Details of fellowships, supporting funding schemes and jobs at UCLQ will be posted here.
Research Associate (Postdoc) in Attosecond and Free-Electron Laser Science Theory Group
The Attosecond and Free-Electron-Laser Science Theory Group at UCL, is currently advertising a postdoc position (research associate) in the field of interaction of molecules with free-electron lasers. The aim of the position is to develop state-of-the-art quantum-mechanical techniques to address the cascade of photo-ionization and Auger processes encountered in the interaction of Free-Electron Laser pulses with molecules. The intriguing aspect of the interaction with FEL pulses is that the laser boils away the electrons from the inside out. Moreover, the project aims to address the interplay of electron and nuclear motion during the interaction of an FEL pulse with molecules. A fascinating aspect of our group's work is that our computational and theoretical tools allow us to predict new phenomena but also to explain experimental results and guide future experiments. We collaborate very closely with world leading experimental groups.
The successful candidate will have, preferably, a Ph.D in Atomic and Molecular Physics, excellent knowledge of quantum mechanics, very strong knowledge of computational languages and computational tools, a demonstrated track-record of independent research and an excellent knowledge of written English as well as excellent communication skills in English. The position is in the first instance for 16 months.
For inquiries regarding the position, please contact Prof. Agapi Emmanouilidou by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDT Studentship: Hybrid gate-based and annealing approaches to quantum combinatorial optimisation
UCL’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Delivering Quantum Technologies is pleased to announce a co-funded PhD studentship in Quantum Computing in partnership with the investment bank Morgan Stanley.
This is a special type of studentship on our CDT programme which provides:
- Advanced Project Choice – The area of PhD research is agreed with the student on admission.
- Fully funded four-year studentships including fees, stipend and a generous training and research support package
- Enhanced Stipend (currently £19,685 per year)
- Innovative MRes in Quantum Technologies in first year of programme
- PhD, in years 2-4, in collaboration with a world-class commercial partner
- Open to UK-fee and EU-fee paying students*.
- Start date: September 28th 2020
Please note that the application deadline is (5pm UTC) 29th June 2020. Apply to our CDT.
- Project description:
Supervisor: Prof. Paul Warburton (UCL)
Research Area: Hybrid Gate-Based and Annealing Approaches to Quantum Combinatorial Optimisation
Combinatorial optimisation problems remain among the hardest NP problems in computation. Recently several quantum algorithms have been proposed to solve optimisation problems. Of these, both quantum annealing (QA)  and the gate-based quantum approximate optimisation algorithm (QAOA)  stand out since they are readily implemented using existing NISQ-era hardware platforms.
Many important risk management problems in the financial services sector fall in the category of combinatorial optimisation. Here the task might be to select a sub-set of available assets in order to maximise the expected return-to-risk ratio, taking into account correlations between asset prices. A collaboration between NASA and Standard Chartered  has recently shown that a combination of a classical greedy algorithm (which returns an approximate solution) and “reverse” QA (which performs a local search in the vicinity of that approximate solution to find an optimal solution) outperformed classical genetic algorithms in benchmark tests.
In the MRes (year one) project we will extend these ideas by developing a hybrid QAOA/QA solver. Here QAOA replaces the classical greedy algorithm as the approximate solution-finder, with reverse QA used to search the local neighbourhood of that approximate solution. QAOA will be implemented on the open-access IBM-Q machine  while QA will be implemented on the D-Wave machine at Los Alamos National Lab. (Paul Warburton’s group has made extensive use of the latter.)
As part of the project the student will be closely working with the capital markets team at Morgan Stanley to explore well-defined risk management optimisation use cases. Some key aspects include converting existing classical optimisation algorithms into quantum-compatible variants as well as building out some foundational quantum optimisation work. The core aim of this project is to benchmark and understand whether quantum-augmented algorithms show potential to demonstrate benefits over their classical counterparts.
During the student-defined PhD phase (years two to four) of the project one might envisage formalising the relationship between QAOA (which can be viewed as a form of QA in which the transverse field is applied in a “bang-bang” fashion) and conventional QA (where the fields are applied in a continuous or analogue fashion). Is one merely a limiting case of the other? If so, what is the optimal field schedule to apply? Ideas of this kind are starting to be discussed in the literature both by experimental  and theoretical groups . The role of excited states (which can be viewed as approximate solutions) may also be exploited in the context of maximum-entropy inference . While the PhD phase will explore the theoretical foundations in more detail, it will continue the work on practical use cases started during the MRes phase in collaboration with the industrial partner.
Applicants should have a strong academic track record (to Masters level) in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Maths.
