ICFO jobs & fellowships

Welcome to ICFOjobs

Our job openings site and
online application interface

Please consult openings for further information on available projects and positions, as well as for elegibility, conditions, required application material and deadlines.

We invite displaced researchers and eligible MSc and PhD students, in particular those affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, to apply to the opening listed below that fits best their case. A statement describing clearly the applicant’s situation and eligibility is to be included in the corresponding presentation letter.

Dear applicant,

In the event that you have lost the acknowledging e-mail containing the link providing access to your application, you may retrieve your data by completing the form below.

Please, provide the required data and click on the ‘submit’ button. You will receive an e-mail, containing the link to your application.

In case of any troubles, please contact us at jobs@icfo.eu.

Are you interested in a position or a specific opening at ICFO, browsed our FAQs section, but still have a question you would need us to answer? Would you like to know more about a career at ICFO, or the application process? If so, please do not hesitate to contact us by submitting the form below.


Job openings

Team Leaders

Post-doctoral Researchers

Group Opening

Staff Researchers

Project Engineers


General Call

A rolling call of the ICFO PhD Program, with periodic deadlines, is always open for candidates applying to do a PhD at ICFO.

All candidates will be considered for all available fellowships for which they are eligible. Some specific fellowships are announced through targeted calls. Candidates applying to these calls are also considered for all other fellowships for which they are eligible.

Students may also join ICFO with their own funding or through external fellowships. Interested candidates should apply directly to such programs, and may wish to contact ICFO research groups they might be interested to join.

For further general information on fellowships and specific calls, please contact us at jobs@icfo.eu

Under- and Postgraduate Students

General Call

SPIE@ICFO Maria Yzuel Fellowship Awards: all applicants will be notified the results of the evaluation in their case by the begining of July 2024, at the latest.

Admin & Technical Engineers

Admissions period Summer 2024

ICFO offers a limited number of PhD positions to well-qualified applicants who wish to obtain a doctoral degree in any of the research topics available within our Research Groups.

Our PhD-program brings together top-level training and teaching for young scientists in a stimulating, international and interdisciplinary environment.

Research lines include, but are not limited to theoretical and experimental aspects of:

  • Atto-Science, Ultrafast Optics & Nonlinear Optics
  • Photovoltaics, Thermal Photonics & Solar Fuels
  • Optical Sensing & Optoelectronics
  • NanoPhotonics & NanoMechanics
  • Ultracold Quantum Gases
  • Quantum and Low-Dimensional Materials
  • Quantum Communications, Sensing & Simulation
  • Quantum Optics & Quantum Information
  • Nanophotonics, Condensed Matter Physics & Light-Matter Interactions
  • Medical Optics
  • Biophysics, Biophotonics & Super-Resolution Imaging

All PhD students admitted to ICFO are provided with a fellowship, with conditions as described in detail below.

Students applying to join the program are advised to directly contact the Research Group(s) of interest as part of the application process. We will use internal recommendations from Group Leaders to help identify candidates of interest during the admissions period.

As part of your application you will be requested to indicate the research group(s) in which you are interested in undertaking your PhD. Please be as specific as possible here, explaining your motivation to join the groups indicated.

Please, browse our website for details about ICFO Research Groups and Group Leaders at https://www.icfo.eu/research/groups/. In the group profile, you will also see specific available PhD-projects in that particular group (application should be formalized through this present general call with the corresponding selection process applicable). If you are interested in discussing possible research topics, please contact ICFO Group Leaders directly.

Research Group with projects on offer in this call:

Prof. Dr. Hugues de Riedmatten: “Quantum Photonics with Solids and Atoms research group”

  • PhD position in quantum technologies for quantum networks
    Description:The PhD candidate will participate in a project aiming at building the quantum hardware required for the realization of quantum networks, with the long-term goal of distributing quantum entanglement between remote quantum nodes. In particular, the project will develop quantum memories and quantum processing nodes.

