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ICMAB Training Programs

A complete training program aligned with the ICMAB Strategic Research Program is designed for all our staff, and particularly for our researchers and PhD candidates

Training for the ICMAB staff

A well-established protocol is applied anytime a new person joins or leaves the institute. In the case of entrance, the training consists of:

  • IT Security test
  • Hygiene and Safety course and test

Apart from that, other training that our staff can apply for include:

  • CSIC Training courses
  • Yearly Medical check-up
  • Gender Equality training seminars and workshops
  • Emotional Intelligence & Stress Management Training

Scientific training for our researchers

The Seminars & Training Committee is in charge of the organization of seminars and workshops, and collaborates in the outreach and technology transfer activities.

ICMAB Periodical Lectures

These seminars are organized by the Seminars and Training Committee, and are held every 2 Mondays at 12 pm at the Institute. Invited speakers (from across the globe) provide information on a topic of general interest for most of the researchers, and seek collaboration among the ICMAB researchers. Coffee and cookies are offered at 11:45 am. If you have a proposal for a speaker, please inform the Seminars and Training Committee about it.

Invited Seminars

Transferable skills for our researchers beyond science: bibliographic and documentation tools, intellectual property rights, effective meetings and negotiation, English courses, etc.   

Technical Days

These are one-day thematic workshops devoted to one of the experimental techniques available at the ICMAB Scientific Equipment Platforms and addressed to all our research staff. International experts and researchers from the ICMAB and surrounding institutes and universities give pedagogical and informative lectures that serve as an introduction to the fundamentals of the technique and its capabilities and applications. The workshops organized so far include:

  • Proximity Microscopies
  • X-ray Diffraction
  • Spectroscopy (including NMR, EPR, Raman)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Computational methods and Modeling
  • Magnetometry
  • Clean Room Nanofabrication Techniques

Research Line Workshops

Every year, a different RL organizes a workshop, typically of 2 days, that features international invited speakers, and gives PhD and postdoc fellows the opportunity to present their research and exposes them to a stimulating international environment.

Complementary skills

Transferable skills for our researchers beyond science: bibliographic and documentation tools, intellectual property rights, effective meetings and negotiation, English courses, etc.   

ICMAB Doctoral Program

The ICMAB Doctoral Program offers to all doctorate candidates:


The scientific training for our researchers is also for all our PhD candidates. Please take a look at the activities included: ICMAB Periodical Lectures, Invited Seminars, Technical Days, Research Line Workshops and Complementary skills


Weekly long schools aimed to present the design, development and application of new materials for a wide range of applications, from energy, to electronics and nanomedicine. The summer schools are specifically designed for Master students and PhD fellows. Apart from the lectures from international and local scientists, the students also participate in hands-on activities at the ICMAB laboratories, and participate in networking activities


Every year we encourage a group of PhD candidates from the Barcelona Nanocluster in Bellaterra (BNC-b) (ICMAB, ICN2, IBM-CNM, ALBA Synchrotron and UAB) to form an Organizing Committee to organize the BNC-b meeting of PhDs. This is a two-day workshop in which some PhD candidates are in charge of the organization an the others are attending the workshop and present their research in flash talks or poster presentation. The meeting also counts with a couple of invited speakers, that talk about science-related fields. The different institutions provide the infrastructure support and funding


An important part of the training of the doctoral fellows is being exposed to a stimulating, world-class international environment where they can present their research, attend presentations of leaders of their field and discurss with peers. The participation of PhD fellows in international meetings is actively encouraged and the majority of phD leaving the ICMAB have presented their work in international meetings. To ease their access to these conferences, we have created a pilot program of travel grants, funded by the Severo Ochoa program, aimed at covering the registration fees


Every PhD candidate will be assigned a mentor (permanent ICMAB researcher from a different Research Unit) that will guide the PhD fellow with all issues that go beyond the scientific day-to-day of the PhD Thesis. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Relation with the supervisor and quality of the supervision received
  • Monitoring of the PhD Thesis progress
  • Monitoring of the Career Development Plan
  • “What’s next” orientation

The PhD candidate and the mentor will formally meet every three months and additional informal meetings will take place as often as needed


Every PhD fellow will have a personalized CDP, designed together between the supervisor and the PhD candidate, which will include:

  • Details on the scientific project
  • The timeline of training
  • Secondments to other institutions
  • Contacts with industrial partners
  • List of skills to be obtained during training
  • Activities tracking
  • Objectives monitoring
  • Quality assessment


The international mobility of PhD candidates will be implemented to specifically boost scientific interactions with other internationally renowned research centers in the materials science and related fields.


Courses on career development skills will be designed and organized to focus on:

  • Scientific writing
  • Project Management and Career Development Plan
  • Open Science and Data Management
  • Communication, dissemination and presentation skills
  • Training in health and safety issues
  • Leadership, intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship and Innovation

Apart from the training received at the ICMAB, PhD candidates will be encouraged to take part in the existing courses offered by other universities, such as the UAB, UB or UPC

Milestones (MS) for the PhD

Milestones requested by the ICMAB. The University Programme in which you are enrolled (UAB, UB, UPC…) may have other milestones and requirements for your yearly PhD evaluation.


During this year, the main tasks of the PhD candidate are to be introduced to laboratory work and to begin the literature search to know the state-of-the-art of the research.

  • MS1: Career Development Plan (CDP)


During this year, the PhD candidate is efficient at practical laboratory working, and starts evaluating and publishing the own scientific results. It is important in this year to start networking and presenting the own research in conferences, as well as learning new skills in technical days or workshops. 

  • MS2: Attend a certain number of Seminars and Periodical Lectures organized by the ICMAB and other surrounding centers.
  • MS3: Attend at least one conference of your field and present your research in a poster or oral presentation.


By the end of this year, the writing of the PhD Thesis takes place, as well as the defense of the PhD Thesis. Before that, it is the best opportunity to take complementary skills training and perform research stays to broaden up the expertise and contacts. 

  • MS4: Attend at least one workshop of your research field
  • MS5: Attend at least one complementary skill training course
  • MS6: Attend at least one summer school on your research field
  • MS7: Perform one research stay (if possible)