Practical info

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must fulfill the following criteria in order to be considered eligible for a position at DOCFAM+; those applicants not fulfilling these eligibility criteria will be contacted by email to inform of their ineligibility status. No restrictions on nationality, age and gender will be implemented during the selection process.

Mobility rule: Candidates may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
ESR criteria: Early-stage researchers (ESR) shall at the call deadline be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
Candidates must hold a degree with a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in university studies of which at least 60 must be at Master's level, OR Candidates must hold of a qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems without the need for official recognition, having previously confirmed with the university that this qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to the official Spanish university Master's degree and that it would serve as a means of access to a PhD in the country in which it was awarded.

Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English. A proof of upper-intermediate level must be included in the application; this should take the form of one of the recognised international qualifications (minimum CEFR B2, Cambridge English First (FCE), PTE Level 3, IELTS 5-6.5 or TOEFL > 72). Applicants from native English speaking countries can apply without the need for proof of level (for a full list of countries see the guide for applicants). An official degree (including postgraduate) conducted in English as the only language will be also accepted as a proof of level.

Evaluation and selection process

The evaluation and selection process is carried out in five different steps: 

STEP 1: Eligibility Check
After the call is closed, the Management Team will revise all the applications received. An eligibility check will be first completed, including mobility and ESR rules and the proof of english level. A second check will be carried out to confirm that all the neccessary documents have been submitted. Only succesful applications will pass to the second stage.
STEP 2: Evaluation
A Scientific Selection Committee with the presence of external evaluators will be in charge of evaluating the applications of the different candidates along with representatives of the coordinator and recruiting organisations. The only criteria for evaluation is based on the scientific merit and excellence of the candidate. 

Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds:

Education* 55 30 1
Research & working experience** 20 8 2
Other merits*** 15 5 3
TOTAL 90    

*Graduate and postgraduate qualifications, motivation letter, recommendation letter(s).
**Participation in projects, publications,  mobility (research stays), attendance to conferences and events, patents, research skills and competences.
***Supervision and mentoring, public awareness (dissemination & communication activities), any other relevant merits.
STEP 3: Provisional Scoring and Ranking
The Management Team will collect the external evaluations and prepare a provisional ranking. For each call, a short list will be produced with approximately twice the number of available positions (i.e. 22 candidates will be short-listed in each DOC-FAM Call). Those candidates short-listed will be contacted in order to carry out a remote interview.
STEP 4: Interview
An interview will take place to the short-listed candidates; the interview will count 10% towards the final scoring. The remote (videoconference) interview in English will last 10-15’ in order to get some additional information and insights on the academic record of the candidates, their motivations and suitability to the programme, and the impact that the programme may have on their future career prospects. The interview will also be used to validate the accreditation of English level.
STEP 5: Final Scoring and Ranking
After the interview stage, the final ranking of proposals will be produced taking into account the evaluations and interviews, proceeding to invite those fellows ranking favourably. A consensus Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) will be sent to all the applicants participating in the evaluation with the relevant information (final score, funding decision, summary of strengths and weaknesses as identified by the members of the Committee based on the comments from the evaluators).

Funding conditions

DOC-FAM doctoral programme promotes adequate work and employment conditions for the recruited researchers, fulfilling the principles set in the Charter & Code. Selected fellows will receive a generous salary including living and mobility allowances. In addition, DOC-FAM will cover tuition fees for PhD studies during the 3 years of the contract. Fellows will also enjoy research, training & networking costsrelated to their participation in the different activities throughout the programme.

Living allowance: 28,800€/year
Mobility allowance: 4,800€/year

TOTAL gross salary*: 33,600€/year
*Gross salary includes the employer's social security contributions (around 32%). Net salary results from deducting all compulsory social security contributions as well as direct taxes from the gross amounts. Social security coverage for the contracted fellows in Spain include benefits for health care, occupational accident, unemployment and disablement benefits, parental and sick leave.

Research, training and networking costs: 6,000€/year

PhD tuition fees: 600€/year



How many calls will be in DOCFAM+ and when they will open?

In DOCFAM+, a total of 2 Calls will open during the duration of the doctoral programme. The first Call opens in 2023, while the second Call will open in 2024.

Can I submit more than one application for the same Call?
Unfortunately, only one application will be accepted per person in each Call. You can access and edit your application anytime before the deadline, but once submitted your application will be final.
Can I submit an application to the second Call if I was not succesful in the first one?
Of course! the only thing you must take into account is that you will have to fulfill the eligibility criteria of the Call you are applying to, and some of these criteria are taken into account at the closing date for applications.
Is it possible to import a previous application to the new Call?
Yes, there is an option when you open a new application to import a previous one, therefore you do not have to upload and create a new application from scratch.
Where I can find the relevant information to apply to one of the DOCFAM+ fellowships?
All the neccesary information to apply to one of the DOC-FAM positions is available on this website. Potential candidates should pay especial attention to the eligibility criteria. We recommend to read carefully the "Guide for Applicants" documents before starting any application.


