Fulbright Scholar Award

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the Universidad de Murcia

Application Deadline
Thursday, September, 15, 2022
Award Code
Activity Type
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Mid-Career Academics
Senior Academics

Number of recipients

Up To
Award Start Period
January 2024
Award Length
3 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Medical Sciences
Veterinary Medicine
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Conduct a research project designated by the host institution
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses designated by the host institution
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing

In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities‎.

Award Activity

Please note that, although the online information about the courses on the host institution website is partially in Spanish, most faculty in the School of Biology speak English, and the scholar will only be expected to teach in English. Detailed information about his/her tasks will be provided to candidates in a timely manner and in English after being selected.


  • Postgraduate level within the M.Sc. and Ph.D. Programs in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
  • A maximum of 20 students in each course. Teaching includes theory and practical lessons.
  • The professor is expected to:
    • Teach Emerging Technologies in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
    • Assist students with seminars, journal clubs, round tables, etc. on topics related to Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.


Research lines in the field of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and developed in the Master degree and in the Ph.D. Program by the following research teams:

RESEARCH GROUP: Nonspecific immune system of teleost fish

Department: Cell Biology. Associated research lines:

1. Study of immunology, in species of interest for aquaculture, from an integrating point of view of cells, molecules and pathways involved in immune processes.

2. Description of the line: Study of chronic and infectious inflammatory diseases, anemia and neutrophilia, melanoma, and premature aging, using mainly zebrafish animal models and clinical samples from patients.

RESEARCH GROUP: Enzymology and Neuropathologies

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology A. Associated research lines:

1. Tumor drug resistance and development of new antitumor molecules.

2. Biotechnological applications of enzymes and nutricosmeceutical biomolecules.

RESEARCH GROUP: Biomembranes

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology A. Associated research lines:

1. Transmission of cellular signals through Protein Kinases C.

2. Biological surfactants: production, properties and biotechnological applications

RESEARCH GROUP: Microbiology

Department: Genetics and Microbiology. Associated research lines:

1. Regulation of cellular integrity in eukaryotic microorganisms.

2. CRISPR-Cas systems and other defense mechanisms in bacteria-virus interactions.

RESEARCH GROUP: Molecular Genetics

Department: Genetics and Microbiology. Department of Chemistry-Physics-Biology. Associated research lines:

1. Molecular mechanisms of photoreception and light signal transduction in bacteria.

2. Bacterial defense mechanisms against virus attack: operation and regulation of CRISPR-Cas systems.

RESEARCH GROUP: Genomics and molecular biotechnology of fungi

Department: Genetics and Microbiology. Associated research lines:

1. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in basal filamentous fungi.

2. Genes, pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the virulence of fungi that cause mucormycosis.

Complete degree contents can be found at:

MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (In Spanish)
PhD Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (in English)

Locations Detail

School of Biology, Universidad de Murcia

Award Length and Period

Mid-January to mid-April 2024 (Winter semester classes begin on January 19th and end on May 6th).

Areas of Interest

Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Plant Physiology and Bioinformatics.

Special Features

The Universidad de Murcia (UM) sponsors this award and, in addition to financial benefits, offers advice to find housing and if necessary, a school for dependent children. A contact will be available to help the professor adapt to the university.

The scholar will enjoy all the benefits and rights of a regular faculty member of the UM, including access to all digital resources.

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Dual citizens of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is optional.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information

The UM welcomes scholars to seek more detailed information.

Contact: Prof. Alejandro Franco, Department of Genetic and Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia
Email: afranco@um.es

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient.
Additional Language Requirement

Classes will be taught in English, and the lecturer may expect students to complete the written and oral assignments in that language. Some proficiency in Spanish is recommended to facilitate better interaction with students and for daily life. The city of Murcia, where the university is located, is in the southeastern part of Spain. The number of foreign visitors is increasing each year but English is not widely spoken, especially among middle-aged and older people

Additional Qualification Information

 Assistant, Associate, Full Professor or other categories with teaching experience.

Additional Comments


Institution: Professor Samuel Brockington. Plant Sciences Department. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom.
Research Team: Biochemistry and Enzyme Biotechnology.

Institution: Dr. José Luis Muñoz Muñoz. Research Fellow on Human Nutrition. Head of Research Team on Microbial Enzymology. Department of Applied and Health Sciences. Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST UK.
Research Team: Enzymology and Neuropathologies.

Institution: Professor James B. Moseley. Department of Biochemistry. Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, USA
Research Team: Microbiology.

Institution: Professor Alan Lambowitz Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Department of Molecular Biosciences. The University of Texas at Austin. USES.
Research Team: Microbiology.

