SPEAR – Spin-orbit Materials, Emergent Phenomena and Related Technologies Training


We are currently looking for motivated PhD candidates to join SPEAR’s training network!

The recruited early-stage researchers [1] (ESRs) will join one of fifteen research projects at SPEAR’s academic or industrial partners in Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany or Sweden.

Over the course of three years, the ESRs will research topics at the forefront of nanoelectronics and spintronics and benefit from a comprehensive and intersectoral training program including project workshops, special training sessions and participation in one or two secondments at host institutions for a total of 6 months [2].

Furthermore, they will be enrolled in the regular PhD programmes at a SPEAR beneficiary or partner organization and thus benefit from all local training activities and specialized courses.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 955671.

 [1] As defined by the European Commission for the context of MSCA-ITN project an early-stage researcher (ESR) is a researcher who is in the first four years of their research career.
[2] Due to their specificities, some projects will have a single 6-month secondment.


About SPEAR:

SPEAR’s overarching scientific and technological goal is to study the rich physical phenomena observed in condensed matter systems with a strong spin-orbit coupling, and to build devices based on these phenomena for the next generation of memories. Indeed, Spin Orbitronics, as this field of research is called, has shown great potential for the development of novel MRAM (magnetic random-access memory) and is considered among the best strategies to complement and go beyond current CMOS technology, e.g., through spin-orbit-based logic, machine learning or neuromorphic computing.

Although the academic spintronic community is strong, the number of European companies taking advantage of spintronic technologies is still limited in comparison to those in the U.S. or Asia. SPEAR will bring together 7 universities, 3 research centres and 7 small and medium sized companies to set new ground-breaking scientific and technological objectives and to create a multidisciplinary network that will provide fifteen early-stage researchers with quality training in the emerging field of Spin Orbitronics.

Application period:

March 1 – April 30, 2021 (evaluation on a rolling basis)

We are offering:

  • A comprehensive and international training programme going beyond state-of-the-art spin-orbitronics
  • Training in research-specific, complementary and soft skills, that involve both the academic and industry sectors and are tailor-made to prepare young researchers for their future careers
  • A competitive salary, adjusted according to the host country
  • A mobility allowance of 600 euro and, if applicable, a family allowance of 250 euro as part of the employment package


Eligibility Requirements:

The 15 researchers that will be recruited to work on SPEAR…

  • may be of any nationality;
  • must be proficient in written and spoken English.

At the time of recruitment (i.e. contract starting date) the researchers…

  • must be early-stage researchers (ESR), meaning that they must be in the first four years of their research careers (full-time equivalent), i.e. four years or less must have passed since they obtained the degree which entitles them to embark on a doctorate;
  • must not have been awarded a doctoral degree;
  • must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

Start Date:

Candidates are expected to start working on the project by September 2021. In some cases, an earlier starting date may be possible.


Selection Criteria:

  • Academic record
  • Scientific background
  • Expected impact and benefits of the proposed training to the ESR’s career


For information on the 15 available research projects and to apply visit the project website spear-itn.eu!