This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754510


BIST Post-doctoral Fellowship Program

Boost your scientific career in our international postdoctoral program focused on excellent research in a multidisciplinary environment


Program Description

PROBIST is a post-doctoral fellowship Program lead by the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. All together, 61 fellowships will be awarded and implemented in top research in the Barcelona (Spain) area.

BIST brings closer together seven independent Catalan internationally recognized research centres. The centres participating in the PROBIST program are:

• The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
• Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ)
• Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
• Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE)
• Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

Also affiliated to BIST are:
• Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)
• Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC)

PROBIST applicants will have complete research freedom. Applicants may subscribe to one or several generic research topics published with the calls. Once pre-selected they may design their research project proposal with a research group of their choice in the participating BIST centres. Successful candidates will be hosted by the selected research group. They will have full access to facilities, seminars and training programmes of the BIST centres. Networking activities shall facilitate inter-centre and inter-disciplinary exchange and collaborations. PROBIST will offer fellows the opportunity to opt for secondments from a pool of international institutions with which BIST centres have institutional agreements or collaborations.

The fellowships are granted for 3 years including:
• An annual gross salary of 36.252,82€ plus a single payment of 1504,89€ relocation support (Spanish tax and social security deductions apply),
• Close mentoring and supervision through prestigious Senior Researchers,
• A personalized career development plan,
• A training program for scientific and transferable skills.

Calls Structure

The calls for candidatures will be open to everybody but special eligibility criteria and a multistep evaluation procedure will apply. There are no restrictions on gender, age, ethnic groups, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, and social or economic conditions. BIST and its associated centres are committed to pro-active policies on equal opportunities and gender issues.

Please review the eligibility and evaluation criteria and carefully read the instructions on how to submit an application before applying.

Applications will exclusively be accepted through the on-line application platform. You will be informed on the state of your application at all stages. The main means of communication during the formal process will be by e-mail. The entire selection process will be managed under strict control of privacy rules.

Tentative calls schedule:
Call 1: 1 September 2017 – Deadline: 1 November 2017
Interviews: from 15 to 19 January 2018 (exact days to be confirmed)
Incorporation foreseen for 03 to 04/2018 (*)

Call 2: 1 February 2018 – Deadline: 1st April 2018
Interviews: from 28 May to 1 June 2018 (exact days to be confirmed)
Incorporation foreseen for 08 to 09/2018 (*)

Call 3: 10 June 2018 – Deadline 15th September 2018
Interviews: from 12 to 16 November 2018 (exact days to be confirmed)
Incorporation foreseen for 01 to 02/2019 (*)

Call 4: 1 December 2018 – Deadline 1st February 2019
Interviews: from 28 March to 1 April 2019 (exact days to be confirmed)
Incorporation foreseen for 06/2019 (*)

(*) the exact date of incorporation will be agreed with the host centre once the award is granted. The indicated entry dates are tentative and may be negotiated with the corresponding host centre in justified cases.

Please check back frequently for updated information and dates.

Research Topics

C1-01: Invention of new synthetic methods based on the catalytic use of electrophilic metal complexes of gold and other transition metals

Research focuses on organometallic chemistry directed towards organic synthesis mainly on gold catalysis, with a focus on the discovery of new catalytic transformations, the understanding of their mechanisms, and the application of these catalytic reactions for the synthesis of biologically active natural products and polyarenes of importance in material science.

C1-02: Organic photovoltaic devices and application of quantum dots

Research on light emitting devices based on semiconductor nanoparticles including quantum dots and perovskite materials. This requires a wide experience on the preparation of LEDs and the common characterization techniques used to study LEDs. The knowledge on the synthesis of materials and their characterization would complement knowledge requirements.

C1-03: Smart materials for energy applications

Preparation and characterization of smart multifunctional materials from inorganic/organic hybrids for their implementation into (photo)-electronic devices. Validation of novel materials and device architectures to facilitate energy transformations of interest in renewable energy schemes, for solar or thermal energy harvesting.

C1-04: Green approaches to catalysis for fine chemicals

Developing a complete toolkit of polymer-supported and magnetic nanoparticle-immobilized catalysts with optimized characteristics of catalytic activity, high induced stereoselectivity and extended life cycle, and implementing catalytic asymmetric flow processes based on these immobilized catalysts.

C1-05: Atomistic simulation addressed to develop more rationalized heterogeneous catalysts

The analysis of reaction networks, activity and selectivity issues and the final tests on the stability of the potential materials are fundamental to establish a solid background to determine when it can be considered as a catalyst candidate for a given chemical transformation. Employ atomistic simulations to understand the mechanisms that govern chemical processes in heterogeneous catalysis.

C1-06: Molecular artificial photosynthesis and the generation of solar fuels

Synthesis and characterization of transition metal complexes as homogeneous redox catalysts for the oxidation of water to molecular dioxyen and for the reduction of protons to hydrogen, carbon dioxide to formic acid or methanol, or the reduction of nitrogen to ammonia. Given the redox nature of all these reactions a thorough electrochemical characterization of all catalysts is indispensable as is a deep understanding of the reaction mechanisms involved.

Involves the anchoring of the molecular catalysts into conductive solid supports and into light harvesting materials for electro- and photo-induced redox catalysis. May lead to characterizing and building complete solar fuel generation devices.


C1-07: Visualizing interfacial fields in oxide interfaces by transmission electron microscopy

Complex oxides, and specifically those with the perovskite structure, are renowned for being able to display very different properties depending on small changes in chemistry, strain, temperature or external fields. In addition, they share a common structure, so it is relatively easy to grow heterostructures where different perovskite films couple their properties via interfacial fields. Such interfacial fields are of paramount importance not only for the coupling in multilayer structures, but also for the performance simple capacitor structures such as those of ferroelectric memories and photovoltaic cells: interfacial fields are responsible both for detrimental effects such as depolarization, but also for emerging phenomena such as negative capacitance, and they also determine the response of field-effect transistors. Yet, for all their importance, the interfacial electric fields of complex oxides have never been visualized.

