In order to promote science and foster research careers in exceptionally talented young students, ICFO hosts various internship programs, offering the opportunity for involvement in research life, which often constitutes a student's first experience in a research project at the very frontier of science in optics and photonics.

Undergraduate students from top Universities worldwide are invited to carry out an internship at ICFO throughout the year to broaden their education and research training, either by accomplishing the final career project or participating in a research stay. Opportunities are offered across all ICFO research groups in the following research topics:

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

Available internships topics as well as the relevant call with corresponding information are published on the ICFO Job Openings & Fellowships page.

Internship programs at ICFO are made possible by funding received from Fundació Privada CELLEX, Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Severo Ochoa Distinction.


    ICFO offers a limited number of fellowships to outstanding students from top Universities worldwide willing to accomplish Final Degree Projects / Masters' Theses or to participate in a research stay.

    The program, aims at an early exposure to frontier science and research, as well as at the early support of outstanding students to experience first-hand the excitement and challenges posed by research projects within the variety of research topics active at ICFO and fostering with this the students’ education and research training.

    The program is launched twice a year: October and February on the ICFO Job Openings & Fellowships page.


    Likewise, during the summer period, ICFO hosts the Summer Fellows Program in which eligible students, ideally within the last two years of their Master-equivalent or Engineering degree studies, are hosted and coached by the different ICFO research groups.

    Fellowships are offered to exceptional students willing to accomplish a 3 months-stay, between June and September, at ICFO, having with these the unique opportunity to engage for approximately twelve weeks of full-time research in the research topics active at ICFO under the supervision and mentorship of ICFO Group Leaders.

    The Program aims to give students an early exposure to frontier science and research, and the chance to experience first-hand the excitement and challenges posed by research projects within the variety of the ICFO research fields. While conducting a challenging research project, Fellows engage in a focused training program covering the basics and applications of the different research topics active at the institute.

    In addition to the focused training program, students are invited to take part in the seminars which occur almost daily at the centre, as well as the Colloquium series, a program which hosts world-renown thought leaders who aim to inspire ICFOnians to learn about new and exciting areas of science, novel technologies and innovative ideas which may be outside their current scope.

    The program is launched on January on the ICFO Job Openings & Fellowships page.


    ICFO strongly supports and encourages women’s participation in science in order to enhance innovation, creativity and excellence in research throughout the institute, and has a proactive stance regarding promotion of Gender Equality.

    The María Yzuel Fellowship Awards aim at attracting outstanding female students to conduct a research internship, bachelor or master thesis in an ICFO research group. By offering young female students the possibility to explore science in a stimulating and supportive environment, these highly prestigious awards will contribute to attract, retain and promote female talent towards future research careers in the photonic sciences and related areas.

    These fellowships are named in honour of Prof. María Josefa Yzuel, emeritus professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), who throughout her career has provided an outstanding example of leadership in science, education and the promotion of women in science. Born in Jaca, Huesca, Spain in 1940, Prof. Yzuel studied physics at the University of Zaragoza, and obtained her doctorate in 1966. After her postdoc at the University of Reading, she returned to the University of Zaragoza in 1971 to become the first female associate professor of physics in Spain. Later she joined the University of Granada as the first female professor of Optics in Spain and in 1983 she moved to the UAB. In 2009 she rose to become the president of the worldwide organization of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics.

    Prof. Yzuel is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA), the SPIE, the Institute of Physics (IOP), and the European Optical Society (EOS), and former president of the Spanish Optical Society, and secretary general of the EOS. She has made important contributions in diverse fields ranging from diffraction image theory, to photolithography, optical pattern recognition, medical optics and liquid crystals, diffractive optics and polarization, through over 250 published papers and supervision of 20 PhD theses. Her work as an educator is recognized by the SPIE through the annual Maria J. Yzuel Educator Award, presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to optics education by an SPIE instructor or an educator in the field. She was president of the Spanish committee for the International Year of Light celebrations in 2015 and she is currently the president of the Spanish committee for the International Day of Light. She has actively supported women in science as founder of the Group “Mujeres en la Física” of the Real Sociedad Española de Física, and through her work on the SPIE Women in Optics Committee and the Asociación de Mujeres Investigadoras y Tecnólogas.