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One of ICFO's main assets are our PhD Students. We offer competitive fellowships and excellent PhD programmes to students who wish to start a research career in a photonics-related field at a top European institution. Relevant academic backgrounds for our programs include any of the scientific disciplines related to optics and photonics and their applications, including Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology.

We aim at promoting an international research environment where traditional boundaries between fields and sectors are crossed and multidisciplinary projects are undertaken. Mobility actions in terms of research stays abroad, collaborations with national and international partners, attendance to conferences and workshops are encouraged and activities aimed at cross-fertilization of ideas between groups abound.

ICFO strives to significantly boost the Fellows' career perspectives and their connections, enabling a diverse career path in the most important institutions worldwide both in academia and industry. Rigorous scientific training, advanced training-through research, active mentoring, advice and support, mixed with preparation in an assortment of transferable skills foster a smooth and successful transition as ICFOnians climb their career ladders.

  • ICFO PhD Program

    ICFO, in partnership with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya • Barcelona Tech (UPC), offers a focused PhD program that targets the most advanced topics in optical sciences and technologies. PhD students are integrated into one of the Research Groups at ICFO and, under the supervision and guidance of a Group Leader, accomplish a research project leading to a doctoral dissertation.

      Research lines of prospective PhD-projects include but are not limited to:
    • Biomedical Optics and Biophotonics
    • Nanoscopy and Super-resolution Imaging
    • Nanotechnology and Nanophotonics
    • Nonlinear Optics and Atom Optics
    • Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
    • Atto-science and Ultrafast Physics
    • Optical Sensing and Optoelectronics
    • Green Technologies and Photovoltaics
    • Graphene Physics and Nanomaterials
    • Single-molecule Physics
    • Ultracold Quantum Matter Physics
    • Advanced Laser Technology

    All PhD students have access to cutting-edge experimental research infrastructures. Specialized seminars are an integral part of the PhD program. In addition, all doctoral students are eligible to participate in the ICFO+ educational package which offers broad-scope scientific and technical training, courses on entrepreneurship and commercialization techniques, as well as other unique opportunities in the area of professional and personal development.

    Process for applying to the ICFO PhD program:

    Students who wish to be admitted to the ICFO PhD program must apply through the official fellowship call for PhD positions (general calls and group openings), available at ICFO's Job Openings & Fellowships page. As a general rule, PhD Students admitted to ICFO, by means of this official selection procedure, will be automatically considered for admission to the ICFO PhD program. Applications for admission to the program by other means should be channeled through ICFO's Human Resources and Education department for proper processing.