Research Fellow in Quantum Technology for Fundamental Physics Ref 6949

School/department: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences/Dept of Physics and Astronomy  
Hours:Full time or part time hours considered up to a maximum of 1.0 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Contract: fixed term for 2 years
Salary: starting at £34,304 to £40,927 per annum, pro rata if part time
Placed on: 11 October 2021
Closing date: 26 October 2021.  Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected interview date: tbc
Expected start date: as soon as possible

Job description

We invite applications for a full-time postdoctoral position in Quantum Technology for Fundamental Physics within the ITCM Group at the University of Sussex, led by Prof Matthias Keller.

This position is funded by the UK ‘Network of clocks for measuring the stability of fundamental constants’ consortium (QSNET). The consortium aims to build a network of dissimilar clocks to search for spatio-temporal changes in fundamental constants.

Our partners in the network are the National Physical Laboratory, Imperial College London, and the University of Birmingham.

The goal of the project at Sussex is to measure the frequency of a vibrational transition in molecular nitrogen ions with unparalleled precision and compare it with an electronic transition in calcium ions.

The nitrogen ion's vibrational transition and the calcium ion's electronic transition exhibit different sensitivities to the proton-to-electron mass ratio, and therefore any relative changes in the frequencies of these transitions can be used to establish the degree to which the proton-to-electron mass ratio is constant.

In order to measure the vibrational frequency, a single nitrogen ion will be trapped alongside a single calcium ion. The calcium ion will serve as the read-out of the state of the molecule using a quantum logic spectroscopy scheme. A second ion trap system, which will hold a single calcium ion, will be used as a reference for the frequency comparison.

The project will employ existing systems in the ITCM Group at Sussex and expand it in order to facilitate the frequency comparison. With the two ion traps and the molecular beam line in place, the focus of the project will be to expand the laser system for the vibrational frequency measurement, implement the quantum logic spectroscopy scheme and measure of the frequency ratio of the transitions within nitrogen and calcium.

The postholder will benefit from close interactions with the Sussex Theoretical Particle Physics (TPP)  and Mathematical Physics (MP) groups at the University of Sussex.  

Please contact Prof Matthias Keller for informal enquiries.

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) at Sussex.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref 6949 [PDF 165.27KB]

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

"This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code and meets the salary requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsorship. Please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page  for further information about Visa Sponsorship."

ADDITIONAL ATAS WORDING: “Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.”

How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 119.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to  

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

You might also be interested in: