Post Doctoral Research Associate in Quantum Light and Matter

County of Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £36,914
Jun 20, 2020
Jul 20, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time
Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengthsacross the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home tosome of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world whoare tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it sharesownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatestRomanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruitsoutstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched widerstudent experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south ofEdinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. TheDurham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellentchoice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The Universityprovides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and theUniversity's Relocation Manager can assist with potential schoolingrequirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive andsupportive environment for work and study that assists all members of ourUniversity community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strengthand we welcome applications from across the international, national andregional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Physics at Durham University is one of the leading UKPhysics departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching,research and employability of our students.

The Department is committed to advancing equality and we aim to ensurethat our culture is inclusive, and that our systems support flexible andfamily-friendly working, as recognized by our Juno Champion and Athena SWANSilver awards. We recognise and value the benefits of diversity throughout ourstaff and students.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate intheoretical quantum technology, with a particular emphasis on modelling theeffects of noise and decoherence in quantum computing architectures. Thesuccessful applicant will have an excellent track record in open systems modelsin quantum physics, which may include including quantum optics, quantummany-body physics, or quantum materials. The position is funded by theQuantum Technologies Hub for Quantum Computing and Simulation, and the roleincludes liaison with other researchers in the Hub. Candidates mustcontribute to fostering a collegial environment, as well as demonstrating theircommitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. It is essential that thesuccessful candidates will have a PhD in theoretical or computational physicsor closely related field, and will have demonstrated strength in independentresearch in theoretical or computational physics appropriate to theirexperience. The candidate will also have good interpersonal and communicationskills, and be able to work effectively with people at all levels of seniorityand of different nationalities.

The Department of Physics is committed to building and maintaining adiverse and inclusive environment. It is pledged to the Athena SWAN charter,where we hold a silver award, and has the status of IoP Juno Champion. Weembrace equality and particularly welcome applications from women, black andminority ethnic candidates, and members of other groups that areunder-represented in physics. Durham University provides a range of benefitsincluding pension, flexible and/or part time working hours, shared parentalleave policy and childcare provision.

Responsibilities :

  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.

Since the post is a career development position, the duration of thepost will be twelve months and it will not lead to a continuing appointment atthe University.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project whichwill be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder willnot be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectationis that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through thedevelopment of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of researchprotocols.

Successful applicants will ideally be in post by 1st September2020.The Requirements


1. Qualifications
  • Agood first degree in Physics or closely related subject such as Mathematics.
  • APhD (or be close to submission) in Theoretical or Computational Physics or arelated subject.

2. Experience
  • Experiencein conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrableability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication inhighly-ranked journals.
  • Demonstrableability to present research papers at international conferences and communicatecomplex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience in developing theory orsimulation of quantum computing or related quantum physics or quantumtechnologies.
3. Skills
  • Demonstrableability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating inresearch meetings.
  • Abilityto work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellentinterpersonal and communication skills.


4. Experience
  • Strongpublication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage ofcareer.
  • Atrack record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings,commensurate with stage of career.
  • Demonstrableability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with otheracademics.
  • Experience of overseeing students withrespect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as ademonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.
  • Experience in open quantum systems theoryand/or computational modeling, especially in applications to many body quantumsystems and beyond the weak coupling regime.

5. Skills
  • Demonstrableability to plan and manage independent research in quantum physics.
  • Demonstrableability to plan and manage independent research in quantum physics.