ICN2 PhD Programme Advice to Candidates

your research interests
Think about your research interests. Which ICN2 group or groups would be a good fit?

Ultimately it is the group that will guide your scientific development during your PhD. You will report directly to the group leader. One of its members will supervise your thesis. The ICN2 steps in to uphold standards and coordinate transferable skills training, but it is the group and group leader you will spend your time with, the group’s goals you will be working towards, and the group’s expertise you will learn from.

You will be asked to indicate your top three preferred groups in your application. Read what our research groups are working on here.

your research interests
Prepare your application well. Don’t miss anything out

After the initial eligibility checks, candidates are assessed via a points-based system that assigns a score to different milestones and experiences, like academic record, publications, research experience, international experience, references, etc. We also consider your motivation letter – use this as an opportunity to stand out!

Pay particular attention to your academic grades. Indicate the breakdown of grades from your undergraduate and Masters degrees. If your Masters is ongoing, indicate those grades you have achieved so far. If possible, convert them into a score from 1 to 10 using this chart.

send your application
How to send your application

Applications to the ICN2 PhD Programme are made exclusively online. Simply follow the instructions indicated in the call. Remember to make your application as complete as possible!

If you have a problem with the online application process, don’t hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Inform yourself
Inform yourself about the different sources of funding

Final admission onto the ICN2 PhD Programme depends on the availability of funding. Some candidates may be funded by their host group. Others must apply to different national PhD research and training grants. ICN2 Human Resources will offer shortlisted candidates extensive support throughout this process, but it is worth taking a look at the different options.

Inform yourself
Don’t worry if you haven’t quite finished your Masters

A Masters degree is a prerequisite for entry into the ICN2 PhD Programme. However, we accept applications from candidates reaching the end of their Masters. Simply indicate your expected end date and provisional grades. In fact, this gives us a window of time to work together to secure the necessary competitive funding, the results of which can sometimes take several months to be announced.
If you are just starting your Masters, it might be best to wait until the next call – there is one a year (see Calendar).

Inform yourself
When will we contact your references?

When you complete your application, you have the option of uploading two reference letters and providing up to three professional references. We will start contacting these references in the week or so before the call deadline.

Inform yourself
Remember that the ICN2 is not a teaching centre

Our PhD students are enrolled in doctoral programmes at universities like the Autonomous University of Barcelona. If selected for the ICN2 PhD Programme, Human Resources will guide you through the enrolment process.