PhD in Formal Methods for Quantum Compilation (1.0 FTE)

PhD in Formal Methods for Quantum Compilation (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
28 May 1 Jul Leiden

Job description

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, is looking for candidates for a:

PhD in Formal Methods for Quantum Compilation (1.0 FTE)
We are looking for individuals with an excellent academic record interested in the development and implementation of new classical data structures for quantum computing (decision diagrams, tensor networks, ZX-diagrams, etc). The project focuses on the development of novel solutions for quantum circuit optimization, simulation and formal verification of quantum circuits using the aforementioned data structures.
In this position you will be employed by Leiden University, but your time will be equally divided between the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) and the Amsterdam-based quantum research center QuSoft. You will be jointly supervised by Dr. Alfons Laarman and Dr. John van de Wetering.

Key responsibilities
  • Conducting research in the field of formal methods and quantum computing under the joint supervision of Dr. Alfons Laarman and Dr. John van de Wetering;
  • Design and implementation of quantum circuit compilation methods, including, but not limited to, simulation, verification, synthesis and optimization;

Selection Criteria
  • Master degree in mathematics, computer science or a closely related field;
  • Strong interest and demonstratable expertise in formal methods and/or quantum computing;
  • Affinity with the field of satisfiability and knowledge compilation is preferred;
  • Good programming skills in C/C++ or Java;
  • Proficient in spoken and written English;
  • An independent and creative team player with good communicative skills;
  • Able to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Team spirit/collaboration attitude is strongly preferred.

Research in Leiden
The Leiden Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in the core areas of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Data Science, and also in the interdisciplinary areas of ICT in Business, Media Technology and Creative science, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, we are one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. Our people and our focus on collaboration in a caring atmosphere are dear to us. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and inclusiveness go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information about LIACS, see

The research hub QuSoft is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI). QuSoft’s mission is to develop new protocols, algorithms and applications that can be run on small to full-scale prototypes of a quantum computer. QuSoft has over 30 full-time faculty members dedicated to world-class research in quantum computing and quantum information. The centre is a front-runner in the development of quantum algorithms. Despite this desire for excellence, QuSoft offers a collegiate atmosphere, where knowledge and experience are freely shared in seminars or over intense games of foosball.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time appointment of initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the research, teaching evaluations, personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended for another three years. Salary ranges from € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school. Teaching PhD have the possibility of obtaining the (partial) University Teaching Qualification (UTQ).

Diversity and work-life balance
Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. LIACS is a highly diverse institute, in culture, background, and gender. We stand for excellence in a caring Institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science is fun and goes hand in hand with a friendly culture. In the Netherlands, a maternity allowance is standard for 16 weeks. Childcare is available at and near the Bio Science Park.

Inquiries about the research area can be made to Dr. Alfons Laarman ( and/or John van de Wetering ( For information about the procedure, you can send an email to

To apply for this vacancy, please submit online your application via the blue button in the vacancy. Applicants should submit their motivation letter and CV, quoting the vacancy number.

Only applications received no later than 1 July 2024 can be considered. The selection procedure will take place in July / August 2024, and selected candidates may be invited for an interview in this period.


Leiden University


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14900



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 1 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).