Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)


The CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) is the largest and leading public research institution in Spain and the third in Europe due to the quality and quantity of its scientific production. It plays an essential role within the Spanish System for Science, Technology and Innovation and contributes to reinforce Spain’s position at the international level.

CSIC’s main aim is to develop and promote scientific studies to contribute to foster scientific and technological progress. CSIC's mission includes:

  1. Multidisciplinary scientific and technical research
  2. Scientific and technical advice
  3. Transferring results to the private sector
  4. Contributing to the creation of technology-driven companies
  5. Training specialised personnel
  6. Management of infrastructure and large facilities
  7. Promoting scientific culture

The CSIC is multidisciplinary, carrying out research in almost all fields of knowledge. Its activities encompass basic research all the way through to technological development.

The CSIC is present in all the autonomous regions through their centres across Spain. It comprises 120 centres spread across Spain, and is also present in Brussels and Rome. It is formed by employees with a wide range of academic qualifications and professional categories. The CSIC employs 11,000 people, of which 3.000 are researchers. In total, they represent the 6% of Spain’s R&D workforce and generate approximately the 20% of the country’s production. Likewise, the CSIC collaborates with other juridical entities such as consortia and trading companies.

For more information on job opportunities at CSIC, please check our Nature Careers Employer Profile.

CSIC retains sole responsibility for content © 2021 Spanish National Research Council.

1 December 2019 - 30 November 2020

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) published between 1 December 2019 - 30 November 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
1251 214.21

Outputs by subject (Share)

Subject Count Share
Life Sciences 341 52.89
Earth & Environmental Sciences 141 30.72
Physical Sciences 634 95.26
Chemistry 288 61.14

Highlight of the month

Shape-shifting insecticide

© Sandro Balbuena/EyeEm/Getty Images

© Sandro Balbuena/EyeEm/Getty Images

An analysis of the structure of an insect-killing protein produced by soil-dwelling microbes could lead new pest-control strategies for the agriculture industry.

The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis secretes the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa, which is effective against many butterflies and moths. The protein is used as a pesticide to protect crops from pests. It gets converted into a toxic, insecticidal form when ingested by butterflies or moths but beyond that its mechanism is unknown.

Now, a team led by scientists from the Spanish National Research Council has used cryo-electron microscopy to detail the molecular architecture of Vip3Aa.

They found that the inactive ‘pre-toxin’ consists of four parts arranged in a pyramidal shape. Enzymes found in insect guts then cleave part of the protein, transforming it into its active structure.

The high-resolution structural information and insights into the activation mechanism of Vip3Aa should help biotechnology companies to engineer new insecticidal proteins that have greater stability and potency.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 11, 3974 (2020). doi: doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17758-5

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

More research highlights from Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

1 December 2019 - 30 November 2020

International vs. domestic collaboration by Share

  • 30.77% Domestic
  • 69.23% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Top 10 domestic collaborators by Share (242 total)

  • Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
  • Domestic institution
  1. Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Spain (70.65)
  2. University of Valencia (UV), Spain (49.91)
  3. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain (40.13)
  4. University of Barcelona (UB), Spain (38.22)
  5. Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Spain (29.76)
  6. Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain (28.79)
  7. University of Zaragoza (Unizar), Spain (23.22)
  8. Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain (21.10)
  9. University of Oviedo (UniOvi), Spain (19.11)
  10. University of La Laguna (ULL), Spain (18.71)

Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

Return to institution outputs