Senior Researcher (ERC)

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    16/04/2021 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Not funded by an EU programme
    Spain, Barcelona
    Fundació Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron- Institut de recerca
    Research Department

The Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Foundation – Research Institute (“VHIR” or “the Foundation”) makes its own, open and unique call, for the recruitment of excellent researchers. The conditions of the call are established in compliance with the European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), which establishes the implementation of open, transparent and merit-based recruitment measures, in order to contribute to the promotion of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

The purpose of this call is to bring in excellent research profiles to VHIR’s recruitment and selection process. According to VHIR’s scientific career policy, an excellent researcher is an individual who is leading research in their area and who falls within the English "Tenure" and "Tenure Track" models. The candidate must hold a PhD and have an exceptional scientific trajectory with an excellent leadership capacity and proven international experience in the pre-doctoral and / or post-doctoral period.

The candidate will provide a clear added value to the Institution and their incorporation must contribute to its strategic objectives. Their expertise and subject matter must be compatible to as many of VHIR’s research areas as possible.



2.1.- Eligibility criteria:

Researchers within "Tenure" and "Tenure Track" stages who meet the criteria according to VHIR’s scientific career policy, and who also have an ERC grant of any type can apply. Researchers awaiting the outcome of an ERC application can also apply, taking into account that hiring will only take place if their ERC application is successful.

VHIR will give preference to individuals with junior profiles that have applied for an "ERC Starting Grant" or who are in the 1st and 2nd year of the grant.

2.2.- Conditions:

The candidate will sign a contract with the Institution as a distinguished researcher.

It will be assigned:

- An annual gross salary corresponding to that established by the VHIR collective bargaining agreement for a senior researcher.

- A total budget of €100,000 per year during the first 3 years and after ERC grant to establish their research at the VHIR. Once the initial 3-year period has ended, in the event that the candidate obtains a new ERC grant, the €100,000 initial endowment mentioned above will not be awarded again.

- If the candidate has an ICREA contract, once the first 3 years have ended, the same ICREA researcher policy of the VHIR will be applied.

- The researcher and their team will be entitled to a laboratory of 50 m2.

Their continuity in the Institution will be consistent with the internal guidelines that regulate research careers at VHIR.


The process consists of 3 Phases (Prioritisation Phase, Interview Phase, and Final Phase) in which different aspects of the candidate will be assessed, including scientific production, their research project for the next 5 years and a personal interview.

The VHIR reserves the right to declare the vacancy as void in the event that the Evaluation Committee considers that no candidate meets the criteria established in this call.

The Evaluation Committee is made up of:

- Prioritisation Phase: Members of the Internal Evaluation Commission (CAI) and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) members.

- Interview Phase: all members of the Foundation’s Internal Scientific Committee (CCI).

- Final phase (award): the Foundation’s Board of Trustees according to the report prepared by the CCI.

All interested people will be evaluated based on their scientific output and their research project planned for the next 5 years. In order to be evaluated, the candidate must send to VHIR the relevant documentation for evaluation via the e-mail address ajuts@vhir.org within the deadlines established in the call.

The Competitive Research Projects Unit will review the documentation submitted and will interview the candidates for possible amendments required within the established deadline.

Documentation to submit:

1. A full standardised CVA (download)

2. Work report planned for the next 5 years of a maximum of 5 pages including: ongoing competitive projects, existing or future planned collaborations with VHIR groups, added and strategic value that his/her incorporation to the VHIR will involve.

3. A report of maximum 2 pages detailing the added value that his/her incorporation will represent for the VHIR’s scientific area chosen to incorporate, as well as the specific needs in spaces, human resources ( in particular those related to space needs), scientific equipment and services.

4. Two letters of support.


Once the deadline for documentation submission has passed, the CAI will draw up a single list with the scoring achieved by all the applications submitted based on the results obtained according to the assessment criteria, and a proposal of candidates for the next phase of interview will be made. Several members of the SAB will also send an evaluation report on the first 3 candidates.

