Grants for advanced cybersecurity research team excellence


Last contents updated: 28 December 2017:

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The initiative to launch these grants for advanced cybersecurity research team excellence has emerged to meet the current need to retain and attract cybersecurity-research talent, in the framework of the Trust in the Digital Domain Plan  (PCD, in spanish)  (arising from the Digital agenda for Spain) through measures 19 (Advanced Research Team) and 25 (Centres for Excellence in Cybersecurity). Although the Trust in the Digital Domain Plan has currently finished, this initiative is being continued within INCIBE’s actions backed by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications, Information Society and Digital Agenda (SESIAD).

The aim of this call is to drive forward these measures supporting teams and/or centres of advanced research in the field of cybersecurity, such as universities or public research bodies with the goal to reinforce their capabilities and boosting their level of research excellence in cybersecurity

An executive dossier has been prepared to schematically explain the particular features of the grant programme. The dossier includes the main characteristics. To have all of the information, it is recommended to consult the terms of the grant’s call attached below in the corresponding section.

Generally speaking, these grants aim to contribute to reinforcing advanced research teams in cybersecurity in order to boost their R&D+i programmes and strategic actions that strengthen their capacities and may bring together different lines of scientific-technical research, promoting specialisation in this field with groups that are highly internationally competitive, contributing to increase scientific leadership, the ability to attract and retain talent and the role as a driver in the whole Spanish cybersecurity ecosystem.

Why is this grant programme necessary?

Cybersecurity is a field in continuous growth, evolution and transformation that requires innovative solutions to deal with new threats. The cybersecurity sector requires specialised teams of researchers who can respond to the new cybersecurity challenges in order to materialise in effective solutions for the final users.

In this line, the need to attract and retain the cybersecurity research talent has been detected, increasing the number of professionals in this sector at different levels. As such, this call opens with the intention of boosting research in cybersecurity and reinforcing existing R&D+i centres that have research teams dedicated to this discipline.

What does the research ecosystem think?

To specify parameters of this grant programme and thus achieve a better focus and adaptation to the needs of the national cybersecurity research ecosystem, an online questionnaire was sent, allowing the compilation of information before the launch of this grant programme. The questionnaire was sent to 120 national technology centres that carry out their research activity in the field of cybersecurity.

From the results obtained, a report was developed: Informe de Resultados del Cuestionario del Programa de Ayudas.

What is the aim of this programme?

The target of this call is R&D+i centres as main beneficiaries to use the grants received to hire new researchers. By R&D+i centres we mean centres whose aim is to promote scientific and/or technical research activities with a dedication of their activity at least partially focused to perform research in the sphere of cybersecurity.

This grant programme will implicitly serve to develop sector professionals and boost the talent both of young PhD student researchers and doctor researchers. In this way, an increase in knowledge in cybersecurity is boosted at different levels, which will serve to increase the level of global cyber resilience.

Who can apply for this grant?

R&D+i centres  hat have at least one advanced cybersecurity research team with proven experience in this field can be beneficiaries. They must be validly incorporated and also have the capacity to offer employment contracts and have a tax residence in Spain.

R&D+i centres eligible for these contracting grants must belong to one of the following groups:

  • Public research bodies defined in Article 47 of Law 14/2011 of 1 June.
  • Public and private universities with a proven capacity and activity in R&D+i, in accordance with that provided for in Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, on universities.

What type of grants are offered?

Two categories of grants are offered, which are not mutually exclusive and, as such, each R&D+I centre, if interested in the two categories, should make just one application, in which they can include researchers of both types.

  • Category A: Call of grants for pre-PhD contracts. These grants, lasting 3 years, are promote training of doctors and, as such, they are focussed on research personnel in training who wish to write a PhD thesis related to cybersecurity.
    • Number of grants offered:15 grants for pre-PhD contracts
  • Category B: Call of grants for contracts of access to the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System. These grants, which last 2 years, promote the incorporation of doctors with experience in cybersecurity-oriented research into research teams.
    • Number of grants offered:25 grants for the hiring of doctors

Which are the important deadlines for this call?

