The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics attracts the talent of a researcher who has been awarded a scholarship from the ”la Caixa” Foundation to pursue postdoctoral studies

  • La Rioja native Miguel Aguilera receives support from the ”la Caixa” Foundation under the Junior Leader postdoctoral fellowship program, which has just awarded a total of 40 fellowships to outstanding researchers.

The ”la Caixa” Foundation has granted 105 new doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships to outstanding researchers to carry out their projects at universities and research centers in Spain and Portugal. The INPhINIT doctoral and Junior Leader postdoctoral fellowships from the ”la Caixa” Foundation have the dual objective of retaining and attracting talent to boost research excellence in these countries.

Among the awardees is researcher Miguel Aguilera Lizárraga, who has chosen the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics for his postdoctoral studies in Mathematical and Computational Biology. Born in La Rioja, he is a Junior Leader fellow working at the intersection of areas such as complex systems, computational neuroscience, artificial life, and cognitive science. His work combines models and methods from non-equilibrium statistical physics, information theory, and dynamic systems theory to study the emergence of adaptive and autonomous behaviors at different levels of biological systems.

These fellowships offer competitive salaries and interdisciplinary training. In the case of postdoctoral fellowships, they also promote independent scientific careers as a future professional option and encourage innovation and leadership.

"The ”la Caixa” Foundation works daily with the goal of building a better society for everyone, and to achieve this, we need to stay vigilant to the new needs and challenges posed by the present and the future. This is the purpose of the doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, which reaffirm our commitment to education and research excellence to build a better and healthier world based on knowledge," explained the Deputy General Director of the ”la Caixa” Foundation, Elisa Durán, during the scholarship award ceremony at the CosmoCaixa Science Museum.

The ”la Caixa” Foundation's Scholarship Program is the most significant among those promoted by private entities in Spain and Europe, both in terms of the number of scholarships offered and the variety of disciplines. In total, the foundation will allocate around 21 million euros to support doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. Both programs have been co-financed by the European Commission through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND Action, within the Horizon 2020 framework program.

Summary table of doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships 2023


Doctoral INPhINIT

Posdoctoral Junior Leader

Total grant per fellowship

120.900 euros

305.100 euros


3 años

3 años

Applications received



Fellowships awarded



Fields of study

All disciplines

Health and life sciences, technology, physics, engineering, and mathematics

Total grant per fellowship 120,900 euros 305,100 euros Duration 3 years 3 years Applications received 1,636 547 Fellowships awarded 65 40 Fields of study All disciplines Health and life sciences, technology, physics, engineering, and mathematics

Profile of the Scholars

Out of the 105 scholars selected in this edition, 49 are Spanish, and 56 are foreign, coming from 21 countries. Among the foreigners, Italy has the highest number of scholars, with 16, followed by Portugal with 9, Germany with 6, and the United States with 4.

The awarded fellowships have been distributed across more than 60 research centers and universities in Spain and Portugal. Regarding specialties, theoretical physics and mathematics lead the list, with 9 scholars; followed by environmental sciences, material science and technology, and biomedical engineering and technology, each with 7 scholars.