Prof. Dr. Javier Garcia de Abajo: “Nanophotonics Theory research group”

  • Quantum physics associated with the interaction of free electrons, light, and photonics nanostructures
    Description: The project will target quantum aspects of the interaction between free electrons and optical excitations confined within nanometer scales in search of new phenomena at the intersection between quantum optics and microscopy with unprecedentedly improved resolution. Specifically, we aim to realize the grand goal of achieving a combined attosecond-Angstrom-meV resolution in time-space-energy. The project has a theoretical nature in collaboration with a strong network of experimental collaborators from our group. A solid background in quantum and electromagnetic theory would be desirable.

Prof. Dr. Nicoletta Liguori: “Photon Harvesting in Plants and Biomolecules research group”

  • Molecular view of photosynthesis regulation with novel spectroscopic and computational tools
    Description: The student will join the Photon Harvesting in Plants and Biomolecules group at ICFO. In the group we develop and apply innovative spectroscopic and computational tools to study how changes of light, structure and environment regulate the activity of proteins of great interest for photobiology. In this project the student will specifically develop cutting-edge ultrafast spectroscopy tools and molecular dynamics approaches to capture in real time the mechanisms that photosynthetic organisms activate to avoid photodamage under the sun.

Prof. Dr. Turgut Durduran: “Medical Optics research group”

  • Novel, wearable photonics neuromonitors for realistic environments (SCOSWear)
    Description: Overwhelming majority of our knowledge of how the brain works and the interaction between the body and the brain comes from neuromonitoring/imaging experiments conducted under controlled enviroments with constrained tasks. However, this leads to limited and even false conclusions, and, fails to detect or diagnose impairments that arise due to the complexity of tasks in daily life involving multiple domains and interactions between the brain and the body. In this project, the Ph.D. student will work on a unique, enabling technology based on diffuse laser speckle statistics to non-invasively measure not only oxygen consumption and blood volume but also blood flow, thus, enabling the calculation of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen extraction – the so-called holy-grail of neuroimaging.

Dr. Lorenzo Cortese: “Medical Optics research group”

  • Mobile Photonics Platform for early Shock detection in the prehospital and hospital settings (PHOTOSHOCK)
    Description: This is a multidisciplinary project between ICFO (Group of Medical Optics) and Parc Taulí Hospital Universitari. The objective is to develop a portable optical platform capable of monitoring the microcirculatory health in peripheral muscle, including tissue oxygenation, metabolism, microvascular blood flow and endothelial function. The platform will be tested for prehospital (ambulance/rescue helicopter) and hospital (intensive care unit/trauma bay) use in trauma patient and general ICU population, for the early identification of shock biomarkers.

Prof. Dr. Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh: “Optical Parametric Oscillators research group”

  • Ultrafast Laser Technology: A New Generation
    Description: This project is focused on the development of coherent broadband ultrafast laser light sources based on optical parametric oscillators (OPOs). The project will involve theoretical and experimental study of nonlinear optics, OPOs, ultrafast lasers, and optical frequency combs.

Prof. Dr. María García-Parajo: “Single Molecule Biophotonics research group”

  • Lateral nanoscale architecture of Integrin-based adhesions
    Description: The project aims at unraveling the principles that govern the spatiotemporal organisation and coordinated activation of mechanosensitive integrin receptors in response to mechanical and biochemical signals. We will identify how these rules geared at the molecular and nanoscale levels contribute to the different processes of cell adhesion, mechanosensing and downstream mechanosignal transduction. The project involves the application of super-resolution and single molecule tracking approaches in combination with nano-stretcher devices.

Prof. Dr. Carmen Rubio-Verdú: “STM on 2D quantum materials research group”

  • 2D magnets at the atomic limit
    Description: The project consists in studying the magnetic properties of 2D materials by means of low-temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy. More specifically, we will corroborate the crystalline structure of the 2D magnets and the potential domain structures, shed light into the substrate induced effects and overall elucidate their electronic and magnetic properties.

