Administration; in 2017, one Technician and in the 2019 call (starting in 2020), one in the Communication and Outreach Dept. and one in the Project Managing area.

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