12-16 PhD positions available for Medical Doctors in life sciences and biomedicine


  • A medical doctor with up to four years of research experience?

  • Eager to explore why diseases arise and to contribute to development of novel treatment?

  • Driven to pursue a PhD and develop your scientific competencies?

12 PhD positions are available for this call across seven top European biomedical research centres: BRIC (Copenhagen), CRG (Barcelona), NKI (Amsterdam), IGC (Lisbon) MDC (Berlin), VIB (Flanders), IC (Paris). In case of high numbers of exceptional good applications to this first call, up to 16 fellows will be hired. A second call will open in April 2022.

About the Programme

The “International PhD Programme for Medical Doctors”, Emerald, trains and nurtures excellent physician-scientists intending to bridge the gap between the clinic and the lab. The programme recruits medical doctors to carry out a PhD in cutting-edge research in one of seven recruiting European centres of excellence in life sciences and biomedicine. The recruited medical doctors will acquire unique scientific, technical, and digital skills and knowledge to advance their career at the frontier of medicine and research, with the final goal to improve patients care and tackling global health challenges.

Biomedical research is advancing at high speed. In the last decades, we have seen major developments resulting in significantly better treatment and healthcare. Addressing the increased need for innovative solutions in medicine requires more than ever the rise of the unique professional profile of physician-scientists, combining research with clinical care, understanding patients´ needs and driving research forward to address them.

About the Positions

The fellows will benefit from attractive salaries, an international, stimulating and creative environment with expert supervision, advanced training, tailored career development and mentoring programmes, and access to high-end technologies and facilities. They will have the opportunity to build valuable international networks with multiple actors in academia, hospitals, patients´ organizations and the private sector. Applicants have a genuine choice of laboratories in the seven recruiting institutions to apply to.

Details of the Positions

Candidate Requirements

  • Education: Candidates must have obtained a medical degree, which allows them to enrol in an official Doctoral programme following the national regulations and institutional requirements in force at each recruiting research centre.

  • Years of research experience: At the date of the call deadline, candidates must be in the first four years of their research career (exceptions due to career break will be considered) and have not been awarded a PhD degree.

  • Mobility: Candidates can be of any nationality, but must undertake trans-national mobility according to the H2020 MSCA programme´s rules. During the 3 years before the date of the call deadline, they must nothave resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) for more than 12 months in the country of the selected recruiting centre for which they apply.

  • Language: English at an excellent level.


The selection process includes three steps of evaluation: Eligibility check, remote evaluation by expert panels, online interviews with the selection committee, on-site visit to potential host institute and final selection. The selection will be merit-based, using weighted criteria in three defined areas:

  • Candidate curriculum
  • Knowledge and scientific potential
  • Motivation
  • English level


The application deadline is the 14 November 2021, at 5 pm Central European Time. 

Applications are accepted exclusively online through the online application system at the Emerald webpage. Late or incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

The application, in English, must include the following:

  • Personal details, in line with the European Data Protection Law
  • Degree information, including a copy of diploma and detailed transcripts of records (MSc and BSc)
  • CV including:
    • Scientific interests and record of accomplishments: publications (highlighting impact and contribution), research experience and main results, posters or talks at meetings, prizes, fellowships, etc.
    • Outreach: technology transfer, science education and/or public engagement activities.
  • Motivation letter (Cover letter), including an indication of preferred host laboratory/PI and research areas: maximum two laboratories of choice.
  • Contacts of two referees.
  • Eligibility statement


For more information contact the Emerald Programme manager (emerald@crg.eu).