Accreditation of the Institute for Neurosciences, CSIC-UMH as a «Severo Ochoa» Center of Excellence

The Spanish State Research Agency (AEI), through annual calls for institutional reinforcement, recognizes and accredits as a «Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence» or as a «María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence» public sector entities and private nonprofit research institutions exhibiting international scientific leadership, capable of significantly advancing the frontier of knowledge and producing high-quality results with substantial impact, thereby driving progress within the Spanish System of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The Institute of Neurosciences, CSIC-UMH, has consistently demonstrated scientific excellence from 2014 to 2027, earning continuous recognition. It first received accreditation as a «Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence» in the 2013 round and successfully renewed this accreditation in both the 2017 and 2021 evaluations.

The accreditation of centers and units follows a rigorous, competitive process adhering to international standards. Scientific committees comprised of esteemed international experts play a pivotal role in the selection process. Evaluation criteria encompass various facets, including center organization, financial structure, research outcomes, training initiatives, human resource development, and international prominence. Additionally, the assessment incorporates an analysis of the center’s strategic plan, encompassing its diagnosis, perspectives, objectives, and proposed actions for the forthcoming four-year period.

In addition to being recognized for excellence, the AEI provides financial support for the implementation of strategic plans over four years, aiming to strengthen institutional capabilities. Moreover, accredited institutions enjoy the advantage of being included in calls for the recruitment of predoctoral researchers, who will undergo their training within the respective center or unit.

The current director of the Institute of Neurosciences and scientific director of the current «Severo Ochoa» Strategic Plan, Ángel Barco Guerrero, emphasizes that this funding enables the pursuit of actions previously unattainable, such as talent attraction and internationalization. He further notes: “These funds will significantly expedite our efforts to establish the Institute for Neurosciences as a global leader in addressing cutting-edge neuroscientific issues”.

The Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence and the María de Maeztu Units of Excellence span a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, encompassing fields such as life sciences, biomedicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, humanities, economics, and social sciences, and are associated in the SOMMa alliance

2014: Carmen Vela, Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development, and Innovation, delivered the first SOCE accreditation to Juan Lerma, scientific director of the Severo Ochoa Strategic Plan (2014-2018).

2018: Pedro Duque, Spanish Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, delivered the first SOCE accreditation to Juan Lerma, scientific director of the Severo Ochoa Strategic Plan (2018-2022).

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