- Salary: £75,055 to £83,394 per annum. A Specialist Allowance is also available for this role (both dependent on skills and experience)
- Location – RAL, Oxford
- Hours: Full time or Part-time (minimum 25 hours per week)
- Contract Type: Open Ended
As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over 5 years, dedicated to drive development in the field of Quantum Computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).
The Deputy Director for Research will have primary responsibility for delivering the research performed by, or in partnership with the Centre. As part of the leadership team, this role will report to NQCC Director and will both define the Centre’s technical goals and build an evolving technical roadmap.
With input from the NQCC Director, the Deputy Director for Research will define the Centre’s technical goals within the context of a continually updated technical roadmap. Additionally, the role will have primary responsibility for establishing rigorous and fair processes for assessing the performance of delivered quantum systems and software (versus other systems, whether of UK-origin or internationally).
It is envisaged that the Centre will comprise approximately 65 staff across 3 divisions including Operations, Research and Innovation. Within the Research Division, it is anticipated that this role will have 25-30 reportees, either directly or indirectly.
Within UKRI, the Executive Chairs for EPSRC and STFC are the joint sponsors for Quantum Technologies and this is reflected in the joint governance of the NQCC. The Director has the responsibility to report to the EPSRC Executive Chair on the Research Programme and the STFC Executive Chair on the Operational Management of the Centre. The Director must also ensure that the strategy for the NQCC aligns with that of UKRI.
The main activities and outputs for the role will include:
- Developing the strategy for the Centre’s R&D programme; in particular, the role will have a responsibility to:
- To lead, direct and deliver the technology roadmap for the Centre
- Establish the centre’s technical goals within a continually updated roadmap that is informed by progress on the national and international scenes
- Identify specific themes within the UK’s diverse hardware and software community (academic and industrial) where an internationally leading position can be sustained
- Working in collaboration with the Deputy Director for Innovation:
- Negotiate with academic and industrial partners on the details of systems/software to be co-developed or commissioned
- Commission and procure hardware and services delivered to the Centre by third parties
- Establish evidence-based processes for assessing the performance of delivered quantum systems and software
- Working alongside the Chief Scientist, maintain close links with academic research themes recognising progress on algorithms and applications that inform the technical roadmap as the technology matures.
Knowledge and Experience*
- Expert in quantum computing and an understanding of the overall field including hardware, software, algorithms and potential applications (SL) (I)
- Proven track record of leading, coordinating and delivering research and innovation programmes, drawing support from, for example, universities, businesses, other government agencies and elsewhere (SL) (I)
- Experience of developing and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships and gaining the respect of stakeholders (I)
- An understanding of the UK and global research and innovation landscape in quantum computing and the role of the NQCC (I)
- A pre-existing professional network with key stakeholders within the quantum computing community and related fields (I)
- Proven experience as an internationally recognised expert in a relevant field, with a strong existing network across industry and academia (SL) (I)
- Extensive experience and understanding of R&D work across a wide range of disciplines (SL) (I)
- Demonstrable experience in setting and realising technical strategy in an R&D environment (I)
- Proven experience in effectively challenging and influencing at senior management and senior external stakeholder level (I)
- Demonstrable capability and judgement to initiate and develop technical programmes, influencing internal and external resource managers (I)
- Significant experience in a senior management position within a hi-tech or science and technology organisation (SL)
- Ensure programmes are delivered within agreed timescales, within budget and to a high calibre (I)
- An appreciation of governance and risk management principles (I)
- Experience in building effective cross-functional working relationships (I)
- Knowledge or experience of working within the UK public sector (SL)
Personal Skills and Attributes*
- Excellent leadership with strong team working and collaboration skills (I)
- Excellent communication, relationship building and influencing skills (I)
- Experience in a senior management position within the science and technology programme in a similar organisation, and the ability to gain the respect of UKRI’s science communities.
- Ability to positively influence stakeholders (SL)
- Proven project/programme management skills (SL)
- A big-picture thinker (I)
- Excellent decision-making ability (I)
- Driven and achievement-focused (I)
- Results and detail orientated (I)
- Demonstrable commitment to safe working practices and the well-being of facility users and visitors. (SL) (I)
- Ability to travel regularly in the UK and overseas (I)
- Degree, PhD or equivalent level Qualification in a Quantum Computing related field(SL)
- PhD in Computer Science or other Science (SL)
- Formal project management qualification (SL)
*Assessment Criteria – (SL) Shortlisting stage; (I) Interview stage
Recruitment Process and Timelines
Shortlist Date: Week commencing 11th April 2022
Interview Date: TBC
This is an exciting time to join the NQCC where you will have the opportunity to harness your research experience and drive forward quantum computing within the UK National Programme for Quantum Technologies.
STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional pension scheme and social and sporting activities and societies.
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.
You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/
Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Our organisation 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 to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at www.ukri.org.
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How to apply
Online applications are only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering 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 covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.
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