Fellowship Rafael del Pino Foundation - MIT

in collaboration with MIT Global Programs

Universities and research centres play a key multifaceted role in the ecosystem, as trainers of scientific-technical talent and the necessary human capital, and as providers of infrastructures and support for technology transfer. However, university education in Spain has an eminently theoretical character and, although the research results of the system are of high quality at international level, there are important problems related to its applied and practical component, as well as to the arrival of the results produced on the market. Thus, we can consider as key weaknesses to overcome, among others, the low practical focus of higher education, the scarcity of training in innovation and entrepreneurship in the university system and especially in STEM areas, and the low commitment to entrepreneurship and the generation of impact in the academic environment.

In other words, the country has an insufficient supply of human capital with the right skills for entrepreneurship in deep technologies that is not only at the frontier of scientific and technological knowledge, but also committed to transforming that knowledge into solutions to real problems (impact), familiar with the language of the business and investment world, and trained in the practice of innovation and entrepreneurship.

With the aim of contributing to the training of leaders in this field and increasing the critical mass of initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Deep-tech, the Rafael del Pino Foundation has created, in collaboration with MIT Global Programs, the "Fellowship Rafael del Pino-MIT on Deep-tech entrepreneurship".The aim of the project is to provide practical training in this field for Spanish university teachers in STEM fields, particularly in engineering.


The programme will train 2 teachers per year (Fellows) at MIT.

Fellows will work embedded at MIT Sloan with the objectives of: 1) integrating and understanding the mechanisms by which knowledge transfer from the lab to the market in deep technologies takes place, 2) learning how MIT implements this process through various programmes, 3) integrating practical teaching methods in entrepreneurship and innovation in deep technologies, 4) learning and understanding the Boston and Cambridge ecosystem in this regard, and 5) developing a plan to transfer all the practical learning acquired to the Spanish context and to their home institutions.

During their stay at MIT Sloan, Fellows will have access to the following benefits and services:

  • Academic direction of the programme: The programme to be developed by the Fellows will be led by the following professors Fiona E. MurrayWilliam Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion at MIT, and Lars Frølund, Research Director at the MIT Innovation Initiative.
  • Curriculum and teaching development: Fellows will be able to attend classes on innovation and entrepreneurship to experience how these subjects are taught at a world-leading university. In addition, they will be able to develop their innovative ideas in relation to their curriculum and teaching approaches. Fellows will have great flexibility to shape the specific programme to be followed at MIT Sloan, and will also receive guidance on the courses and initiatives best aligned with the Fellowship objectives (i.e. Catalyst, iTeams, ProtoVentures...).
  • Research developmentsDuring their stay, under the academic direction of the aforementioned professors, the Fellows will have the opportunity to learn about research projects developed within the framework of MIT and to share their results and development plans with other professors and researchers.
  • Seminars and conferences: Fellows will be able to attend seminars, conferences and other events of interest related to their field of study, to gain new perspectives, share insights and expand their professional networks.
  • Social, cultural and recreational events: Fellows will have the opportunity to access various MIT community events, both on and off campus. In this sense, the Cambridge and Boston area offer a wide range of opportunities to explore the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Deep-tech (e.g. Hackathons, tech hubs...).

Duration of stay: A minimum of 184 days

Contribution of the Rafael del Pino Foundation

The Rafael del Pino Foundation will award a maximum of two annual grants to the selected Fellows. This support will consist of the following:

  • Coverage of the Fellow's tuition fees for the programme at MIT Sloan
  • Individual contribution to travel and subsistence allowance of a maximum of six monthly payments of €2,300 per Fellow.

Programme recipients and application requirements

The "Fellowship Fundación Rafael del Pino-MIT on Deep-tech entrepreneurship" is aimed at university professors in engineering at Spanish universities.

Eligibility requirements for the programme are as follows:

  • Be a professor of engineering (or in another STEM area) at a Spanish university.
  • Hold a doctoral degree in any engineering or other STEM area.
  • Have Spanish nationality
  • To be accredited as a Doctoral Candidate by ANECA or by another equivalent official agency (e.g. Unibasq).
  • Be employed by a Spanish university, at least in the position of Assistant Doctor.
  • Demonstrate the possibility and willingness to undertake a stay at MIT between January and June 2023.

Submission of applications

The documentation to be submitted to apply for the Fellowship is as follows:

Documentation proving compliance with the eligibility requirements

  • PhD degree in STEM
  • Spanish nationality
  • Accreditation as a Contratado Doctor by the ANECA or equivalent.
  • Accreditation of contract with Spanish university
  • Proof of the possibility to stay between January and June 2023.

Additional documentation

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Short biography
  • Brief description of research area and subjects taught
  • Letter of motivation
  • Educational project on entrepreneurship and innovation in Deep-tech that is being carried out or that is intended to be implemented after the stay.
  • Certificate of English language proficiency (minimum requirement B2)

The deadline for applications was 17 July 2022.


Prof. Javier Cubas

Ignacio da Riva University Institute of Microgravity. School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering. Department of Aerospace Systems, UPM.

Prof. Enrique Gutiérrez Álvarez

Department of Mathematics Applied to Information and Communication Technologies, UPM.