Universities of Sussex and Bristol jointly launch £24m doctoral training centre

By |2024-03-25T16:37:22+00:00March 13th, 2024|

By: Alice Ingall. 

The University of Sussex, in partnership with the University of Bristol, has announced today (Wednesday 13 March 2024) that it is to receive millions in funding to launch a brand new quantum technologies Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).  

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Information Science and Technologies was one of 65 new CDTs announced yesterday (Tuesday 14 March) by the Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan.  

It will receive £24 million of funding via the government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), industry and other government organisations, as part of wider work to support leading research in areas the government has designated of national importance. 

This includes a support package of £11.6 million from project partners including the National Quantum Computing Centre and National Physical Laboratory and private investment from companies such as BT, Hewlett Packard and Oxford Instruments and a vast array of quantum technology companies, including PsiQuantum and University of Sussex spin-out, Universal Quantum, which is based in the Greater Brighton Metropolitan area and Hamburg, Germany.   

Professor Winfried Hensinger, Director of the University of Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies and Co-founder and Chairman of Universal Quantum, heads up the new Centre for Doctoral Training at Sussex. Professor Hensinger says: Quantum computing has the power to change the world for the better. But currently the UK doesn’t have the necessary number of skilled professionals to help achieve the Government’s ambition of being a world leader in this area.  The establishment of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Information Science and Technologies at the University of Sussex marks a significant step in addressing the shortage of skilled professionals in the quantum technology sector.   

The University will now offer the full life cycle of education in quantum technologies, from undergraduate up to postgraduate level, with a real focus on research, technology development and work with industry partners. We will not only expose students to the captivating world of quantum physics but also provide them with the necessary expertise and research background to excel in the burgeoning quantum technology industry in the UK – and further our goal of transforming the south coast into the UK’s quantum silicon valley. Investing in top-tier training for students is a crucial foundation for nurturing the growth of quantum technology across the country.”  

The pioneering Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Information Science and Technologies has been set up with the aim of producing the future leaders of the UK’s emerging quantum technologies sector, working in innovation, research, policy, entrepreneurship, and business.   

The centre will be delivered by a leading team of academics from Sussex and Bristol universities, along with industrial partners and will provide an innovative four-year, fully-funded programme of training and research in quantum technologies for postgraduate students from September 2024.  

Doctoral Training Centres train tomorrow’s leading researchers to address science related problems for the benefit of society, addressing key societal challenges, including net zero, AI, defence and security, healthcare and quantum technologies.   

The Centre for Doctoral Training will provide structured PhD training focusing on multidisciplinary challenges in modern science, with groups of doctoral students working in a defined scientific area.  Students from both Sussex and Bristol universities will be able to work ‘alongside’ each other, through live lab feeds and will be able to study quantum technology modules from both universities.  

Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, said: As innovators across the world break new ground faster than ever, it is vital that government, business and academia invests in ambitious UK talent, giving them the tools to pioneer new discoveries that benefit all our lives while creating new jobs and growing the economy. 

 By targeting critical technologies, we are supporting world class universities across the UK to build the skills base we need to unleash the potential of future tech and maintain our country’s reputation as a hub of cutting-edge research and development.” 

In November 2023, the University of Sussex announced that it would be the first in the UK to launch a new quantum technology undergraduate degree where undergraduates participate in quantum technology research from day one of their degree. 

Earlier in 2023, researchers from the University, alongside Universal Quantum, made a major breakthrough by showing for the first time that quantum bits (qubits) can directly transfer between quantum computer microchips. They demonstrated this with record-breaking speed and accuracy,  resolving a major challenge in building quantum computers large and powerful enough to tackle complex problems that are of critical importance to society. 

The University of Sussex is also home to the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies, a Centre of Excellence at the University – a classification reserved for world-leading research that will drive progress and make an important contribution to the planet and its people. Students in the centre are currently working with Sussex academics and industry partners on building a quantum computer.  The centre led on the creation of the world’s first blueprint for constructing a large-scale trapped ion quantum computer. 

Professor Sasha Roseneil, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex said:  “At the University of Sussex, our researchers are carrying out pioneering work in quantum technology. Our new EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Information Science and Technologies will provide students with unparalleled access to this expertise, allowing them to engage in ground-breaking research.  

Sussex is investing significantly in quantum computing and technology, acknowledging their transformative potential on a global scale. These technologies hold promise across various fields, from enhancing drug development and national security to addressing challenges related to climate change. With our quantum technology courses, Sussex students at all levels have the opportunity to contribute to and be part of this transformative journey.” 

Applications for places on the quantum technology undergraduate degrees and the Centre for Doctoral Training, starting in September 2024, are now open.  

Prospective students for the Physics (Quantum Technology Research Placement) MPhys undergraduate degree can apply here: 


Prospective students for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Information Science and Technologies can apply for a scholarship funded place here: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/research/centres/sussex-centre-for-quantum-technologies/training-quantum-technologies/quantum-information-science-technologies-phd  

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By |2023-11-13T15:02:15+00:00November 13th, 2023|

Researchers from the University of Sussex and Universal Quantum have demonstrated for the first time that quantum bits (qubits) can directly transfer between quantum computer microchips and demonstrated this with record-breaking speed and accuracy. This breakthrough resolves a major challenge in building quantum computers large and powerful enough to tackle complex problems that are of critical importance to society.


The future of quantum computing in academia and industry

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Professor Winfried Hensinger presented his personal journey spanning three continents and four countries, in a bid to achieve his goal of building a scalable quantum computer. He discussed the future of quantum computing and quantum technologies in academia and industry at the Careers in Quantum online event on 3 June 2021, organised by the University of Bristol Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training. You can watch the advice he gave here.

University announces strategic partnership with Universal Quantum

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We are happy to announce a strategic partnership with full stack quantum computing company Universal Quantum. Universal Quantum is a spin-out from the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology group. This partnership will allow us to develop and construct practical quantum computers. More information can be found here.

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Professor Winfried Hensinger, Director of the SussexCentre for Quantum Technologies and Head of the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology Group appeared before the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Select Committee on 17 July, to give evidence as part of the Committee’s inquiry exploring the opportunities and challenges for new quantum technologies. (more…)

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Professor Winfried Hensinger, Director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies and Head of the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology Group, was invited by the German Parliament to testify about the ideas and technology behind quantum computing. (more…)