PhD Programmes: Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Aid
PhD students may benefit from up to 4 years of financial aid to complete their thesis. Once it has been finished, they may choose to access the state and autonomous aid for researchers.
By successfully completing the PhD Programme, students obtain the title of Doctor, which represents the highest level in higher education and recognizes the highest academic rank obtainable. For these years of research, students have a number of both predoctoral and postdoctoral grants and subsidies.
There are a number of national and regional programmes of predoctoral and postdoctoral grants and subsidies aimed at helping the student during the PhD Programme and once their thesis has been finished.
Financial aid for students of PhD Programmes allow them to be incorporated into research groups of the University of Oviedo, as long as they have not accessed them through national or autonomous calls. This call will be published in the Official Bulletin of the Principality of Asturias (BOPA).
The financial aid given to the student will last one year, and they will have the option of renewing it up to three additional times. In this case, if the conditions of the Statute of Research Staff in Training are met, an internship contract will be formalized from the third year onwards.
National Grants and Subsidies
- Grants of the Formation of the University Staff (FPU Grants). These are grants linked to a Research Group and are solicited by presenting a research project that must be finished with a PhD Thesis and that must be verified by a consolidated research who will direct the activities of the solicitant. These grants last for 4 years. The first 2 years—with the rank of "grant holder—coincide with the period in which the students obtain the "researcher sufficiency". During the following 2 years, the students will develop their research as hired staff of the University of Oviedo.
- Grants for the Formation of the Research Staff (FPI Grants). These are grants linked to a previously-approved research project of a Research Group. Annually, the corresponding Ministry offers places of FPI grants available for the projects in the National Plan that had been approved in previous calls. Solicitants of these grants have to present their Curriculum Vitae and contact the Head Researcher of the approved project. These are also grants that last for 4 years, with two years as grant holder and 2 years as hired staff, with similar benefits to those of the FPU Grants.
Regional Grants and Subsidies
- Severo Ochoa Grants. These grants are the regional analogue of the FPU Grants, with very similar benefits. It is recommended that students request the FPU and FPI Grants before requesting the Severo Ochoa Grant.
- Grant Holders and Hired Staff in Research Projects of the Regional Research Plan. These grants are linked to the approved Research Projects in the regional sphere, and they also normally offer places as grant holder of hired staff for the solicitants throughout the duration of the research project.
- Grant Holders and Hired Staff in Projects of Transference of Technology with Companies. These are also an important source of funding for students who want to start their careers as researchers, and they may even serve as a very appealing bridge to the world of labor that must not be ignored.
Students who have finished their PhD Programme may choose to expand their formation as researchers with the financial aid of the National Programme for Hiring and Incorporation of Research Human Resources, belonging to the State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Moreover, they have the possibility of requesting access to the Clarín Programme of Grants for Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, of the Government of the Principality of Asturias. Its goal is to "develop all those actions that improve scientific research, technological progress and innovation in the region".
National Research Programmes
- Torres Quevedo Sub-Programme, which finances the "hiring of Doctors and experts in technology in companies, entrepreneurial associations, technological centers and technological-scientific parks".
- Ramón y Cajal Sub-Programme for the incorporation of Doctors to Spanish R&D centers.
- Juan de la Cierva Sub-Programme, which aims at taking special care of Doctors who have recently finished their PhD Programmes so that they may enter Research Teams.
Regional Research Programmes
The Clarín Programme of Grants for Postdoctoral Research Fellowships is part of the Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation of Asturias (PCTI) of the Government of the Principality. Its aim is to "develop all those actions that improve scientific research, technological progress and innovation in the region". Said programme offers financial aid so that, once they have achieved the rank of Doctor, researchers may do stays at Universities or Research Centers of Excellence in foreign countries, and, exceptionally, Spanish ones. Receiving centers must have a prestige recognized world-wide in the area related to the research project.
Once the rank of Doctor has been achieved, there are several different options to enter the labor world, such as accessing the research center of an enterprise, a research institute or the teaching staff of the University of Oviedo or of other universities. Entering the teaching staff is accomplished by sitting the different calls for a place as Associate Professor. This is an option that is especially appealing to holders of FPU, FPI or similar Grants, and for Teaching Assistants. The latter have the advantage of having additional ample teaching experience, achieved by having combined teaching and research, and being able to reap the rewards of the additional effort they had made.
- Subsidies for Mobility. Grants and subsidies aimed at promoting the exchange among research groups and facilitating the consecution of the Mention of International Doctor. The calls for this financial aid are both national and by the University of Oviedo, and take place during the academic year.
- Opportunities by the University of Oviedo. The academic institution itself offers predoctoral grants that are very similar to the FPU and FPI Grants, and the Severo Ochoa Grants of the Principality of Asturias, although the amount of money given and the benefits available are more limited in scope. It is important to notice that in order to request these grants, the solicitant must have previously requested a national grant (FPU or FPI Grants) or regional grant (Severo Ochoa Grant) and that these must have been denied.
- Grants by Companies and Foundations. Some companies and foundations offer grants, prizes and financial aid that are also an appealing source of funding.
- Grants and contracts by other national or foreign institutions. It is also common that other national or European universities offer grants and contracts for initiation in research. Within these, the Marie Curie Actions are noteworthy, since they offer predoctoral and postdoctoral stays in European Universities, Companies or Research Centers, either individually or being linked to a European research project. The Marie Curie Actions also finance the return to the country of origin, be it to a University, a Research center or a company. Doctors are encouraged to consult them, since they are a good opportunity to initiate and solidify their position in the world of research from the perspective of mobility and integration in the European context.