Modern transmission electron microscopy techniques are now being developed that allow direct field visualization. Perhaps the best known of them is electron holography, which has been proven to be able to visualize magnetic fields a variety of nanostructured materials, although its success in visualizing electric fields has been somewhat more limited. On the other hand, newly developed techniques, such as Integrated Differential Phase Contrast (iDPC) STEM, should allow not only to obtain accurate images of the light and heavy elements (oxygen and cations), but also to explore the electric potentials and magnetic fields down to the atomic scale.

Research will address the challenge of visualizing interfacial electric fields in electronic oxide heterostructures. The epitaxial thin film multilayer devices will be made by pulsed laser deposition and functionally characterized at the Oxide Nanophysics laboratory under the guidance of ICREA Prof. Gustau Catalan. Interfacial field visualization will be done in the Group of Advanced Electron Microscopy under the direct supervision of ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol. Both groups are based at the Institut Catala de Nanociència I Nanotecnologia (ICN2), where the co-supervised postdoc will be based.

As Microscopy is one of the transversal strategy lines of BIST, the present multidisciplinary project is timing.

C1-08: Atomic Resolution Electron Microscopy: Analysis, 3D Atomic Modelling and Simulation of Energy Nanomaterials

Atomic resolution aberration corrected (S)TEM-EELS analysis of nanomaterials for energy (from 2D nanosheets and flakes to complex nanostructures based on nanowires and core-shell nanoparticles). Combination of different detection modes in STEM in both dark and bright-field to determine both the cation positions (HAADF) and the different positions of the light elements (ABF). From the data obtained by STEM images 3D atomic models can be generated that will serve as the basis for the simulation of the electrocatalytic properties (DFT). Characterization at the atomic and nanoscale level by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and X-ray energy dispersion spectroscopy (EDX) is also suggested.   The characterization by high resolution EELS will allow a determination of the energy of the band gap at the nanoscale and the study of the oxidation and/or coordination states of the different components that form the samples, which are of particular interest in terms of catalyst surfaces, both before and after use, combined with in-situ studies under working conditions (liquid cell) to study and determine ( Locate) which are the active centers at the atomic level that intervene during the oxidation / reduction processes. Some of these in-situ experiments can be combined with on-site experiments in the ALBA Synchrotron (such as AP-XPS).

C1-09: Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures

The promise of 2D (Van der Waal) material is hampered by the necessity to understand and control thermal transport across and in the plane. To this end phonon engineering may offer a beneficial approach in the quest to find a suitable compromise between performance and power consumption. In general, 2D-Layered Materials (LM) present layer-dependent properties, which are often not observed in their bulk counterpart.

Despite the large scientific interest of these materials, the study of phonon-dynamics in the sub-THz regime remains to be done in a systematic fashion. Due to the low energy of these modes, < 5 meV (~ 40 cm-1 or ~ 1 THz), their observation has been extremely challenging.

The focus of this project is to investigate, model and explore coherent phonon propagation in two-dimensional layered materials, 2D-LMs, towards a development of high-frequency nanoresonators. The long term aim is to explore the generation, manipulation and detection of coherent phonons to lay the foundation for phonon-based technology in 2D-LMs.

C1-10: First Principles Theory and Simulations in Nanoscience

The Theory and Simulation Group at ICN2 works on the development of methods for the study of nanomaterials using First Principles simulations (mainly using Density Functional Theory, but also hybrid QM/MM methods, semiempirical approaches, and beyond DFT methods for excited states). A strong activity of the group is the implementation of these methods into numerical algorithms and computer codes, with particular interest in their adaptation to High Performance Computing (HPC) and High Throughput Computing (HTC) environments, with the goal to be able to adapt these simulation technologies in the future Exascale supercomputing infrastructures.

The group has a strong activity in the application of these methodologies to diverse problems in nanoscience, including electronic and thermal transport in nanostructures, magnetic properties, 2D materials, electronic instabilities in low dimensional solids, interactions of molecules and nanoclusters with surfaces, and many others.

C1-11: Polymer-composites based on Graphene and related materials

Theoretical modelling of polymer-composites based on Graphene and related materials (GRM), e.g. thermoplastics and conductive flexible materials hold promise for industrial areas including aerospace and automotive industries where GRM are used in coating of batteries and cables, or de-icing, also in biosensors and medical applications where GRM provide efficient sensing devices. Developing multi-scale computational approach spanning from the nano- to the macro-scale, describing structural and chemical complexity of laboratory and industrial samples (as studied in BIST laboratories), using state-of-the-art ab-initio techniques to extract local quantities and generate input data for model potentials, and studying charge and heat transport in large and realistic GRM disordered systems (graphene oxides and reduced graphene oxides as well as other two-dimensional materials-based composites) to generate meaningful and trustworthy insights on transport physics and serve as further design guides for GRM-composites with improved performances in composites and medical sectors.

C1-12: Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices

Graphene and other two dimensional materials, including transition metal dichalcogenides as well as topological insulators, could enable the development of ultimate thin-channel transistors and the creation of new device concepts for spintronics and thermoelectricity. The ability to reduce the thickness of the channel down to atomic scales would result into enhanced gate control, both relaxing the requirements on gate dielectrics and suppressing short-channel effects. In addition, the development of spintronic devices would help reduce the energy load and simplify the thermal management within integrated circuits. The PEND group aims at gaining insight into technological relevant properties of graphene and topological insulators using nanotechnology and the design of nanodevices as a key enabling technologies. It addresses the spin dynamic and the thermoelectric properties of graphene and graphene-based heterostructures (with topological insulators and dichalcogenides) by performing advanced electronic transport experiments. The group also seeks to improve the understanding of the growth and control of the electronic transport properties of topological insulators and generate a library of material combinations that will be crucial for future (spin) transport studies.

