Grants for Young Researchers

The announcement for Knowledge Generation Projects is the AEI's main instrument for financing R+D projects. The main characteristics of this announcement are:

Link: Description of the announcement for Knowledge Generation Projects

As you can see, the projects can be of two modalities: oriented and non-oriented. In addition to these modalities, the projects of this announcement can be of two types depending on the characteristics of the personnel leading the project (principal investigator, PI): type B projects and type A projects.

  • Type B projects: They are projects led by one or two IP with a consolidated research trajectory.
  • Type A projects: They are projects directed by one or two IP, with relevant scientific-technical contributions and innovative proposals, which must meet particular requirements in addition to the generals established in each announcement. These requirements are oriented to be a young person, who has defended his doctoral thesis in recent years, generally ten. This period may be extended based on the circumstances of the person who acts as IP. 

Before requesting one of these grant, it is very important to review in detail the requirements established by the announcement. Below is an indicative summary of these requirements in relation to the person acting as IP of type A projects:

  • Not having been previously IP for more than a year of research projects of the equivalent action modalities of national R+D+I plans.
  • Have the degree of doctor. The date of obtaining the doctor's degree must be included in the dates that are defined in each announcement.
  • Meet the link requirement for having an official, statutory, labor or other professional link with the requesting entity. Particular conditions are established to facilitate access to people who have a contract of the "Ramón y Cajal" program and for people who are in expectation of appointment or hiring for having exceeded a personnel selection procedure in competitive concurrence of the public sector.
  • Comply with the participation and incompatibility regime that is defined in each announcement.
  • When the type A project is presented with two IP, both must meet the requirements required to be IP of type A.
  • Projects can be carried out individually or coordinated. Individual projects are led by one or two IP with a research team. The coordinated projects are formed by two or more subprojects, each of them led by one or two IP and a research team. Coordinated projects must have common objectives and specific objectives for each subproject. Compliance with all objectives is necessary to achieve the global objective of the coordinated project. The coordinating project must be type B.

The report by the AEI on the 2018 project announcement shows the results of this announcement for type A. projects

Link: Report on the 2018 project announcement.

The AEI has a set of contract announcements for young researchers and technicians. These announcements allow to build itineraries to develop a career in the field of research. Next, the agency contract announcements are described, classified according to their purpose. The description that is made is indicative. It is necessary to review the details of each particular announcement.

R+D+I technicians contracts have a duration of three years. It can be accessed with a professional or university training degree. This link describes the announcement for R+D+I technicians:


Doctors training

Predoctoral contracts have a duration of four years. It is accessed with university master's training. The AEI has two parallel routes for doctors training:

The Juan de la Cierva training announcement is intended for people who received the title of Doctor less than two years before formulating the application. This announcement finances a two -year contract. The 2020 announcement was 278 places. In 2021 500 places will be convened.


Incorporation of postdoctoral researchers

The agency finances three ways for the incorporation of doctors: two of them are intended for universities and research centers. The third is destined to incorporate doctors into companies.

A young person who begins his career in the investigation can select the AEI announcements that best adapt to each moment of his career.

When a person follows a specialization as a technician, it is normal that with a R+D+I technician contract he acquires the experience necessary to develop a career in a company or a public center. The AEI technicians contracts specialize in research techniques and the management of latest equipment.

To develop a career as a researcher in a company, both the industrial doctorate and the Torres Quevedo program end up in an indefinite contract. The doctorate necessary for Torres Quevedo can be made with a preoccissive contract of the AEI, with an FPU contract of the Ministry of Universities or with any other doctoral program.

To pursue a career as a researcher at universities or research centers, the sequence of AEI grant is a predoctoral contract, Juan de la Cierva Formation, Juan de la Cierva Incorporation and Ramón y Cajal. In addition, the State Plan for Scientific and Technical and Innovation Research 2021-2023 provides for the figure of an indefinite contract of Tenure Track type. In practice, a person who stabilizes as a researcher has very often enjoyed any of these AEI announcement contracts. Sometimes he has enjoyed more than one, and he has very rarely enjoyed sequentially. The normal thing is that the AEI announcements are combined with periods working abroad and/or announcements from the Ministry of Universities, Autonomous Communities or Foundations.