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The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) PhD Program: Spring and Fall PhD fellowships

The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) offers Ph.D. fellowship positions to well-qualified graduate students, to obtain a Ph.D. degree in any of the research topics covered at ICFO. In addition, the students would have the opportunity to use the institute's network of excellence, consisting of partners from national and international research institutes and universities and industrial partners in the field. The International Ph.D. Fellowship Program invites applications from students with a degree in science and engineering.
Research topics:

  • Biophysics & Biomedical Optics
  • Optical Sensing, Optoelectronics & Photovoltaics
  • Nonlinear Optics, Ultrafast Optics & Atto-Physics
  • Nanophotonics, Optomechanics & Nanomechanics
  • Experimental Quantum Optics, Quantum Gases & Quantum Information
  • Theoretical Nanophotonics, Quantum Optics & Quantum Information
  • Condensed Matter Theory & Light-Matter Interactions
  • Energy storage, solar fuels, and CO2 mitigation
  • Thermal photonics and infrared spectroscopy

The institute offers several fellowship programs currently active within the ICFO International Ph.D. Program:

  • Severo Ochoa Excellence Program.
  • Standard Ph.D. positions: funded by Agencia Estatal de Investigations (Government of Spain), AGAUR (Government of Catalonia), and other funding sources.


  • Applicants must have a master's equivalent degree, which is internationally recognized.
  • Applicants must hold degrees in the science and engineering fields related to the ICFO research activities. 
  • Candidates with a Ph.D. are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must have an excellent academic record, previous research experience, and a strong commitment to scientific research.
  • Applicants must possess a high working knowledge of English.

Severo Ochoa Excellence Program Ph.D. fellowships mobility requirements:

  • Candidates must not have resided in Spain or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) for at least twelve of the last thirty-six months by the Ph.D. contract activation.
  • Candidates must not have been in a Ph.D. position at ICFO for more than a year (including the trainee period) at the call deadline.
  • The candidate must not have applied to any previous call for equivalent ICFO Ph.D. fellowships. 

For the ITN position, the following EU rules are to be followed:

  • In addition, applicants should not have resided in Spain for more than a year of the last three years.
  • The master's degree or equivalent should not be older than four years. 

Duration of ICFO Ph.D. Fellowships: 4.5 years

  • Apply (in English) online with the following material:
  • A Cover Letter addressing research interests and motivation for application, as well as a specific indication of the ICFO research group of interest
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details
  • Scanned copies of the complete (Bachelor's and master's equivalent) official academic transcripts in English or Spanish
  • Scanned copies of the degree certificates 
  • Document issued by the university office 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 letterhead, signed by a person responsible for admissions into the Ph.D. program.
  • Scanned copy of standardized test results (GRE, TOEFL), if available 
  • Names and contact details of two referees

Quick Overview

Type: PhD
Organization: Spain: The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
Location: Spain
Fellowship Amount: Varies
Eligibility: Master's
Other Info: Visit Website

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