C1-23: 2D Materials & paper-based nanobiosensors for diagnostics applications

The topic is related to the integration of nanotechnology methods, tools and materials into low cost (ex.paper), user friendly and efficient (bio)sensors. The developed (bio)sensors will take the advantages of 2D materials (ex. graphene etc.) working also in synergy with other  nanomaterials while being integrated into innovative, high sensitive and mass production platforms with interest for several applications in everyday life. The main objective is to design nanotech devices that can be used even by nonprofessional people for fast diagnostic at home or doctor’s office, control of food quality, safety and security applications where either an emergency exists or an alternative method toward the sophisticated and expensive laboratory instrumentation is being required. The idea is to focus on discovering and technological development of the cutting edge nanotechnology and nanomaterials based simple biosensing platforms by employing and controlling their architectures at both nano and macro scales with the objective to link together nano and macro worlds. The research will be in a multidisciplinary group that aims to develops new nanobiosensors and transfer the developed platforms to industries.


C1-13: Genome Data Science

A deluge of genomic, transcriptomic and phenomic data presents opportunities to learn about the properties of living systems, but it also presents challenges. In order to address outstanding questions in biology and medicine, researchers need to discover meaningful and robust patterns from big data. In the Genome Data Science group, we will strive to elucidate the links between mutational processes, natural selection, gene function and phenotype by means of statistical genome analyses.

We will aim to elucidate important aspects of cancer biology by insightful analysis of data originating from human tumors (somatic mutations, chromosomal alterations, transcriptomes) and from human populations (germline variants). Our recent work discovered that mutations are unevenly distributed across the human genome due to differential activity of DNA mismatch repair, which preferentially protects early replicating, gene-rich regions (Supek and Lehner 2015 Nature). Moreover, we outlined novel mutagenic processes that create clustered mutations with high potential to drive oncogenesis (Supek and Lehner 2017, Cell, in press). We would further be interested in how the landscapes of somatic mutations across the human chromosomes inform of failed DNA maintenance in human cells, and how these patterns of genomic instability may be used to selectively target tumors with specific types of DNA repair deficiencies.

C1-14: Glycogen accumulation and neurodegeneration

Studies on glycogen metabolism have allowed the identification of many enzymes and intermediate metabolites involved in the synthesis and degradation of this polysaccharide. However, new factors and processes that participate in glycogen regulation are constantly being discovered. Moreover, data on the mechanisms of control in distinct organs and in diverse physiological conditions are incomplete. The alteration of one of these mechanisms may lead to serious pathologies such as diabetes mellitus and Lafora disease.

C1-15: Characterisation of Adult Progenitor Cells in Drosophila

In Drosophila, most cells die at the transition between larval and adult stages; only the adult progenitor cells proliferate during larval life, survive pupariation and metamorphosis and differentiate into the cells of the adult. This is the case of some tracheal cells in the second metamere (Tr2), fully differentiated, that resume proliferation during the last larval stage and give rise to all tracheal adult cell types. Strikingly, these cells are diploid, unlike their counterparts in other metameres. This difference is determined by the exclusion of fzr expression in the Tr2 cells. fzr encodes the homolog of the CDH1 protein of the E3 ubiquitin ligase APC/C. Exclusion of fzr expression allows transcription of stg, the gene encoding cdc25, and thus triggers mitosis. In addition, exclusion of fzr expression also allows the expression of adult progenitor markers. Conversely, ectopic expression of fzr not only promotes endocycle but also inhibits expression of adult progenitor markers, thereby further indicating that entry into endocycle is sufficient to divert tracheal cells from the adult progenitor fate. We aim to exploit these tracheal progenitor cells to study fundamental questions of cell plasticity, multipotency and reprogramming with a specific developmental focus.

C1-16: Chemical modifications of Nucleic Acids and human physiology

The roles of posttranscriptional modifications of RNA in the regulation of genetic programs is an emerging and exciting area of cell biology. We have shown that domain-specific anticodon modifications in tRNA were an important factor in the evolution of genome structure and codon composition in eukaryotic organisms [1, 2]. Our data indicates that such modifications are important for the translation of human extracellular matrix proteins with extremely biased amino acid compositions that probably contributed to the advent of multicellularity [3, 4].

Our goal is to characterize the role/s of tRNA modifications on the evolution and physiology of the eukaryotic cell. In particular, we will focus on their contribution to the translation of mammalian-specific proteins, and to the process of cell reprogramming and differentiation. We are seeking highly motivated individuals with a combined interest in evolution, biomedicine, and ‘Omics’ data analysis techniques.

  1. Novoa et al. (2012) Cell  149(1):202-213.
  2. Torres et al. (2015) Nuc. Acids Res.  43(10):5145-5157.
  3. Rafels-Ybern et al. (2015) Int J Mol Sci.       16(8):17303-14.
  4. Rafels-Ybern et al. (2017) RNA Biology       In press.

C1-17: Structural characterization of Macromolecular assemblies

Structural characterization of macromolecular complexes using high resolution structural biology approaches.

C1-18: Structural characterization of Macromolecular assemblies and research on asymmetric synthesis

Synthesis and Structural characterization of therapeutic molecules.

C1-19: Cellular Plasticity and Disease

Understand the biology of damaged and senescent cells. Develop strategies to eliminate senescent cells from aged and/or pathological tissues. Dissect the signalling pathways that control the secretion of cytokines and growth factors by damaged and senescent cells. Identify the full spectrum of effects produced by senescence-inducing drugs and predictive biomarkers of response.

C1-20: Molecular modelling and Bioninformatics

Multiscale modelling of chromatin structure.

C1-21: Asymmetric synthesis using chiral ligands

Two groups, one from IRBB, one from ICIQ have developed several chiral ligands that coordinated to metals (Rh, Ir) provided excellent catalyst for asymmetric hydrogenations. The aim is to expand the types of reactions that can be performed using these catalysts.

Host IRBB, shared topic with ICIQ.