Prof. Dr. Leticia Tarruell: “Ultracold Quantum Gases research group”

  • Many-body physics with atomic quantum simulators (MAPS)
    Description: The project aims at developing novel quantum simulation platforms with ultracold atoms, to investigate from the experimental point of view a broad spectrum of quantum many-body physics problems. More precisely, the PhD project will be carried out in one of the strontium experiments of the group, where ordered arrays of atoms which can be imaged individually simulate either Hubbard models for exploring the physics of strongly-correlated materials or spin models, to investigate problems ranging from low- to high-energy physics. We are looking for students with a solid physics background and very interested in tackling fundamental physics problems, and a passion for experimental physics and cutting edge technology.

Prof. Dr. Gerasimos Konstantatos: Functional Optoelectronic Nanomaterials

  • PhD position on infrared colloidal quantum dot optoelectronics
    Description: The student will participate in a project who aims to develop colloidal quantum dot infrared optoelectronics: photodetectors, LEDs or Lasers using III-V colloidal quantum dots. The candidate depending on their background (physics or chemistry/material science) will focus either on material synthesis / development and basic device fabrication and characterization or focus on more physics demanding projects like development of gain media and lasers based on this class of materials.

Supported by Generalitat de Catalunya and MCIN with funding from European Union NextGenerationEU (PRTR-C17.I1)

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To be eligible for an ICFO PhD position, candidates must:

  • Have an internationally-recognized Master-equivalent degree. The degree must be completed by the start of your prospective PhD at ICFO, at the latest, and must be in a field of science and engineering related to the ICFO research activities. Degrees issued within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) must have an equivalent to 300 ECTS, out of which a minimum of 60 ECTS must have been obtained in postgraduate studies. Please, if in doubt regarding your academic eligibility, contact us at jobs@icfo.eu.
  • Have an excellent academic record, previous research experience and a strong commitment for scientific research.
  • Candidates who have already been awarded a PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • Have a high working knowledge of English.

ICFO is an equal employment opportunity employer. Candidates are selected exclusively on merit and potential on the basis of submitted application material. No restrictions of persons with disabilities, citizenship or gender apply to ICFO positions. ICFO abides by the principles of openness, efficiency, transparency, supportiveness, and international comparability as stated in the European Charter for Researchers and the European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

PhD Students admitted to ICFO will be offered a Fellowship with the following conditions:

  • Initial contract for a period of 6 months, while being pre-admitted to the PhD program, with an explicit follow-up/ renewal procedure at the end of this first stage. During this period, students already take part in the ICFO working environment, join a research group, and work with their supervisor to define a research project.
  • After this initial period, students are formally enrolled in the PhD Program, and the full PhD Fellowship activated. Fellowships are offered for periods of three years, renewable for an additional fourth year, and are formalized via a PhD-contract. Continuity and renewal are subject to satisfactory performance in the PhD studies and related research activities, evaluated annually by the Thesis Director and the ICFO PhD Committee.
  • Selected candidates shall start ideally between July 2024 and September 2024.
  • All ICFO fellowships include medical care coverage and work accident insurance through the Spanish Social Security system, providing access to the Spanish public health care system.
  • ICFO PhD standard salary conditions apply to the positions and are subject to fiscal and social security deductions. The PhD contract is of 3-years extendible for a fourth year. The salary is 11.250€ for the initial training period of 6-months (20.500€ gross annual salary), 22.500€ (annual gross salary 1st and 2nd year) and 25.200€ (annual gross salary for 3rd and 4th year).
  • As part of the fellowship, ICFO will provide budget as deemed necessary and with the corresponding approval from the corresponding Group/Team Leader to enable the PhD fellow to complete his/her assigned research project. This budget is managed by the Group/Team leader, and will include consumables and other materials, training and other related costs, such as registration fees, travel and subsistence costs for participation in national or international events, conference, meetings, schools, and/or other training activities.
  • Additionally, a family allowance is also available on request and after corresponding approval for people with family charges in the terms described in the corresponding policy.

