Fulbright Scholar Award

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the Universidad de Murcia


Application Deadline
Award Code
Activity Type
A combination of teaching and research as described above. Refer to the award description for any specifications on percentages of time that should be devoted to teaching vs research.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Senior Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of recipients

Up To
Award Start Period
January 2025
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 and Histology. 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.

RESEARCH GROUP: Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer

Department: Cell Biology and Histology. Associated research lines:

1. Study of chronic inflammatory, infectious, blood, premature aging and rare diseases, using mainly zebrafish animal models and clinical samples from patients.

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: Microbial physiology

Department: Genetics and Microbiology. Associated research lines:

1. Environmental control of cytokinesis and cytoskeletal dynamics in fission yeasts.

2. Regulatory mechanisms of macroautophagy and mitophagy in eukaryotic microorganisms.

RESEARCH GROUP: Microbial Biotechnology

Department: Genetics and Microbiology. Associated research lines:

1. CRISPR-Cas systems and other defense mechanisms in bacteria-phages interactions.

2. Isolation of marine phages and bacteria.

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.

RESEARCH GROUP: Technologies for knowledge modeling, processing and management

Department: Informatics and Systems. Associated research lines:

1. Knowledge graphs and data interoperability in life sciences

2. Computational methods for the analysis of NGS data.

Complete degree contents can be found at:


Locations Detail

School of Biology, Universidad de Murcia

Award Length and Period

Mid-January to mid-April 2025 (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.

All applicants must meet the Program eligibility requirements (click to review the requirements).

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 should expect students to complete all their written and oral assignments in that language.

Some proficiency in Spanish is recommended for a better interaction with students and for daily life. The city of Murcia, where the university is located, is in the southeast 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.

€3,200 per month. This amount covers the monthly stipend, housing and living allowances. 

The allowances will be paid by the Spanish Commission as a lump sum once the Grant is formalized (in Euros or in Dollars, at a conversion rate to be determined on April 15, 2024. View conversion rates).

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Travel and relocation allowance for scholars: €1,300. Authorized dependents' travel allowance: €750 per person, for up to two dependents.

The allowances will be paid by the Spanish Commission as a lump sum once the Grant is formalized (in Euros or in Dollars, at a conversion rate to be determined on April 15, 2024. View conversion rates).

Do you offer additional dependent benefits

Scholars accompanied by dependents for at least 80 percent of the grant period will receive a monthly dependent allowance of €150 for one dependent or €300 for two or more dependents.

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

Murcia is a medium-sized city with a moderate cost of living compared to other cities such as Madrid or Barcelona.

The average cost of room and board can be between 600 and 1000 euros per month, depending on whether or not you share accommodation.

For information regarding the estimated cost of living in Murcia, please see: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Murcia,

There is a tramway route and a dense network of local buses connecting the city center and the metropolitan areas and fares are very reasonable. Flats and houses for rent are widely available in Murcia and are affordable to Fulbright scholars. The average cost of general living expenses in the Murcia region is lower than in other parts of Spain. See the following websites for more information on the cost of living and housing in Murcia: https://housinganywhere.com/Murcia--Spain/cost-of-living;



Special Award Benefits

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.


Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

To learn more about Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards in Spain for 2024-25, please view our archived webinar and slides to hear directly from the Fulbright Commission, IIE staff and U.S. Scholar alums regarding award details, the scholar experience, and application guidance.


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 processes, 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 infrastructure add to the country’s appeal as one of the most popular tourist destinations. Additionally, Spain’s relatively low cost of living makes it very affordable when compared to most other countries in the EU.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain has the fifth highest life expectancy among EU countries, at just above 80 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 will love the child-friendly environment. Although the Commission cannot provide assistance with school placements, rest assured that there are many options for high-quality and bilingual education. In Spain there are public schools, private schools (religious and international), and semi-private (concertados).

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, 20 of which are private. 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 many academic and research institutions are closed for all or part of the month.

Additionally, there are various 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 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 student's 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

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.