Research Associate in Quantum Information Theory

University of York Department of Mathematics

Research Associate in Quantum Information Theory

Based at:University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:32,817 - 33,797 a year
Interview Date:13/01/2021
Posted Date:13/11/2020
Apply by:13/12/2020
Job Reference:8730

Role Description


A Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position is available in the area of quantum technologies, supported by an Innovate UK project Assurance for Quantum Random Number Generators. This project is a major collaboration with several industrial partners. The aim is to work with such companies, studying their current commercial and near commercial quantum random number generators (QRNGs) in order to accurately assess the amount of quantum randomness they are generating.

RNGs have numerous uses including as essential components in quantum communication systems. An outstanding issue for RNGs is authoritative accreditation of the output. Tests based on numerical analysis of the output sequence are useful to identify errors but cannot say anything about secrecy. Stronger certification is possible for QRNGs, where the physical process used to create the output sequence is thoroughly analysed The current project will involve developing appropriate models for several optical QRNGs based on near-commercial implementations. From these we will compute the amount of certified quantum randomness generated.

This is a theoretical project, based in the Department of Mathematics at the University of York working with Prof Roger Colbeck. It will require interfacing with experimental groups and commercial partners to put the ideas developed into practice.

This is a full-time position with a fixed term until 31 October 2023. The start date is 1st February 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.


  • 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 develop and initiate collaborative working internally and externally
  • To provide guidance to other staff and students, as required, as well as coordinating the work of small research teams  

Qualification needed

  • PhD in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science or a related discipline or equivalent experience

Knowledge needed

  • Knowledge in quantum Information to engage in high quality research
  • Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies
  • Research expertise in quantum information
  • Research experience in quantum random number generation or key distribution (desirable)
  • Research experience modelling optical quantum systems (desirable)

Skills, abilities, competencies needed

  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination
  • Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for own and joint research, with the assistance of a mentor if required
  • Competency to conduct individual and collaborative research projects
  • Competency to make presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events
  • Ability to identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds, with collaborators if required

Interview date: 13 January 2021

For informal enquiries: Prof Roger Colbeck,

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