C1-22: Microtubules, genomic stability and disease

In recent years proteomic analyses, functional screening, and genome sequencing have not only identified the parts lists of important cellular structures of the microtubule cytoskeleton, such as centrosomes and cilia, but have also revealed their connection to central regulators of cell cycle and cell fate, as well as their involvement in cancer and a range of developmental and degenerative disorders including hereditary microcephaly. The focus will be on developing novel approaches to identify key factors that influence the function of the microtubule cytoskeleton at the molecular level, determine how they are linked to signal transduction processes that control genome integrity and establish the impact of their loss on neuronal pathologies characteristic of hereditary diseases.

C1-26: Epigenetic regulation of chromatin functions

Study the role of linker histones H1 in nuclear/topological chromatin organization, their contribution to genome stability and functional analysis of germline specific H1s

C1-29: Molecular Biophysics / Asymmetric Synthesis

Research work on the design, synthesis and evaluation of compounds that target the transactivation domain of the androgen receptor for the treatment of castration resistant prostate cancer. This domain is intrinsically disordered i.e. lacks persistent secondary and tertiary structure but can be targeted by small molecules in vivo (Andersen et al (2010) Cancer Cell) and in vitro (De Mol et al (2016) ACS Chem Biol). The project is collaborative and involves a group with expertise in medicinal chemistry (Riera lab) with one with expertise in the characterization of the structural properties and interactions of intrinsically disordered proteins (Salvatella lab).

C1-30: Translational control of cell cycle and differentiation / Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology

We aim at developing novel bioinformatics approaches to unveil the combinatorial code of mRNA cis-acting elements controlling mRNA translation programs in tissue homeostasis and tumour development. The work will take advantage of the genome-wide analysis of mRNA levels, splicing and translation in normal and tumoral tissues (generated in Raúl Méndez group) to study the contributions of the CPEB family of RNA binding proteins in the physiopathological (re)programing of gene expression. The development of bioinformatics tools to integrate and analyse the complex molecular data, as well as the generation of in silico models of the regulatory circuits, will be co-supervised by Patrick Aloy. References:

  1. M. Piqué, J.M. López, S. Foissac, R. Guigó and R. Méndez. “A combinatorial code for CPE-mediated translational control” Cell, 132(3):434-448. (2008)
  2. Isabel Novoa, Javier Gallego, Pedro G. Ferreira, Raúl Méndez. “Mitotic cell cycle progression is regulated by CPEB-dependent translational control” Nature Cell Biology. 12(5):447-456. (2010).
  3. Bava, FA., Eliscovich, C., Ferreira, PG., Miñana, B., Ben-Dov, C., Guigó, R., Valcárcel, J. and Méndez, R. “CPEB1 coordinates alternative 3’UTR formation with translational regulation”. Nature, 495(7439):121-125 (2013).
  4. Carlos Maillo1, Judit Martín1, Maribel Hernández1, David Sebastián1, Mar García-Rocha1, Antonio Zorzano1, Mercedes Fernandez, Raúl Méndez1,2 “Circadian and UPR-dependent control of CPEB4 mediates a translational response to counteract hepatic steatosis under ER stress” Nature Cell Biology. 19, 94–105 (2017).


C1-24: Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with large galaxy surveys

The Observational Cosmology group at IFAE Barcelona is involved in a number of leading international projects, such as the ongoing DES and PAU galaxy surveys and the upcoming DESI, Euclid, and LSST projects. Currently, the group is focused on the analysis of the copious DES data, playing leading roles in weak lensing, void science, and photometric redshift analyses. DES, the leading imaging galaxy survey in this decade, is in the process of mapping one eight of the sky, measuring position, redshift, and shape for over 200 million galaxies. In PAU, the group is engaging in the analysis of the first available data from the survey, which, with its 40 narrow bands, permits analyses very complementary to those in DES. Following its substantial contributions to the development and construction of the DESI instrument, the group intends to participate vigorously in the analysis of its data. Starting in 2019, DESI will obtain 30 million galaxy and quasar spectra up to redshift z = 3.5, becoming the leading spectroscopic survey in the next decade. Opportunities also exist for involvement in the development of the scientific programs of Euclid and LSST.

C1-25: Gamma Ray Astrophysics

The Gamma ray Group at IFAE ranks amongst the leading groups worldwide in Very High Energy Gamma Ray astronomy with Cherenkov Telescopes. It co-leads the MAGIC Telescopes Observatory since its beginning back in 1997 and has co-lead the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project since its inception back in 2006. Its activities in the field span from authoring many of the highest impact scientific publications in MAGIC to being responsible for complex electronic, mechanics, control and analysis software and MC simulations for the MAGIC telescopes and the Large Size Telescope (LST) of CTA. In both collaborations the participation of IFAE is of the highest impact and visibility.

IFAE is one of the leading groups for the installation of the first LST and the development of CTA Northern site at La Palma. The institute is currently involved in the mechanics and electronics for the LST, as well as in data management and atmospheric monitoring. In addition, IFAE is responsible for significant hardware elements of the MAGIC telescopes and for its Data Center. The group is also very active in the analysis and interpretation of MAGIC observations, and has a particular interest on Galactic sources, Active Galactic Nuclei and Fundamental Physics. 
Finally, the group is actively participating in the proposal for future space missions such as e-ASTROGAM.

The Gamma-ray Astronomy group aims at conducting research in the following topics:

– Installation, commissioning and first science with LST1 and the first Telescopes of CTA-North.

– Scientific analysis of the MAGIC data.

– Development of the Trigger and Calibration systems, and Science prospects for e-ASTROGAM.

C1-27: Theory Group: Standard Model physics

We carry out research in three broad lines:

  1. a) Standard Model physics and QCD, mostly working on aspects of QCD and heavy-flavor physics;
  2. b) Beyond the Standard Model physics, working in close contact with LHC results;
  3. c) Astro-cosmological implications of particle physics theory.

Our Group includes a rich variety of topics and expertise: while the Standard Model subgroup aims at advancing the foundations of Standard Model predictions and increasing their precision, in order to uncover Beyond Standard Model physics by locating clashes with observations, the Beyond Standard Model subgroup encompasses both model building efforts and phenomenological analyses of experimental and observational results in colliders, astroparticle physics and cosmology.

