General Policies

Strategic Plan

Every four years, the CNB is required to present a four-year strategic plan to the CSIC Presidency for evaluation and approval.  This plan includes a SWOT analysis of the centre, prioritizes lines of research, investment in research infrastructure, recruitment of scientists and technical support personnel, and many other aspects of the efficient allocation of resources and actions that guarantee the efficiency, excellence, and international competitiveness of the CNB.  The Action Plan is prepared by the CNB Direction and is approved by the centre’s Governing Board.  The Action Plan for the 2018-2021 period dates from June 2017.

External Evaluations

Though not compulsory for CSIC research centres, the CNB decided to submit the whole of its activities to periodic external evaluations. In 2005, the CNB became the first CSIC centre that underwent an exhaustive global evaluation by an international board of experts:


  • 2005 - EMBO evaluation

In their report, Profs Moshe Yaniv, Frank Gannon, Paolo Costantino, Jan Taplick, Stephen Cusack, Gert Groot, Jörg Hacker, Carl-Henrik Heldin, Francesco Sinigaglia, Anna Tramontano, Detlef Weigel and Robin Weiss stated that "The panel members were extremely impressed by the excellence of research conducted in the CNB. They consider that the performance of the different departments place them in the forefront of European and world science". The panel also made specific mention of the centre’s organization in different departments in support of the multidisciplinary characteristics of the CNB.


  • 2009 - External evaluation of CSIC Life Science research centres

A panel of 25 international experts, led by Profs Ian Mattaj and Michael Shelanski, positively evaluated the strategy of the CNB to accomplish its mission to produce excellent science that is recognised internationally.


  • 2010 - Evaluation by CNB’s external Scientific Advisory Board

Profs Wolfgang Baumeister, Anne Ridley, Maarten Koornneef, Juan Luis Ramos, Inder Verma and Anna Tramontano highlighted in their report that "the CNB harbours a number of leading research groups and has a well-balanced composition of disciplines and areas of research. The overall organisational structure of the CNB is adequate with clear strategic aims".


  • 2016 - Evaluation by CNB’s external Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board concluded that, despite a substantial reduction in the centre’s budget, extensive cuts in research funding, and a drastic decrease in non-permanent research staff since the last global review of the centre in 2010, the CNB had succeeded in notably improving a number of benchmarks such as publication of its research in top-level journals, access to international funding, and licence agreements with industrial partners.  The board also pointed out that the CNB sustained a high level of PhD training, and that it maintained its national and international visibility through the organization of scientific events and an ample network of scientific collaborations.


Career Track

The scientific performance of group leaders at the CNB is monitored closely by the centre's external Scientific Advisory Board.


The career track at the CNB establishes three categories (C1, C2 and C3) for group leaders, independent of their contractual status and professional category in the public tenure system.  The three levels differ essentially in the amount of laboratory bench space assigned, maximal research group size, and the resources with which the centre supports the research group during its start-up phase.

The level at which scientists start their career as independent group leaders at the CNB depends on an initial evaluation of their scientific achievements and future potential by the external Scientific Advisory Board.

The Scientific Advisory Board periodically monitors the scientific progress of each group leader through compulsory five-year evaluations; upon request by the scientist or a recommendation by the Scientific Advisory Board, the evaluation can be performed earlier.

The result of this evaluation, in the case that it is positive, will determine whether a group leader is promoted to the next career level or remains at the previous level.  Negative evaluations can imply assignment of a scientist to a lower career level. In the case of negatively evaluated C1 positions, the scientist might lose independent group leader status and opt for incorporation as a staff scientist in another CNB research group or, alternatively, seek a position outside the CNB.


Project Management Policy


Good Practices in Animal Research

The Animal Research Ethics Committee supervises compliance with codes of good scientific practice at the centre.

The CNB embraces the Statement Supporting Directive 2010/63/EU in support of European Animal Research Legislation.

Institutional statement on the use of research animals. The CNB has joined the Agreement on Openness on Animal Research, promoted by the Federation of Scientific Societies in Spain (COSCE) with the collaboration of the European Association of Research Animals (EARA), and launched on 20 September 2016. The 2018 Annual Report provides an overview on progress made regarding the implementation of this agreement.



Good Scientific Practices

CSIC has a Code of Good Scientific Practices developed by the CSIC Ethics Committee.  As part of the organization, the CNB assumes this code.

With CRUE Universidades Españolas and the COSCE, the CSIC signed the National Declaration on Scientific Integrity.  This document establishes some key concepts such as honesty, objectivity and fairness to all scientific disciplines.  As part of CSIC, the CNB assumes this declaration.

Moreover, CNB is committed to the CSIC Manual of Conflicts of Interest.

The Radiation Protection and Biological Safety Facility is in charge of providing adequate information and training to new personnel who join the laboratories.



Gender Policy

Gender policy at the CNB is in accordance with the recommendations of CSIC Women and Science Committee and follows the recommendations of the 2nd Gender Equality Plan (2019) from CSIC.

The CNB has been practicing for many years gender-neutral recruitment and promotion policies. Since 2020, there is an equality comittee. Today, more than a half (53%) of the total centre's staff are women, and despite that only 37% of research staff are women, almost 41% of decision-making positions (Director, Vice-Directors, Department Heads, Heads of Scientific Services and Administration) are occupied by them.  Since the CNB is bound to public salary schemes, there are no salary differences for the same position between male and female employees at the centre.

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