UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute


UCLQ Training and Skills – Call for Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Quantum Technologies

28 June 2017

We are looking to provide opportunities for candidates who anticipate applying for prestigious fellowships

This scheme will support fellowships of two years’ duration for exceptional researchers who are completing, or have recently finished, a PhD. This is the first in a series of regular calls supported by the award of a Training and Skills Hub to UCLQ by EPSRC; we expect to make between 1 and 3 awards in this round.  These are prestigious fellowships that are intended to provide support for outstanding candidates who are beginning to develop independent research careers. They are not intended as follow-on support to enable recently graduated students to continue working on their PhD project.

We are looking to provide opportunities for candidates who anticipate applying for prestigious fellowships (for example, those offered by the Royal Academy of Engineering, EPSRC or the Royal Society) and would benefit from a further two years’ funding before making such applications.  Students from other institutions who meet the eligibility criteria may also apply to join UCL under this scheme; we will also consider applications from UCL graduates who wish to work in partnership with other institutions within the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants should either be about to submit their PhD, or have submitted their PhD no more than 6 months before the closing date;
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK (UK/EU), but need not have been funded by EPSRC for their PhD;
  • The proposed project must be within the area of quantum technologies, with an emphasis on the engineering of quantum effects for applications;
  • The candidate must have the support of their host Department (within UCL), who will nominate a suitable mentor for the applicant;
  • The project mentor must not be the candidate’s primary PhD Supervisor (primary or secondary);
  • The proposed project must be 2 years in duration;
  • The candidate must have submitted their PhD thesis before the fellowship can commence;
  • Awards will be made at UCL Grade 7, Point 29 (including London Allowance where applicable);
  • Limited associated costs (travel, consumables, minor equipment) of up to £5k per annum can be included but must be fully justified in the proposal;
  • If unsuccessful, applicants are not allowed to reapply for this scheme unless they have been specifically invited to by the panel.

Application process and proposal format

Proposals should be led and submitted by the fellowship candidate. There is no application form.  The application should consist of a:

  • 3-side Case for Support;
  • 2-side CV;
  • 1-side Host Department Letter of Support.

No additional documents are accepted.

All documents should be written in font size 11 or above (Arial or Times New Roman) with 2cm margins all around.

The Case for Support (no more than 3 sides) should give details of the applicant’s name and host department, the start and end date, the project title, and the proposed mentor. It should also describe the background, aims and objectives, methodology and work plan for the project, and include a brief statement of the applicant’s career goals. It should also detail and justify any non-salary costs. Applicants are encouraged to consider the review criteria in preparing their proposal.

The Letter of Support (no more than one side) should be signed by the relevant Head of Department or equivalent. As well as detailing the personal qualities of the applicant, it should detail the fit of the proposed project to the Department’s research strategy, and the support the candidate will receive if successful (including mentoring).

Applications should be submitted by email to Aparajita Mohanty (j.mohanty@ucl.ac.uk) by Friday 28 July 2017.

Review criteria

Applications will be considered by a small panel of academics. As part of the assessment, applicants will be asked to attend a short 15-minute interview during which they will also provide a 3-minute presentation about their proposed project. Interviews will be held on AUG 2017, at UCL (exact date/timings and location TBC). For external candidates, to minimise travel requirements, it will be possible to join this interview virtually (via Skype). Depending on demand, it may be necessary to pre-select a subset of candidates for interview based on the documents submitted.

The criteria used by the panel to select successful candidates will be as follows:

  • Track record of the applicant (in research as well as related duties such as supervision, teaching, public engagement, knowledge transfer, and so on);
  • Quality of the proposed project (including perceived novelty, planning and methodology);
  • Appropriateness of the resources;
  • Independence, leadership potential, and long-term career plans of the applicant.

Award conditions

  • Successful applicants will be granted up to one calendar year to commence their fellowships. Where there is a delay, awards may be reduced or withdrawn.
  • Successful applicants can commence the fellowship prior to their PhD viva, however fellowships may be withdrawn should candidates fail the viva or require substantial corrections to their thesis.
  • Successful applicants are expected to deliver outreach and to contribute to the UCLQ community as part of their award.