You are here

    • You are here:
    • Home > PhD4MD - Collaborative Research Training Programme for Medical Doctors

PhD4MD - Collaborative Research Training Programme for Medical Doctors

PhD4MD - Collaborative Research Training Programme for Medical DoctorsPhD4MD - Collaborative Research Training Programme for Medical Doctors

Programme description
Eligibility criteria
Training and benefits
How to apply
Selection process
Collaborative projects
Call calendar
Related documents

Programme description

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) are launching a new training programme on research for medical doctors, called PhD4MD. The CRG and the IRB Barcelona are internationally recognized research institutes in life sciences, while the IDIBAPS and the VHIR, associated to the Hospital Clinic and Vall d'Hebron Hospital, respectively, are international leaders in translational research.

The long-term goal of the PhD4MD programme is to train the next generation of physician scientists who will drive research and accomplish greater impact on patients through a research career informed by medical insight.

In this framework, the four institutes are recruiting highly talented and motivated candidates with outstanding qualifications to carry out a PhD research project in biomedicine right after their medical specialization.

Awardees will benefit from an exciting international scientific environment and an integrated training programme, including access to state-of-the-art technological platforms, lectures and seminars, specialized scientific and technological courses, complementary skills training and career development activities, symposia and retreats, as well as social activities. Awardees will also have the opportunity to have some reserved time for shifts at the hospital to allow continuous contacts with the patients and the clinical work.

Successful candidates will work on collaborative projects between one group focusing on fundamental biology at the CRG (the Centre for Genomic Regulation together with the National Centre for Genomic Analysis, CNAG) or IRB Barcelona and one group focusing on translational or clinical research at the VHIR or IDIBAPS.   

Eligibility criteria

Candidates should fulfill the following eligibility criteria at the time of the call deadline. If one or more of the eligibility criteria are not fulfilled, the proposal will be declared ineligible and will be withdrawn from any further consideration:

  • Candidates must have obtained a Medical Degree and the Spanish FSE (MIR - Medical Internship or residency) or an officially accredited as equivalent obtained in any EU country between 01/01/2013 and the contract starting date, which should be before 31/10/2017.
  • Only MDs (MIR) are eligible. FIR, BIR candidates will not be considered.
  • For calculating the aforementioned term, the following periods will be excluded:

a) Maternity or paternity leave, according to the Social Security General Regime regulations. An extension of 1 year for each daughter/son will be applied.

b) Illness or serious accident leading to medical leave: if such leave lasted more than 3 months.

c) Care of dependents according to Law 39/2006, if such a care period lasted more than 3 months

  • Candidates who have already been granted a similar PhD contract (such as “Río Hortega” Contracts) are not eligible.
  • Candidates should have previous research experience and a strong commitment to scientific research.
  • Candidates must have a solid knowledge of English.

In case of any doubt concerning the eligibility criteria and prior to the submission of the application, applicants should contact

Training and benefits

The successful candidates will benefit from the Training Programmes available at the four institutions, including:

  • International scientific environment.
  • Advanced research training (training-through research, specific scientific and technology courses and a variety of seminars and conferences with international invited speakers).
  • Career development activities.
  • Cutting-edge core facilities.
  • Student community activities.
  • Competitive salary.

How to apply

  • Applications must be submitted online from here
  • Candidates must register in order to use the online application system.
  • The online application form requests all of the necessary information for the initial stages of the selection process (General information, Reference letters, Education, coursework, honours, scholarships, prizes and awards, research experience, career breaks and scientific interests)
  • Applicants should indicate at least one and up to three collaborative projects on which they would like to work on, in order of preference.
  • Two reference letters will be automatically requested to the referees proposed by the candidate through the online system.
  • Candidates must ensure that all information is included before the deadline, including the reference letters. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Once the application is submitted an acknowledgement of receipt will be automatically sent by email to the applicant.

Applicants who would like to receive the information of the call in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), or who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on + 34 93 316 01 00.

For any additional information, please contact VHIR Competitive Research Unit at

Selection process

  • Pre-selection: The pre-selection will be based on the candidate's CV, reference letters and on the research interests. Complete applications will be reviewed within a few weeks after the deadline.
  • Oral interviews: During the third week of May (15-19 May 2017), the pre-selected candidates will participate in panel interview process. The 5 top candidates in the final ranking list will be offered a PhD4MD contract.
  • Notification of results to candidates: Offers will be made to the successful candidates shortly after the interview period, and no later than May 31, 2017. Selected candidates will have two weeks to accept the position and should start their fellowships no later than 31 October 2017.

See also the Call Text.

Collaborative projects

For this second call, the group leaders who have expressed interest in recruiting are:

  • Novel targets to prevent Kidney failure in Dent’s patients - Anna Meseguer, PhD (VHIR) / Vivek Malhotra, PhD (CRG-CNAG)

  • Role of dietary fatty acids in oral carcinoma metastasis - Coro Bescós Atin, MD PhD (VHIR) / Salvador Aznar Benitah, PhD (IRB)

  • Prediction of therapeutic response of cancer patients by using STORM - Matilde Esther LLeonart Pajarín, PhD (VHIR) / Maria Pia Cosma, PhD (CRG-CNAG)

  • Integrative genomic analysis and drivers in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma - Josep M Llovet, MD PhD (IDIBAPS) / Roger Gomis, PhD (IRB)

  • Identification of neuromelanin-based pathophysiological pathways and candidate biomarkers in the prediagnostic phase of Parkinson’s disease - Miquel Vila, MD PhD (VHIR) / Eulàlia Martí, PhD (CRG-CNAG)
  • Next generation sequencing for identification and characterization of clinically relevant drivers in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and potential new mechanisms of resistance - Noemi Reguart, MD PhD (IDIBAPS) / Núria López-Bigas, PhD (IRB)
  • Precision medicine for children and adolescents with solid tumors - Soledad Gallego Melcon, MD PhD (VHIR) / lvo Glynne Gut (CRG-CNAG)
  • Multiple System Atrophy: Synuclein Regulation and Biomarkers Discovery - Gian Gaetano Tartaglia, PhD (CRG-CNAG) / Maria José Martí, MD PhD (IDIBAPS)
  • Splicing factor mutations in hematological malignancies - Dolors Colomer (IDIBAPS) /  Juan Valcárcel (CRG)

Call Calendar

Call opening 17 February,  2017
Call deadline  31 March, 2017
Oral interviews 15- 19 May, 2017
Notification to candidates 31 May, 2017
Start date September/October 2017

Related documents


For any additional information, please contact VHIR Competitive Research Unit at