  • Adjudication phase:
    • (Finished) Application submitting period: Ended on 28/07/2016
    • (Finished) Application reviewing and curing period: Ended on 30/12/2017
    • (Finished) Evaluating period: Ended on 12/12/2017
    • (Finished) Provisional resolution of beneficiaries of the grants (adjudication): Ended on 28/12/2017
  • Implementation phase:
    • (In progress) Formalization of contracts period, a maximum of 20 working days after the date of the resolution of beneficiaries of the grants: Between 28/12/2017 and 26/01/2018
    • (Pending) Start of the research activity, a maximum of two months after the date of the resolution of beneficiaries of the grants: Between 29/12/2017 and 01/03/2018

The following chronograms shows the actions that form the adjudication phase (already completed) and the implementation phase (in process) of this call.

Adjudication phase (ENDED)

Adjudication phase (ENDED)

Implementation phase (IN PROGRESS)

Implementation phase (IN PROGRESS)

Downloading the terms of the call

You can download the terms of the grants call through the following link:

Downloading templates and forms of the call

This section provides a list of the documentation (documents, forms) that form part of the process of this grants call.

The documents are structured in accordance with each stage of the process.

This list will be completed throughout this phase before the official opening of the call.

  • Researcher application:
    • These documents are not currently available for download because the request phase has already ended.
  • R&D+i centre application:
    • These documents are not currently available for download because the request phase has already ended.
  • Start of grants:
    • Work contract: no form is attached for this process. Each R&D+i Centre is free to choose the most appropriate form for signing the contract between the Centre and the Researcher whose own, original or authenticated copy must be sent to INCIBE.
    • IA_Programa_Formacion.docx: Form to be sent to INCIBE along with the original or the authenticated contract signed along with the new researcher that details the training actions that will be carried out with the Researcher selected during the period of the grants.
    • IA_Impreso_aplazamiento_formalizacion_contrato.docx: Form that allows the justification of the request of postponement for the execution of contracts, in the event that it is necessary.
    • IA_Impreso_aplazamiento_incorporacion_investigador.docx: Form that allows the justification of the request of postponement of the incorporation of the researcher into the R&D+i Centre, in the event that it is necessary.
  • Monitoring and Justification of grants:
    • SE_Memoria_cientifico_tecnica.docx (soon): Form to send at the end of each year of the grants that allows the scientific-technical monitoring of the actions carried out by the researcher selected with respect to the training form established for them.
    • SE_Memoria_economica justificativa.docx (soon): Financial report form to justify expenditure.
    • SE_Modelo_otros_ingresos_o_ayudas_percibidos.docx (soon): Model indicating other grants received that contributed to funding the incentivised activity.
    • JU_Modelo_Informe_Seguimiento_final.docx (soon): Final scientific-technical monitoring report of the grant. It will only be necessary to submit it in the year that the grant ends.
  • Exceptions:
    • EX_Modelo_Sustitucion_reservas.docx (soon): Form for requesting the replacement of the lead researcher by a substitute.
    • EX_Impreso_cambio_centro.docx (soon): Application form for change of centre for a researcher to which the grant has been awarded.
    • EX_Impreso_solicitud_Interrupcion_y_prórroga.docx (soon): Application form for a temporary interruption of the research and an extension of the grant.

There are frequently asked questions documents to answer the main questions available to the R&D+i Centres and researchers interested in participating in this grants programme.

For questions relating to signing and registration process of Research Centres on their applications there is a file available called Manual Registro y Firma de Solicitud Centro I+D+i

For other questions relating to the completion of the documentation or the call in general, please use any of the means provided in the Contact section appearing below.


For the questions on the terms of the call:

  • Email address:

  • Dirección postal:

    Avenida José Aguado, 41 Edificio INCIBE, C.P. 24005 León (España)

For the questions on operating platform MINECO: