Research Associate, Optimal Control of Trapped Ions (Theory)

Imperial College London - Quantum Optics and Laser Science Group, Department of Physics

Salary: £36,800 - £44,220 per annum* 

Campus: South Kensington Campus

Fixed term: 12 months in the first instance, starting as soon as possible

We are seeking a theoretical Research Associate for 12 months in the first instance to work on the EPSRC Grant Project “Optimal Control for Robust Ion Trap Quantum Logic”. The goal of the project is to develop optimal control of coherent operations on trapped ions in the presence of experimental noise, and to evaluate their performance in the laboratory. This project is part of a close collaboration between experiment and theory, led by Professor Richard Thompson and Dr Florian Mintert. This position is one of two funded by the grant (one theory, one experiment).  Please see NS2017140NT for details of the related experimental position.

The post holder will be responsible for constructing temporally-shaped control fields that induce noise-resistant high-fidelity quantum gates. Based on the outcome of the experimental tests, the post holder will be expected to adapt modelling of noise and control pulses in order to identify controls that achieve optimal performance in the experiment.

The successful candidate must have a PhD, or an equivalent level of professional qualifications and/or experience, in the area of theoretical quantum optics or quantum theory. They must also have knowledge of the field of quantum information processing with trapped ions, and experience in control theory. They will be expected to demonstrate a strong record of research experience in theoretical quantum optics, ideally including quantum information and quantum control, and have experience of collaborating with experimentalists.  Knowledge in Quantum Physics is essential

The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate the ability to undertake independent research, and also be able to work effectively as part of a team. They must be able to develop and apply new concepts, techniques and methods, and have a creative approach to problem solving. They will be expected to demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, and be able to interact with a wide range of people. They must also be able to write clearly and succinctly for publication. 

More information about the research project can be found at: or by email to Richard Thompson ( or Florian Mintert (

Our preferred method of application is online via our website: (Please select “Job Search”, then enter the job title or vacancy reference number NS2017151NT into “Keywords”). Please complete and upload an application form as directed, also providing a CV and a list of publications, and the names of three referees.

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact Judith Baylis, Senior Group Administrator, Tel: +44 (0)207 594 7713; Email:

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 - £34,040 per annum.

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Closing Date:  21 September (Midnight BST)

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people. The Department of Physics is also an IoP JUNO Champion and an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner.

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