PhD student for characterization procedures of near-term quantum computers

PhD student for characterization procedures of near-term quantum computers

Published Deadline Location
10 Nov 10 Dec Amsterdam

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Job description

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has a vacancy in the QuSoft research group for a talented

PhD student,

on the subject of characterization procedures for near-term quantum computers

Job description
Quantum computing devices are rapidly increasing in scale and complexity. However they are still very far away from the abstract ideal of a computer, and an important part of making them better is designing procedures that characterize errors and noise in an efficient and robust. Do you enjoy working at the intersection between physics and computer science? Are you comfortable with mathematical work and interested in applying those skills in a practical setting? Then CWI invites you to apply for a PhD position where you will research characterization procedures for quantum devices, in the context of the Dutch Quantum Delta Initiative.

What are going to do?
As part of your PhD project, you will develop and mathematically analyze new procedures to characterize quantum computing devices and collaborate with experimental teams to apply them in real systems. Possible research directions include:
  • Develop new characterization procedures based on the shadow estimation and randomized benchmarking techniques and help experimental teams with implementing them in practice.
  • Develop analytical measures of non-Markovianity in noise processes and develop protocols to estimate them in practice
  • Investigate the surprising noise tolerance of certain classes of quantum variational ansatzes (such as the DMERA tensor network ansatz)

You will work under the supervision of Dr. Jonas Helsen and be a part of QuSoft, the Dutch research institute for quantum software, which houses experts on all topics in quantum computing. Together, the local institutes form a rich research ecosystem with opportunities to work together with computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians from the various groups situated at the Amsterdam Science Park.

You will also closely collaborate with experimental teams at the QuTech institute at the TU Delft, giving you the opportunity to participate in the development of quantum computers up close.

You will:
  • Research near-term quantum computation, by developing new characterization procedures and by mathematically analyzing their properties;
  • Assist experimental teams in the application of these characterization procedures;
  • Publish and present your work in international conferences and journals;
  • Be an active part of the local research groups at CWI and QuSoft;


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)


Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related subject. Preferable qualifications for candidates include proven research talent, an excellent command of English, and good academic writing and presentation skills.

Furthermore, we ask for previous demonstrated interest in quantum computing, in the form of coursework, projects, or academic publications and a high motivation in pursuing academic research.

Diversity code
CWI encourages a diverse workforce: we endeavour to develop talent and creativity by bringing people from different backgrounds and cultures together. We recruit and select based on capabilities and talent. We strongly encourage everyone with the appropriate qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities.

Conditions of employment

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The initial labour agreement will be for a period of 18 months. After a positive evaluation, the agreement will be extended by 30 months. The gross monthly salary, for a PhD student on a full time basis, is € 2,720 during the first year and increases to €3,484 over the four year period. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling and help with housing for expat employees.

Please visit our websites for more information about our terms of employment: and


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is part of the Institutes Organisation of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries, an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. We have an activity committee that organizes after-work activities and an informal women’s network.

CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam, the home of AMS-IX, that is presently developing into a major location of research in the physical sciences in The Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.


QuSoft is the Dutch research Center for Quantum Software that was launched in 2015. Its mission is to develop new communication protocols, algorithms, and applications for small and medium-sized prototypes as well as larger quantum computers. The researchers at QuSoft develop software and applications that exploit the extraordinary power of quantum computers based on their quantum mechanical properties such as superposition, interference and entanglement.

To find more information about QuSoft and the Algorithms and Complexity group, please visit their webpages and watch their video.


  • Support staff (clerical, administrative, facility); PhD
  • Agriculture; Natural sciences; Engineering; Economics; Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • €2407—€3484 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3464


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)

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Science Park 123, 1098XG, Amsterdam

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