Restoring 30% of the World’s Ecosystems in Priority Areas Could Stave Off More than 70% of Projected Extinctions

A new report in Nature involving ICTA-UAB demonstrates that this measure would allow the absorption of nearly half of the carbon built up in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

Diet of pre-Columbian Societies in the Brazilian Amazon Reconstructed

A new study shows that hunting and agroforestry management, and not fishing, were the foundations of subsistence economy for pre-Columbian societies in the Amazon coast of Brazil.

Wildlife conservation undermines the rights of indigenous people and local communities in India

A new EJAtlas map launched by the ICTA-UAB denounces that the current model puts growth and gains before human lives and the nature it is intended to protect.

Ocean Warming and Acidification Effects on Calcareous Phytoplankton Communities

A new study led by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) warns that the negative effects of rapid ocean warming on planktonic communities will be exacerbated by ocean acidification.

ICTA-UAB economist Joan Martínez Alier wins the Balzan Prize for Environmental Challenges

Economist Joan Martínez Alier from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology  of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the winners of the 2020 Balzan Prize in the category of "Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities".

Indigenous People Essential to Understanding Environmental Change

An international research involving ICTA-UAB scientists shows how local and indigenous knowledge can help manage ecosystems and wildlife.

New publication in the MAGIC project takes a critical look at circular economy

With the world’s attention focussed on COVID-19, issues that were in the forefront of public concern just a few months ago seem to have magically disappeared.

Economic Benefits of Protecting 30% of Planet’s Land and Ocean Outweigh the Costs at Least 5-to-1

First-of-its-kind report involving ICTA-UAB researcher shows the global economy is better off with more nature protected.

ICTA-UAB awarded the "María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been accredited a Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Proyecto experimental de agricultura urbana, local y tradicional en Sabadell

El ICTA-UAB y el Ayuntamiento de Sabadell constituyen la comunidad FoodE, que reúne a todos los actores implicados en el sistema de producción alimentaria de la ciudad y en esta iniciativa.

What do we breathe when in the forest?

For the first time, a study characterizes the forest chemistry of the air under the canopy of a Mediterranean holm oak forest and detects maximum concentrations in July and August.

Catalonia's Scientific Contributions to Fighting Covid-19

Sixty ICREA researchers, including Isabelle Anguelovski of the ICTA-UAB, lead more than a hundred research activities on Covid-19.

Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care

                                                                                                                                                                       .

Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
Excelencia Maria de Maeztu
Grants and Job Opportunities

ICTA-UAB participates in INPhINIT "la Caixa" Fellowship Programme

INPhINIT "la Caixa" Fellowship Programme at ICTA-UAB

INPhINIT is a new doctoral fellowship programme devoted to attracting international Early-Stage Researchers to the top Spanish research centres in the areas of Bio and Health Sciences, Physics, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

INPhINIT is promoted by the "la Caixa" Foundation with the aim of supporting the best scientific talent and fostering innovative and high-quality research in Spain by recruiting outstanding international students and offering them an attractive and competitive environment for conducting research of excellence.

INPhINIT Incoming recruits 35 PhD Early-stage researchers of any nationality to carry out their PhD projects in accredited centres with the Spanish Seal of Excellence Severo Ochoa, María de Maeztu or Health Institutes Carlos III and Portuguese research units accredited as "excellent" or "exceptional" according to the evaluation of the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia. In addition, researchers establish a personal career development plan including trasnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility opportunities, and attend a full range of complementary training courses and workshops.


INPhINIT Incoming is focused exclusively on STEM disciplines: life sciences and health, experimental sciences, physical and mathematics.


"la Caixa" Foundation will select international candidates. Subsequently, the selected candidates, will propose the Research Centre and the predoctoral position in which he/she would like to do the research project. If there is agreement between the Centre, the supervisor (predoctoral researcher who presented the position) and the candidate, the fellowship will be awarded to the candidate.


