Junior Leader “la Caixa” Postdoctoral Fellowships Programme 2018, Spain

Publish Date: Sep 27, 2017

Deadline: Oct 02, 2017

About the Postdoctoral Fellowships Programme, Junior Leader “la Caixa” at IBEC

The new postdoctoral fellowships programme, Junior Leader “la Caixa”  , is aimed at hiring excellent researchers—of any nationality—who wish to continue their research career in Spanish territory on any discipline. Sponsored by Obra Social ”la Caixa”, the objectives of this programme are to foster high-quality, innovative research in Spain and to support the best scientific talents by providing them with an attractive, competitive environment in which to conduct excellent research.

The Junior Leader programme is divided into two different frames:

  • “la Caixa” Junior Leader – Incoming: 20 postdoctoral fellowships for researchers of all nationalities that must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. They will be offered a three-year employment contract to conduct a research project at accredited centres with the Severo Ochoa or María de Maeztu distinction of excellence.

  • “la Caixa” Junior Leader – Retaining: 10 postdoctoral fellowships for researchers of all nationalities that must have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline, to carry out research at any university or research centre in Spain.

By means of a complementary training programme, these fellowships are intended to consolidate research skills and to foster an independent scientific career as an option for the future.


INCOMING Subprogramme

Researchers of any nationality are eligible for the Junior Leader programme. In order to get accepted, candidates must meet the following requirements:

Experience: They should have earned their doctoral degree three to six years prior to the deadline for applications. The date of the doctoral thesis defence will be understood to be the date when the doctoral degree was obtained.
In the cases of interruption of research activity between 2 October 2011 and the deadline for applications to this call (2 October 2017), the period in which the doctoral degree must have been obtained may be extended by the number of duly justified months, to be counted from the months immediately prior to 2 October 2011 up to a maximum of one year.
Geographic mobility: Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.

Complete applications: Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.

The call for applications opens on 10 July 2017 and closes on 2 October 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (Central European Time – CET).


Researchers in the Junior Leader “la Caixa” programme will have a three-year contract in accordance with employment legislation in force in Spain, pursuant to provisions regarding occupational health and safety and social security, with access to suitable resources, equipment and facilities.

Research fellows will have a development plan for scientific careers in keeping with the project to be carried out and suited to their interests and perspectives.

Researchers must draw up scientific/technical reports in which they should specify their main achievements and future goals, aside from ethical issues that may arise.

In addition to the economical amount, the Junior Leader programme includes an interdisciplinary training programme that focuses on aspects such as innovation and leadership. This programme has been specially designed by leading international companies in the sector.

Three classroom-based sessions will be held: at the start of the fellowship, during the second year, and during the third year. Each session will last between 2 and 5 days, and attendance is required for all research fellows from the same call, regardless of their discipline. ”la Caixa” Foundation will cover all costs for these sessions, as well as the research fellows’ accommodation costs.

Both the research centres and ”la Caixa” Foundation will offer Junior Leader fellows research stays in academia and industry, in order to complement their research career with practical and intersectoral experience, which will enable them to increase their transversal skills. Fellows may choose among a selection of local and international collaborating institutions.

”la Caixa” Foundation, which firmly believes that scientific progress, research, mobility and professional qualification are key to the development of people in society as a whole, supports researchers who wish to advance their careers towards scientific independence. The ”la Caixa” Fellowships Programme is the most important one among those sponsored by private entities working within the area of activity of “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, in terms of both the number of fellowships offered and the rigour in the management of the selection process, the variety of disciplines and the payment amount for each fellowship. 

Within this framework, the “la Caixa” Junior Leader Fellowship Programme will contribute towards internationalising our research system by attracting international talent through the Incomingsubprogramme. Likewise, it will retain talent within our country through the Retaining subprogramme.

Furthermore, Spain participates 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 our country. 

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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