Predoctoral Research Fellowships at The Universitat Rovira i Virgili 2018, Spain


May 20, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - Predoctoral Research Fellowships at The Universitat Rovira i Virgili 2018, Spain

The Universitat Rovira i Virgili calls for applications for 28 new predoctoral research fellowships

As part of the Martí i Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme (MFP-COFUND), the URV has opened the call for applications for 28 new predoctoral research fellowships in different research areas. This is the second edition of the MFP-COFUND programme. In the first edition, 22 candidates of 16 nationalities were selected, after a selection process with more than 300 people. The first doctoral students have already joined research groups of the URV, distributed in 11 departments, where they carry out their doctoral theses.

The fellowships are jointly funded by the European Union through the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie actions programme, which is contributing four million euros to the programme. The URV will allocate another four million euros so that 50 predoctoral researchers can be contracted between 2017 and 2018. Moreover, the programme is supported by the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, the IRTA and Banco Santander.

The initiative will attract and headhunt young, talented researchers with guaranteed international experience because candidates who wish to apply may not have spent more than 12 months of the last three years living in Spain (as of 31 July 2018). The reason for this is to promote mobility by encouraging applications from foreign students with master’s degrees or Spanish researchers who have lived abroad for more than two out of the last three years and to give them the opportunity to develop their research careers at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. The candidates will receive multidisciplinary and cross-sector training thanks to the collaboration of more than 30 organisations that support the initiative.

The candidates will first be assessed by a committee consisting of external evaluators and then the three best candidates for each fellowship will be interviewed by a URV selection panel before one of them is awarded the fellowship. Education, research accomplishments, professional experience, motivation and references will all be evaluated.

The URV is the first public university in Spain and the only one in Catalonia to receive such funding. Furthermore, it is one of only nine Spanish institutions to receive this distinction during the first three calls issued by the COFUND predoctoral programme. The call for applications is open from 20 March to 20 May 2018. The candidates will start their three-year contracts in October 2018.

Research Projects

For the 2018 edition, there are 52 research projects on offer. However, only 28 fellowships will be financed.

The criteria for deciding which projects will be financed is the excellence of the candidates. This means that the research project will not be evaluated, ONLY the candidates’ accomplishments and their fit with the selected project. The best 28 candidates that have chosen different projects will be offered a fellowship at URV.

One of the 28 fellowships is exclusively for candidates with dissabilities. ONLY  they can participate, and all candidates that cannot prove their disability via a certificate will be rejected. Candidates can choose among the research projects identified with the disability icon, and only the best one will be financed. In case no candidate meets the excellence requirements of the programme, the position will be declared void.

A list of all research projects is given in the link at website. Please note that you can only apply to 1 research project, so choose wisely. Also, remember the code of your chosen project (2018MFP-COFUND-xx), as it will be required during the submission of your application, in the Fellowship Information section.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for any of the MFP fellowships, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Comply with the MSCA mobility rule:
    • The candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to 31/07/2018.
  2. ESR eligibility criteria: Early-stage researchers (ESR) shall at the time of recruitment be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
    • Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
  3. Hold a degree from another country in the EEES which grants access to a Master's degree and have achieved a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in university studies of which at least 60 must be at Master's level,
    Hold of a qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems without the need for official recognition, having previously confirmed with the university that this qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to the official Spanish university Master's degree and that it would serve as a means of access to a PhD in the country in which it was awarded.

Employment conditions

The successful candidates will be offered the following:

  • medium term contract (up to 36 months, co-funded by MSCA COFUND grant), full time position
  • a very attractive salary, on par with European offerings (see more details below)
  • 3-6 months secondments to international (and in some cases intersectorial) partner organizations
  • access to a comprehensive training package, with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with an attractive transversal skills programme

Main package

Candidates will receive a gross monthly salary of approximately 2200 €. 

Apart from the salary, URV will contribute up to 7500 € each year to the cost of the fellow's travels, research and training.


Upon signing the contract, the fellows will automatically be registered under the general regime of the Spanish Social Security System, which stipulates the following benefits:

  • Healthcare: covers hospitalization at home, in a health centre or a hospital, for both the fellow and his family (if applies)
  • Sickness cash benefits: starts from the 4th day (employer pays days 4-15 (60% of salary), social security system pays days 15-365 (75% of salary), which can be extended up to 180 days)
  • Maternity/paternity leave: 16 weeks (maternity) or 4 weeks (paternity). Possibility of reduction of working hours for 12 months, after the 16 weeks of maternity leave provided by social security. The reduction of working hours can also be compacted, translating into a 4 weeks break, that can be added to the 16 weeks of maternity leave
  • Unemployment benefits: for a 3 year contact, the fellow will have the right to 12 months of unemployment, and receive an average of 65% of its salary per month

The employment contract with URV also specifices a series of specific benefits that might differ from other public administration positions:

  • Vacation: 22 working days per year, plus 3 days of personal days off
  • Health Checks: all URV employees have the option of a medical check every year, paid by URV

Application process

The application process is entirely electronic, and is accessible at the personal profile page. The application consists of filling up a form, and uploading the following documents:

  1. Personal information form
  2. Academic & Employment information form
  3. Fellowship form
  4. Upload documents:
    1. Scanned copy of valid passport
    2. Curriculum Vitae
    3. Scanned copy of official academic degree
    4. Scanned copy of academic transcript
    5. Motivation letter
    6. 2 reference letters
    7. Scanned copy of master degree (optional if the candidate can access the PhD in his/her country without a master)
    8. Description of master project (optional, if the candidate uploaded the master degree)

While a certificate of English level is not mandatory, remember that the interviews will be held in English, so the candidates must have a good grasp of the English language.


Important dates:

  • Call launch: March 20 , 2018
  • Submission deadline: May 20, 2018, 14.00 (GMT+1)
  • Provisional list of eligible/rejected candidates: May 22, 2018
  • Evaluation of eligible candidates: June 2018
  • Ranking list of candidates after the evaluation phase: June 30, 2018 
  • Final selection of candidates: July 5 – July 25, 2018
  • Official notification of winners: July 31, 2018
  • Enrollment in the PhD Programme: September, 2018
  • Contract signing & beginning of fellowship: October, 2018

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation of the candidates will be done by independent Evaluation Committees, formed by experts external to the URV, in order to avoid any conflict of interests and ensure a fair and equitable evaluation process.

The experts will evaluate the applications according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic profile: Weight - 40%
  2. Other merits (including research and previous professional experience): Weight - 30 %
  3. Reference letters: Weight - 10%
  4. Motivation letter, detailing the reasons why the candidate believes s/he is a good fit for the position: Weight - 20 %

The scoring will be given on a scale from 1 to 5, with 0.1 increments, and the minimum threshold is 3 in both criteria.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
March 29, 2018
Link To Original