Head of Quantum Technologies

  • Salary: £61,227 to 68,029 per annum (dependent on skills and experience). A Specialist Allowance is also available for this role dependent on experience
  • Location – RAL, Oxford
  • Hours: Full-time or Part-time (minimum 25 hours per week)
  • Contract Type: Permanent

Background information

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 driving 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).

Position overview

The Head of Quantum Technologies 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.

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:
    o    To lead, direct and deliver the technology roadmap for the Centre
    o    Establish the centre’s technical goals within a continually updated roadmap that is informed by progress on the national and international scenes
    o    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:
    o    Negotiate with academic and industrial partners on the details of systems/software to be co-developed or commissioned
    o    Commission and procure hardware and services delivered to the Centre by third parties
  • 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.

Person Specification

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

You will have demonstrable experience in at least one of the following: Qubit design and development, photonics, nanotechnology device scaling, cryo-electronics, device benchmarking and verification, control systems and software architectures for quantum computers.

•    Experience in quantum computing and an understanding of the overall field including hardware, software, algorithms and potential applications
•    Consistent record of leading, coordinating and delivering significant research and innovation programmes, drawing support from, for example, universities, business, other government agencies and elsewhere
•    Experience in developing and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships and gaining the respect of stakeholders
•    A pre-existing professional network with key stakeholders within the quantum computing community and related fields
•    Experience in initiating, leading and delivering multi-theme R&D programmes across a range of disciplines
•    An appreciation of governance and risk management principles.


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 Quantum Technologies Programme.

STFC offers a benefits package crafted to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an outstanding pension scheme and social and sporting activities and societies.


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.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/

About UKRI 

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.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce

Disability Confident Employer 

As a Disability Confident employer, UKRI will offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer). To enable us to do this we ask the appropriate questions within the candidate application.

For more information on this scheme, click here.

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.

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.