”la Caixa” Foundation grants 25 postdoctoral fellowships for researchers of any nationality to carry out a research project in a STEM discipline at universities and research centres of accredited excellence.

Key points

  • 25 fellowships to carry out a postdoctoral research project at Spanish centres accredited as excellent by the Severo Ochoa, María de Maeztu or Carlos III Health Institute seals of excellence, or at Portuguese centres accredited as excellent by the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).

  • STEM disciplines (life sciences, experimental sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, technology and mathematics).

  • Maximum duration: 3 years.

  • Maximum amount: €305,100.

  • Programme of training in multidisciplinary skills.

Requirements of the call

Researchers of any nationality are eligible for the Incoming modality of the Postdoctoral Junior Leader fellowships.

To be eligible for admission, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Experience: to have been awarded a PhD between two and seven years prior to the closing date of the call. The date of obtaining the PhD will be understood as the date the doctoral thesis is defended. Special deadlines apply for candidates with interrupted research careers.

  • Mobility:

    For candidates interested in Spanish centres or units: candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the three years immediately preceding the closing date of the call.

    For candidates interested in Portuguese units: candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Portugal for more than 12 months in the three years immediately preceding the closing date of the call. Short stays, such as vacations, will not be taken into account.

    Special deadlines will apply for candidates with interrupted research careers and for those who've gone through the process to obtain refugee status under the Geneva Convention.

  • Complete application: only candidates whose application meets all the requirements of the call may be admitted.

Centres of Excellence

Researchers in the Incoming modality must carry out their research project at one of the Spanish research centres that have obtained the Severo Ochoa or María de Maeztu accreditation of excellence from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, a Carlos III Health Research Institute or a Portuguese R&D unit classified as "excellent" by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. These are centres and units that stand out for their impact and scientific leadership at an international level and that actively collaborate with their social and business environment.

This includes the following research centres and centres of excellence:


If you have any doubts about the call, please consult the list of frequently asked questions.

You can apply for a Postdoctoral Junior Leader fellowship through ”la Caixa” Foundation's fellowship application website.

If you'd like to be notified when the next call begins, sign up!

For any suggestions or doubts, you can contact: [email protected].

The selection process is made up of three consecutive phases:

  • Phase 1 - Eligibility

    All applications are reviewed provided they meet the eligibility requirements described in the programme guidelines.

  • Phase 2 - Preselection

    • Excellence of the CV (50 %): the professional CV will be evaluated in line with the stage of the candidate's career. The relevance and contributions made by the candidate in articles published in scientific journals (citations, impact indexes,...), books or chapters in scientific and technical books, papers presented at conferences, patents granted or licensed and, in general, any other contribution that helps to evaluate different aspects of the research will be taken into account.

    • Motivation and Research Proposal (35 %): the originality, innovation and potential impact of the proposed project will be evaluated, as well as the appropriateness of the research centre and/or line of research chosen.

    • Reference letters (15 %): letters of recommendation supporting the application will be evaluated taking into account the specificity of their content with respect to the candidate, as well as the profile of the people recommending the applicant.

  • Phase 3 - Selection interviews

    • Academic and professional career (50 %): contributions made to the field chosen for the research project presented will be evaluated, as well as the coherence of the candidate's academic background and CV.

    • Candidate's potential (30 %): the candidate's potential will be evaluated, paying particular attention to multidimensional skills such as their clarity and consistency of speech and how they express ideas, their ability to present complex reasoning, teamwork, capacity for independent reasoning, originality, entrepreneurship and leadership.

    • Motivation and impact of the proposal (20 %): the conceptual and methodological innovation of the proposal presented as well as its impact, understood in the broadest sense, will be evaluated. For instance, the capacity of the project submitted to contribute towards transformation and improvement, in areas such as the economy and creation of wealth, society, culture, science, quality of life of citizens, environment or public policies.


Each year, the Fellowship Programme benefits from the collaboration of a large number of experts from different disciplines who are involved in evaluating applications to ensure rigour and transparency in the selection process.

If you're interested in forming part of our database and would like to be involved in evaluating future fellowship calls, please contact us by sending an email to [email protected] along with your CV in PDF format or a link to the website where this can be found.

Download materials

With the aim of creating synergies and informing as many people as possible about the Postdoctoral Junior Leader fellowships call for applications, we'd be grateful if you could help us disseminate the communication materials among the students and young researchers.

More information

  • How should the communication materials be disseminated?

    To ensure effective communication, first of all we'd recommend a mailing to explain the details of the call to the students and researchers.

    Then we'd suggest publishing the downloadable posts about the call on all social media channels, taking into account the texts proposed for publications contained in the Recommendations for promoting the call on Social Media.

    We'd also recommend printing the posters in A4 or A3 format to publicise the call at the university or centre.

  • How should the results of the publications be shared?

    ”la Caixa” Foundation is very grateful for your help in promoting calls among the students and researchers. To optimise the communication materials, we'd like you to help, as far as possible, by providing us with some important data on the pieces published on your digital channels: a description of the audience reached, screenshots of your publications on social media and the language in which your posts were published.


You can send any doubts or suggestions to: [email protected].

Documents of interest

Programme guidelines

All the information you need regarding the details of this fellowship, the application and selection process.

Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette)

Call for applications published in the BOE.

(Only in Spanish)

Documents of interest regarding the evaluation process

Code of conduct for evaluators

Rules of conduct in the preselection and selection processes.

Selection process guidelines

List of evaluators in the 2023 call

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 847648.