Doctoral studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology


Become a qualified researcher in the field of Molecular Biology and its applications in Biomedicine and Biotechnology under the supervision of world-wide acknowledged scientists

This programme aims at training PhD students in research fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology and in the corresponding applications related to Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Its main goal is high-quality training of doctors able to join universities, national and international research centers, hospitals, or research, innovation and development departments in the industry. This programme takes advantage of the human and material resources available from the University of Jaen as well as other available resources from related autonomic, national or foreign institutions.

This programme completes the academic offer of the University of Jaen for Biology students. After completion of the first level (bachelor degree in Biology, 4 years), students may pass to second level (Master in Biotechnology and Biomedicine, one year) and then enroll in the third level (doctoral studies, 3 years). In this way, Biology students have the opportunity to acquire a full and high-quality University training and at the same time the University has the possibility of training highly-qualified PhDs able to significantly contribute in society.

The training value of this doctoral programme is supported by the high quality of the research teams involved and in second place by the outstanding developments and applicability for the technologies being used in the discipline. The research teams involved have an excellent record in achieving research projects from different calls and in the high quality of the research publications from the Faculty involved in thesis supervisions. Furthermore, Molecular and Cellular Biology is a broad field where huge technical advances are taking place, as exemplified by the disciplines of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics, and Cell Biology. All this will allow doctoral students to get involved in knowledge application in diverse field such as Biomedicine (including both diagnostic and regenerative medicine), Applied Biotechnology (involving all living organisms) or just do basic research. Therefore, students from this programme will have broad range of possibilities for developing their professional career.

You may also take advantage of complementary training activities offered by the University of Jaen aimed at improving your personal and professional qualification. The quality seal awarded to the University of Jaen by the European Commission "HR Excellence in Research” identifies universities and institutions that generate and support the existence of a stimulating and encouraging research environment. The University of Jaen supports the Recommendations of the European Commission containing the “European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers” and has a Code of Good Research Practices and a Guide to good research practices for Doctoral Programmes.

This doctoral programme is designed to provide a high-qualification training in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

You may check the complete list of competencies granted by this doctoral programme.

The ideal applicant profile is people like you, who are interested in developing research in biomedicine and biotechnology and willing to take advantage of the opportunities offered in this field. Applicants should be motivated for making new discoveries through research, and have the capacity for critical thinking, comprehension, interpretation and application of research results, as well as basic skills in computer tools and English language.

General access requirements for Doctoral Programmes at the University of Jaen

In general, access to an official doctoral programme is available to persons in possession of a Spanish official bachelor's degree, or equivalent, and a university master's degree.

Access is also available to persons who meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Being in possession of an official Spanish university qualification, or one of another member country of the European Higher Education Area, which qualifies them for access to a master's degree in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of October 29, and having obtained a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in all official university studies, of which at least 60 must be at master's level.
  2. Being in possession of an official Spanish degree whose duration, according to the rules of Community law, is at least 300 ECTS credits. These graduates must attend the mandatory bridging courses referred to in Article 7.2 of these regulations, unless the curriculum of said degree includes research training credits equivalent in educational value to the research credits obtained in master’s degree courses.
  3. Being in possession of a university degree and, after obtaining a training place in the entrance test to specialized medical training, having obtained a positive evaluation in at least two years of training in a programme to obtain an official degree in one of the Health Science specialties.
  4. Being in possession of a degree obtained under a foreign education system, without need for official recognition, after the University has verified that said degree accredits a level of education equivalent to the Spanish official master´s degree and allows admission to doctoral studies in the country issuing the qualification. In no case shall this admission imply the official recognition of the original qualification held by the individual or its recognition for purposes other than access to doctoral studies. Regardless of this, the doctoral degree obtained will be officially valid in Spain.
  5. Being in possession of a Bachelor, Architect or Engineer degree and also having achieved the Diploma de Estudios Avanzados in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 778/1998, of April 30, or the research proficiency stipulated in the Royal Decree 185/1985, of January 23.
  6. Being in possession of another Spanish doctoral degree obtained under earlier university regulations.

Specific Access Requirements for Doctoral Studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology

This doctoral programme is open to those in possession of a degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Nevertheless, those applicants with degrees in other related disciplines and meeting the general criteria for access to doctoral studies could also be admitted to this doctoral programme. In this case, the Academic Commission of the doctoral programme will determine the complementary training that the applicant must complete in order to be admitted by taking the recommended courses in Cellular Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Genetics.

