Young Photonics Congress 2024

march 15, 2024

deadline for project submissions: january 29, 2024

Are you a high school student who likes science and technology and would you like to meet and share your work with other people like you?

ICFO is giving you a great opportunity: join the next Young Photonics Congress and live the experience of a scientific congress where the spotlight is on young people like you! You could explain your research project to other students and also to ICFO researchers. It is an amazing opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with other people.

So far we had…




We’re looking for team or individual projects by high school students (grade 7-12) that are related to light, photonics or other ICFO research topics, like for example:

  • light and its applications;
  • advanced materials (e.g. graphene);
  • microscopy;
  • nanotechnology;
  • quantum science and technologies;
  • light applications for health and life sciences;
  • light applications for information and communications;
  • light applications for energy and the environment.

If you need some inspiration to find a project to present, check the Ideas for projects section!

The next edition of the Young Photonics Congress will at ICFO (Castelldefels, Barcelona) on March 15, 2024 (10:00-13:00).

[The Young Photonics Congress] is the most brilliant, touching and heartfelt [congress] that I know.
It motivates and inspires a lot the attendants, especially the young participants.

Participant from the 2020 edition

How to participate

Whether you present a project or not, you can participate to the Young Photonics Congress: read below to discover how!

If you don’t have a project yet, but you’d like to present one, you can take a look at the ideas for projects section to get some inspiration.

Participate with a project

If you’re a high school student (grade 7-12), you can present your research project to other students or to scientists from ICFO.

We accept projects by individuals or teams of up to 5 members.

The topic of the project should be related to photonics and/or ICFO research topics, like for example:

  • light and its applications;
  • advanced materials (like, for example, graphene);
  • microscopy;
  • nanotechnology;
  • quantum science and technology;
  • light applications for health and life sciences;
  • light applications for information and communications;
  • light applications for energy and the environment.

If you’re not sure if your project fits into the Young Photonics Congress, contact us at

To submit a project, you must fill in this form with the following information before January 29, 2024:

  • personal information (name, surname, email) of the person who is going to present the project and of the teacher who supervised the project. If it’s a group project, each member of the team shall fill in a registration form;
  • a short abstract of the project in English. It must have less than 300 characters and briefly explain the objectives, methods and results of the project.

In addition to that, you must send us the following files via email before February 19, 2024:

  • a poster describing the project in pdf format (check the Instructions for the posters section);
  • an imatge that represents your projecte in landscape orientation (900×500 pixels).

We’ll contact you a few weeks before the congress to confirm your participation and provide you with more details.

Participate without a project

Curious and inquisitive people that are eager to discover more about photonics and learn from other students are a fundamental ingredient to the success of the Young Photonics Congress.

According to the participants of past editions, the Young Photonics Congress is the ideal place to get some inspiration, so don’t miss this opportunity even if you don’t have a project! If you’re a teacher, you can apply to participate with as many students as you wish.

The Young Photonics Congress has limited places: we’ll give priority access to people presenting a project. Sign up through this online form before February 19: you’ll join the waiting list and we’ll confirm you your place during February 2024.

Instructions for the poster


The poster can be either in English, Catalan or Spanish. Take into account that ICFO is a very international place,  so it’s possible to find people here that understand English better than the other proposed languages.


We’ll need a digital version of the poster: we’ll take care of the printing and you’ll find your poster waiting for you in the conference hall on the day of the congress.

Please prepare your poster in pdf format with an A0 (841×1189 mm) page size in portrait orientation.

An easy trick to check in advance if people will be able to see everything correctly is to print your file on a A4 paper. If you can read easily with the A4 paper in your hand, then most likely it will be easy to read on a larger paper from a couple of meters of distance.

Basic information

Don’t forget to put these things:

  • Title of the project
  • Name of the authors
  • Name of the supervisor of the project
  • Name/logo of the school


A poster is like a visual summary of your work: use the graphical elements to help the reader to understand your project.

Remember to explain:

  • the motivation
    (i.e. why the topic is interesting and relevant)
  • the objectives of the project
  • the materials and methods used for the research
  • The results of the work
  • Conclusions

Text and fonts

  • Avoid long paragraphs and long lists.
  • Don’t mix many fonts: you can play with the size and use larger fonts for titles and smaller text for less important information.


  • Avoid using too many colors.
  • You can find the perfect color scheme using a palette generator from the web.


  • Try to use visual tools (graphs, illustrations, graphical elements) instead of text whenever you can.
  • There are several free icons or photos repositories on the web if you need them (e.g. Flaticon, Wikicommons, Unsplash, Pxhere, …).
  • If you put an image that is not yours, remember to check if you have the license to use it and to credit correctly the author.
  • For plots, check that all labels are easy to read.

practical information

AGENDA – March 15, 2024

10:00 – 10:20: Opening remarks and introduction to photonics and ICFO

10:20 – 11:00: Flash talks by ICFO researchers about their research topics

11:00 – 12:45: Project presentation
As in a typical poster session of a scientific congress, all authors will be presenting at the same time, while the audience is free to browse through the different projects and to ask questions to the authors in small conversation groups.

12:45 – 13:00: Closing remarks


The Young Photonics Congress will take place at ICFO (Castelldefels, Barcelona).


The Young Photonics Congress has no attendance fee.


Should you have any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Ideas for projects


If you’d like to contribute to the Young Photonics Congress with a project, but you don’t have an idea yet of what you’re going to talk about, we can help you!

You can have a look at the projects from the past editions, at the extra-curricular hands-on activities we propose for high school students and some additional resources.

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