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Undergraduates & Masters

Undergraduates & MastersUndergraduates & Masters

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) aims to provide highly motivated undergraduate and master students the opportunity to conduct research at the CRG. The goal is to encourage students (from all nationalities) in the pursuit of a scientific career giving them the prospect to get experience in an international laboratory while improving their skills.

The CRG is a center of excellence with international teams representing a broad range of disciplines, with first class core technologies to support the research projects, a wide range of seminars given by high-profile invited speakers, and courses on complementary and transferable skills integrated with the training programme.

We accept applications throughout the year for any type of internship with a learning agreement with your university. Have a look at our labs and research programmes and contact the Group Leader of your choice directly with the following documents attached:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Reference letter
  • University transcripts

Acceptance will depend on the capacity of the research group and the ongoing projects.

We host online events and workshops to inform you about various opportunities available at the CRG and guide you on how to search for PhD positions. If you are keen to learn more, fill out this form HERE.

Below are some fellowships available for the academic year 2023/2024:

Evolutionary Processes Modeling

PROJECT DESCRIPTION - Study of cancer driver genes evolution

Cancer is a genetic disease that develops from a healthy cell after acquiring mutations. Mutations in a small set of around 600 genes, known as cancer driver genes, can transform nonproliferative cells into malignant ones. These mutations are generated by a set of mutational processes, each producing a distinct mutational profile referred to as a "mutational signature". In this project, we aim to use these mutational signatures together with simulations in order to identify the processes, both endogenous and exogenous, that might have impacted the evolution of cancer driver genes.


For this project, we require a student with proficient programming skills in Python and/or R, and prior experience with bioinformatics software and data. Ideally, we seek a bioinformatics student as they possess the perfect combination of biological and informatics background. However, students with technical backgrounds, adept at simulations and statistical computations, are also welcome. You don't have to be familiar with SLiM or other simulation software, but it's a plus if you are.

Transcriptomics of Vertebrate Development and Evolution



The ability to generate external electric fields is restricted to only few teleost and elasmobranch species. This function evolved independently at least six times, generating different specialized organs composed of cells called electrocytes. In a small tropical clade that shares a common ancestor with other fish with a myogenic electric organ, electrocytes have evolved de novo from neuron precursors. These neurogenic electrocytes create the organ by packing axons with unique morphological properties. However, nothing is known about the molecular changes that underlie these striking evolutionary novelties, to a large extent due to the difficulty to access the somas of electrocytes. The goal is to elucidate the genomic and regulatory bases of the origin of the neurogenic electrocytes. This will be possible thanks to the use of cutting-edge single-cell multi-omics technologies and use comparative approaches with close fish relatives and between neurogenic and myogenic electrocytes to identify unique and convergent evolutionary genomic patterns. Altogether, will positively impact neuroscience and evolutionary research, revealing new mechanisms of novel cell-type evolution.

The ideal student should have basic knowledge in transcriptomics and epigenetics analysis and in single-cell sequencing technologies. Technical knowledge in planning and performing molecular biology experiments and histological preparations is desired with the ability to gain work independence, after thorough training and testing. The student should be collaborative with professional spirit and friendly attitude, eager to learn in a fast-paced environment. Following skills are a plus but not a requirement: work experience in neuroscience, genomics or evolution.


Oocyte Biology & Cellular Dormancy



Oocytes, the female germ cells that become eggs, form before birth and remain in a dormant state for decades. We have recently published a novel mechanism employed only by oocytes, so far, to prevent oxidative damage during all those years (Rodríguez-Nuevo et al., 2022, Nature). Now, we aim to uncover other fascinating strategies that these cells may use to keep a healthy lifespan. If you are interested in the fields of female fertility, longevity or mitochondria, join our lab for a stimulating internship.


We are looking for a highly motivated last-year undergraduate or master's student with wet lab experience. The student should be fluent in English.

Computational Biology of RNA Processing



Reverse transcriptases (RTs) are special enzymes that can create a matching strand of DNA (cDNA) from an RNA molecule. This technique, called RT-PCR, is widely used in molecular biology for tasks like measuring gene expression and making cDNA templates for cloning and sequencing. It's crucial that the cDNA creation is accurate to get a true representation of the RNA. In our lab, we're focused on improving the setup for a type of advanced sequencing called long-read sequencing using Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT). We want to see how the choice of RT in the first step affects the cDNA we get and its quality. We'll be testing six different enzymes and three different protocols with 18 samples from HEK293T cell lines. These samples will help us understand how using different enzymes during library preparation, along with different protocols, affects the sequencing results. We'll look at things like coverage, length, integrity, and yield of full-length molecules, as well as sequencing error rate and accuracy of detecting splice junctions. We'll also use additional data from ENCODE to enhance our analysis.


Ideally, the student should have an academic background in computational biology, especially related to the field of genomics. Theoretical knowledge of laboratory protocols and long-read sequencing will be evaluated positively. Good problem-solving skills and adaptability, as well as a will to autonomously stay abreast of developments in the field and to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team (wet and dry lab) are also researched. Familiarity with bash scripting and R for data analysis and visualization is preferable. "


Cellular & Systems Neurobiology



This project aims to characterize the impact of the genetic background on a potential therapeutic application in cellular models of Down syndrome (DS, or trisomy 21). DS is the most common genetic form of intellectual disability, affecting ~10 per 10,000 live births in Europe. Individuals with DS present an extra human chromosome 21 and display a collection of phenotypes with high inter-individual variabilities. Allelic variations located in trisomic and disomic genes play a crucial role in these phenotypic fluctuations, but their specific contributions have not been determined due to limitations in experimental set-ups and lack of suitable technologies. The aim of this project is to shed light on the contribution of specific allele variants on DS phenotypes in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), such as the embryonic growth rate. Moreover, we will proof-the-concept of allele-specific gene editing in Ts65Dn and TcMAC21 mESCs of genes of interest (e.g., Dyrk1a, a clinically relevant therapeutic target for DS). The results of this project could lead to the dissection of allelic variations and relate their influence with the correction of the gene of interest (e.g., Dyrk1a, APP or Rcan1) expression levels in those cellular models. At the end, the candidate should be able to select the best gene-editing approach for a preclinical model of DS for in vivo applications.


