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ERC PhD Studentship in Quantum Computing Theory

Dr Ashley Montanaro

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17 December 2018

ERC PhD in Quantum Computing Theory

A quantum computer is a machine designed to use quantum mechanics to do things that cannot be done by any standard, “classical” computer based only on the laws of classical physics. Peter Shor’s discovery that there is a fast quantum algorithm for integer factorisation, while no efficient classical algorithm is known, sparked an explosion of interest in quantum computing. This in turn led to an intense international effort to develop a large-scale, universal quantum computer.

Now is a pivotal moment in the history of quantum computing. Following rapid recent experimental progress, various groups (such as Google and IBM) are predicting that they will demonstrate a quantum computer that will substantially outperform its classical counterparts within years, or even months. However, there are important theoretical difficulties remaining, especially those associated with the development of new quantum algorithms and understanding the true potential of quantum computers. There are also many potential theoretical applications of the theory of quantum computation to be explored, in particular to understanding the complexity of physical systems.

This PhD project will focus on the development of new theoretical results in quantum algorithm design and/or quantum computational complexity. Depending on the student’s interests and expertise, this may include the design of quantum algorithms to accelerate classical algorithms; applying computational complexity theory to characterise the complexity of problems in quantum physics; and/or developing new applications of quantum algorithms. Students may have a background in computer science, mathematics or physics, but should have an interest in and aptitude for theoretical aspects of computer science.

Further information

How to apply: 

Please make an online application for this project at selecting Mathematics on the Programme Choice page. When prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form specify that you wish to be considered for ERC CONSOLIDATOR studentship.

Advice on how to complete your application can be found on our postgraduate advice page

Candidate requirements:

To be considered for this funded PhD studentship, applicants must hold (or expect to receive) a First Class degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or related subjects. Previous experience in the theory of quantum computing is welcome but not required.


This PhD Studentship includes tuition fees, research travel grant and a full tax-free stipend at the EPSRC DTA rate (£14,777 in 2018/19). 

Further details: 

Please contact Dr Ashley Montanaro


28 February 2019

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