To apply, suitable candidates are requested to complete online application form and submit (in English) online the following material:

  • A Presentation Letter with declaration of research interests, as well as (mandatory) indication of the research project and/ or group you are interested in,
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details,
  • Scanned copies of the complete (Bachelor and Master equivalent) academic transcripts in English or Spanish including the grading scale,
  • Scanned copies of the degree certificates, if available at the time of application,
  • Holders of a degree issued under a foreign education system. In these cases, homologa-tion is not required but the university that awarded the degree must verify that it certifies a level of training equivalent to an official Spanish master’s degree and qualifies the holder for admission to doctoral studies in the country where it was issued. Admission on this basis does not imply homologation of the foreign degree or its recognition for any purpose other than admission to doctoral studies.
    Documentation must explicitly indicate equivalence of degree and/or admissibility in a PhD program in the country where it was issued. Examples of documents we accept are:

    • Official document or website from the degree granting university
    • Academic transcript including this explicit description
    • Letter or certificate from faculty, school or department, addressed to ICFO on of-ficial letter-head, signed by a person responsible for admissions into the PhD program

  • The names and contact details of 2 referees. IMPORTANT: These referees will be automatically contacted by ICFO requesting them to complete a standardized evaluation form and submit a letter of support for the candidates into the system. When they do so, the applicant will receive an email confirming that the corresponding reference letter has been submitted. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that referees submit these letters.
  • If available, scanned copy of standardized test results (GRE, TOEFL, etc.). Note that submission of test results is optional, but they can be particularly helpful for evaluating candidates with degrees obtained outside the European Higher Education Area.

All required application material, including letters of reference, must be complete in order for the application to be considered.
The deadline for submission of applications for the present call is June 12, 2024 and the deadline for referees to submit the reference letters is June 17, 2024.

Applicants with a legally recognized disability, equal to or greater than 33%, have the right to be considered in the applicable reserved quota for the corresponding position, and to have the necessary adaptations for selection & evaluation, as well as for the assigned workplace, if necessary. They must provide the assessment or accreditation of the degree of disability issued or officially recognized by the authorities in the area where the workplace is established, along with the rest of the documentation when applying. Failure to present the accreditation for causes attributable to the applicant will entail their participation in this selection process without any reservation and on equal terms with the rest of the candidates.

Candidates will be assessed on a rolling basis until the call deadline according to the following steps:

  1. Eligibility Check.
  2. Evaluation that the candidate is eligible for admission into the PhD program, and that their application is complete.
  3. Admissibility Check.
  4. Confirmation that the candidate fulfils the minimum academic requirements for admission into the PhD program, and one or more research groups may be interested to host the candidate.
  5. Evaluation of candidate.
  6. The admissions committee will evaluate identified candidates.
    Assessment is based on demonstrated achievement and potential, measured in terms of academic record, previous experience, and personal achievements. Academic excellence is a must. Pro-activity, participation in community activities, and capacity for team-work are also valued.
    One or more ICFO research group should be willing to host the candidate.
    Last notification to candidates of the results of this evaluation stage are expected by end-June 2024.
  7. Interviews.
  8. Outstanding candidates identified by the admissions committee will be invited to interview:

    1. candidates will receive invitations for on line interviews with an admissions committee

    2. in parallel, individual interviews with interested Group Leader(s) may be conducted.

  9. Last interviews are planned to take place by mid-July 2024.
  10. Admissions.
  11. Admissions offers with a corresponding fellowship will be made to the successful candidates shortly after the interviews.
    To be admitted into the program, candidates must pass the evaluation by the admissions committee following the interview in step 4a, and have an offer of acceptance into one or more host research groups with confirmed funding for the corresponding fellowship.
  12. Appeals.
  13. A dedicated, external and independent Appeals Panel will be established to rule on the outcome of any appeal from the applicants.

At all stages of the process, candidates may contact ICFO Human Resources and Education via jobs@icfo.eu.

For complete information about the PhD Admissions process at ICFO, please see https://www.icfo.eu/studies/phd-program/general-eligibility/.