The student should be highly interested in neuroscience and genetics. She/he should be highly motivated to work under wet lab conditions, which means that she/he should be assertive, independent, persistent, and organized. She/he should have fundamental knowledge of different laboratory methods, such as PCR, cloning and cell culture.

Single Cell and Synthetic Genomics of Blood Formation



The hematopoietic system supplies our bodies with a trillion new blood cells each day with a variety of functions. Evidently, the ability to create this massive number of healthy cells with unique functions requires a fine interplay of gene expression programs. In our lab we try to understand how lineage differentiation and activation of blood stem cells is regulated and encoded in the genome.  
To investigate this, we have established high-throughput genetic screens at single-cell and bulk levels to probe and investigate the role of specific gene regulatory elements (GREs) in the regulation of gene expression. Specifically, these screens allow us to profile the activity of thousands of endogenous and synthetically designed GREs in different cell types of the hematopoietic landscape.  
In this project, we will investigate how depleting key transcription factors (TFs) using the CRISPRi technology affects GRE activity. To investigate GRE activity, we will leverage our lab's expertise on high-throughput genetic screens within the hematopoietic system. The resulting data will be ideally suited to study the mechanisms of synergy, additivity, and antagonism that dictate enhancer grammar to regulate differentiation programs in hematopoietic stem cells.


Ideally, the student should be motivated and a proactive team player who is keen to learn more about science. She/h should have a background on Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, or equivalent. She/he should have a strong interest in understanding Gene Regulation, Single-cell Omics Methods (scRNA-Seq, CRISPR screens), and the Hematopoietic System. It will be a plus if you have some experience in Cell Culture and cloning favorable and sequencing protocols 

Design of Biological Systems



Surface display technologies have been fundamental tools in the field of protein engineering and the discovery of high affinity interactions. Out the commonly available display technologies (phage, yeast, bacteria), the latter offers unique advantages in terms of both library sizes and available methods for high-throughput characterisation. Mycoplasma has neither a cell wall nor multiple cellular membranes, allowing for direct anchoring of the tested library on the cell surface. It has also been shown to correctly fold human proteins (interleukins, nanobodies, enzymes) even when post-translational modifications are involved.

In this work, we propose to develop a mycoplasma-based display assay combining different species based on their specific properties. The adherent model system Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mpn) will be used to cover a surface on which the target protein will be immobilized. The fast-growing Mycoplasma feriruminatoris (Mfr) will be engineered for library display. In both cases, a lipobox N-terminal signal peptide will be used to anchor proteins on the bacterial membrane. In the case of Mpn, this has already been achieved.

Future work will first consist of the characterization of potential lipobox signal peptides in Mfr. Then, the viability of recreating protein-protein interactions in mycoplasma would be tested in a proof-of-concept experiment.


This is predominantly a wet-lab project, although any skills in dry lab will be appreciated. The skills required will be mainly general molecular biology techniques (PCR, Western Blotting, ELISA, Flow cytometry) and cloning in particular. Having worked with pathogenic bacteria and mycoplasma in particular would be ideal, but it is not expected and training will be provided.

Students from all backgrounds in biological sciences are welcome, although it might be better to have a background in synthetic biology or microbiology. The theoretical knowledge required for a successful stay can be obtained during the duration of the fellowship.

Epigenetic Events in Cancer



Cell differentiation is a complex biological process involving the transformation of stem or progenitor cells into terminally differentiated effector cells. While the concept of differentiation is well recognized, the mechanistic underpinnings of this process remain little explored. Here, we propose a comprehensive investigation into the determinants governing cell differentiation, with a specific focus on the differentiation of mouse Embryonic Stem Cells (mESCs) into Neural Precursors (NPCs).
This master internship  proposal aims to address the fundamental questions surrounding the molecular and cellular events that orchestrate the differentiation of mESCs into NPCs. By employing cutting-edge techniques in genomics, and molecular biology, we seek to unravel the intricate regulatory networks and epigenetic modifications that drive this transition.


We are seeking a student with a background in biology, genetics, or biotechnology, as these areas are integral to the project's focus. In particular, proficiency in wet lab techniques such as cell culture and cloning will be highly valuable for the successful execution of the research. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, detail-oriented, and a collaborative individual who can work effectively in a team environment and is dedicated to making meaningful contributions to the field of biology and genetics.

Fellowships conditions

  • 600€/month – up to 5 months
  • Return ticket (800€/non European flight – 300€/European flight)
  • The fellowship can only be given to new recruits, not students already at the CRG
  • The fellowship needs to be given within the academic year 2023/2024

Please contact the lab directly attaching the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Reference letter
  • University transcripts


For any further questions, please contact

CRG Training & Academic Office
Centre de Regulació Genòmica
Dr. Aiguader, 88
PRBB Building
08003 Barcelona

Past opportunities