This studentship is open to students with Home-Fee and EU-Fee student fee status. See:
Applications are now open. To apply, please see our web-site:
Application Deadline: 29th June 17:00 UK time
Calls and Funding
Open Call for Innovation Projects in Quantum Technology
We invite proposals for proof-of-concept / demonstrator projects from UCLQ staff and students, in the emerging area of quantum technology. Support of up to £50k may be requested through this scheme, with the option of further funding (up to a total of £150k) through our venture capital partners. A typical project duration is 6 - 12 months. In additional to the financial support, successful applicants will also be offered mentorship to help develop their demonstrators into a business.
Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, and the call will close once the funds have been allocated, or by Dec 2020 at the latest. Awards will be made to a start-up company set up by the applicants, however, the existence of the company is not necessary in order to apply, and guidance can be offered to successful applicants in doing this. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to deliver a pitch to a panel including technical experts in quantum technology, as well as investors.
To apply, please submit an outline application using the outline form found in drop down below.
Supported by InQuBATE, the EPSRC Training & Skills Hub in Quantum Systems Engineering, the UCL Tech Fund, and IP Group.
- Eligibility, condtions, and application form
- We expect teams to be led by UCLQ students or post-doctoral researchers – the focus is on entrepreneurship driven by early-career researchers
- Most applications will be from small teams (e.g. 2-4), though these numbers should be treated as a guideline
- The recipient of the funding will be a new start-up company led by the team. However, the start-up does not need to be legally incorporated at the time of application
- Funds may be used to support the time of the applicant(s) (see ‘Eligible costs’ below). In this case the FTE of any other studentship or employment of held by the funded applicant(s) with UCL will need to be reduced accordingly. Students must have upgraded from MPhil to PhD status before such a reduction to part-time status can be made. It is the responsibility of students studying in the UK on a visa to ensure that any proposal is consistent with the conditions of their visa
Conditions of award
- The award will be contingent on the incorporation of the company
- Start-ups will be given mentorship throughout the period of the award
- UCL will not seek to take an equity stake in companies in return for this funding
- Applicants must provide a final report on the outcomes of the award and the use made of Innovation Fund resources
- Depending on the level of support sought, UCLQ funding may be supplemented by a venture partner (see below), which come with further terms and conditions
- Consumables and facility costs
- Rent or space costs
- Patent and legal costs
- Travel and subsistence, (with clear justification for the technology development)
- Salary costs for applicant(s)
Possibility of additional funding
Awards may be made in collaboration with UCLQ’s commercial partner investment funds. At their discretion, partner funds may offer additional investment to successful applicants. Such further investment will be on commercial terms and subject to a negotiation with the fund(s); for example, it could be in the form of a convertible note, which can translate into an equity stake in the applicant’s start-up. There will be no obligation on either party to make such an agreement; applicants are strongly advised to take independent legal advice in any negotiation.
Size and duration of awards
- We expect to fund awards in the range of £25k - £150k per bid, and typically no more than 12 months in duration. Awards over £50k will typically involve the participation of a venture partner (see above)
- Applicants must provide a roadmap for the development of the technology concept beyond the period of the challenge fund award
- Intellectual property
- Foreground intellectual property developed by the start-up under the award will be owned by the company, however, any arrangement for use of UCL facilities and associated cost will have to be agreed by the relevant Head of Department
- Applicants should identify any background IP owned by UCL (or other organizations) required for the progress of their project. Licensing of any necessary third-party background IP (including UCL-owned IP) does not need to be arranged before an application can be considered. UCLQ will work with applicants to facilitate licensing arrangements with UCL Enterprise and UCL Business
- Awards will be made by a panel made up of technical experts (from UCL) and business/enterprise experts (external to UCL)
- There will be a two-stage process: (1) outline application following the form below and (2) pitch to the award panel
- Some feedback may be provided to shortlisted applicants following the outline stage, prior to the pitch, where it is felt this might help strengthen the application
- There is no closing date, but the call will close once the funds have been fully allocated
- Completed outline applications should be sent to the Institute Administrator (cian.o'neill [at] ucl.ac.uk).
- Elevator pitch: in 50 words or less explain the proposed project and its potential impact
- List the team members, including name, affiliation and current position
- Describe the strengths of the team – why is this the right team to carry out this project? (max 100 words per team member)
- In more detail, what is your idea for a proof-of-concept / demonstrator? (max 200 words)
- What will be the main impact(s)of this idea? (max 100 words)
- How does this innovation compare to what is currently available commercially, giving key figures of merit? What is your technical advantage (max 200 words)
- How will this project lead to commercial success for your business? What will your commercial advantage be? (max 200 words)
- What are the key milestones/deliverables for your project and when do you anticipate reaching them? (max 100 words)
- Assume your demonstrator project is successful – what happens next? (max 100 words)
- Budget – how much funding are you requesting for your project, and what is this for? (max 100 words)
UCLQ Quantum Tech Summer School Returns for 2020
From September 7-11th, students from diverse, multinational backgrounds will have the opportunity to attend lectures from leading experts. Apply for our summer school.
If there are no opportunities currently available directly with UCLQ, you can also check for vacancies with the departments affiliated with us.