About the program


CarrerasPathfinders has been designed and is hosted by the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) which is the first European non-profit institute exclusively devoted to blood cancers.

The aim of the program is to support 14 excellent Doctoral Candidates (DCs) over a period of 48 months. During this period, the selected researchers will engage in pre-selected research projects under the supervision of IJC research group and scientific platform leaders and conduct international secondments to academic and non-academic institutions. The DCs will be enrolled in PhD programs at either the University of Barcelona (UB) or the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

Eligible applicants must not have a PhD degree, must be entitled to enrol in a PhD program, meet the Mobility rule and the rest of the eligibility requirements listed in the Guide for Applicants. The DCs will benefit from the program´s strong triple-I dimension of internationality, intersectorality and interdisciplinarity in training, networking, co-supervision, and research.

CarrerasPathfinders distinct targets are:

  • To develop an excellent doctoral program in blood cancer research conceived as a pilot for a permanent international doctoral program
  • To equip DCs with a unique skill set boosting effectiveness and innovation capacity.
  • To promote DCs’ career development and increase their employability in different sectors.
  • To establish the IJC as a European reference for research and training in blood cancers.
  • To provide Europe with a new generation of researchers able to address unmet needs and societal challenges of blood cancers.
  • To contribute to structuring the European research area by collaborating and synergizing with other European key opinion leaders.

Expected results

CarrerasPathfinders has been designed to maximize impacts on human resources at four transversal and interconnected levels. The program aims to:

On the Institutional level

  • Become a pilot program for a permanent international doctoral program
  • Recruit international doctoral researchers and thus increasing the internationality of the centre. The IJC currently hosts 45 international researchers from 23 countries, corresponding to 24,3% of its research staff, and aims to double this proportion in the next 5 years.
  • Increase the international visibility of IJC as an excellent place for PhD level training and its ability to attract talent.
  • Set high standards for talent recruitment (transparent, gender-neutral selection processes), supervision (joint co-supervision arrangements, progress monitoring (international and intersectoral TABs)), and career development (periodically updated CDP).
  • Establish a high-quality training program tailored to the needs of PhD students that will be perpetuated and offered to all future doctoral students at IJC.
  • Consolidate the collaboration of the IJC with its local ecosystem in terms of HR, safety, and training.
  • Increase the institute’s network through new partner institutions including from Widening Countries, such as Portugal, Cyprus, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania. Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

On the Regional and National levels

  • Enrich the BioRegion of Barcelona and Catalonia, a leading life sciences and health hub in Europe.
  • Boost regional competitiveness and create value in the regional health sector by promoting research and innovation.
  • Disseminate the program and its outcomes to its R&I ecosystem, health and medical authorities and policy makers.
  • Associate CarrerasPathfinders to national and regional training and career development initiatives.

On European and International levels

  • Contribute to strengthen Europe’s capacity to attract and train young people to become researchers, especially young women
  • Reinforce the development of skills and cross-border mobility of researchers.
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge the collaboration between industry, clinic, and basic research
  • Address unmet research needs that remain among of the most devastating cancers worldwide and have a long-lasting impact on cancer treatment.