ICFO jobs & fellowships

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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.

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Job openings

Team Leaders

Post-doctoral Researchers

Group Opening

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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

PhD position available within the HORIZON TMA MSCA Doctoral Network “Training network for Next generation cellular screening” (NEXTSCREEN)

ICFO is offering 1 PhD-fellowship position within the HORIZON TMA MSCA Doctoral Network “Training network for Next generation cellular screening” (NEXTSCREEN) to well-qualified graduate student, who wish to obtain a doctoral degree in the research topic covered.

The successful candidate will be part of the Super-resolution Light Microscopy & Nanoscopy (SLN) Research Facility at ICFO led by Prof. Dr. Pablo Loza-Alvarez for the project “Fluidic light sheet microscopy”.

The project: “Fluidic light sheet microscopy” will bring screening with Imaging Flow Cytometry (IFC) to the next level, opening the way to clinical diagnostics, making it accessible to a large range of users, democratizing its adoption. The project will connect closer the fields of microfluidics, microfabrication, microscopy and machine learning, complementing the training of the researcher with expertise with in-vitro diagnostics. The researcher will fully exploit the capabilities of the existing IFC instruments and initiate the development of the next generation automatic and data-driven diagnosis.

Thus, in the framework of imaging flow cytometry and in the identification and characterizing of tumor biomarkers in blood derived samples, the candidate will be trained by addressing the following scientific challenges throughout the actions below:
(i) develop optical, cell manipulation and fluidics lab on chips (mm-scaled);
(ii) extend the capabilities of imaging flow cytometry with novel contrast mechanisms;
(iii) high resolution imaging at, and beyond, the diffraction limit (<100 nm);
(iv) three-dimensional label-free acquisition at high rate (>100 volumes/s).

  • Preparing biological samples for optimal imaging.
  • Developing and implementing new and advanced novel imaging instruments, based on Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy (LSFM).
  • Analyzing complex sets of big-data images to extract relevant information using Deep learning strategies.
  • Using processed images to design computational and mathematical.

Secondment and international collaborations: The project involves an exciting network of collaborators and will include several secondments abroad in top European institutes and companies.

For further information about NEXTSCREEN please visit: https://www.nextscreen-msca.eu/

NEXTSCREEN has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101119729

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

  • Have an internationally-recognized Master-equivalent degree preferably in Biomedical Engineering, Optical Engineering, Electronic Engineering or Computer Sciences. The degree must be completed by the start of your prospective PhD at ICFO, at the latest. 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.
  • Candidates who have already been awarded a PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • Have an excellent academic record, previous research experience and a strong commitment for scientific research.
  • Have a high working knowledge of English.
    Additionally, to the general eligibility criteria, candidates for the DN positions must comply with the following EU-rules by the time of activation of the fellowship:
    • By the time of the potential recruitment date, the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months during the last 3 years. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Besides, for this particular project, candidates should have good knowledge in:

    • Optics
    • Implementation of optical setups
    • Deep learning techniques (Numpy, Pandas, Seaborn, etc.
    • Control software and programming skills (LabView, Arduino, etc.)
    • Image processing (skimage, Python, scipy, etc)

    It will be evaluated favorably if the candidate has experience in spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, and in handling biological samples.

    The candidate should hold appropriate expertise from her/his studies or MSc project to contribute to the research field described above.
    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.


    ICFO PhD Fellowships are offered for a period of 4.5 years. The conditions of the positions awarded in the scope of the ICFO PhD fellowship program are as follows:

    • Initial ICFO contract for a period of 6 months, while being pre-admitted to the PhD Program, with a follow-up/ renewal procedure at the end of this first stage. (1)  During this period, students are fully integrated into an ICFO research group, take part in the ICFO working environment and training programs, and work with their supervisor to define and commence a research project. The annual gross salary subject to the stipulated fiscal and social security deductions during this period is 20.500€.
    • After this initial period, students are formally enrolled in the UPC PhD Program in Photonics, and the DN NEXTSCREEN Fellowship is activated for a period of three years. Fellowships are renewable for an additional fourth year with ICFO Funding, 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.
    • The annual gross salary subject to the stipulated fiscal and social security deductions is 32.580,3€ for the DN NEXTSCREEN Fellowship (2). The salary for the additional fourth year is stipulated by ICFO.
    • 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.
    • Family Allowance: for Fellows with family commitments to cover additional relocation expenses at recruitment there will be an amount of 4.462,81€/annual gross paid for the 3 year DN NEXTSCREEN Fellowship. This amount will be subject to the stipulated fiscal and social security deductions. Eligibility will follow MSCA rules.
    • Selected candidate shall start ideally in February 2024.

    (1) Note that in exceptional cases, e.g. when the candidate’s degree that gives access to the doctoral studies is older than three years, complying with the labour law in force, or as a requirement of the project, the initial trainee period might be shortened or not offered.
    (2) The Gross remuneration for the 3 year DN NEXTSCREEN Fellowship is 44.450,39€ per year covering the full cost of the Living + Mobility Allowances, including salaries, social security contributions, taxes and other costs or compulsory deductions under national legislation linked to in the remuneration, and the mobility costs. This includes the employer’s contributions to social security etc. The corresponding gross salary, including living and mobility allowance and subject to the stipulated fiscal and social security deductions, is 32.580,3€

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

  • A Cover Letter addressing research interests and motivation for application, as well as specific indication of a project and an ICFO research group of interest,
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details,
  • Scanned copies of the complete (Bachelor and Master equivalent) official academic transcripts in English or Spanish,
  • Scanned copies of the degree certificates, if available at the time of application,
  • Holders of degrees issued within European Higher Education Area outside Spain shall also submit the European Diploma supplement, if available. If not submitted during the application, this will be compulsory to be submitted in further steps of the selection process.
  • Holders of degrees issued in outside European Higher Education Area shall submit documentation that explicitly indicate equivalence of degree and/or admissibility in a PhD program in the country where it was issued. If not submitted during the application, this will be compulsory to be submitted in further steps of the selection process. 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 official letter-head, signed by a person responsible for admissions into the PhD program

  • 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.
  • 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 one week of the application deadline. When they do so, the applicant will receive an email confirming that the corresponding reference letter has been submitted.
  • Extenuating circumstances (optional; 1-page max). Candidates may submit a statement regarding any career interruptions (care of dependents, birth of children, etc.) or any other aspects, which will be taken-into-account in evaluating their applications.

All required application material, including letters of reference, must be complete and submitted by deadline in order for the application to be considered.

The deadline for submission of applications for the present call is December 20, 2023 and the deadline for referees to submit the reference letters is December 22, 2023.


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 the beginning of January 2024.
In the second step of the selection procedure, shortlisted candidates will receive invitations for online interviews with the Selection Committee and ICFO Group Leader Dr Pablo Loza-Alvarez, planned to take place by mid-January 2024.
Fellowship offer will be made to the successful candidate shortly after the interviews, by mid-January 2024.
A dedicated, external and independent Appeals Panel will be established to rule on the outcome of appeals 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/
In case of interest, candidates may contact Dr. Pablo Loza-Alvarez (pablo.loza@icfo.eu) for further details.

20th of December, 2023

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.