ICFO Director

Full Time
Employment Information

ICFO is a CERCA research center affiliated to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya- Barcelona Tech, located in the Mediterranean Technology Park, in Castelldefels, in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It was created in 2002 and currently hosts 450 people, organized in 25 research teams. ICFO’s research is world-class and encompasses broad fundamental and applied themes relevant to medicine and biology, advanced imaging techniques, information technologies, a range of sensors, tunable and ultra-fast lasers, the properties and applications of nano and quantum materials, and quantum science and technologies. For detailed information, please visit: www.icfo.eu.

Director’s profile

As chief executive officer of the organization reporting to the Board of Trustees and supported by strong management, knowledge transfer, academic and internal service departments, ICFO’s director leads the institution by managing the human, scientific and financial resources to fulfill its institutional mission. Working both with internal and external constituencies, the director provides overall leadership and guidance for the institute. He/she is expected to further the mission of the institute and to exercise broad responsibility for the scientific, academic, financial, philanthropic and all other dimensions of the institution.

The qualities being sought in the director include outstanding scientific vision, integrity, communication skills, administrative abilities, energy and motivation, fundraising experience, consensus building capacity, and a leadership style that engenders and nurtures trust and respect. The director must have a firm and deep belief in ICFO’s mission and institutional values, as described at www.icfo.eu/about-icfo/icfonian-values.

The director will have a distinguished record of scientific excellence, leadership, experience and capacity of team management. He/she will embrace the values of rigor, diversity and service, and will aim to provide inspiration to all colleagues, which include faculty members, staff and students. He/she will have an in-depth knowledge of both national and international research systems – with a particular focus on European programs.

The new director will be appointed for an initial period of four years, which can be extended for additional periods of equal duration. Salary and benefits will follow ICFO standards.

Applicants’ profile:

  1. A PhD degree in Natural Sciences or Engineering relevant for Photonic Sciences.
  2. Distinguished record and international reputation of scientific excellence.
  3. Demonstrated experience and capacity of team management.
  4. Demonstrated research management experience and innovative thinking required to lead a world-class organization.
  5. Demonstrated knowledge of strategic planning and resource allocation.
  6. Capacity to represent the institute in all types of academic, industrial and social environments.
  7. Demonstrated experience in managing International research activities.
  8. Outstanding communication skills.
  9. A strong and firm believe in ICFO’s mission and values.

Job description

By and large, the director’s duties are set by ICFO’s bylaws and by the responsibilities entrusted to the director by the Board of Trustees. They include:

  1. Directing, organizing, managing, executing and inspecting the research, training and internal organization of the institute, reporting to the Board;
  2. Defining the overall scientific and technological vision for the institute;
  3. Proposing to the Board programs of activities, new research lines and, when appropriate, potential sources of funding;
  4. Appointing a head of management and, if appropriate, deputy-directors;
  5. Appointing unit, service, laboratory, department, academic and program managers, and advisor, as appropriate;
  6. Providing guidance to all members of the institute, specially to the knowledge transfer, academic and technical departments of the institute;
  7. Leading strategic actions aimed at obtaining the resources necessary for the institute’s objectives to be achieved;
  8. Leading efforts to secure support by philanthropic organizations;
  9. Organizing scientific assessments for the institute as a whole and for individual personnel, as appropriate;
  10. Leading the evaluations of the center, including CERCA evaluations, and keeping I-CERCA informed about the results and progress
  11. Chairing the process to select and hire research and critical staff;
  12. Being the main contact point with the Scientific Advisory Board of the institute;
  13. Approving the internal rules of operation of the institute;
  14. Represent the institute in all relevant legal processes;
  15. Represent the institute in all types of academic and social events;
  16. Any other functions that are entrusted to or delegated to the director by the Board.

Applications and contact information

Interested applicants must send a presentation letter, a complete CV and a vision statement by e-mail and in confidence to Mr. Lluís Rovira, CERCA director, at [email protected], indicating “About ICFO Director Position” as a subject. Informal inquiries are welcome.

ICFO is an equal employment opportunity institution. All eligible qualified applicants will receive consideration and will not be discriminated against on the basis of any beliefs, orientation, gender, nationality, ethnic origin or any other condition.


The deadline to receive applications is September the 29th, 2023, 10pm ECT.

Eligible applicants should be willing to attend a meeting in Barcelona with the selection committee right after the deadline.