Applying for a PhD position

Updated December, 2020
If you're interested in a PhD position, we've recently advertised a studentship on the interface of quantum information theory and gravity. It will be co-supervised by myself and Andrew Pontzen. Some details can be found here. You can either apply via the AMOPP group, or via the Astrophysics group. See here for more details on applying via AMOPP and here for applying via astrophyics. The studentship can be associated with the "It from Qubit" network (subject to funding). For full consideration, applicants should apply by January 29th, 2021. In some years, I also take on students in quantum information theory, thermodynamics and the foundations of quantum mechanics, in which case, you should apply directly to the AMOPP group. In your application, you can mention other supervisors you are interested in working with to maximise your chances.

Students outside the UK should apply by December or early January for full consideration and notify me of their intent to apply as soon as possible. Please do drop me an email if you are applying, with "PhD" somewhere in the subject line, and feel free to attach a CV, along with any information about your research interests. We still do not know the status of EU applicants, so please let me know whether you are a homestudent, EU student, or international so that you can be considered for an overseas fellowship if needed. I can sometimes be very slow to reply to emails, but will get back to you. You might also want to apply to UCL's Center for Doctoral Training in Quantum Technologies as I sometimes take on students from there.

There is also additional funding for EU/UK students from under-represented groups such as the Bell Burnell Fund or the UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship. Drop me an email if you're eligible and would like to apply for one of these -- the internal deadlines for these tend to be early.

Nov 1, 2016
A PhD studentship, funded by the Simons Foundation "It from Qubit" Collaboration on Quantum Fields, Gravity, and Information is available at University College London, with one term at another institution in the collaboration.

It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-or-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe. —John A. Wheeler, 1990


Developments over the past ten years have shown that major advances in our understanding of quantum gravity, quantum field theory and other aspects of fundamental physics can be achieved by bringing to bear insights and techniques from quantum information theory. Nonetheless, fundamental physics and quantum information theory remain distinct disciplines and communities, separated by significant barriers to communication and collaboration. Funded by a grant from the Simons Foundation, ???It from Qubit??? is a large-scale effort by some of the leading researchers in both communities to foster communication, education and collaboration between them, thereby advancing both fields and ultimately solving some of the deepest problems in physics.

PhD Studentship

The PhD will be supervised by Jonathan Oppenheim, and the student will have the opportunity to spend a term with one of the other PI's in the collaboration. The student will also have the opportunity to participate in "It from Qubit" meetings, conferences and events. For full consideration, non-EU residents should apply by Dec 20th, 2016. EU residents should apply by January 20th.

You should apply directly to the Physics and Astronomy Department, AMOPP here and then email a copy of your application to qinfo [at] with the subject line "It from Qubit PhD application". Reference letters must be submitted via the university website, but they should also be emailed qi-references [at] If you aren't a UK or EU national, then you should also apply for the ORS/GRS (a very competitive scholarship), and any other sources of funding you may have access to, since the "It from Qubit" studentship only covers UK/EU fees. Note that those interested in applying for a PhD in quantum information theory can also apply to UCL's Quantum Center for Doctoral Training, or the AMOPP group (see here for instructions).