ICFO jobs & fellowships

Welcome to ICFOjobs

Our job openings site and
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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


General Call

A position is currently open for ICFO Director.

Post-doctoral Researchers

Group Opening

Research 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

  • ICFO-KNUST International School on the Frontiers of Light: Photonic Sciences: Applications and Opportunities (October 9th to 13th, 2023). Full details of the school program and application form.
  • ICFO-TIFRH International School on the Frontiers of Light: Hot Topics in Photonics Sciences (October 25th to 27th, 2023). Full details of the school program and application form.

  • Admin & Technical Engineers

    General Call

    Anunci de convocatòria de llocs estructurals resultants de la taxa de reposició addicional i de convocatòria de concurs de mèrits per la provisió de llocs de treball de personal laboral fix a l’ICFO.

    Group Opening

    Tech Transfer & Business Development

    Group Opening

    Staff Scientists

    6 PhD positions available within the ICFOstepstone fellowship program (MSCA-COFUND action at ICFO)

    ICFO is offering 6 PhD positions to well-qualified graduate students, who wish to obtain a doctoral degree in any of the research fields covered at ICFO.

    The positions are offered in the scope of the ICFOstepstone Program, a MSCA-COFUND action of the European Commission, awarding INCOMING Fellowships to outstanding graduate students. The program will bring together top-level training and teaching for young scientists in a stimulating, international and interdisciplinary environment. It will offer the possibility of mobility within a network of excellence, consisting in partners of national and international research institutes and universities, as well as industrial partners in the field.

    PhD students at ICFO benefit from the extensive course offerings of local universities and focused instruction by ICFO professors. Research is carried out at ICFO.

    Fellowships will be offered across all ICFO research groups in the following research areas:

    - Biophotonics and Biomedical Optics
    - Nanoscopy, Advanced Imaging and Super-resolution Imaging
    - Nanophotonics, Nanotechnology and BioNanoScience
    - Quantum Optics, Atom Optics and Quantum Information
    - Optoelectronics, Optical Processing and Optical Sensing
    - Atto-Science and Ultrafast Lasers
    - Green Photonics and Photovoltaics
    - Graphene and 2D NanoMaterials

    Note that in addition to the 6 ICFOstepstone COFUND positions, additional internal ICFO PhD group positions (with different conditions than those described for the ICFOstepstone) might become available, for which we may retain candidates applying to this present opening.

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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 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.
    - Have a high working knowledge of English.

    Additionally, candidates for the ICFOstepstone positions must comply with the following EU-rules by the time of activation of the COFUND-PhD:
    - Candidates should not have resided in Spain for more than 12 of the last 36 months.
    - The Master-equivalent degree should not be older than 4 years. Exceptions are made for documented periods of parental leave. Other equivalent exceptions may be considered when properly documented and motivated by the applicant, e.g, in case of applicants from underdeveloped countries, minorities, or for applicants that pursued their studies under comparatively unfavorable conditions.

    Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. No restrictions of citizenship or gender apply to the ICFO International PhD Fellowship Program.

    The conditions of the ICFOstepstone PhD positions are as follows:
    - Initial ICFO 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 ICFOstepstone COFUND 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 between February and March 2017.
    - 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.
    - The ICFOstepstone COFUND fellowship amount is of 25.200,00 euros gross yearly, subject to the stipulated fiscal and social security deductions. Note that this salary conditions are not applicable to those candidates who would potentially be retained for group openings (ICFO standard conditions apply).

    To apply, suitable candidates are requested to submit (in English) the following material online:
    - A cover letter with declaration of research interests,
    - A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details,
    - Scanned copies of the complete (Bachelor and Master equivalent) academic transcripts in English or Spanish,
    - Scanned copies of the degree certificates, if available at the time of application,
    - The contact e-mail of at least two potential referees. The candidate should ask the referees to send reference letters directly jobs@icfo.eu before the application deadline.
    - The print-out of the equivalence calculation accomplished via the Foreign Credits webtool.
    - 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 September 30, 2016.

    In a first step of the selection procedure, applications will be assessed by the selection committee based on merit and potential, measured in terms of the academic record and personal achievements. Academic excellence is a must. Pro-activity, participation in community activities, and capacity for team-work are also taken into account.

    Applicants will be notified the results of the first evaluation stage by October 14, 2016.

    Please note that candidates should be willing to be contacted by phone during the entire selection process.

    In the second step of the selection procedure, short-listed candidates will receive invitations to visit ICFO for oral interviews with the selection committee and ICFO GLs, planned to take place during the week of November 07, 2016. Fellowship Offers will be made to the successful candidates shortly after the interviews.

    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 the program website.

    30th of September, 2016

    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.

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    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.

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    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.