Senior Researcher


Quantum Software Lab, School of Informatics, Edinburgh

Job info

  • Job Identification: 9791
  • Locations: Informatics Forum, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, GB(Hybrid working)
  • Apply Before: 19/03/2024, 23:59
  • Health and Safety Requirements: No key hazards identified for this post
  • Criminal Record Check: No criminal record check is required
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term
  • Number of Openings: 1
  • Grade: UE08
  • Organisation: Edinburgh University Group
  • Department: Informatics
  • Job Function: Researcher
  • Job Schedule: Full-time

Job description

Grade UE08: £45,585 to £54,395 per annum (A revised salary range for this grade of £48,350 to £59,421 is planned to take effect from Spring 2024)

College of Science and Engineering / School of Informatics         

Contract type: Full-time (35 hours per week)

Fixed-term: Available for 24 months (with the potential for extension subject to the availability of additional funding)

The School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh invites applications for a Senior Researcher position (Senior Postdoc) in Quantum algorithms. This role is to be a part of the Quantum Software Lab (QSL, link:, in collaboration with the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC, link: The purpose is to enhance the research capabilities of this research group, known for its high-quality research in quantum informatics at the University of Edinburgh. The QSL currently comprises approximately 40 core members, including eight permanent staff, under the leadership of Prof. Elham Kashefi, Personal Chair in Quantum Computing and the Chief Scientist at the NQCC.

We strongly encourage applications from female researchers, minority ethnic groups, first-generation academics/STEM and other underrepresented groups in academia. We also are very open to applications from those with non-traditional career paths, including those with family, caring or health career breaks, or those who have moved to academia from a career in another sector.

The opportunity:

The successful candidate will drive efforts to develop algorithms for near-future quantum computers, and will lead QSL collaborations that target real-world use cases for quantum processing as a core part of the Quantum Advantage Pathfinder (QAP) program consists of a replicable and scalable framework for conducting use case driven investigations into practical quantum application. They will collaborate with government, industry, and academia to develop full-stack solutions that meet the needs of our economy and society.
The post offers an active role in steering projects to a position of international leadership in the field. The successful candidate should be able to supervise other students and junior researchers in the team and have extensive experience driving forward multidisciplinary research projects.

This post is full-time (35 hours per week), however, we are open to considering part-time or flexible working patterns. We are also open to considering requests for hybrid working (on a non-contractual basis) that combine a mix of remote and regular on-campus working. 

Your skills and attributes for success:

  • PhD (or near completion) in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or related field.
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art quantum machine learning or optimization techniques
  • Experience and evidence of effective independent research work within an interdisciplinary team. More broadly, demonstrated the ability to lead, design and complete research projects, to solve problems independently and to make original contributions to research.
  • A track record of first author and collaborative publication in high-quality journals or conferences, including in quantum computing literature.
  • Excellence in written and oral communication, analytical, planning, and time management skills.

Click to view a copy of the full job description (opens new browser tab)

For informal queries, please contact Prof Kashefi 

As a valued member of our team, you can expect: 

  • A competitive salary of £45,585 – £54,395
  • An exciting, positive, creative, challenging, and rewarding place to work. 
  • To be part of a diverse and vibrant international community
  • Comprehensive Staff Benefits, such as a generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts, family-friendly initiatives, and flexible work options. Check out the full list on our staff benefits page (opens in a new tab) and use our reward calculator to discover the total value of your pay and benefits 

Championing equality, diversity and inclusion:

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. 

Prior to any employment commencing with the University, you will be required to evidence of your right to work in the UK. Further information is available on our right to work webpages (opens new browser tab)

On this occasion, the University will not consider applicants requiring sponsorship for this role. International workers will therefore only be able to take up this role if they can demonstrate an alternative right to work in the UK.

Key dates to note:

Unless stated otherwise the closing time for applications is 11:59 pm GMT. If you are applying outside the UK the closing time on our adverts automatically adjusts to your browser’s local time zone. 

About us

As a world-leading research-intensive University, we are here to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Between now and 2030 we will do that with a values-led approach to teaching, research and innovation, and through the strength of our relationships, both locally and globally.

About the team

Informatics is the study of how natural and artificial systems store, process and communicate information. Research in Informatics promises to take information technology to a new level, and to place information at the heart of 21st century science, technology and society.  The School enjoys collaborations across many disciplines in the University, spanning all three Colleges, and also participates as a strategic partner in the Alan Turing Institute and, with Heriot-Watt University, in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

The School provides a fertile environment for a wide range of studies focused on understanding computation in both artificial and natural systems. It attracts students from around the world to study in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and currently has approximately 1000 undergraduate students, 320 MSc students, and 350 PhD students. Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh. It is recognised for the employability of its graduates (demand exceeds supply), its contributions to entrepreneurship, and the excellence of its research. Since the first Research Assessment Exercise in 1986, Informatics at Edinburgh has consistently been assessed to have more internationally excellent and world-class research than any other submission in Computer Science and Informatics. The latest REF 2014 results have again confirmed that ours is the largest concentration of internationally excellent research in the UK. This contributes to our ranking in the top 15 CS departments worldwide according to the latest Times Higher Education ranking.

We aim to ensure that our culture and systems support flexible and family-friendly working and recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development for all staff; providing mentoring, training, and networking opportunities.