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Research Associate in Quantum Information Theory

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Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
Grade 6 / 32,236 34,189 a year
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Role Description

A Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position is available in the area of quantum technologies, supported by EPSRC’s Quantum Communications Hub. The Hub, led by Professor Tim Spiller at the University of York, is a major collaboration between several universities and industrial partners and funding has just been announced for five more years. The role of the Hub is to develop new quantum communications technologies as part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

The importance of quantum random number generators (QRNGs) is widely acknowledged, as component level devices to be incorporated into small systems such as mobile phones; for authentication purposes e.g. in IoT; and as essential components in quantum communication systems.

The current project will involve developing appropriate models for random number generators based on commercial or near-commercial implementations. From these we will compute the amount of quantum randomness that can be generated in terms of measurable parameters and use randomness extractors to extract it. We will also investigate new protocols for QRNGs that make it easier for them to be tested and certified.

This is a theoretical project, based in the Department of Mathematics at the University of York working with Dr Roger Colbeck. It will require interfacing with an experimental team based at the National Physical Laboratory in order that the ideas developed are directly put into practice.


  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects, duties to include: analysis and interpretation of research data; use of appropriate research techniques and methods; writing up of research results and dissemination through publications,  seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities; contributing to the identification of possible new areas of research
  • To contribute to the preparation of research proposals and applications to external bodies.
  • To undertake appropriate organisational and administrative activities connected to the research project.
  • To provide guidance to other staff and students, as required, as well as coordinating the work of small research teams

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science or a related discipline and research experience in quantum information in the past few years. Candidates with experience of quantum random number generation may be preferred. Candidates will also have highly developed written and oral communication skills; the ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination; and the ability to conduct individual and collaborative research projects and identify and secure research funding. Informal inquiries about the position can be made to Dr Roger Colbeck (

This is a full-time position with a fixed term of three years. The start date is 1st December 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Interviews are expected to be held on 18th October 2019.

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