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Research Fellow in Quantum Optical Memories

Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £31,406 to £34,304
Full Time Fixed Term (2 years)
Closing Date:  Friday 29 October 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1525821WF

Scalable Quantum Memories for the Future Quantum Internet

You will join our research program to work on an exciting newly funded UKRI FLF project in the area of next-generation quantum internet implementations. The project involves developing and implementing the next generation of efficient and broadband quantum memories for telecommunication light using established platforms across room-temperature alkali atoms and cryogenically-cooled rare-earth ion-doped solids with laser-written waveguides. Your work will then enable an efficient quantum light-matter interaction to form the backbone of future quantum internet.

You will lead and be responsible for the initial setup phase and for the following experiments towards the implementation of these quantum memories, and their interfacing with world-leading photon sources based on quantum dots. You will work independently as well as with other members of the team and our external collaborators with plenty of opportunities to visit and network with partners across the UK and Europe.

To be a successful candidate for this position, you will need to demonstrate: 

•          An awarded PhD in Physics [1] or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in the field of atomic physics; or solid-state physics; or quantum optics or related field

•          Excellent experimental research skills and knowledge in areas related to atomic physics, solid-state physics and quantum optics.

•          A strong publication track record in international journals.

•          Excellent communication and organisational skills, and a proven ability to work well within teams.

•          A strong background in the design and use of free-space optics and cryogenic experiments.

•          An aptitude for working with novel photonic materials and developing new experimental techniques.

The appointment is for a 2-year duration, starting in Feb 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter, with potential for further extension depending upon funding opportunities. 

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Patrick M Ledingham ( Note: we have another opening in the HQNL group – focusing on quantum source development.

About the University: The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.

The Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering boasts world-leading facilities, teaching and research in Electronics and Computer Science, Optoelectronics, and Physics and Astronomy. It has 1,300 undergraduate, 300 taught and 500 research postgraduate students, as well as around 150 academic and 200 research staff members.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Physics and Astronomy. We encourage women, black, asian and minority ethnic, LGBT and people with disabilities to apply for this position. We value diversity and inclusion at the University and aspire for our staff population to be broadly representative of our community. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science, we were awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze. We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous parental leave policy [2], onsite childcare facilities along with other benefits such as the cycle to work scheme.

About HQNL: We are a newly established research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton, UK.   Our research interests lie in quantum light-matter interactions between atomic ensembles (based on rare-earth-ion-doped solids and alkali vapours) and single photons (generated from quantum dots and nonlinear media). Our research aims to merge these disparate systems to form large-scale quantum photonic networks for the processing of quantum information over global distances.

[1] Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

[2] Subject to qualifying criteria.

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Annabelle Trimm (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 4043 or email  Please quote reference 1525821WF on all correspondence. 

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Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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