Dowload complete information about the programme here



The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology was accredited as María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence 2015 (MDM-2015-0552) by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The award is the highest institutional recognition of scientific research in Spain. This programme, which aims to recognise excellence in stable research centres and includes a grant of 2 million Euros over four years, confirms ICTA-UAB as a leading research institute focused on environmental science and global change.
ICTA-UAB is implementing a Strategic Research Programme (2016-2019) intended to consolidate its scientific capabilities, contribute to the leadership of Spanish research and act as an international pole of attraction for talent. The plan addresses major global environmental and sustainability challenges related to anthropogenic climate change, focusing on establishing the current state of knowledge on climate change and its socio-economic impacts, and on putting forward transformative solutions at the local and regional levels. ICTA researchers follow a trans-disciplinary approach that ranges from the natural sciences to engineering and social sciences.



“la Caixa” is a non-profit entity whose activity in education is based on the principle of promoting equal access of citizens to quality qualifications and specializations at national and international levels.

Over the years, thousands of students have advanced their training thanks to a ”la Caixa” Foundation fellowship, enabling them to undertake postgraduate studies in Spain and abroad.

Elegibility criteria and call rules

The INPhINIT programme will be open to Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) of all nationalities. In order to be eligible, candidates must meet the following criteria (in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie eligibility conditions):

  • 1. At the call deadline, candidates must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

  • 2. At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:
    To have completed the studies that lead to an official Spanish (or from another country of the European Higher Education Area) university degree awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.
    To have completed a degree in a non-Spanish university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

  • 3. Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.

  • 4. Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

  • 5. Only candidates whose submitted application fulfil all the requirements will be eligible.

If you have any further questions, or if there are particular issues you’d like to discuss regarding your potential PhD project, please contact pr.mdm.icta@uab.cat

For details of the grant, applications and selection criteria process, and other general questions, please visit the INPhINIT programme website


Evaluation criteria

INPhINIT aims to recruit excellent Early-Stage Researchers with very solid theoretical backgrounds, with curiosity and ambition; with incipient skills to express themselves clearly and defend their ideas with creativity, independence and originality. Researchers may be focused on the academic side or be more industry-oriented. The evaluation criteria and scores defined to achieve this goal are:

    PHASE 1 - REMOTE EVALUATION:

  1. Qualifications and Curriculum Vitae (weight 50%): academic and/or professional curriculum in relation to the stage of the candidate’s career;

  2. Motivation and statement of purpose (weight 30%): the originality, innovation and potential impact of the proposed statement of purpose, and the choice of the Research Centre and/or research line will be assessed;

  3. Letters of reference (weight 20%): reference letters supporting the candidacy will be assessed taking into account the specificity of the content with regard to the candidate as well as the profile of the people who sign them.

  4. PHASE 2 - FACE-TO-FACE SELECTION:

  5. Candidate’s potential (weight 40%): in order to have a general perception of the candidate’s potential, experts will pay attention to “soft” skills, ability to present easily a complex reasoning, team working; and capabilities such as independent reasoning, originality, entrepreneurship, leadership, among others.

  6. Motivation and statement of purpose (weight 30%): experts will assess the impact of the statement of purpose for the candidate and the society; innovation, originality and feasibility; and candidate’s capabilities with regard to the scope of the statement of purpose.

  7. Academic and professional background (weight 30%): experts will assess the consistency of the candidate’s academic background and CV in the area chosen to carry out the PhD.

Depending on the number of eligible applications, during this stage, selection may be based on the final mark obtained for the bachelor's studies.

Useful dates

No applications nor additional documentation can be submitted after the deadlines set in the call rules.

  • 4 February 2020
    Deadline for submitting applications.
  • 18 February 2020
    Deadline for submitting the language certificate.
  • 16 April 2020
    Notification of the shortlist results.
  • 27 and 28 May 2020
    Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.
  • 2 June 2020
    Publication of the final list of selected candidates.
  • From 2 to 30 June 2020
    Matching research centre – fellow.

How to apply

If you want to apply for an INPhINIT fellowship, click on the link below to create your personal account and fill in the on-line application form.

Website for "la Caixa" fellowships applications

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