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Frequently asked questions

I'm a high-school/undergrad student. Can I work in the lab?


If you want to be a researcher, you should start your scientific training as soon as possible. Your learning capacity is at its highest, and your skill level is at its lowest! But don't worry about this. Even great scientists like Barbara McClintock or Sydney Brenner actually started by scrubbing lab equipment, autoclaving materials, or preparing plates and media. We welcome high-school students or undergrads from all paths of life, including computer sciences, mathematics, molecular biology, physics or biochemistry! If you're interested in our scientific questions, you're more than likely to be a strong fit! In our lab, you'll start by shadowing a PhD student, a research assistant or a postdoctoral fellow. You'll slowly learn how science is done, how results are interpreted, where things are located, and how to take care of valuable lab equipment. You'll have access to all our lab meetings and journal clubs, and learn how to read and appreciate science. After this initiation phase, you'll be offered to collaborate on one or two projects (depending on your availability), to carry out at your own pace, and under the supervision of your mentor and myself. We recommend high-school students and undergrads to join during the summer, since they have more free time. If you want to work during the course year, we recommend joining as part of a credit sponsored program from your university (so you may get an evaulation and credit towards your degree). Successful mentees may be offered to continue working in the lab, as they accumulate more experience and more responsabilities. I know a lot of great science careers that started as an undergraduate thesis project!!! If you think our lab could fit your interests, click on "Work with us", where we describe our work ethic, our community, and how to apply to our lab. Also, check out the IRB undergraduate website for Fellowships and Information (https://www.irbbarcelona.org/en/young-scientists/undergraduates).




I want to do my Master's thesis in the lab. How can I join?


Your Master's thesis project will likely be your first experience fully dedicated to lab work, every day, for multiple months. It's the first taste at what it feels like to be doing a real PhD thesis. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people find this an extremely challenging time, and it's really important to choose a lab that's the right fit for you. In our lab, Master's students will be assigned their own independent project. Regardless of your previous experience and background, you'll still be required to shadow a PhD student or Postdoctoral fellow for some time, until you learn the basic lab etiquette. During this time, you will also be expected to further develop the ideas of your project. You will be jointly supervised by myself and a PhD student or postdoc in the lab. You will participate and present in our lab meetings and journal clubs, and you will give one final full-length presentation to help you prepare for your Master thesis dissertation. In other words, you'll be a full member of the lab, with all the advantages, and responsabilities, of being so. In sum, we will provide lab mentorship and full research support, but this is your project, and you'll be expected to drive it with independence and critical scientific thinking. Our lab welcomes Master students from programs in Biology, Biomedicine, Computer science, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine, Bioinformatics, and Biophysics. Before contacting us, make sure you mention a project idea that is framed within the aims of your Master's program and intersects with our interests in the lab (see Projects). If you think our lab could fit your interests, click on "Working with us", where we describe our work ethic, our community, and how to apply to our lab.




I would like to join the lab for my PhD studies


That's great!!!! We welcome PhD candidates from any scientific background, both wet (biology, medicine, biochemistry, chemistry) and dry (computational, mathematics). If you want to do you PhD in our lab, you'll need to have a Masters degree (or similar) and enroll in one of the graduate programs from the University of Barcelona (UB). If you're interested, start by sending us an expression of interest through the "Work with us" tab. Also, you can contact IRB Academic Officers for more information: leyre.caracuel@irbbarcelona.org alba.echarte@irbbarcelona.org And check out the IRB PhD recruitment website here: (https://www.irbbarcelona.org/en/young-scientists/predoctoral-programme).




I want to collaborate/obtain reagents from the lab.


Any published tools, pipelines, analyses and reagents are available from our lab upon reasonable requests. Just use our contact information and e-mail Alejo or any of our lab managers. We will try to reply immediately. If we don't, do not hesitate in resending your email again! We are also constantly working on new methods (computational, genomics and biochemical), so e-mail us regarding any interesting questions that you think we may tackle together!!!




I want to join the lab, but there are no open positions. What should I do?


We still recommend you to contact us, regardless of whatever positions are open. Usually, open positions means that we have recently obtained some funding for a particular project and we are looking to recruit people to fulfill specific roles in these projects. But there are still a ton of alternative funding mechanisms and other fellowships that you can apply if you want to work with us. Start by e-mailing our academic officers, Leyre and Alba, who can guide you through all these applications (leyre.caracuel@irbbarcelona.org, alba.echarte@irbbarcelona.org). These are just a few: - IRB fellowships (https://www.irbbarcelona.org/en/young-scientists) - "La Caixa" fellowships (https://fundacionlacaixa.org/en/la-caixa-foundation-fellowship-programme-help-support-training) - BIST fellowships (https://bist.eu/education/) - University of Barcelona fellowships (http://www.ub.edu/beques/3rcicle/ub/apif/index.html) - Spanish Government fellowships (https://www.ciencia.gob.es/portal/site/MICINN/) - "Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions" fellowships (https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/node_en)