Applicants must also be in possession of a Master degree with a broad coverage of topics related to Molecular and Cellular Biology, such as the official masters in Biotechnology and Biomedicine or Regenerative Biomedicine.

The complementary training in Molecular and Cellular Biology may include courses from the bachelor degree in Biology such as Cell Biology and Plant and Animal Histology, Biochemistry, Genetics, and/or Principles in Animal Experimentation. The Academic Commission of the programme may also request students to take more advanced courses which are offered in the Master in Biotechnology and Biomedicine such as Laboratory safety and animal experimentation, Genetic regulation and development, Genomics, Bioinformatics and System Biology, or Proteomics and protein dynamics.

The training activities, evaluation and training results will be those established for the courses in the corresponding study plans.

Admission criteria

The following criteria laid down in article 9.3.c of the Regulation of Doctoral Studies of the University of Jaen will apply for admission of applicants:

  1. The adequacy of the applicant background giving access to doctoral studies to the topic of the thesis. 1.0 point.
  2. The curriculum vitae of applicant. 2.5 points.
  3. The interest of the research line of the thesis for the Department, Research Centre and personnel involved in direction of the PhD thesis, as informed by the corresponding legal representative/scientific personnel involved. 1.5 points.
  4. Adequacy of the theme of the thesis to the research lines of the doctoral programme. 2.0 points.
  5. Applicant´s complementary training requirements and time availability for carrying out the thesis. 0.5 points.
  6. Availability of permanent research staff with accredited research experience at the corresponding research area solicited by applicant. 1.5 points.
  7. Available resources to carry out the research tasks proposed by applicant. 1.0 point.

In order to be admitted, the applicant must obtain a mark higher than 7 points. The applicant must also have written consent from a scientific researcher qualified according to University of Jaen rules who will act as the thesis supervisor.

Students may enroll in doctoral studies at full dedication, or part-time if duly justified. The maximum period of permanence in PhD studies will be 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time. Students may ask for an ordinary extension for one year if enrolled full-time or two years if enrolled part-time. After this, all students may ask for an extraordinary extension period of one year. Applications for the extensions provided for in current legislation are to be duly reasoned and will be resolved by the Academic Committee for the PhD programme. Students may also apply for a temporary leave for a maximum period of one year, and extendible to one further year. Students may be excluded from the programme if they do not renew enrolments or if they obtain two negative overall assessments consecutively in the training and research activities in which they are enrolled for that year.

Students with special needs may visit the University Special Education Needs Service. You may get more information on general issues related to doctoral studies at the University Academic Service and the Doctoral School.

According to the rules for enrolment of the University of Jaen, application for doctoral studies is open during the complete year. Application and enrolment in doctoral studies can be done through the University Servicio de Gestión Académica.

There are four periods for application and registration during the year. Places not covered in one period will be added to next period´s offer.

School Year 2018/2019

  • Autumn cohort (application open until October 01, 2018)
    • Nº of places offered: 5
  • Winter cohort (application open until December 14, 2018)
    • Nº of places offered: 10
  • Spring cohort (application open until April 01, 2019)
    • Nº of places offered: 3
  • Summer cohort (application open until July 01, 2019)
    • Nº of places offered: 2

Send us your application, and you will receive a personalized response in due time.

Yearly demand for places

If you are willing to apply for grants, please check the University International Relations website.

Colaboraciones con convenio: Universidad de Bolonia

Academic Information

This doctoral programme is based on research lines carried out by teaching and research staff that will be in charge of supervising your research work. The mentor (who may also be your supervisor or a different member of the PhD programme) will guide you through the training activities of the programme.

While the mentor must belong to the university´s permanent staff that participates in the doctoral programme, the thesis supervision can be assigned to any person participating in the programme who is in possession of a PhD degree and has a qualified research experience, either from inside or from outside of the university.

List of research topics:

  1. Biomedicine and Systems Biology.
  2. Biotechnology.
  3. Molecular and Cell Biology.

The different research topics covered by this doctoral programme are supported by its research teams. The teams have enough available resources to carry out the research and have established collaborations with other research staff from different institutions and research centers both at national and international levels. The University of Jaen offers different Services for doctoral students. The programme also benefits from specific agreements established between University of Jaen and other institutions. There is also a large number of foreign institutions and research centres related to the topic of this doctoral programme.