27th of June, 2024

Identify your interests

As your career goals and research interests are an integral part of the selection procedure itself, apart from the ICFOjobs site, we encourage you to browse ICFO’s corporate website to learn more about ICFO’s research activities and to identify the projects and/or areas that best match your background. We also recommend that you visit Careers @ ICFO. A clear indication of your interests and goals in your presentation letter will help us in reviewing your candidacy.

Did you identify an opening meeting your interest and career goals? Then, we are looking forward to your application!

Should there be no opening matching your interest or background, please contact us at jobs@icfo.eu or directly contact with the relevant ICFO Group Leaders or Unit Heads to explore potential future possibilities in their fields.

The application process

If you have identified an opening matching your interests, please read carefully the information about requirements, conditions and necessary application material and start the application process. Candidatures should be submitted online via ICFOjobs, our online application interface, in a 2-step procedure:

  1. Registration:
    The button ‘Apply to this opening’ takes you to the online application form, gathering your personal data for identification purposes. Once submitted, you will receive a link by e-mail, which you must follow in order to continue the application process.
  2. Application:
    In this second step of the process you will be asked to provide further details and the necessary application material, as well as, in some of the openings, to indicate potential referees. All enclosed documentation must be in PDF format or plain text.

Once the application form is complete and the relevant material has been uploaded, submit your candidature by clicking on the ‘apply’ button. Candidates will receive an automatic reply acknowledging submission including a reference number for further enquiries or updates (within deadline).

By submitting an application, you grant ICFO permission to use the provided data for the recruiting process. (See Data Protection Policy.)

The review process

Applications will first be reviewed to assure that they meet the requirements and conditions as indicated in the job opening. Candidatures will then be evaluated by the corresponding Selection Committee according to the selection criteria of each opening. ICFO is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates are selected exclusively on merit and potential on the basis of submitted application material. No restrictions related to disabilities, citizenship or gender apply to ICFO positions. ICFO abides by the principles of openness, efficiency, transparency, supportiveness, and international comparability as stated in the European Charter for Researchers and the European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

ICFO will notify candidates who are selected to pass to the next stage in the review process. Candidates who do not pass the first step of the review process will be notified of the outcome of their application at this time.

When requested, reference letters play an important role in supporting the candidate in the review process. Unless the call applied for indicate specific requirements in that sense, referees will be automatically contacted by ICFO requesting them to complete a standardized evaluation form and submit a letter of support for the candidates. Candidates should by no means submit a reference letter in support of their own candidature on behalf of their referees. The members of the selection committee will have access to reference letters.

On-site or online interviews (aiming at discussing the candidate’s suitability, project contents, hiring conditions and legal matters, etc.) with the Selection committee may be scheduled.

Notification of results

All candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application. Possible results are:

  1. Rejection:
    The Selection Committee reaches the conclusion that the background of other candidate(s) appears to be more suitable for the position.
  2. Waiting list:
    Candidate(s) may be placed on a waiting list based on the shortlist proposed by the Selection Committee. Candidate(s) on this list may receive an offer in the event that the top-candidate does not accept the position. Waiting list candidates will receive a final decision as soon as the top-candidate confirms acceptance.
  3. Acceptance / offer:
    ICFO extends an official offer, asking the selected candidate for formal confirmation of acceptance.

The selection process is completed as soon as the candidate confirms acceptance of the offered position and a tentative starting date has been agreed.

After acceptance @ ICFO

Staff of the ICFO Human Resources and Education Unit will assist new ICFO members with the following procedures:

  • Support with administrative and legal matters related to arriving and settling in, including immigration formalities (Visa application process, etc.) and personal assistance in relocation.
  • Particularly for PhD-students: Information and advice on the necessary academic documentation to be gathered and submitted for enrollment in the PhD in Photonics program, including information about how to legalize previous studies (e.g. BSc, MSc, etc.) whenever necessary, as well as registration to the doctorate program and academic planning.

