University of Salamanca Programme to Foster Research Excellence (USAL4EXCELLENCE)




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Each fellowship includes funds for travel, reasonable research expenses as well as competitive salary. The total cost of a fellowship is 4.855 €/month and the net salary of the ER will be around 3.500 €/month. The net salary results from deducting all compulsory (employer/employee) Social Security contributions as well as direct taxes (e.g., income tax) from the gross amounts. Additionally, the remunerations may vary annually depending on the Social Security rates. The rate indicated above is for researchers working full-time.


The "University of Salamanca Programme to Foster Research Excellence" (USAL4EXCELLENCE) is an initiative of the University of Salamanca (USAL), which aims to attract 40 Experienced Researchers (ERs) positions for 30 months in two calls of 20 positions per each, in order to build a critical mass of scientific leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and implement research projects that will aid European sustainable socio-economic development. USAL4EXCELLENCE attempts to achieve this purpose by fostering international collaboration in research, and by enhancing knowledge and technology transfer between academia (in the fields of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Medicine, Science and Engineering) and industry.


Thanks to funding from the European Commission’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND action, USAL is in a unique position to offer the best conditions for a fellowship programme, based on the  principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment  of Researchers (guaranteed by the HR award that USAL received in 2019).

Through USAL4EXCELLENCE programme, USAL will reinforce the development and broadening of the research competencies of experienced researchers (ERs), with special emphasis on personal and career development through training in a wide set of transferable skills, along specific training in research skills.

The objective of this programme is to foster excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development, and spreading the best practices of Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions.

General conditions

Bottom-up approach: Applicants can choose their research topic freely within all academic areas and may involve (but not limited to) USAL’s Interdisciplinary Research groups, Centres and Institutes. 

Duration: Each fellowship will last 30 months, assuring proper project implementation.

Host Institution: Fellows will be hosted at USAL and they will have the opportunity and freedom to choose their destination for two secondments. Thus, fellows will have a mandatory period at USAL during the first 24 months (except for a voluntary secondment which should be started at least after 6 months at USAL), and a mandatory secondment during the last 6 months of the fellowship, as indicated below.

Voluntary secondment (secondment 1): Fellows will be encouraged to undertake a stay in a Partner Organization for a period of up-to 6 months, which could be split into shorter periods (neither of them may be shorter than 1 month).

Mandatory secondment in industry/organizations of interest (secondment 2): Fellows will spend up-to 20% of their fellowship in a non-academic entity (large company, SME, non-profit institution, museums, libraries, hospitals, etc.) for a more market-oriented period, lasting for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 6 months.

Supervisors & mentors: Applicants will be assigned a suitable supervisor and mentor if they are successfully admitted to USAL4EXCELLENCE. The ER will set up a Career Development Plan (CDP) after 3 months with the assistance of the supervisor and the mentor at USAL and the supervisor at the Partner Organization in which the mandatory secondment will be implemented.

Training: USAL4EXCELLENCE will offer tailored support that will help ERs understand and adopt best practice in research. All ERs will be expected to attend relevant courses (on-line training, face-to-face training or events) as part of their overall CDP. Many of these courses will be delivered at a local level by departments, faculties and institutes, both as part of the USAL teaching programme and as standalone courses. All these courses will be available at the following link:


  • It is mandatory to hold a Doctoral degree or at least four years’ full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline. No age and nationality restrictions will be applied.
  • USAL4EXCELLENCE welcomes applicants from any nationalities but they may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline.
  • All applicants must be proficient in English. Thus, they may upload a certificate of proficiency in English (minimum C1 level as measured by CEFR, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) or, alternatively, they will have to demonstrate (only the 40 highest ranked candidates) their command over the English language through an English language proficiency test (which is not an official certificate) run by USAL Language Centre. Although candidates may opt for this second option, all selected applicants will be highly encouraged by USAL4EXCELLENCE Management Team to have available an official english certificate (minimum C1 level) before signing the contract.

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