Candidates who have obtained a positive Initial Report and according to their scoring, will move on to the next phase for the interview.

Assessment criteria

1.-Candidate (0-80 points):

a.- Articles from the 2016-present period (0-40 points), indexed in the Journal Citation Report of the year of its publication. A maximum of ten publications will be scored, from those in which they appear as main author (*) for a special evaluation. Only original articles will be accepted. Reviews, book chapters, opinion pieces, consortiums and editorial letters will not be accepted.

  • Main Author 1D: 6
  • Main Author 1Q: 3
  • Main Author 2Q: 1
  • Main Author other Q: 0.5
  • Publication 1D (No Main Author): 1
  • Publication 1Q (No Main Author): 0.5
  • Publication 2Q (No Main Author): 0.25
  • Other quartiles (No Main Author): 0.20

* Main Author: signs as first, in the latest position and/or corresponding author

b. Increase of 5 or 10 points if the candidate is the main author of one (5p), of two or more articles (10p) published in high-impact multidisciplinary journals (taking into account the last 5 years average).

c. Evaluation of competitive research projects (20 points) obtained as a principal investigator in the 5 years immediately prior to the date of publication of this call. Both national and international projects will be evaluated.

  • Discontinuous funding within the period: 2
  • Continuous funding within the period. 5
  • Continuous and overlapped funding within the period: 10
  • Funding of excellence within the period: 15
  • Coordination of European Project or work package, NIH grant or recognized international agencies within the period: 20

The assessable period will be extended if the candidate justifies any of the following assumptions:

a) Has been on maternity or paternity leave;

b) Has been taking care of minors under six years of age, persons with physical, mental or sensory disabilities, or adults over 65 years of age who depend on the beneficiary and require special dedication;

c) Has suffered a serious illness or accident with a medical leave equal to or greater than six months.

In the case of a) the extension of the period in case of maternity leave is of 18 months for each child born before or after obtaining the doctorate. In the event that the applicant can demonstrate a longer leave, the eligibility period will be extended by the total time enjoyed until the moment of application. The extension of the period of paternity leave will correspond to the accredited time enjoyed for each child born before or after obtaining the doctorate.

In the case of b) or c) the extension is for a one year. These interruption periods must be indicated and certified at the time of submitting the application.

d. Other merits(0-20 points):

d.1. Transfer activities (10 points):

Patents will be assessed (2016 – present) according to the following criteria:

  • 1 point for requested patent

  • 5 points for granted patent

  • 10 points for licensed patent or spin-off participation

d.2. Mobility (10 points):

  • Up to 5 points – National Mobility

  • Up to 10 points – International Mobility

2.- Research project for the next 5 years (0-20 points):

The project’s cross-cutting interest, innovative nature and strategic impact will be taken into account.

The following will be considered:

2.1 Innovative nature and potential impact of the research project:

- If objectives are ambitious and go beyond current developments (for instance: new concepts and approaches or development across several disciplines).

- If the proposed research is feasible and applicable in the short and medium term.

- If the proposed research project is high risk/high yield.

2.2 Scientific approach:

- Feasibility of the scientific approach described.

- If the research methodology proposed is appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

- If the proposal involves the creation of a new methodology.

- If time and resources of the proposal are properly justified.

It will be positively valued that the candidate has, at the time of the interview, an endorsement from some Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Clinical Service.


Interview and evaluation of all eligible candidates will be conducted by the members of the VHIR Internal Scientific Committee, who will also prepare a motivated report with arguments and conclusions for the evaluation of each candidate that will drive to the proposal of the selected candidate, if applicable. The interview will assess the strategic interest for the institution.

All interviews will be governed by the OMT-R (Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment) principles of the Foundation's Recruitment and Selection policy established by the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter & Code).

It will be positively valued that the candidate has, at the time of the interview, an endorsement from some Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Clinical Service.