Do I have to be a national from the European Union to be eligible to apply?
No. Candidates from any nationality can apply to one of DOC-FAM positions. Eligible candidates must fulfill the mobility rule; i.e. candidates may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call. deadline. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
Can I submit my application via email?
No. The only accepted format is through the online application system. Any applications received by email or any other means will not be accepted.
I have an accredited English level, but it is below the level specified in the guide for applicants. Can I still be considered eligible?
No. Unfortunately eligible candidates mut demonstrate an upper-intermediate English level that may take the form of at least one of the following recognised international qualifications (or above): CEFR B2, Cambridge English First (FCE), PTE Level 3, IELTS 5-6.5 or TOEFL > 72).
Can I access and modify my submittted application before the deadline of the Call?
No. You can access and modify your application anytime during the opening of the Call; however, once the application is submitted you will not be able to modify it anymore.
I am currently embarked on a PhD programme but I have still not defended my thesis. Can I still be considered eligible?
Yes. However you have to make sure that you fulfill the conditions to be considered as an early-stage researcher (ESR). If you have already been awarded a doctoral degree or have more than 4-years of full-time research experience at the call deadline you are not eligible to apply for a position (for a full definition of full-time research experience, read the guide for applicants).


Can I use any extension and size for the supporting documents?
No. All the supporting documents as part of your application (CV, Motivation Letter, Academic Records, Proof of English Level) must be uploaded as .pdf files. The maximum extension accepted for each file is 4Mb.
Are there any templates available for the CV and motivation letter or can I use my own format?
Yes, there are templates available for those supporting documents that you must include in your application, in particular your Curriculum Vitae and the Motivation Letter. The Academic Records and Proof of English Level can be uploaded in any format as long as they are .pdf files with a maximum size of 4Mb.
Is it possible to submit an application if one of the supporting documents is missing?
Yes. The system does allow you to submit your application even if the proof of english level is missing. This is because some applicants are exempt from including this document in the application. However, if you are not exempt from including this document you will be considered ineligible later on during the elegibility check.
Can I submit my supporting documents by email or as a hard copy by post?
No. The only accepted way of submitting your application is by including all the required supporting documents in it. Failure to do so, either by sending them via email or by any other means, will results in your application being considered ineligible.
A screen capture of my academic records from the intranet of the University is valid as a way of accreditation?
No. Only official certificates and transcript records will be accepted to validate your application. If you have completed a degree or master that entitles you to embark in a PhD (as stated in the eligibility criteria) but you have not received the final printed certificate, the transcript of records (if they contain enough information to prove that you have completed the education) or an official letter from your University is sufficient.


When I will be contacted regarding my application?
You may be contacted several times during the application process. After submission of your application, you will receive an automatic email indicating the correct submission. A few days later, you will be contacted again with the decision on your eligibility status. Candidates going through to the evaluation of merits will receive an email with their inclusion or not in the short-list and therefore an invitation to the interview stage. Those candidates whose merits have been evaluated but they have not been awarded with a fellowship will be contacted again with their Evaluation Summary Report (ESR).
What is the purpose of the interview?
As stated in the "Guide for Applicants", the interview will be used to get additional information and insights on the academic record of the candidates, their motivations and suitability to the programme, and the impact that the programme may have on their future career prospects. The interview will also be used to validate the accreditation of English level.
Are the interviews carried out on-site or remotely?
In principle all the interviews to the short-listed candidates will be carried out remotely. If by any chance, the Scientific Committee considers that it is necessary to make an interview on-site, they will contact the candidate(s) in advance.
Can I present additional documentation during the interview stage?
No. Only the documents submitted during the application process will be taken into account.
Is it possible to know who have evaluated my application?
No. The names of the members of the Scientific Committee evaluating the different candidates are kept confidential through all stages of the programme. In order to avoid any potential (positive or negative) conflict of interest with the applicants, the highest and lowest scores from the evaluation are discarded; and the remaining are used to calculate the final mark.


What happens if I am selected for one of the fellowships?
Fellows ranked in the first eleven positions each Call will be recommended for funding and therefore offered a position at the doctoral programme based on their choice of research projects. Positions will be offered according to the final ranking; if the research choice selected by one fellow is already taken by another one ranked higher, the will be given the opportunity to select one of the other choices until the number of positions offered in the Call are covered.
Is there any timeline to accept the fellowship?
Yes. Once they select the final research project, successful candidates will be asked to sign an acceptance letter within a period of 1 month in order to secure their fellowship. Once the acceptance letter is received by the Management Team, they will be contacted by email with an invitation to start negotiating the terms with the organisation where they will carry out their fellowship.
I have been included in the reserve list; do I have any chances of being offered a fellowship?
Yes. If you have been included in the reserve list you can still be offered a position if one of the selected fellows reject the fellowship for personal reasons or he/she does not manage to make a successful agreement with the recruiting organisation because of force majeure. These positions will be offered by rigorous ranking order.
Who I can contact if I have a question regarding the programme which is not included in this F.A.Q. section?
DOC-FAM Management Team has implemented a dedicated Helpdesk Service to support applicants during all stages of the programme (Application, Recruitment, Implementation). Prospective applicants can contact us by email or telephone seeking for advice related to the programme (see Helpdesk section).
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