Six doctoral fellowships are being offered to outstanding and highly motivated students looking to carry out their doctoral research in one of Europe’s finest cancer research centers. The call is now open for applications from graduates with excellent qualifications in (molecular) biology, biomedical sciences, medicine, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, computational biology or related fields. Those fitting the profile are highly encouraged to apply!

One of the strategic aims of VHIO is to provide future generations of healthcare professionals and researchers with high-level training in personalized and targeted cancer therapies at all stages of their careers. With this goal in mind, VHIO is offering for 2022:

Five four-year VHIO–Severo Ochoa doctoral fellowships within the “Contratos Predoctorales para la Formación de Doctores (FPI)” 2021 call, part of the Severo Ochoa accreditation funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN).

One four-year doctoral fellowship within the “Contratos Predoctorales para la Formación de Doctores (FPI)” 2021 call, part of the project “Targeting synthetic lethality in Chromatin Regulatory Genes for gastrointestinal cancer treatment”, led by Dr. Jose Seoane and funded by the MICINN.

These fellowships will be offered to outstanding young researchers from the national and international community to allow them to undertake their doctoral thesis research in one of the best translational, preclinical and clinical research centers in Europe as members of one of Spain´s most dynamic cancer research programs.

VHIO has a unique staff of international researchers who are devoted to delivering on the promise of providing precision medicine in oncology and turning discoveries in cancer research into more effective treatments and better practices to care for our patients. The scientific activity at VHIO is structured around research teams, each one headed by a principal investigator (PI), and leading a different research line in oncology. All together, they cover a diversity of areas, from preclinical translational and clinical research, but they share the same trust regarding translational research.

1. Conditions for eligibility

VHIO is looking to recruit prospective researchers of talent and of any nationality, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or age to undertake doctoral studies in cancer research following the recruitment principles of the VHIO Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).

To be eligible for a VHIO doctoral fellowship, call 2021, applicants must be in possession of the following:

A master’s or equivalent degree in a field of science related to VHIO research activities that allows the candidate to enroll on a university doctoral program by September 2022. Predoctoral researchers at VHIO usually enroll in the university of their choice to obtain the doctoral degree, as VHIO is not a university and therefore cannot award such degrees.

Local universities include: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

For more information about admission requirements, please see the websites of the abovementioned universities.

An excellent academic record and a strong commitment to scientific research.

A high level of English proficiency.

The following will not be eligible to apply:

Students who have begun their doctoral studies with funding from grants for doctoral training based on the development of a doctoral thesis that have been awarded within the framework of the Spanish State Plan for Research, Development and Technological Innovation or any of the previous National Plans.

Those already in possession of a doctoral degree from a Spanish or foreign university.

Those who entered into a predoctoral contract for a period of more than twelve months prior to the submission of the application.

2. Benefits

The VHIO doctoral fellowships associated with the “Contratos Predoctorales para la Formación de Doctores (FPI)” 2021 offer (see the FPI MICINN call for more details):

• A living allowance of €21,100 for the first and second years, €22,300 for the third year and €27,900 for the fourth year.

• An additional allowance to cover the cost of secondments to be undertaken in other research centers and the expenses related to PhD registration fees and related university taxes (“enrolment fees”).

All researchers will be hired under an employment contract that includes Social Security coverage. The living allowance and the VHIO top-up is a gross contribution to the salary costs of the researcher. Consequently, the net salary is attained by deducting all compulsory (employer and employee) Social Security contributions as well as direct taxes (e.g. income tax) from the gross amounts. The rate indicated here is for researchers devoting themselves to their project on a full-time basis.

All fellows will have access to an exceptional scientific environment, including outstanding equipment and facilities, together with a wide range of training and career development opportunities. Fellows will be supervised by group leaders performing high-quality cancer research and with a solid track record in supervising predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

3. Application process

Applications are submitted through a two-step process involving two different online application forms. To be eligible for the fellowships, applicants must complete and submit both applications:

STEP 1: applicants must submit the following information via the VHIO online application form

1. Motivation letter (maximum one page), clearly indicating the research groups of choice and highlighting the applicant’s research experience and academic achievements.

2. Two references from university lecturers or scientists who are familiar with the applicant’s academic work and who can judge their potential as a predoctoral researcher. These will be provided directly by referees via the online application.

3. Certified academic records showing the grades attained in exam periods with the dates corresponding to the degrees completed (BSc and MSc). Academic records not written in Spanish or English should be accompanied by an official translation into one of these two languages.

4. CV in English or Spanish.

5. For academic degrees from a non-Spanish university, applicants should explain the scoring system (minimum and maximum grade), indicating the threshold for passing.

6. Proof of submission to the MICINN online system (STEP 2) must also be provided.

STEP 2: applicants must submit the following information in the MICINN online application system. (the system will be active as of 28 October 2021).

1. Copy of the passport, in the case of non-Spanish nationals not residing in Spain.

2. CV in English or Spanish (the MICINN recommends using a specific template, please contact the VHIO Academy helpdesk if assistance is needed).

3. Certified academic records showing the grades attained in exam periods with the corresponding dates. Those academic records not written in Spanish or English will need to be accompanied by an official translation into one of these two languages.

4. For academic degrees from a non-Spanish university, applicants should explain the scoring system (minimum and maximum grade), indicating the threshold for passing

5. Applicants should only submit their application for Area I. Preclinical, Translational, Clinical and Core Research Programs I.

NB for STEP 2: Candidates will need to register and submit their application using the electronic certificate (electronic DNI). Applicants without this should send an email to the helpdesk as soon as possible so that VHIO staff can guide them through the process.

VHIO Academy Helpdesk:

4. Selection process

Applications will be assessed for their academic and technical excellence by a selection committee comprising external members. Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic records and merits as well as motivation and their suitability for the research group of choice. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews, which will be held remotely. Offers of admission will be made to the successful candidates shortly after the interview period. Predoctoral researchers should expect to take up their positions at VHIO by September 2022.

Applicants who have not been successful but who have received a positive evaluation will be put on a waiting list to cover possible withdrawals and future positions.

5. Calendar for the application and selection process

• Call opening (STEP 1): September 27, 2021

• Call deadline (STEP 1): 29 November 2021 at 23h Spanish time

• Call opening (STEP 2): 28 October 2021

• Call deadline (STEP 2): 11 November 2021 at 14h Spanish time

• Eligibility check: early December 2021

• Remote evaluation by a selection committee: by mid-January 2022

• Remote interviews: end of January 2022

• Final results and candidate notifications: mid-February 2022

• Start date of the fellowships: by September 2022

6. Research groups participating in this call

7. Helpdesk

For enquiries and support about the application process, please send an email to

[The link FOR STEP2 is not yet available. Please stay informed and check this page daily to find out when the link has been activated. Please note that documents can only be submitted via the MICINN online system for a short time (about two weeks). Applicants that have signed up to the VHIO online application (STEP 1) will be informed by email when the link has been made available.]