a public-private collaboration
committted to science and the future
Fundación General CSIC (FGCSIC) is a private non-profit organisation created by a joint initiative of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and its founding patrons. With broad experience in promoting public-private collaboration programmes in research and innovation, in 2014 FGCSIC launched the ComFuturo programme, an alliance with the CSIC and leading private entities to attract the best young research and entrepreneurial talent.
After four successful previous calls for young researchers at the Spanish national level, now FGCSIC wants to expand ComFuturo, attracting international talent, through a comprehensive programme that includes quality training and industrial and international research secondments.
This 60-month programme offers 15 ComFuturo 36-month fellowships to Experienced Researchers of any nationality who have obtained their PhD in the last 10 years and who have not resided or carried out their main activity (work or studies) in Spain for more that 12 months in the last 3 years The ComFuturo fellows will be selected through a single call and an objective and transparent process which will include an external evaluation. The Spanish National Research Council will recruit, hire and host them.
ComFuturo research areas will include those aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that contribute, from any scientific-technical discipline, to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda; and topics proposed by the Partner Organitations, in consensus with FGCSIC, that help respond to strategic challenges of the productive sector.
ComFuturo aims to contribute to obtain a generation of researchers who are leaders in their fields of specialization, but at the same time, versatile and multifaceted, for an improvement in their employability prospects and a successful development of their professional careers, whether in the public or private sector.
Via the promotion of highly innovative projects and science of excellence, ComFuturo also aspires to generate an impact on the sustainability of the productive fabric, the environment and society.
a MSCA-COFUND programme
The ComFuturo Programme is supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND of the European Commission. The MSCA are the European Union’s flagship funding programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training of researchers. They fund excellent research and innovation and equip researchers with new knowledge and skills, through mobility across borders and exposure to different sectors and disciplines.
The MSCA promote excellence and set standards for high-quality researcher education and training in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement Nº 101034263
How to apply
to ComFuturo positions
Eligible researchers must comply with the MSCA mobility rule: they may not have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline (except duly justified cases which were detailed in the Call Guidelines). In addition, researchers must be in possession of a doctoral degree (having obtained their PhD in the last 10 years maximum, again except duly justified cases).
The call for ComFuturo positions was open from the 28th of April until the 23rd of June, 10:00am CEST. It was published on the EURAXESS website and announced on www.comfuturo.es, www.fgcsic.es and social media.
Currently, after the elegibility check process, proposals are being evaluated in the external evaluation process. FGCSIC will provide to applicants the outcome of the external evaluation and will be informed if they pass to the next evaluation phase (the personal interview).
The final selection of the projects to be funded will be based on the results of the external evaluation process and interviews. The final outcome of results is expected for November 2022, unless unexpected circumstances arise.
The start of the fellowships with the recruitment and incorporation of the ComFuturo grant beneficiaries (ComFuturo fellows) to the corresponding CSIC host institutes is expected for the first quarter of 2023 (the exact date of incorporation will be duly notified to selected fellows after the outcome of the call).
ComFuturo fellows will be selected following a transparent, merit-based, rigorous and fair selection procedure, which will include a first phase of peer review by scientific and technological experts, as well as a second phase of personal interviews. Special consideration will be given to the originality and innovative nature of the research project, its applicability and potential for transfer to the productive fabric, and the entrepreneurial profile of the candidates, as well as their ability to set and achieve far-reaching objectives.
ComFuturo project proposals must:
- Be original and aim to resolve current problems and challenges through innovative techniques and methodologies
- Have an innovative approach and a high potential of transferring the expected results to the productive fabric
- Be carried out in a CSIC research institute. A Declaration of interest letter digitally signed by the Director of the proposed CSIC institute and by another proposed CSIC supervisor of the researcher (see Call Guidelines) must be attached, indicating the predisposition to accept the fellow. In the online application form, a template is provided
- Have a maximum duration of three years (36 months)
- Comply with the eligible research areas (see the Call Guidelines)
- Follow the call rules regarding Ethics aspects of the proposed research
the host institution
The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest public research institution in Spain and one of the most renowned institutions in the European Research Area (ERA). It is affiliated to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Secretary General for Research.
Its mission is to promote, coordinate, develop and disseminate scientific and technological multidisciplinary research, in order to contribute to the progress of knowledge and economic, social and cultural development; as well as to train researchers and provide advice to public and private entities in these fields.
CSIC mainly develops its scientific and technical activity through its more than 120 research institutes, which are distributed throughout the national territory. Research in CSIC extends in three Global Areas: Society (S), Life (V) and Materia (M), and four connection axes between them (SV, SM, VM, SVM), which allow to address interdisciplinary research, initiatives of excellence and knowledge transfer, and tackle frontier issues in virtually all areas of knowledge.
CSIC has been awarded by the European Commission with the HR Excellence in Research seal, a distinction that officially recognizes and accredits the body’s commitment and effort to improve all processes related to recruitment, working conditions, training, management and responsibility of the CSIC research staff, in accordance with what is established in the European Charter and Code of Conduct for Researchers.
and Career Guidance
ComFuturo fellows will be able to carry out secondments in the facilities of ComFuturo’s Partner Organisations or other possible companies or entities. These secondments will be an important part of the ComFuturo fellowships within the programme development and will allow ComFuturo fellows to gain new skills for their research, wider career and personal development, and the chance to apply their skills in a different environment.
Training in a broad range of competences will also be provided to the ComFuturo researchers. This will comprise permanent training on research skills offered by CSIC and Partner Organisations, as well as multiple activities, seminars, short courses, etc. in transferrable skills, which will be coordinated by FGCSIC, and that will include topics such as communication and dissemination of research results, knowledge and technology transfer or ethics in science. The training programme will aim to broaden the fellows´ research background and to help them develop their individual skills in order to prepare them to become first level researchers and to promote their employability, enabling them to compete for jobs, inside or outside academia, at the end of their projects or as they continue their research career.
In addition, fellows will be encouraged to develop, together with a series of supervisors, a Personalised Career Development Plan (PCDP), which, following Europe’s recommendations, will include research and innovation objectives and other researchers´ training and career needs, establishing short and long term objectives for their career development.
A bit of history…
origins of ComFuturo
FGCSIC created ComFuturo in 2014, a moment when the activity of the Spanish public science, technology and innovation system had serious financing problems, as a consequence of the economic recession scenario. The situation mainly affected the youngest researchers, with abandonment of their scientific career or expatriation in order to develop their skills. Many programs for the incorporation of young scientists were cancelled.
In that context, FGCSIC created ComFuturo, a public-private alliance with the Spanish National Research Council and leading private entities to respond to the unemployment of highly qualified young scientists, capturing the best young research talent and enabling them to apply their valuable skills to solving problems of industrial and social interest.
In 2018, FGCSIC launched the second edition of the programme. The dramatic loss of researchers as a result of the crisis had recovered partially, but there still was, and there still is, a strong need for programmes that attract young scientific talent, the key of our future.