In this third and last phase, the Institution’s Board of Trustees will ratify the person who has become winner of the call and who will join the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute as a researcher. The final choice will be made based on the reports prepared by both the SAB and the Internal Scientific Committee (Interview Phase).

The vacancy can be declared as void in the event that no candidate meets the criteria established in this call.

Gender equity will be guaranteed whenever possible in all panels of the different phases of the evaluation process.


Once all validly presented candidacies have been evaluated and scored, candidates will be duly informed via e-mail of whether they have passed each of the corresponding phases, as well as the arguments and facts that have determined this decision. In this sense, once the evaluation of each candidate has been carried out by the CAI in the Prioritisation Phase, a two-day period of claims will be opened so that candidates can carry out those claims they deem appropriate.

Candidates who wish to submit claims must send a letter to the Research Grants Office via email to ajuts@vhir.org. This will be sent to the members of the CAI, who will issue a resolution.

Claims presented will be resolved by a simple majority and in a motivated manner. A final resolution will be issued afterwards against which it will not be possible to present any appeal or allegation.

Resolution to claims will be notified via e-mail to the candidates.


The call will be resolved within a maximum of 6 months from its publication on the VHIR’s website. Once the call has been resolved, the candidate who has been awarded will have a maximum period of 15 calendar days to accept it. In the event of resignation of the awarded candidate, the position will be given to the second best-rated candidate, and so on. The vacancy can also be declared void.

Acceptance of the position will be formalized through the signing of the corresponding contract as a senior researcher, which will be governed by the Scientific Career Policy of the VHIR and will be subject to the corresponding periodic evaluations.


Those interested may submit their applications from January 18th until April16th, 2021 at 5pm (CET time) via email to ajuts@vhir.org with the following subject: “Seniority NE 2021 – Name of candidate”.

Once received, an email will be sent to candidates confirming reception, as well as to confirm the suitability of the documents provided for the application.


By submitting their application, candidates agree to become part of the VHIR’s record and files with the aim to manage, and process, both the assessment, granting, awarding, payment and monitoring of the grant, according to the present call.

Applicants may exercise their rights of access, rectification, cancellation or opposition of their data by writing to the VHIR Management (Passeig Vall d'Hebron, 119-129, Edifici Mediterrània, 2a planta, 08035 Barcelona) together with a copy of their ID.


Rights and obligations of the beneficiary of the contract are:

a. Guarantee the truthfulness of the data provided in their application and accept that any negligent or guilty falseness in them will lead to the exclusion of the candidacy from the selection process.

b. In the event that the candidate is finally chosen, he or she can accept or reject the grant within the period established in the call.

If the person accepts the given grant and joins the VHIR:

c. To be entitled to receive the salary applicable to the contract as established in the present call.

d. To be considered VHIR’s employee and researcher for all intents and purposes.

e. To use the services offered by the VHIR and to participate in all its activities in accordance with its internal regulations, as a result of its researcher condition.

f. The ownership of those patents and utility models and any other industrial and/or intellectual property rights obtained through the research work carried out by the beneficiary will correspond to the Foundation. Nevertheless, the researcher may enjoy the copyright and property rights derived from his/her research activity as established by both the VHIR in force regulations and current legislation.

g. The beneficiary of the contract will specifically agree to comply with VHIR regulations, in particular with those matters regarding data protection, professional ethics, public procurement and, in general, on any other relevant aspect related to the Foundation.

VHIR’s rights and obligations are:

a. To comply with the rules of the present call.

b. To provide an employment contract to the beneficiary of this call, using the contractual form determined by the VHIR HR Management, in accordance with its internal regulations applicable.

c. To comply with the corresponding legal obligations regarding Social Security and Occupational Risk Prevention.

d. To offer the researcher those VHIR’s own services, according to the Foundation’s internal regulations.

e. To inform the researcher of all applicable regulations.

f. To allow the researcher’s participation in those VHIR bodies and commissions that result from applying its own regulations.



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