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IRB DREAM Programme 2022

Are you passionate about biomedicine? Do you want to pursue a PhD, train in the first-class research environment provided by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), learn from internationally recognized experts in their respective fields, and build a solid knowledge base that will open up career opportunities? If this is you, then chase your dream career through the IRB_DREAM PhD programme.

Call closed

EU“This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945352”.


Funded within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) H2020 2019 call, IRB_DREAM is offering 5 four-year fellowships for the academic year 2022-2023 for researchers willing to carry out their PhD project.

IRB Barcelona is a vibrant multidisciplinary institute where scientists address challenging and pressing biomedical problems in a collaborative fashion to provide groundbreaking solutions to unmet medical needs.

IRB_DREAM is aimed at talented young researchers wishing to undertake their PhD theses in one of its 27 state-of-the-art laboratories that tackle cutting-edge topics in cancer/metastasis, ageing and cell reprogramming, metabolism, cell differentiation, and genomics, among others. In the context of inter- and multi-disciplinary collaboration between groups, countries (more than 100 international collaborations) and sectors (academy, industry or hospitals), IRB_DREAM offers customized training and ample career development opportunities. This innovative training programme stands out for fostering much valued secondments and other initiatives aimed at strengthening the career prospects of early stage researchers (ESRs). 

Check out IRB Barcelona groups participating in this frame:


Selected candidates:

  • Dragana Radivojevikj

  • Maria Guarini

  • Rameez Jabeer Khan

  • Vladislav Biriukov

  • Samantha Panea

  • Olga Roman
  • Camilla Bertani
  • Indranil Singh
  • Serena Manhoor


IRB_DREAM will recruit prospective early-stage researchers (ESRs) of any nationality, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or age to undertake a PhD in biomedicine. To be eligible for an IRB_DREAM fellowship, applicants must:

  • Comply with the mobility rule: meaning that they 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.


  • Comply with the COFUND ESR definition: at the time of recruitment by IRB Barcelona, they must be in the first four years (full‐time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.


  • Fulfil one of the following options (mandatory requirements according to Bologna’s process to be able to enrol in a doctoral programme at the time of the effective recruitment):

    • Completion of studies that lead to an official Spanish (or from another country of the European Higher Education Area) university degree awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.

    • Completion of a degree in a non-Spanish university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Physics, Medicine or related fields in Spain.


  • Submit a complete application before the established deadline through the IRB_DREAM electronic application. Applicants will be asked to upload the following information:

    • Personal information such as first and last name, gender, nationality and contact details. This section will also ask about applications for or intention to apply for other fellowships.

    • Curriculum vitae.

    • Motivation letter (maximum 2 pages) highlighting their research experience and academic achievements and explaining why they are interested in IRB Barcelona and in a particular research group.

    • A scanned copy of their certified academic record. These documents must show the grades attained in exam periods and evidence that the required degree will be obtained by the expected time of recruitment if it has not already been awarded.

    • Any additional files considered relevant to the application.

    • At least two recommendation letters from university lecturers or scientists who are familiar with their academic work and who can judge their potential as a predoctoral researcher. A template letter for the referees will be provided, including short evaluation questions. Applicants will be responsible for ensuring that referees submit these letters.

    • A summary of any work experience and a maximum of three research groups in which they are interested.

Candidates are selected exclusively on merit, on the basis of their curricula. The academic grades and curriculum vitae of each applicant are evaluated, as well as recommendation letters and a motivation letter. No selection criteria for positive or negative discrimination are applied.

How to apply

Applicants should complete and submit the online form. More information regarding the application can be found in the “Useful Information” tab.

Those applying also for IRB Barcelona International Fellowships 2022 need only submit a single application, which will be considered by the different calls.

Applicants will be asked to upload the following documents in English: *Please note that all the documents provided should be in PDF format.

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A motivation letter (maximum 2 pages) highlighting your research experience and academic achievements and explaining why you are interested in IRB Barcelona and in a particular research group.
  • A scanned copy of the student’s certified Academic Record. These documents must show the grades attained in exam periods. If the certified academic records are not in Spanish or English applicants should also attach a translation in one of the above mentioned languages.
  • Any additional files considered relevant to the application
  • Two recommendation letters from university lecturers or scientists with who the applicant has studied or worked. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that referees submit these letters. Applications not supported by these letters will not be eligible.

Please indicate the Research Node(s) to which you wish to apply (up to 3).

Research Nodes

  • Chemical and Structural Biology
  • Cell Pathophysiology
  • Computational Biology
  • Invertebrate Models of Disease
  • Preclinical Models of Cancer
  • Preclinical Models of Disease

More information on the research activities of each group can be found on the IRB Barcelona webpage.

For more information, please, contact

Selection procedure

An Evaluation Committee will appraise eligible applications both in the remote evaluation stage and in the interview stage. This committee will include external members and representatives of group leaders at IRB Barcelona. The evaluation will be independent, impartial, objective and free of conflicts of interest, and the selection will be open, efficient, transparent, fair, and merit-based. The PhD Advisory Committee will oversee the remote and interview stages of the selection process.

Applicants will receive continuous support from the Academic Office through the IRB_DREAM helpdesk (email, phone), which will notify them of the outcome of the preselection. The candidates with the highest scores will be invited to IRB Barcelona for an interview. Those who do not pass the threshold established will be excluded from further consideration. Candidates who do not pass this evaluation will be informed why and will be provided with the instructions to follow to start a redress procedure.

Short-listed candidates will receive an invitation to a three-day interview process held at IRB Barcelona. Teleconference interviews will be used only for candidates with prior commitments that cannot be rearranged and that thus prevent them from travelling to Barcelona. Offers of admission will be made to the successful candidates shortly after the interview period. Candidates positively evaluated but with an insufficient score to receive a fellowship will be put on a reserve list to cover possible renunciations and future positions.

The list of awardees will be published on the IRB_DREAM section of IRB Barcelona’s website. Awardees will receive a formal invitation letter.


Call opening: 15 October 2021

Deadline for candidacies: 10 December 2021

Deadline for referees: 12 December 2021

Remote evaluation: 20 January 2022

Group Leader Panel presentations: 24 February 2022

Interviews at IRB: 7-8-9 March 2022

Notification to candidates: 11 March 2022

Start date of fellowships:  by 1 September 2022