ICFO is offering up to 5 PhD-fellowship positions to well-qualified graduate students, who wish to obtain a doctoral degree in any of the research topics covered at ICFO in 2019.

Their PhD-program brings together top-level training and teaching for young scientists, benefiting from the extensive course offerings of local universities and focused instruction by ICFO professors, in a stimulating, international and interdisciplinary environment. PhD-students have the opportunity to take advantage of their network of excellence, consisting in partners of national and international research institutes and universities, as well as industrial partners in the field.

Their International PhD Fellowship Program welcomes applications from individuals with a degree in a field of science and engineering related to the ICFO research activities.

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

  • Biophysics & Biomedical Optics
  • Optical Sensing, Optoelectronics & Photovoltaics
  • Nonlinear Optics, Ultrafast Optics & Atto-Physics
  • Nanophotonics, Optomechanics & Nanomechanics
  • Experimental Quantum Optics & Quantum Information
  • Theoretical Nanophotonics, Quantum Optics & Quantum Information

Worth of Award

The conditions of the positions awarded in the scope of the ICFO International PhD fellowship program are as follows:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ENLIGHTEN Fellows receive the salary stipulated by the COFUND program of the European Commission.


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. Candidates who have already been awarded a PhD are not eligible to apply. Please, if in doubt regarding your academic eligibility, contact us at [email protected]
  • 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 ENLIGHTEN positions must comply with the following EU-rules by the time of activation of the COFUND-PhD:

  • Candidates should not have resided in Spain form 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 unfavourable conditions.
  • 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.

How to Apply

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

  • Cover Letter with declaration of research interests, as well as specific indication of ICFO research group of interest,
  • 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,
  • The print-out of the GPA equivalence calculation of your academic results, for your bachelor and master
  • 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.

Deadline: The deadline for submission of applications for the present call is September 15, 2019 and the deadline for referees to submit the reference letters is September 20, 2019. 


Click here for more details and to apply

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