Severo Ochoa Excellence Program Post-doctoral Fellowships

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ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences
19 September, 2021


ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences
Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss, 3
Castelldefels (Barcelona) 08860
Phone: +34935534101


ICFO offers several Post-doctoral fellowships to well-qualified, highly motivated and dynamic young scientists who wish to enhance their scientific career in a friendly and stimulating environment. Up to 12 positions are available. Only applications from candidates with an outstanding background and a suitable fit into the research activities of the institute will be awarded.

Post-doctoral researchers at ICFO benefit from state-of-the-art research facilities, a stimulating international and interdisciplinary environment and career development opportunities aimed to equip them with unique capabilities to become future leaders, either in the academic or in the industrial world.

Fellowships will be offered across all ICFO research groups in topics including, but not limited to:

  • Biophysics & Biomedical Optics
  • Optical Sensing, Optoelectronics
  • 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
  • Photovoltaics, Thermal Photonics, Solar Fuels & CO2 Mitigation

Please, browse our website for details about ICFO Research Groups and Group Leaders at In the group profile, you will also see specific available projects in that particular group (application should be formalized through this present general call with the corresponding selection process applicable). If you are interested in discussing possible research topics, please contact ICFO Group Leaders directly.

Important: During your application, you will be requested to indicate the research group(s) you are interested in.




To be eligible for an ICFO Postdoctoral position:

Candidates must hold an internationally-recognized PhD-equivalent degree in a field related to ICFO research activities by the time of the contract activation.

Candidates must not have a current contract with ICFO at the time of the call deadline.

Have a high working knowledge of English.


Severo Ochoa Excellence Program Post-doctoral Fellowships are offered until December 31, 2023. In the case of contracts that due to justified causes, such as visa delays or personal or family obligations, ought to start later than January 1st, 2022, extensions into 2024 to complete a 2-year contract may be possible if suitable funding becomes available.

The conditions of the positions awarded are as follows:

An annual gross salary of €37.900,00. Additionally, a non-recurrent gross amount of €2.000,00 in terms of relocation that will be paid with the first month salary to candidates not currently residing in Barcelona region. Also, if applicable, a non-recurrent gross amount of €2.500,00 will be paid in terms of family allowance to candidates with proven family responsibilities at the time of recruitment. (Spanish tax and social security deductions apply to all these amounts)

A salary top-up of €4.100 gross/year may be allocated to truly outstanding candidates at the discretion of the Selection Committee and subject to availability of funds. ICFO will allocate budget as deemed necessary and with the corresponding approval from the corresponding Group/Team Leader to enable the Post-doctoral fellow to complete his/her research project. This budget is managed by the Group/Team leader, and include the necessary consumables and other materials, training and other related costs, travel and subsistence costs for participation in national or international events, conference, meetings, schools, and/or other training activities.

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.



The formal application should be submitted online via our Jobs Opening platform: ICFOJobs:

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

  • A Cover Letter addressing the motivation for application, as well as specific indication of ICFO research group of interest.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details.
  • Research Profile (1-page max): Provide a comprehensive description of your research profile in narrative form. You may focus on achievements and address your research focus, research experience, vision and motivation. (*Please see the guidelines below)
  • Statement of Key Contributions: list up to 10 items (e.g. papers, patents, technical contributions, supervision, project management, leadership roles, etc.; may include contributions outside research/academia), with a short description (50-words max.) for each item of your specific contribution and why you consider it significant. (**Please see the guidelines below)
  • Career Interruptions (optional; 1-page max). Candidates may submit a statement regarding any career interruptions (care of dependents, birth of children, etc.), which will be taken-into-account in evaluating their contributions.
  • 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.


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 September 19, 2021 and the deadline for referees to submit the reference letters is September 22, 2021.



* Research Profile

Provide a comprehensive description of your research profile in narrative form. You may focus on your background, research contributions & achievements (other than publication output), other skills and experience you consider relevant, your research focus and vision related to international field, and the potential scientific and broadly social impact of your work.

Examples of topics you may wish to address are: contributions to research projects; contribution to building lab infrastructure, conference participation and organisation; supervision of PhD and Master students; refereeing; participation in professional societies; invited talks; prizes, awards and grants, and how the opportunities offered by grant(s) were used; collaborations and networking capabilities; outreach activities; etc.

Please note that the focus is not on publications nor on output indicators such as journal impact factor or citations, as output can be addressed in the Statement of Key Contributions document.

** Key contributions/output

Provide a list of what you consider your key professional contributions (max. 10), with a brief description of each (maximum 50 words). Please include the motivation for the selection of these output items. You may shortly describe the contribution, its (potential) impact and your specific contribution. Please explain, in your own words, why a particular output item is directly relevant to your research profile and/or ICFO and your groups of interest at ICFO.

You may mention all types of scientific & research output that occur in your field (refereed articles, non-refereed articles, pre-prints, patents, book chapters, conference reports, outreach actions, etc.). The status of your output must be clearly indicated. You may also wish to include your contribution to supervision, project management, leadership roles, etc. You may include professional contributions outside research/academia



In a first step of the selection procedure, the evaluation of eligible candidates will be carried out by a selection panel including external, independent experts. The evaluation will be objective, independent, and free of conflicts of interest. The selection will be based on merits and demonstrated performance based on the submitted documentation, taking-into-account the motivation expressed for applying to ICFO and potential fit to the institute, and the research group(s) of interest.

Applicants will be notified the results of the first evaluation stage by mid-October 2021.

In the second step of the selection procedure, shortlisted candidates will receive invitations for personal interviews with the selection committee and ICFO Group/Team Leaders, planned to take place by the end of October 2021.

In this step, evaluation of candidates will be based on the performance at the interview with the selection panel, and fit to the institute and the research group(s) of interest.

Please note that the personal interviews may take place online depending on the circumstances. Applicants will be notified accordingly.

Note: If you are from a country with visa-obligations for Spain, please be advised to already inquire (only inquire) regarding the documentation necessary (usually inviting letter ICFO, plus travel and accommodation bookings) and the potential appointment-situation at the local Spanish Embassy/ visa-office.

The final list with candidates recommended for fellowship concession, as well as reserve candidates, will be available by the beginning of November 2021.  Shortlisted candidates must have a hosting group at ICFO, Therefore, shortlisted applicants will then be asked to contact the Group Leader(s) of their choice to discuss a potential fit in the group. Candidates and Group Leader should confirm within one week whether an agreement has been reached. Candidates without a match cannot be confirmed the fellowship.

Upon confirmation of acceptance, candidates should start their fellowships, ideally on January 1, 2021 but there is flexibility to start between January-March 2022.

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 [at] icfo [dot] eu.

For updated information about ICFO, please visit