Our group is one of the largest groups in Europe that works actively and coherently on high energy physics phenomenology, and has proven of high impact in the extraction of the physical implications from recent important experimental results so far.

The Fellow is expected to work in one or several of the research lines listed above in strong collaboration with the members of the theory group.

Same call deadlines but different timeline to selection applies to this topic. Interview scheduled for 19/12/2017.

C1-28: Neutrino oscillation experiment

The IFAE neutrino group concentrates the efforts in the study of interactions of neutrinos with nuclei being one of the main sources of uncertainties in neutrino oscillation experiments. The IFAE neutrino group has international reputation both in the experimental analysis and in the phenomenological studies. Research shall be related to the IFAE activities at the neutrino oscillation experiment T2K in Japan and should contribute to the analysis of the T2K data both for neutrino interactions but it will concentrate on studies about the impact of neutrino cross-section uncertainties in neutrino oscillation experiments. IFAE neutrino group is also involved in the T2K upgrade by contributing to the design and construction of two new Time Projection Chambers for the near detector based on MicroMega readout technology with the opportunity to contribute to this effort on the test beam activities and data analysis.

C1-31: ATLAS

In 1992 IFAE joined the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), making critical contributions to the Tile Calorimeter (TileCal) and the Trigger system. In 2010, IFAE, in collaboration with IMB-CNM, developed new ultra-radiation-hard 3D-pixel devices aqualified them for usage in ATLAS. They are now part of the detector (IBL). During the LHC Run 1 (2010-2012) at center-of-mass energies of 7 and 8 TeV, ATLAS pursued an ambitious scientific program culminating with the discovery of the Standard Model Higgs boson. IFAE was strongly involved in detector operations and led many analyses published by ATLAS. Run 2 started in 2015 at center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. The collection of a factor five more data is anticipated by the end of 2018. The IFAE-ATLAS group continues its involvement in the operation of the detector (TileCal and IBL) and its Trigger system, in particular the Level 1 topological trigger. It pursues a broad and competitive physics program covering Higgs physics, Top quark physics, and new phenomena searches (Supersymmetry, dark matter, extra dimensions, exotic heavy quarks, etc). Postdoctoral research work is expected to play a leading role in physics analysis and participate in experimental work towards future Runs.

 C1-32 Biomedical Optics & Biophysics

Light is a fundamental tool for studying biological systems ranging in size from single molecules and individual cells, to entire organisms. ICFO researchers work to develop new techniques ranging from advanced microscopy and imaging, to novel methods for single molecule sensing, and photonic technologies to detect, diagnose and treat diseases, as well as using these techniques for fundamental studies in biology, biophysics and clinical biomedical research.

Ongoing research activities include: photon migration in live tissues; diffuse optics; translational and clinical biomedical research; non-invasive neuro-monitoring; translational stroke and oncology research; neurophotonics and mechanical systems biology; optogenetics; mechanobiology of neuronal cytoskeleton; cell communication; single-molecule biophotonics; photonic antennas; biosensing; cellular nanoimaging; nano-mechano-biology; biochemical sensing; thermo-plasmonics; lattice light sheet microscopy; high NA-TIRF structured illumination microscopy; 2D/3D live cell single molecule imaging; biomimetic interfaces; quantitative data analysis tools; immune cell migration; temperature control immune cell responses; super resolution imaging; light sheet fluorescence microscopy; Raman microscopy; multiphoton and confocal microscopy.

C1-33 Optical Sensing, Optoelectronics & Photovoltaics

Optics and photonics are at the forefront of effort to develop technologies that are cleaner, faster, smaller, more precise, more efficient, and less energy intensive. ICFO researchers work on developing novel materials and devices for sensors and solar cells, photovoltaics and optoelectronics, exploiting the quantum properties of materials that emerge on the nanoscale, and working closely with industry to develop new photonics technologies.
Ongoing research activities include: Graphene and 2D materials; emerging translational nanotechnology; low-dimensional quantum materials and quantum sensing applications; functional optoelectronic materials; green photonics; organic photovoltaic materials; nano- or micro-structuring materials; optical phenomena at the nanoscale; solar cells and photodetectors; quantum nano-optoelectronics; topological nanophotonics; new concepts for photo-detection, imaging systems, and optical modulation; nano-scale light processing and switching; development of new advanced materials and devices for the photonics industry; ultrathin materials.

C1-34 Nonlinear Optics, Ultrafast Optics & Attoscience

ICFO researchers study the interaction of light and matter at the extremes of high intensities and ultrashort time scales in order to understand the dynamics of quantum systems such as atoms and molecules, and the electronic and magnetic properties of solid state materials and biological systems, produce ultrashort pulses of light, control optical solitons and surface waves, and exploit nonlinear optics to develop novel technologies such as coherent tuneable light sources at wavelengths that are otherwise difficult to access.
Ongoing research activities include: Ultrafast and high-power laser science; Nonlinear optics and extreme photonics; Attosecond X-ray science; Quantum dynamics; Fiber-laser-based Cw OPOs and frequency conversion sources; Fiber-laser-based ultrafast OPOs and frequency conversion sources; Technology transfer and commercial enterprise; Nonlinear mid-Infrared and THz sources; Femtosecond sources from the UV to mid-IR; Optical solitons; Surface waves; Ultrafast phase change dynamics.

C1-35 NanoPhotonics & NanoMechanics

Shrinking matter to the nanoscale leads to fundamentally new effects and opens the door to novel technological applications. ICFO researchers explore the physical properties of nanoobjects, such as nanoscale photonic and plasmonic structures, biological systems and mechanical resonators. They develop techniques to measure minuscule forces and displacements, enhance the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale, and understand the quantum electrodynamic properties of molecular systems such as light harvesting complexes.