If you are willing to apply for this doctoral programme, you will need endorsement by a mentor from UJA.

Research topic: Biomedicine and Systems Biology.



ORCID code


Aránega Jiménez, Amelia Eva



Del Moral Leal, Mª Luisa



Dominguez Macias, Jorge Nicolás



Esteban Ruiz, Francisco José



Franco Jaime, Diego



Iglesias Parro, Sergio



Márquez Jiménez, Francisco José



Martínez Lara, Esther



Peinado Herreros, Mª Ángeles



Siles Rivas, Eva



Torres López, María Isabel



Mohamed-Balghata, Mohamed Omar

Luque Barona, Rafael

Sánchez Rovira, Pedro

Castillo Rivera, Ana María

Research topic: Biotechnology



ORCID code


Barroso Albarracín, Juan Bautista



Caruz Arcos, Antonio José



Fernández Ocaña, Ana M.



Luque Vázquez, Francisco



Pedrajas Cabrera, José Rafael



Valderrama Rodríguez, Raquel

0000-0003-2253-0101 UJA

Research topic: Molecular and Cell Biology



ORCID code


Bullejos Martín, Mónica



Calvo García, Olga



Navarro Gómez, Francisco



Palomeque Messia, Teresa



Peragón Sánchez, Juan



Sánchez Baca, Antonio



Lorite Martínez, Pedro



During the course of your PhD thesis, you will be asked to take a set of training activities aimed at achieving the main competences that every PhD from the University of Jaen must develop by the end of doctoral studies:

Compulsory training activities

  • General: Framework of doctoral studies.
  • General: Framework of scientific research. Research policies.
  • General: Design and follow-up of research projects.
  • General: Knowledge transfer.
  • General: Dissemination of research results.
  • General: Employment and researcher career.
  • General: Doctoral seminars.
  • Specific: Active participation in seminars, conferences, courses and workshops in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
  • Specific: International Workshop on Advances in biomedical and biotechnological research.
  • Specific: Advanced laboratory practices in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology.
  • Specific: Relevant contribution from the PhD thesis.

In addition, the student may also get enrolled in other training activities (most of which are programme-specific), aimed at acquisition of specific competences of this doctoral programme.

Optional training activities:

  • Specific: Short-term visit (minimum three months) to a foreign research institution (compulsory for students willing to achieve the International mention in their PhD degree).

You can get more detailed information on the procedures for registration for the different activities and available grants.

All general training activities are in Spanish. Some specific training activities may be in English.

PhD students must pass a yearly evaluation of their activities. This includes general compulsory activities of doctoral studies and specific optional activities offered by the programme. After enrolment, you will receive a link for completion of your Student´s record of training activitiesand Research plan. All the student´s activities will be registered and certified according to an established procedure.

Each year, students must present proof of participation in at least two training activities. Nonetheless, the Academic commission may issue a positive evaluation for students with only one activity if this is duly justified.

The studies are duly completed with the presentation of the PhD thesis and the student´s public dissertation.

After completion of the Research Plan and Training activities, students may proceed to the public defense of their PhD thesis once the thesis has received initial approval from the PhD thesis supervisor(s) and the Academic Committee of the PhD programme as well as final approval from the Steering Committee of the Doctoral School. In order to receive this approval, the thesis must have achieved a relevant contribution signed by the PhD student as first author. The adequacy of the contribution will be determined according to the criteria established by the Comisión Nacional Evaluadora de la Actividad Investigadora (CNEAI) for the main areas of research and knowledge.

The doctoral thesis may be developed and defended in any of the languages commonly used for scientific communication in its field of research. If the thesis is written in a foreign language, it must include a document written in Spanish and signed by the thesis supervisor(s) containing the following information: title of the thesis, table of contents, introduction, a meaningful summary and conclusions.

At the time of finishing your thesis you may need to check the rules that apply for anti-plagiarism policies, deposit and thesis defense. The following link provides detailed information on the different processes related to the doctoral thesis.