Institution: Dr. Catherine L. Drennan, Professor of Chemistry and Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Research Team: Molecular Genetics.

Institution: Dr. Joseph Heitman, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, United States.
Research Team: Genomics and Molecular Biotechnology of Fungi.

Award Allowances

Direct grant benefits (stipend, travel and relocation allowances) are provided by the host institution, the Universidad de Murcia (UM).

€3,200 (approximately $3,850) per month. This amount covers the monthly stipend, housing and living allowances. Scholars accompanied by dependents for at least 80 percent of the grant period will receive a monthly dependent allowance of €150 (approximately $165) for one dependent or €300 (approximately $330) for two or more dependents.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Travel and relocation allowance for scholars: €1,285 (approximately $1,400). Authorized dependents' travel allowance: €735 (approximately $800 per person for up to two dependents).

Additional Dependent Benefits

No tuition allowance will be provided. Both public and private schools in Spain have bilingual or English language instruction available. The UM offers logistical assistance in finding housing and school(s) for dependent children, if necessary.

Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.

Estimated Cost of Living


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?


Contingent upon availability of funds, up to 11 All Discipline awards for postdoctoral researchers, and a variety of co-sponsored awards for Senior Research, Teaching or Teaching/Research are available. The co-sponsored awards have unique scopes and features and detailed information can be found in each individual award description.

The U.S.-Spain Fulbright Commission provides extensive support to selected candidates regarding administrative issues, such as the visa and documentation process, and ample pre-departure and arrival information. However, assistance in establishing contacts at prospective host institutions cannot be provided. 

Please note that candidates with dual U.S./Spanish citizenship, or candidates who are residing in Spain at the time of application or anytime thereafter, are not eligible for the Fulbright Program in Spain.

What is life like for Fulbrighters in Spain?

Although Spain may be known for its nice weather and beautiful beaches, there are many other reasons why Spain has long been held as one of the most desirable destinations for Fulbright grantees. Spain’s higher education and research institutions, technological advancement, cultural opportunities, and modern infrastructures add to the country’s appeal as one of the most popular tourist destinations. Besides, Spain’s relatively low cost of living makes it very affordable when compared to most other countries in the EU.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain has the third highest life expectancy among the 38 OECD member countries at just above 83 years, and is ranked as the 8th safest country in which to live. In fact, 82% of Spanish citizens report that they feel safe walking alone at night.

Spain has an excellent public transportation system. With its large-city public transport systems including metro networks, buses, and trains, it is very easy to get around cities in Spain or even across the country.

If you plan to come to Spain with your family, you’ll love the child-friendly environment; although finding a good school in Spain will probably be one of your main concerns, you’ll find that there are many options including public, private, international and semi-private (concertados) schools.

For more detailed information about Spain, please see the OECD's Spain profile.

General Information about Spanish Universities and Research in Spain

There are 76 universities in Spain, most of which are supported by state funding. 24 Spanish universities are private, and seven are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Spain's universities are increasingly focused on internationalization. By offering degree programs taught partially or entirely in English, they are attracting students from a wide variety of other countries, providing viewpoints in studies and discussions that are often unique and enriching for U.S. Scholars. Depending on the award, Scholars will be afforded the opportunity to teach both undergraduate and/or graduate students and/or carry out research, and are often invited to work with faculty on curriculum development. Research groups are usually multicultural and English is the language predominantly used in lab settings.

The academic year in Spain broadly runs from September to June, with breaks during the Winter and Spring holidays (approximately December 22-January 6 and coinciding with the weeks surrounding and including Easter). Research activity continues in July, whereas August is a very quiet month, and most institutions are closed.

Additionally, there are eight national and public research institutions that, together with universities, form the basic core of the Spanish public system of scientific research and technological development in Spain. These include:

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

The Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT)

The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME),

The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO),

The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA),

The Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII),

The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC)

The National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA).

Researchers are usually fluent in English, although there may be wide differences in the students' English proficiency. For day-to-day life, a working knowledge of Spanish is useful, especially in smaller cities and towns. Language proficiency should be commensurate with the project's scope. Please discuss this point with your host institution in advance.

The friendly and open nature of most Spaniards will make it easy for you to engage in multidisciplinary research groups and collaborate with your host institution much more than you initially expected. Many former Fulbright Scholars to Spain maintain and nurture the mutual engagement and joint research they initiated with their Spanish hosts while they enjoyed their Fulbright grant.

Prospective applicants may contact the Spanish Fulbright Commission for further information at informacion@fulbright.es or www.fulbright.es.

Previous Fulbright Recipients

Fulbright Spain Scholar Alumni Voices

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