Ongoing research activities include: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on single nuclear spins; electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements on single molecules; superfluid helium on carbon nanotube; mechanical resonators based on semiconductor monolayers; mass sensing with nanotube & graphene mechanical resonators; enhanced light-matter interaction; thermo-plasmonics; optical nano-tweezers and optomechanics; biochemical sensing; single molecule ultrafast photonics; nanoantennas; probing light propagation at nanostructures; field enhancement and mode density in nanostructures.

C1-36 Experimental Quantum Optics & Quantum Information

ICFO researchers work to deepen our understanding of the fundamental, quantum properties of light and matter and to develop new quantum technologies and applications with far reaching benefits for society. ICFO is at the forefront of advances that will bring applications, such as ultra-secure communication, more powerful simulation devices, and storage of data and ultra-sensitive sensors to society.

Ongoing research activities include: Quantum frequency conversion; Quantum optics with laser-cooled atomic ensembles; Quantum light sources compatible with solid state quantum memories; Quantum non-linear optics at the single photon level with cold Rydberg atoms; Solid state quantum memories; High-coherence quantum optics; Quantum metrology and quantum control with cold spin ensembles; Quantum sensing using ultra-cold atoms; Quantum engineering of light; Ultracold atomic gases; Quantum simulation with mixtures of Bose-Einstein condensates.

C1-37 Theoretical Nanophotonics, Quantum Optics & Quantum Information

Theoretical research at ICFO focuses on fundamental topics in quantum optics, nonlinear optics, and quantum information science, helping to elucidate the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale and at ultrafast timescales. ICFO researchers develop theoretical and computational techniques to understand and exploit the quantum properties of light and matter for applications ranging from ultra-secure communications, to precision sensing and quantum computing and simulation.

Ongoing research activities include: Quantum networks; Characterization of quantum correlations; Quantum information protocols; Quantum information beyond quantum information; Interfacing cold atoms and nano-photonics; Nano-optical forces and quantum optomechanics; Quantum nonlinear optics; Graphene-based plasmonics and nonlinear optics; Nanoplasmonics; Graphene plasmonics; Quantum nanophotonics; Electron microscope spectroscopies; Disordered ultra-cold atomic gases; Spin-tomics; Attosecond physics; Ultracold dipolar gases; Frustrated spin systems; Nano optics and quantum many-body physics; Quantum information theory; Two-dimensional excitons gases; Quantum gauge theories and ultracold atoms; Ultracold atoms and quantum optics; Stochastic models for transport and self-organization in biological systems.

Eligibility Criteria

To be admitted to the review process, candidates must comply with the following eligibility criteria:

• Presenting complete applications including all requested compulsory information and documentation.

• Having not spent more than 12 months of the prior 36 months in Spain, at the time of the call deadline. You will be required to confirm your compliance through a self-declaration.

• Be in possession of a PhD degree at the time of the call deadline. Please provide evidence when you apply (e.g. scanned PhD-degree or documents that proof having read a successful PhD at the moment of the call deadline).

• Having not been awarded their PhD degree more than 5 years ago, at the time of the call deadline. Exceptions are made for documented periods of parental leave or serious illness. Other equivalent exceptions may be considered when properly documented and motivated by the applicant, e.g, in case of candidates from underdeveloped countries, minorities, and for applicants that pursued their studies under comparatively unfavourable conditions. Please provide evidence when you apply (for instance uploading additional documentation).

• Being first author in at least one publication in an internationally reputed journal at the time of the call deadline. Only accepted and published in print or online papers are eligible. Please provide evidence when you apply (for instance indicating citation in your CV).

Evaluation & Selection

The evaluation of eligible candidates will be carried out by an external, independent selection panel. The evaluation will be objective, independent, free of conflicts of interest and the selection will be based on merits, equal opportunities and freedom of choice of research.

The review procedure will be carried out in various steps:

  1. First review by the selection panel reviewing the documentation submitted with the application. General suitability for PROBIST will be evaluated (review 1).
  2. Invitation of pre-selected candidates to prepare a research proposal with the groups they want to be hosted at. A research proposal that is finally submitted needs to have the hosting commitment by the corresponding GL. Presenting a proposal is a requirement for being invited to the next step (interview).
  3. Second review by the selection panel: interviews and presentation of the research proposal (review 2).
  4. Decision on awardees, reserve list and rejected candidatures. Selected candidates (awardees) will be offered the grant. Rejected offers may be offered to candidates from the reserve list.

The evaluation criteria to be applied to review 1 are:

• Scientific achievements: results, previous research experience and skills, scientific results, awards, etc. (50%)
• References: referees’ evaluation, referees’ experience (30%)
• Intersectoral and international links (20%)

Only candidates with an initial evaluation of 50% or higher are considered “pre-selected” and shall pass to the next step.

The evaluation criteria to be applied to review 2 are:

• Scientific achievements (40%): assessed based on application material and panel interview: scientific results, references, previous research experience and skills, as well as fellowships and awards that had been obtained in the past.
• Scientific merit of the research proposal (30%): Scientific quality and originality of the proposal.
Impact on the candidate’s career development and prospective, as well as strategic relevance for BIST (30%): increased learning curve of the candidate; expose to new ideas and areas; interaction between different BIST centres, internationalization strategy, tech transfer, etc.

Intended re-integration of scientists after a career break is encouraged. Equal opportunities is a principle for the selection process. BIST and the participating centres aim at equal gender balance and pay special attention to candidatures coming from unfavourable conditions.

Applicants will be informed on the progress at all stages of the process. The candidates being assessed in the second review stage will receive an evaluation report for their candidature. The default means for communication is e-mail.

Submitting an Application

Preparing an application

The on-line submission platform for the first call will be open from 1 September 2017. The deadline for the submission of applications is 1 November 2017 end of the day (CET).

Please check the specific call parameters for detailed timelines and research topics.

