(The text of the official call for 2024 is available here).

Official call from previous editions (2023).

Maria de Maeztu Prize for Interdisciplinarity in Research

Doctoral Student Workshop



The programs "Severo Ochoa" (SO) Centers and "María de Maeztu" (MdM) Units of Excellence in Spain, managed by the Spanish State Agency for Research, aim at recognizing and promoting exceptional scientific research, by identifying and supporting the suitable organisations in Spain, in any field of research. Their goal is to enhance the impact, international scientific leadership, and competitiveness of these cutting-edge research centres and units. At present (as of June 2022), 28 centres and 22 units have received the SO and MdM accreditations, respectively. These centres and units span a diverse range of scientific fields, including life sciences and medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, as well as humanities and social sciences.


The objective of DTIC-UPF’s second MdM programme is to launch and implement a strategic program which takes the unit’s interdisciplinary research to a new level and makes strides into transdisciplinary research. This reflects a concern for the complex nature of the challenges facing society: some of these challenges can only be tackled through transdisciplinary efforts.


To this end, DTIC-UPF’s second MdM programme aims at promoting i) synergies with the rest of UPF and associated entities, establishing actions that can be sustained over time and ii) engaging with the Planetary Wellbeing initiative. It further seeks to iii) promote new links among internal research domains within DTIC-UPF, as a natural continuation of the first MdM programme and with emphasis on links with the CBC, which did not participate in that first programme. By doing so, DTIC-UPF will further enhance its distinctive character and impact, in accordance with the recommendations of the unit’s External Advisory Board.


The Award

In this context, to promote the discussion and implementation of mechanisms that foster research interdisciplinarity, the programme launches the Prize for Interdisciplinary PhD research, for work presented in the Doctoral Student Workshop by students enrolled in the unit’s PhD program. 


The award consists of 1.400 EUR to be spent in further advancing the research of the PhD student, with a focus on increasing its impact across the evaluation criteria described below. These funds can be used by the PhD student during his / her stay at UPF (before Dec. 2026) in 1) travel to conferences to present research results, 2) mobility actions (going to an external centre, or inviting an external researcher to come to DTIC), 3) the organisation of an event relevant to his / her research objectives, or 4) actions related to increasing the interdisciplinarity of his / her research results. In the case of multiple winners (maximum 2), the individual award will be of 1.000 EUR for each wineer.


The activities benefiting from this award and the direct results will have to acknowledge the financial support received by the MdM programme from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness:


This work under the Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence Programme (CEX2021-001195-M) funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033


If no submissions of suitable quality are received, the prize may not be awarded. Conversely, the prize may be split among multiple students.


Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be assessed against the Key Performance Indicators defined in the MdM programme, detailed below. Note that these are NOT eligibility criteria, and other interdisciplinary research can be awarded with the prize.


1 - Cross-collaboration with UPF researchers outside DTIC. Examples may include:

- Joint development and use of tools (transfer from one group to another).

- Joint research activities and /or joint infrastructure or personnel needs.


2 - Contribution to the UPF Planetary Wellbeing initiative. Examples may include:

- Participation of researchers affiliated to / partaking in the UPF Center for Planetary Wellbeing.

- A topic that falls under the umbrella of Planetary Wellbeing.


3 - Cross-collaboration among CBC researchers and other DTIC researchers.  Examples include:

- Joint development and use of tools (transfer from one group to another).

- Joint research activities and /or joint infrastructure or personnel needs.



PhD students submitting contributions to the Doctoral Workshop will be requested to indicate if they are willing to take part in the award and will fill a simple questionnaire, to be sent together with their registration to the workshop. All relevant information should be contained in the response to the form, as this will be the only basis for evaluation.



The Jury will be composed of members directly involved in the MdM programme, and may include the participation of external members outside DTIC.


Winners previous editions

2023 - Emma Fraxanet

2024 - Sena Beste Ercan