Ion Trap Physicist – Quantum Computing

Closing date is 19 February 2023

We are expanding the team of Ion Trap Physicists – Quantum Computing to support the delivery of the NQCC core objectives.

  • Job Title: Trapped Ion Physicist- Quantum Computing
  • Location: RAL, Harwell Campus- Oxfordshire
  • Contract: Open Ended
  • Number of Positions: Up to 4
  • Salary: £39,748 to £44,166 Gross per Annum *
  • Reports To: Trapped Ions Hardware Technology Development Manager
  • Hours: Full-time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

*Specialist Allowances, which are a form of additional pay independent of salary, may be applicable for this role for suitably qualified candidates

The trapped ions quantum computing team works with and contributes to the UK’s ion trap ecosystem. Internal projects are focused on technology development including building modular systems, high-fidelity high-speed microwave gates, and scaling. External collaborations are focused on enabling technologies and supply chain development such as miniaturisation of ion trap packaging and remote entanglement.

In this role, you will primarily be developing and building ion trap systems, whilst interfacing with the NQCC’s software and applications teams to create a full-stack solution pushing the technology readiness level of ion traps for quantum computing. Your skills will enhance and be supported by a diverse team working towards the NQCC’s goals of delivering scalable quantum computing capabilities and building a quantum-ready UK economy.

Your responsibilities include but are not limited to:
•    Design, development, assembly, and optimisation of ion trap quantum computing systems
•    Understanding device characteristics and materials performance to drive improved qubit performance
•    Developing scaling strategies and designs
•    Working closely with colleagues across the NQCC to implement the architecture and deploy services
•    Making site visits to commercial and academic partners and collaborators
•    Publishing results and attending conferences and workshops
•    The opportunity to manage the NQCC’s contributions to external projects

The successful candidate must exhibit a pragmatic demeanor towards the work of others, particularly in a collaborative environment, whilst having a good eye for detail in interpreting and presenting technical performance data.

Not only is this an exciting role at the forefront of science and technology, but the successful candidate will also gain excellent experience of large-scale systems integration across a variety of collaborations in the quantum computing ecosystem.

Person Specification


•    Educated to PhD level or equivalent relevant experience in a Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering related field.

Experience/Personal Attributes:

•    Technical knowledge in quantum computing
•    Experience in ion trapping. Previous neutral atom trapping experience is also applicable at partial credit
•    Experience in working in a laboratory or R&D environment
•    Strong communication skills and the ability to influence internal staff and end users
•    Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team, but also demonstrate autonomy within their area of responsibility

•    Experience in “trapped ion chip modelling & design” or “high fidelity ion trap microwave-based gates”
•    Experience in working with lasers (incl. optics, cavity frequency locks, imaging systems) or cryogenics
•    Knowledge of scaling, a quantum programming language, and control systems for ion-based quantum computers

Our Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%), 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days, and a number of other benefits. Employees’ personal development is strongly encouraged, with support available through professional training courses and mentoring schemes.

How to Apply

  • Online applications are only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and cover letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a cover letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted cover letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.
  • UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness, and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

About STFC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific, and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

One of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates an impact on a very tangible, human scale.

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About UKRI

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. More information can be found at