Applications checklist for the initial submission:
By the deadline, the following documentation and information needs to be presented to be eligible:

1. Application form on personal data (on-line form to be filled in)

• Basic personal data and contact information

2. Application form on background (on-line form to be filled in)

• Specific background information on PhD title, previous works, results, awards, etc.
• Upload of the PhD certificate or substituting document issued by the corresponding University
• Indication of the preferred research topics (one or several)
• Indication of reference persons who endorse your candidature
• Additional information relevant for the application and the eligibility, if applicable

3. Letter of motivation (document upload)

• The cover letter addresses research interests and motivation for the application, as well as the applicant’s background and suitability for the fellowship.

4. Curriculum Vitae (document upload)

• Applicants should indicate their scientific and professional trajectory and include information on publications, awards or other scientific merits. Candidates with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career steps are welcome to apply.

Applications cannot be updated after the submission. Only complete applications are eligible.

After the deadline, applicants will be checked for eligibility. Non-eligible applicants will be rejected. The eligible candidates will be reviewed by the selection panel. Suitable candidates will be invited to present a research proposal with the group(s) of their choice for the second review stage (pre-selected candidates).

Requirements for the second review stage

The pre-selected candidates will receive the group leader’s contact details of the research groups of their interest. They are given 3 weeks to prepare a 2 page research proposal with the group. Candidates whose research proposals pose ethical concerns must indicate this in their proposal. In any case an ‘Ethical Issues Form’ needs to be filled in and uploaded on the submission platform as part of the application. A research proposal that is finally submitted needs to have the hosting commitment of the corresponding group leader, in case of being finally selected. Presenting a proposal is a requirement for being invited to an interview.

The pre-selected candidates who have presented a valid research proposal will then be invited to an interview at the centre(s) where they have obtained a hosting commitment. The dates for the interview are published in the call information when the call is opened. Interviews should be on-site but can be remote if constraints exist. The focus will be on:

• The candidates’ presentations of an executive summary of their background and research experience so far,
• Their justification of motivation for applying to the fellowship, as well as the expected impact it would have on their career prospective,
• The candidates’ presentations of the research proposal.

As a tentative schedule, the interview will last 20 minutes plus 15 minutes of questions and answers.

Successful candidates will be awarded the fellowship or put onto a reserve list according to a shortlist created by the selection panel. Candidates not passing the 70% evaluation threshold will be rejected. Rejected candidates have the right to appeal in justified cases, like evidence of bias or conflict of interest by evaluators, evidence of failure to have reasonably followed the published evaluation procedure, factual errors by evaluators that have substantially altered the outcome of evaluation.

Awardees will be offered the fellowship that they would need to accept or reject within 1 week after the offer. Accepting the offer will start the incorporation process.

Applicants will be informed on the progress of their application at all stages of the process.

All personal data will be treated confidentially.

Start your application now.

After Successful Application

After the application
Accepting the offer of the grant will start the incorporation process.

Requirements for starting your fellowship, in case of being selected:
• You will have to take care of obtaining Visa, work permit and the Spanish Social Security number. You will also need to register residency in Spain in order to obtain the necessary tax number. Your future host organization will provide support and orientation where possible.
• Sign a work contract with the host centre. The place of work will be at the host centre. The usual working conditions of the host apply to your fellowship.

Living and working in Barcelona
An exhaustive description on work and life in Catalonia can be found here.

Post award requirements
The fellows will participate in the generation of the scientific and review reports for the European Commission wherever this is necessary. The European Commission or BIST may require to give feedback on the program and the personal experience of the fellow in it. Both can be necessary during and after the fellowship. In particular, the PROBIST Fellows will need to prepare a final report after the completion of their fellowship. This report should arrive the BIST project manager no later than eight weeks after the end of the fellowship.


No fellowships have been granted yet.
Currently no selection process is ongoing.
The next call for application will open 1 September 2017 here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the calls for the PROBIST postdoctoral fellowship program be?

Call 1: 01/09/2017, deadline 01/11/2017 end of the day CET, selection 01/2018, incorporation foreseen for 03 to 04/2018 (*)

Call 2: 01/02/2018, deadline 01/04/2018 end of the day CEST, selection 06/2018, incorporation foreseen for 08 to 09/2018 (*)

Call 3: 10/06/2018, deadline 15/09/2018 end of the day CEST, selection 11/2018, incorporation foreseen for 01 to 02/2019 (*)

Call 4: 01/12/2018, deadline 01/02/2019 end of the day CET, selection 04/2019, incorporation foreseen for 06/2019 (*)

(*) the exact date of incorporation will be agreed with the host centre once the award is granted. The indicated entry dates are tentative and may be negotiated with the corresponding host centre in justified cases.

How many PROBIST fellowships are available?

The program will fund 61 fellowships of 3 years duration, distributed in 4 calls until the end of 2018.

How do I apply?

Applications need to be presented through the BIST online submission platform. Please read with attention the “Submitting an application” section before you apply to make sure you can meet the call’s requirements.

Which research projects are offered for the fellowships?

Applicants freely choose the research thematic area, research topic and hosting group they want to apply for. After a first review step for general suitability for the PROBIST program, pre-selected candidates will be given the contacts of PROBIST participating group leaders at the BIST centres. They then shall present a 2 page research proposal with their group(s) of interest. Only research proposals that have the hosting commitment of a BIST centre research group can be submitted to the second stage review, where they will have to defend their proposal in an interview.

Which are the participating centres hosting the fellowships?

• The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
• Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ)
• Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
• Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE)
• Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

How can I contact the Scientists willing to host a fellowship I am interested in?

After your application including general documentation like an application questionnaire, a cover letter, a CV and at least 2 referee contacts, a review of the presented documentation on general suitability for the PROBIST program will be carried out. Suitable pre-selected candidates will be given the contacts of PROBIST participating group leaders at the BIST centres and can freely contact the groups of their interest.

Where can I carry out the fellowship and what are the conditions?

PROBIST fellowships will be placed within the host group the successful candidate has chosen during the application process. The working contract will be between the host centre and the fellow. BIST itself will not contract fellows directly.

