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Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31

PREBIST aims at attracting outstanding candidates worldwide in two calls for selecting a total of 28 pre-doctoral fellows for incorporating them into the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology centres’ existing pre-doctoral training programs.
The participating centres in this action are:

• Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
• Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ)
• Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
• Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE)
• Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

The main objectives of the project are:

1.Boost the capacity of its centers for international talent attraction.

2. Improve BIST capacities in the management of researcher career development.

3.Further drive interdisciplinary, international and intersectoral collaboration between BIST centres and other partner entities through joint research activities.

4. Improve access and utilisation of infrastructures, both technical and administrative.

5. Enhance networking opportunities and development of personal contacts.

6. Provide high-quality training through a personalized career development programme, both scientific and in transferable skills.
The work carried out during the first 48 months can be summarized as follows:

1) Management:
a) We have set up the team structure deployed by BIST and the 5 research centers involved in the COFUND PREBIST project, including the BIST COFUND technical committee, BIST Educational Committee, Working groups for communication and talent, supporting recruitment and financial issues.
b) We have stablished a communication and working plan to implement successfully the PREBIST programme until the closing.

2) Dissemination:
a) The dissemination efforts realized to launch the 3 calls have been accomplished successfully by attracting more than 1000 applicants from more than 70 different nationalities.
b) Dissemination efforts have been shifted to spread the scientific outputs from fellows. A dissemination plan has been designed with working group of communication.

3) Evaluation and Selection:
a) The work package of Evaluation and Selection have been successfully completed in this period. We have recruited 28 high skilled early stage researchers to carry out their research projects in one of the hosting BIST Centers.
b) Standarized processes of evaluation and selection have been transferred to hosting BIST centers for further implementation in each centers as convenience.

4) Ethics:
a) Ethical committees in every hosting BIST center have been created to support tasks related to ethical issues from the selection process to the development of research and dissemination of results. All research activities carried out at BIST research centers adhere to the fundamentals ethical principles.
b) During this period, the selection process have been managed under strict control of privacy rules. And all candidate were requested to mention in their research were affected by ethical issues.
c) Ethical committees are monitoring specially those fellows that develop research explicated affected by ethical issues and being available to support upcoming ethical issues from PREBIST PhD students.

5) Fellows and Career Development:
During this period, a group of 28 highly skilled postdoctoral researchers are developing cutting edge research in the 5 hosting BIST centers
a. The group have been meet to discuss their research expertise and current projects to promote collaboration and expand their network in different forums as visiting BIST, BIST PhD Cool Off, PREBIST welcome day, among other activities..
b. Training courses have been offered to all fellows to acquire the necessary skills to conduct a successful PhD and a variety of courses have been opened to fellows. Additional courses are added, attending to uncovered needs
c. A BIST career service have set up to offer guidance to fellows.
d. A feedback regarding career development expectations have been periodically requested to adjust the training programme to the need of the current PhD community
e. Periodic reporting from fellows is monitored, and expectations and need are regularly consulted.
f. A mentoring programme has been stablished, in which fellows can participate as mentees.
The work carried out during the first 24 months was mainly focused on setting up the team organization to develop the program, the dissemination and selection process to accomplish successfully the recruitment of 28 fellows, and to stablish the basis for supporting the professional development of the early stage researchers, in terms of ethical issues, career development, guidance and dissemination.
On the next 24 months, fellows have started getting results and publishing. At the end of 2021, PREBIST fellows have generated around 90 publications, being especially relevant in Physics and Chemistry fields. The 80% of these publications were done as part of international collaborations, and have already accumulated 200 citations.
Fellows are also receiving training in technology transfer, and some of their projects have started moving into mature states, so we expect some progress in this area, probably in the near future.
In order to make their research visible, and to present them to society as the scientist responsibles of the future breakthroughs, PREBIST fellows were invited to participate in the annual BIST conference, this year focused in Quantum Technology and its applications.