ICFO’s applicant database

The applicant database and all applications received through ICFOjobs, are managed by the staff of ICFO’s Human Resources and Education Unit. All information is handled with due confidentiality and solely for the purpose mentioned, and will be made available to the members of the Selection Committee in so far as they are necessary for the management of the process.

As indicated through the application process, other relevant information is also gathered for statistical purposes or in order to verify the eligibility requirements indicated in the corresponding call.

Do I have to submit my application exclusively online or may I also submit a hard copy?

ICFO only accepts applications submitted online via the ICFOjobs interface. As an exception, and only in case of force-majeure problems with electronic submission, candidates may submit their application in hard copy within the deadline.

Is it possible to apply for more than one opening? May I apply even if I have been considered for an ICFO opening in the past (i.e., re-application)?


Do I receive a confirmation acknowledging reception of my application?


Is it possible to update my personal data or application material? Likewise, will I be able to delete my application (and therefore all personal data)?

In the first step of application, through the online application form, you will have to provide your personal data including your contact e-mail. Once submitted, you will receive an acknowledging e-mail, containing a link which you have to follow in order to continue with the procedure (submission of application material, etc.). Via the link you receive by e-mail, you will also be able to update your data and application material (within the established deadlines) or even to withdraw your application.

In case of questions - whom shall I contact for help in submitting my application?

Please contact the recruiting staff of ICFO’s Human Resources at jobs@icfo.eu.

Particularly for PhD- and Postdoctoral openings: Is it possible to apply even if I have not yet finished the minimum academic qualification required?

Yes, unless the call explicitly indicates otherwise, but please indicate this clearly in your presentation letter. In general, candidates should hold an internationally-recognized degree or evidence of its completion before the prospective starting date.

Applications need to be supported by reference letters. How should these be submitted?

For exact details on how to proceed with reference letters, please check the specific opening you are applying for. In general, you will be requested to indicate name, institution, contact data, and relationship in the last part of the online application form. Depending on the opening, referees will be automatically contacted by ICFO requesting them to complete a standardized evaluation form and submit a letter of support for the candidates. Candidates should by no means submit a reference letter in support of their own candidature on behalf of their referees.

Submission of academic transcripts and degrees?

The required documentation to be submitted for application is indicated in the ‘application process’ of each opening. In general, ICFO will ask that you provide a copy of your most recent academic degree certificate. Additionally, and particularly for fellowships and internship positions, ICFO will also need you to submit scanned copies of your academic transcripts (current and previous studies). The academic transcripts contain the list of courses, including the credits and marks obtained. Provisional degree certificates are generally accepted by ICFO.

The application form requires the indication of my GPA – what shall I indicate?

GPA stands for Grade Point Average. Apart from other criteria, selection for ICFO positions, above all for fellowships and internships, is measured in terms of the academic performance. In this regard, ICFO needs an indication of the average of your final overall grade obtained in your studies (stated in your transcripts), the minimum grade required to pass in your university and the maximum grade that can be achieved or the overall qualification obtained in your PhD-studies (for applicants with a PhD-degree).

Retrieve your application


You can write an email to Human Resources and Education at ICFO.


No vacancies matching your profile?

In the event that there are no published vacancies matching your academic or professional background, you may contact us at jobs@icfo.eu.

Data Protection Statement

ICFO endeavours to safeguard and protect the privacy and confidentiality of your personal data pursuant to applicable laws (GDPR) and implementing regulations.

To help achieve this goal ICFO has drafted a Privacy Policy, which describes how we collect, use and otherwise handle “Personal Information” we receive from you when you use ICFO websites and explains the circumstances in which we may transfer this to others.

The full policy can be found in ICFO's main website.

Our Data Privacy Policy must be read together with any other legal notices or terms and conditions also available on our Website (Terms of use and Cookies Policy).

If you have any questions in relation to this Data Privacy Policy, or if you would like to contact us to exercise your rights as stated in our Privacy Policy, you should check ICFO's website.