Postdoc and PhD positions: Thermodynamics of precision in quantum circuit devices

We are seeking motivated and talented experimentalists and theorists, at both PhD and postdoctoral level, to join an international consortium funded by the EU’s Quantum Flagship. Positions are available at three European institutions: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Murcia, and Oxford University. Postdoc positions are available from November 2022 (with some flexibility on the start date) and are funded for 3 years, subject to satisfactory performance. All positions come with a generous allowance for travel and computational equipment.


The project aims to uncover the fundamental thermodynamic principles constraining measurement precision. The overarching goal is to exploit quantum effects to improve the energy efficiency of precision measurements with nano-electronic devices. We are an international consortium involving partners in Ireland, the UK, Spain, Sweden, and Austria, including leading experimentalists investigating quantum semi- and super-conducting electronic devices. The research will involve a tight dialogue between theory and experiment, and successful candidates will work in collaboration with other consortium partners as well as their own local research group.

PhD requirements

Prospective students should have a Bachelor or Master degree in physics or a related subject. Enthusiasm and a pro-active approach to research are essential. Previous research experience in a relevant area, such as quantum information or experimental low-temperature physics, is desirable but not required.

Postdoctoral requirements (theory)

The candidate should hold a PhD in physics or a closely related subject. Theoretical candidates will ideally have research experience in some or all of the following areas:

- open quantum systems
- non-equilibrium statistical mechanics
- tensor-network methods
- quantum transport
- quantum metrology

The work will require a mix of analytical and computational work, and will involve a close dialogue between theory and experiment. Duties include performing research, writing papers, presenting results at conferences and meetings, and contributing to the convivial atmosphere of the ASPECTS consortium.

Postdoctoral requirements (experiment)

The candidate should hold a PhD in physics, engineering, or a closely related subject. Candidates will ideally have research experience in some or all of the following topics:

- quantum transport
- spin qubits
- DC and high-frequency measurements at millikelvin temperatures
- nanoelectromechanics
- nanofabrication

The work requires:

- a strong background in the theory of quantum devices, as it will be performed in close collaboration with theorists.
- evidence of innovative and effective research with a strong publication record (commensurate with stage in career) in peer-reviewed journals, and experience in contributing to presentations
- ability to manage own academic research and associated activities
- ability to contribute ideas for new research projects and research income generation
- excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings
- evidence of ability to work independently, and as an active collaborative member of a research team, who is well organised and self-motivated, while working cooperatively at all levels. Be highly motivated and have a strong commitment to research

Specific Duties

1. Undertake research to investigate timekeeping in quantum devices.
2. Fabrication and testing of quantum devices.
3. Experiments with quantum devices at cryogenic temperatures.
4. Analysis, interpretation of the results and design of subsequent experiments in the light of the results, to elucidate novel calibration and stabilisation procedures.
5. Engage and work collaboratively with others, especially with a network of companies involved in the project and participate in meetings with other researchers in Oxford and elsewhere as required.
6. Responsible for planning and managing research and administrative activities, with the ability to coordinate all aspects of a project and to meet deadlines.
7. Instruction and day-to-day supervision of students and others, as required.
8. Writing research papers for internationally refereed journals and presenting results at national and international conferences.
9. Contributing to website content and maintenance.
10. Write reports as required, including a final report before the end of the employment contract.
11. Accepting delegated responsibility for safe laboratory practice.

Additional Duties

- Manage own academic research and administrative activities. This involves small scale project management, to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines
- Adapt existing and develop new scientific techniques and experimental protocols
- Test hypotheses and analyse scientific data from a variety of sources, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate
- Contribute ideas for new research projects
- Develop ideas for generating research income, and present detailed research proposals to senior researchers
- Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports and journal articles and occasionally present papers and posters
- Use specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment
- Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on scientific protocols and experimental techniques
- Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the group or alone
- Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups
- The researcher may have the opportunity to undertake ad-hoc paid teaching (this includes lecturing, demonstrating, small-group teaching, tutoring of undergraduates and graduate students and supervision of masters projects in collaboration with principal investigators). Permission must be sought in advance for each opportunity and the total must not exceed 4 hours a week.
- Any other duties appropriate with the role, including to contribute to the convivial atmosphere of the ASPECTS consortium.

Career development

We aim to provide a supportive environment that will prioritise your career development as well as your research. You will be strongly encouraged to apply for prestigious independent fellowships, and will be assisted in doing so. You will also be directly involved in the supervision of postgraduate students.

How to apply

To apply, please get in touch directly with Prof. Mark Mitchison (, Prof. Javier Prior (, or Prof. Natalia Ares ( The email subject line must include the term “ASPECTS PhD” or “ASPECTS Postdoc”, as appropriate. Applicants should provide a CV, a motivation statement (within the body of the email is fine), and the contact details of at least two references. Diversity begets creativity, and our goal is to build a diverse team of researchers in order to find creative solutions to some of the most challenging problems in non-equilibrium quantum physics. Women and other members of underrepresented groups are therefore strongly encouraged to apply.