The specific working conditions of the host centre and the MSCA-COFUND program apply. All participating centres have obtained the “HR Excellence in Research” recognition or have corresponding action plans ongoing. Annual gross salary: 36.252,82€ plus a single allowance of 1504,89€ relocation support (Spanish tax and social security deductions apply).

The fellow will receive close mentoring and supervision through prestigious Senior Researchers, a personalized career development plan and a training program for scientific and transferable skills.

What will be my salary? How much is the fellowship worth?

Annual gross salary: 36.252,82€ plus a single allowance of 1504,89€ relocation support (Spanish tax and social security deductions apply).

Can the PROBIST fellowship be prolonged?

The duration the fellowship is 36 months and usually cannot be prolonged.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria can be found in the “Eligibility Criteria” section

Can I apply if I have lived or worked in Spain previously?

If you have worked in Spain for more than 12 months out of the last 36 months at the date of the call deadline, you are not eligible for PROBIST.

Can I apply if I do not have my PhD diploma yet?

To be eligible, candidates must have finalized their PhD at the date of the call deadline. Application may, instead of the PhD certificate, contain documental evidence that the PhD will be obtained by this date.

I would like to do my PhD at a BIST centre. Is there also a pre-doctoral program?

Yes, please follow this link to the PREBIST pre-doctoral fellowship program.

How do I get access to the application platform?

After having checked the requirements for a successful application you can start the submission process on our website. The platform will guide you through the process. You will be asked to answer an application questionnaire and to upload documentation. You can save and complete your application any time until the call deadline. Only complete applications are eligible for further review.

The application platform will be open for submission from the official call opening date to the call deadline.

For pre-selected candidates the platform will be opened again after the deadline for presenting additional documentation (research proposal, ethical issues questionnaire).

What is the exact deadline?

Call 1: opens 01/09/2017, deadline 01/11/2017 end of the day CET.
Call 2: opens 01/02/2018, deadline 01/04/2018 end of the day CEST.
Call 3: opens 10/06/2018, deadline 15/09/2018 end of the day CEST.
Call 4: opens 01/12/2018, deadline 01/02/2019 end of the day CET.

Are referees mandatory and will they be contacted?

You will be asked to present the contact of at least two referees for your application. As the referees are important for the evaluation of your application, it is mandatory to provide sufficient contact details. The referees will be contacted by BIST after you have validated your application in the on‐line system. The referees will receive an e‐mail with a request to answer a questionnaire and to provide a recommendation letter before the call deadline via the online submission platform. It is the applicant’s responsibility that referees provide the necessary information and documentation before the call deadline. Once you have submitted your application you will be able to follow in the system if your referees have submitted a statement or letter. You can send them a reminder if necessary.

Not having presented two referees will be considered as incomplete applications. Not obtaining sufficient feedback from your referees may negatively impact on the evaluation of your candidature.

What are the structure and the formal requirements for the project description and the CV?

Any CV design is allowed but please make sure that key aspects of your career (trajectory, publications, awards, etc.) are easy to find and understand. The file format of all uploaded documents ideally should be pdf.

What are the different steps in the selection process?

The evaluation of eligible candidates will be carried out by an external, independent selection panel. The evaluation will be objective, independent, free of conflicts of interest and the selection will be based on merits, equal opportunities and freedom of choice of research.

The review procedure will be carried out in various steps:
• First review by the selection panel reviewing the documentation submitted with the application. General suitability for PROBIST will be evaluated.
• Invitation of pre-selected candidates to prepare a research proposal with the groups they want to be hosted at. A research proposal that is finally submitted needs to have the hosting commitment by the corresponding GL. Presenting a proposal is a requirement for being invited to the next step (interview).
• Second review by the selection panel: interviews and presentation of the research proposal.
• Decision on awardees, reserve list and rejected candidatures.
Selected candidates (awardees) will be offered the grant. Rejected offers may be offered to candidates from the reserve list.

What are the evaluation criteria?

• Scientific achievements (40%): assessed based on application material and panel interview: scientific results, references, previous research experience and skills, as well as fellowships and awards that had been obtained in the past.
• Scientific merit of the research proposal (30%): Scientific quality and originality of the proposal.
• Impact on the candidate’s career development and prospective, as well as strategic relevance for BIST (30%): increased learning curve of the candidate; expose to new ideas and areas; interaction between different BIST centres, internationalization strategy, tech transfer, etc.

The panels will provide qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the candidates based on these criteria.

Intended re-integration of scientists after a career break is encouraged. Equal opportunities is a principle for the selection process. BIST and the participating centres aim at equal gendar balance and pay special attention to candidatures coming from unfavourable conditions.

Is it possible to update my application after the submission?

No, modifications will not be accepted after the call deadline. Pre-selected candidates, however, will be able to upload additional information and documents.

How do I know about the state of my application?

Applicants will be informed on the progress at all stages of the process. The candidates being assessed in the second review stage will receive an evaluation report for their candidature. E-mail is the main instrument for communication during the process.

When is the result communicated?

Candidates are informed approximately four months after the call deadline whether they will be granted fellowship. The result can be an offer by BIST, forming part of the reserve list, or a rejection.

Candidates being offered the grant should actively accept the offer within a week. Otherwise reserve list candidates may be contacted. Once you accepted the grant you will receive an appointment letter.

When should the fellowship start? When should be the incorporation to the host centre?

You can start immediately the preparation of formal issues (work permits, visa etc.) after you have received the appointment for the grant. It is expected you to start two months after having received the appointment letter. In any case, fellowships should not start later than 6 months after having received the appointment letter.

Where can I find practical information regarding living and working in Spain?

An excellent updated guide on all you have to know before you arrive can be found on the website of the Catalonian Government.

What languages do you speak?

In Catalonia dominate 2 official languages: Spanish and Catalan. The BIST centres have an international working environment. Although you do not need to be able to speak Spanish or Catalan to begin your fellowship, for your own interest we strongly encourage to learn these languages.

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees