Postdoctoral Research Associate in Trapped-ion Quantum Simulation

Sydney, Australia
Oct 17, 2019
End of advertisement period
Nov 14, 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Opportunity to work on the theory of trapped-ion quantum simulation, relating to chemistry - located at our CBD/Camperdown campus
  • Close collaboration with experts in both the School of Chemistry and the School of Physics
  • Full-time, fixed term, 12-month contract. Base salary: $94k-$101k p.a. (Level A, 6+) plus annual leave loading and a generous employer’s contribution to superannuation.  

About the opportunity 

We invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to participate in a research programme investigating quantum simulation using the trapped-ion architecture, especially as it relates to the simulation of chemical processes. The successful candidate will develop new theoretical techniques for quantum simulation of a range of chemical and physical processes and collaborate with experimentalists to enable the experimental demonstration of new methods.

This research program is a joint initiative between two groups: Dr Ivan Kassal’s group in the School of Chemistry  is a theoretical chemical physics group studying quantum dynamics in molecular systems (, while Prof. Michael Biercuk Quantum Control Laboratory in the School of Physics is focused on studies of quantum control, metrology, and quantum simulation using trapped ions ( We are also part of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS,, a collaboration of five major Australian universities focused on fundamental and applied research in quantum physics and engineering. As a result, you will be working at the intersection of multiple world-class research programmes, with access to state-of-the-art resources and collaborative networks.

You will have opportunities to contribute broadly, including:

  • Performing theoretical research
  • Mentoring postgraduate and undergraduate students
  • Collaborating with experimental colleagues
  • Disseminating research results

The position is full-time, fixed-term contract with an initial term of one year with the possibility of extension subject to funding availability. A relocation allowance is also negotiable.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. We see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who possesses:

  • A PhD in chemistry, physics or a related field
  • Experience in theoretical techniques in one or more of the following areas: quantum simulation, quantum computing, quantum physics, ion trapping, atomic physics, quantum chemistry, chemical physics
  • Independent contributions to scientific or technical outcomes
  • Ability to lead projects independently or as part of a team and deliver significant research outcomes
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • Ability to work positively with staff and students from a diverse range of backgrounds

About us

The School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney is a leading Chemistry department in the country, with outstanding staff and students undertaking world-leading teaching and research. Our more than 30 academic staff, 100 research staff, and 100 research students conduct research across the full spectrum of pure an applied chemistry. Particularly relevant to this position is our strong and vibrant research in all aspects of computational and theoretical chemistry, supported by local and national supercomputer facilities. With the support of 30+ professional, technical and administrative staff, the School of Chemistry administers and delivers undergraduate teaching for about 2500 students. We are committed to creating a diverse workplace by improving equity, access and opportunity, and we are continuously working to identify and remove biases and barriers in an effort to make our workplace open, supportive and safe for everyone.

Likewise, the School of Physics carries out world-leading research across a vast range of topics, from nanoparticles to clusters of galaxies and from theoretical modelling to laboratory experiments. In particular, the Quantum Science Group ( is a highly-integrated effort of leading researchers in both quantum optical/atomic physics and condensed-matter physics, and spanning both theory and experiment. It hosts nodes of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems and of Microsoft Station Q, and has led to the formation of Australia’s first venture-capital backed quantum-tech start-up, Q-CTRL (founded and led by Prof. Biercuk).

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 6000 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the position description available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number 2151/1019F to apply.

Closing date: 11:30pm, 14th November 2019 (Sydney time)

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

Routine pre-employment probity checks will be carried out for this position.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.