Broadening your experience in other universities now becomes essential in a scenario where information, enterprise and society are globalized. Short-term visits (of at least 3 months) to a foreing institution allow doctoral students to achieve the International mention in their diploma. In addition, the option of Joint Supervision allows you to achieve a PhD degree issued simultaneously by University of Jaen and by a foreign university. Under this modality of study, you will be assigned a thesis supervisor in each of the participating universities under the conditions laid down in the corresponding cotutelle agreement.

PhD students may also spend part or most of their training period in a company. The mention of Industrial Doctorate can be obtained provided that the topic of the thesis is embedded in the research strategy of a company to which the doctoral student is bound by a contractual agreement.

There are different sources of short-term mobility grants for doctoral students: FPU, FPI, PAIDI, Plan Operativo de Apoyo a la Investigación from the University of Jaen, Doctoral School, Erasmus mobility grants, and the Campuses of International Excellence

Complementary Study Programs

The University of Jaén is committed to an integral training of its students. On this page you will find complementary training activities that will allow you to configure a comprehensive curriculum that favors your employability and your professional and personal development. Check this page regularly because the information is continuously updated.

There are no programs of complementary studies that match the specified filter criteria.

Career Guidance

Internship Training in Companies

The University of Jaen is aware that internships in companies can be essential to your professional career. For that reason, it offers a range of options for you to get enrolled in extracurricular internships, including the University programmes for entrepreneurial activities and Icaro programme. The calls from University of Jaen´s Plan de Apoyo a la Transferencia del Conocimiento, el Emprendimiento y la Empleabilidad may offer you multiple options to facilitate your incorporation to the world of work.

Career Prospects

  • Public sector: Scientific researcher in universities and other public research institutions at National (CSIC, ISCIII, INIA, IEO, CIEMAT) or Autonomic (IFAPA, etc.) level. Official employee of public administrations. Teacher for secondary schools, vocational training institutes, technical schools and universities. Researcher and senior technician in hospitals and in health and environmental centers for quality control and monitoring.
  • Private sector: Technical specialists in departments for research, development and innovation in companies working in the biotechnological, chemical-pharmaceutical, cosmetic and agri-food fields. Consultant. Trade specialist in biosanitary and biotechnology companies (clinical analysis, molecular diagnose).

Coordination and Quality

The academic coordination commission is the collegiate body in charge of direction and academic management of the title. It interacts directly with the students and is in charge of programming the academic activities offered to the students, preparing the calendar, as well as other academic aspects necessary for an optimal development of the title. It will also be in charge of introducing the modifications included in the improvement process proposed by the title´s Quality Assurance System.


  • Diego Franco Jaime (Coordinator)
  • Amelia Aránega Jiménez
  • Juan Bautista Barroso Albarracín
  • Francisco Luque Vázquez
  • Antonio José Caruz Arcos
  • María Ángeles Peinado Herreros
  • Antonio Sánchez Baca

The Internal Quality Assurance Commission of the Doctoral programme performs the function of promoting and facilitating the continued improvement of the different activities (teaching, research, transfer of results, administrative issues) concerning the title. It also analyses the academic results and the level of satisfaction the title and prepares the improvement plan that the Academic commission will then put in practice.


  • Diego Franco Jaime (Coordinator)
  • Antonio Sanchez Baca
  • Maria Angeles Peinado Herreros
  • Antonio Caruz Arcos
  • Daniel Pulido Vallejo
  • Maria del Pilar Ogallar Barella

The quality assurance system of Jaen University has a two-tiered structure of responsibility. On one side, the corresponding Vice-Rectorate coordinates the quality evaluation process for the different titles, departments and university services and, on the other, the Academic Centre in charge of the title, which applies its Quality Assurance System. The Internal Quality Assurance System of this doctoral programme is available at the following link: Quality Assurance System of the Doctoral School.

All official titles given by Jaen University undergo different evaluation processes by the Directorate of Evaluation and Accreditation (DEVA) of the Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento. The different evaluation reports of this title (verification, modification, follow-up and renewal of accreditation) are available through the following link: Evaluation Reports of University Degrees.

The relevant information for this title concerning number of new enrolments, academic results and student´s level of satisfaction with the title is available at the University Statistical Yearbook under the headings “Estudiantes” and “Satisfacción de los grupos de interés”.

You may also check the dropout rates for the titles given by Jaen University.

Employability is one of the most important elements of the quality of the title. You can take a look at the University report on employability where you will find the most common professional careers of people who took this doctorate before you.