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ICIQ International PhD Fellowship Programme la Caixa Severo Ochoa, Spain 2016

Deadline: Deadline: Always Open24-May-2016
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AwardStipend, insurance, annual allowance
EligibilityMaster degree in Chemistry, Pharmacy, Physics, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering or equivalent
Scholarship provider contact details

Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 
16 43007 
Phone: (+34) 977 920 200 

What is ICIQ International PhD Fellowship Programme la Caixa Severo Ochoa, Spain 2016?

The ICIQ is looking for young, highly talented and motivated students from the national and international community who wish to do their PhD within the ICIQ International PhD Fellowship Programme “la Caixa”- Severo Ochoa.

The current call offers 3 positions funded by “la Caixa”. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to join one of ICIQ’s research groups and carry out their research in the frame of ICIQ’s Severo Ochoa programme: “Facing global challenges with catalysis: Small molecules that can change our lives”. Particularly, they will work in the fields of Solar fuels through light-induced water splitting and Activation of small, carbon-based inert molecules.

We encourage highly talented students to apply for one of these grants to pursue doctoral studies at ICIQ, one of the world-leading centers in chemical research.

You can download the full call here.

Please contact the ICIQ Severo Ochoa Management Team at for any queries or assistance.

Indicative calendar

Call opening January 12th, 2016
Call deadline May 24th, 2016
Pre-selection of candidates May 25th – June 13th, 2016
Oral interviews June 27th – July 1st, 2016
Notification to candidates July 18th – 22nd, 2016
Start of fellowships September-October 2016

Who can apply for this scholarship ?

The ICIQ International PhD Fellowships Programme “la Caixa” – Severo Ochoa is addressed to graduate students from any nationality that fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

1.- Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in the areas of Chemistry, Pharmacy, Physics, Biology, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering or an equivalent degree, which allows them to start PhD studies.

2.- The successful candidates should have an excellent academic record, strong commitment to scientific research and solid working knowledge of English.

3.- Candidates who have had a previous scientific collaboration with the ICIQ for more than six consecutive months before the application deadline are not eligible for these fellowships. Candidates must not have a predoctoral contract before the fellowship is awarded.

4.- The applicants may not have held a grant for postgraduate studies funded by “la Caixa” Foundation.

In case of doubts about the eligibility criteria, applicants should contact the ICIQ – Severo Ochoa Management Team at prior to submission of the application.

How can you apply ?

Application can be done online only.

Terms and Conditions


1.- The students admitted in the ICIQ International PhD Fellowship Programme “la Caixa”- Severo Ochoa will be considered research personnel in training and they will have an employment contract (a pre-doctoral contract) which is regulated in the Spanish Law 14/2011, of June 1st, of Science, Technology and Education. Pre-doctoral contracts are renewed annually for up to 4 years.

2.- The gross yearly salary of the contract shall be €18.546,56 (1st year),€19.303,56 (2nd year), €20.666,16 (3rd year) and €22.558,67 (4th year), split into 12 monthly payments. This salary includes full social security coverage (health and accident insurance) and pension and unemployment benefits.

In addition to the salary, the students will receive a onetime annual allowance of €1.500 (for 1st and 2nd year) and €1.700 (for 3rd and 4th year). That allowance covers miscellaneous expenses, such as university fees, expenses derived for international congress attendance and/or stays in international research centres.

3.- The grant holder is entitled to temporary interrupt the grant in the following situations: temporary disability, risk during pregnancy, maternity, paternity and adoption or foster care. The time elapsed during this interruption will not be accounted for against the total time.

4.- Successful candidates will join the SO-ICIQ International Graduate Student Programme for Research in Catalysis. Key aspects of the programme are: International perspective, focus in the two objectives of the research programme (Solar Fuels through Light-Induced Water Splitting and Activation of Small, Carbon-Based Inert Molecules), mobility and training in high throughput experimentation methodologies (HTE). The ICIQ also offers training oriented to provide scientific and non-scientific skills, which are of key importance for a successful career development, and language training courses in Catalan, Spanish and English.

5.- PhD students will work full-time at the ICIQ and may not receive any other fellowship or regular income. The PhD thesis has to be completed within 4 years.

6.- Support by this Programme will be duly acknowledged in any scientific publication or communication authored by the grant holder.

Selection process

Admission to the programme is on a competitive basis. All applications will be evaluated solely on the basis of academic and research excellence of the candidates.

According to the organic law 3/2007 of 22nd March for the effective equality between women and men, ICIQ declares it will ensure equality, value diversity, respect human rights and identify and remove potential barriers to equality.

Our commitment to equality covers all the protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Plan: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.

The evaluation is organized in three stages:

1.- Stage I: Eligibility.

Submitted proposals will be checked for eligibility by the ICIQ – Severo Ochoa Management Team and those not fulfilling all the criteria will be rejected. There will not be the possibility to modify the application or to add missing documentation after the call deadline.

2.- Stage II: Evaluation and pre-selection.

The ICIQ – Severo Ochoa Management Team will rank eligible applications based on the academic records.

At this stage, two reference letters will be requested to the referees proposed by the candidates. The referees must submit their scanned signed letters of recommendation directly to Only letters with official letterhead and signature will be accepted.

The screening of pre-selected applicants will be performed by a Selection Committee composed by the ICIQ Director, three ICIQ Group Leaders, the ICIQ-Severo Ochoa project manager and the ICIQ HR Unit manager. Candidates will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria: academic marks, scientific merits, working knowledge of English and professional references.

Shortlisted candidates will proceed to Stage III for the oral interviews.

3.- Stage III: Oral interviews.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a personal interview with the Selection Committee and potential supervisors and to discuss their research interests. Since candidate’s suitability will be evaluated from two points of view (personal and technical skills), the interviews will be conducted by a Group Leader and a HR specialist.

Before the interview, the candidates will be asked to choose a maximum of three project references in order of priority from a list of ICIQ groups that are accepting applications in the call. The selected candidates will receive this list together with the invitation letter. More information on the research activities of each group can be found on the ICIQ web pages.

In case of face-to-face interviews, travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by ICIQ. Interviews are tentatively scheduled to take place at the end of June, 2016. Failure to participate in the interview process will disqualify the applicant for being considered for a position.

The Selection Committee will select the final candidates based on the Stages stated above. Successful students will be assigned to the research groups based on the applicants’ priorities.

Applicants will be notified of the final selection decision by email and the list of awardees will be published on the ICIQ website. Successful candidates will be requested to inform ICIQ whether they accept or decline the offer within one week after being notified. The offer will be considered declined if the applicant does not respond during this time.

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