PhD positions in Cold Atoms and Quantum Optics

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ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences
30 November, 2011


Castelldefels (Barcelona)
41° 16' 49.4004" N, 1° 58' 36.39" E

ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Science is a centre based in Barcelona, devoted to the research and education of the optical and photonic sciences, at the highest international level.

ICFO, in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), is offering a predoctoral fellowship to a well-qualified, highly motivated and dynamic graduate student who wishes to enhance his/her scientific career in a friendly and stimulating environment, as well as to obtain a doctoral degree in Photonics. The successful candidate(s) will join the Quantum Optics group of Morgan Mitchell.

The group is very active in quantum optics and quantum metrology, with recent results including the first optical magnetometry beyond the shot-noise limit, the first spin squeezing in a magnetically-sensitive cold-atom system, the first measurements beyond the Heisenberg limit, and the first use of quantum optics to improve non-destructive measurement. This work has recently been recognized with a European Research Council Starting Grant, “Atomic Quantum Metrology”.

The project will apply state of the art techniques to build a cold-atom optical magnetometer at the quantum limits of sensitivity, in order to test and develop potentially revolutionary new proposals in quantum metrology and quantum optics.


Candidates must hold an internationally-recognized master's degree (or evidence of its completion in the nearest future) in a field of science related to physics. Very exceptionally, outstanding candidates holding an internationally recognized Bachelor-equivalent degree might be considered, too. No restrictions of citizenship apply to the ICFO fellowships.


Conditions of fellowships
The fellowships are offered for periods of one year, renewable for a total of four years. The annual renewal of the ICFO-UPC fellowship is conditional on satisfactory performance in research and teaching activities, as well as on positive evaluation by the thesis director and the ICFO Board.


Application procedure
The formal application should be submitted by e-mail to: icfojobs [at] icfo [dot] eu (preferable with cc to morgan [dot] mitchell [at] icfo [dot] eu). E-mail submissions must include the candidate’s last name and “AQuMet PhD” in the subject line.
Suitable candidates are requested to submit:
• A presentation letter with declaration of research interests,
• A Curriculum Vitae, including a full address, a contact phone number and e-mail address and a copy of the passport,
• A scanned copy of your University academic transcripts in English or Spanish,
• A scanned copy of the degree, if available at the time of application,
• The contact e-mail of three potential referees.
• A proof of English command (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.) in the case that English is not the first language or the undergraduate degree was acquired in a country where English is not the official language.
• If available, a scanned copy of standardized GRE test results. Note that submission of GRE test results is optional, but they can be particularly helpful for evaluating candidates with degrees obtained outside the European Higher Education Area.

Applications can also be submitted by post to the PhD Screening Committee (Ref. AQuMet PhD).
Please note that candidates should be willing to be contacted by phone during the entire selection process.


Deadlines and contacts
The call will remain open until suitable candidates are identified.
Candidates must contact icfojobs [at] icfo [dot] eu for informal inquiries regarding the application as well as for submitting the application (preferable with cc to morgan [dot] mitchell [at] icfo [dot] eu). Informal science- and project related enquiries may be addressed directly to Prof. Morgan Mitchell (morgan [dot] mitchell [at] icfo [dot] eu).

For updated information about ICFO, please visit

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