24 Sep 2023

General data

Cure Heart & Brain, the postdoctoral COFUND fellowship programme run by CNIC is open to excellent researchers of any nationality to perform research on heart and brain and their connection, which are issues of utmost medical and social importance.

The selection and recruitment process will follow the European Charter and Code for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and will be merit based, independent and transparent. Applications will be evaluated based on merit-based principles and their scientific excellence by external evaluators.

Fellows are allowed to choose CNIC´s host group and secondment options. Applicants are free to propose a research topic, as far as it fits within scope of the centre and is it feasible to implement at CNIC.

Cure Heart & Brain programme counts with participation of 24 Associated Partners from all over the world and from different sectors who will provide translational elements to the programme (secondments and training options).

Candidates will be able to present one proposal with one hosting group of their choice and indicate reserve groups within the CNIC. For information about the CNIC´s hosting research groups click here.

Call 1
Opening 1 November 2023 / Deadline 31 January 2024
Call 2
Opening 1 September 2024 / Deadline 30 November 2024


Eligibility Criteria

(1) Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately prior to the call deadline.

(2) Researchers must be in possession of a doctoral degree at the deadline of the co-funded programme's call.

A medical doctor degree will be accepted only when it corresponds to a doctoral degree or if the researcher can demonstrate his/her appointment in a position that requires doctoral equivalency (e.g. professorship appointment). Medical doctor degrees corresponding to basic medical training as defined in Annex V of Directive 2005/36/EC will not be considered a doctoral degree. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will also be considered as postdoctoral researchers and will be considered eligible to apply.

(3) Researchers who are already permanently employed by CNIC at the call closing date are not eligible.


There will be two calls for proposals and 6 positions will be offered within each call.

Call 1:  Call opening: 1 November 2023. Call deadline: 31 January 2024.*

Call 2:  Call opening: 1 September 2024. Call deadline: 30 November 2024.

The foreseen duration of the fellowships will be 3 years, starting September 2024 (for Call 1) and January 2025 (for Call 2).

  • If any position remains unfilled, it will be published again

Application process

Stage 1: Collection of expressions of interests and eligibility check.

Applicants will be required to fill in administrative form and provide: (1) CV, (2) Copy of the PhD/MD degree, (3) Signed declaration confirming that the candidate complies with the mobility rule, (4) Preferences of the CNIC´s group to which they are applying.

Stage 2: Full application submission.

Candidates that passed the eligibility check will be put in touch with the hosting research groups at CNIC and will prepare a project proposal (including Career Development Plan) with the help of one of the Group Leaders of their choice. Contact with Associated Partners for secondments options will be facilitated by CNIC.

Evaluation process

Step 1: Peer review of applications: 1) applications will be sent for remote evaluation of 3 experts forming part of the Independent Evaluation Committee. The applications will be matched with appropriate experts using keywords.

Step 2: The first 12 ranked candidates (for 6 positions offered in each call) will be invited to the interview.

After each step a ranking list of proposals will be generated and notified. There will be a period of two weeks for the candidates to appeal against the decision.


Openness: there are no restrictions of choice of the CNIC´s host group (candidates will be able to present one proposal with one host group of their choice and as many reserve groups within the CNIC as they choose). Applicants will be free to propose a research topic, as far as it fits within scope of the centre and is it feasible to implement using the CNIC´s infrastructure. Cure Heart & Brain fellowship programme will be open to excellent researchers of any nationality (career breaks will not be penalised). Fellows will be allowed to choose their secondment options (up to one third of fellowship duration) among Associated Partners or propose alternative secondments.

Evaluation: applications will be evaluated based on merit-based principles and their scientific excellence. The evaluation will be performed by a pool of external international experts.

Training: the programme will offer training to develop key transferable skills and competences, foster innovation, entrepreneurship, promote Open Science practices, FAIR data management, and public engagement. The fellows will acquire new skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility.

Associated Partners: Cure Heart & Brain includes 24 Associated Partners from all over the world and from different sectors (12 Partners from non-academic sector). Partners will provide translational elements to the programme (21 Partners provide secondments, 18 Partners provide training and 17 Partners committed to participate in evaluation of applications) and co-supervision of fellows (to be agreed on individual bases).

Supervision: CNIC´s Group Leaders will be primary supervisors of the fellows. All are experienced supervisors and recognised leaders in their respective fields. Fellows will be co-supervised by PIs from Associated Partners.

Equal Opportunities: CNIC ensures strict compliance with legislation and principles promoting equal opportunities, the programme design ensures gender balance among the consortium bodies and supervision and equal opportunities for the fellows.

Impact: the overall goal of the programme is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of a new generation of translational researchers in cardiovascular and neurovascular research as well as reach out to society to make the results of the research visible to the citizens. The impact of the Cure Heart & Brain will be to facilitate the talent attraction to Europe, strengthen Europe's human capital base in research and to facilitate knowledge transfer and brain circulation across the world. The programme will also enhance the quality of research and contribute to Europe's competitiveness and growth.