Multidisciplinary recruitment

The University of Oulu is one of the biggest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. We offer you an international and inspiring working environment where you are given responsibility and can use your skills, develop yourself and do work that matters. Our flexible and family-friendly workplace makes it easy for you to balance work and leisure. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities.

In this position, you will participate in the national 1000 doctorates pilot programme. As a participant in the programme, the University of Oulu is dedicated to ensuring you have a carefully planned and guided doctoral research experience which will be tailored to support your career plans, enabling you to continue into demanding expert positions in the changing job markets in industry, the public sector and academia.

We are now looking for

Four (4) highly motivated and talented Doctoral Researchers

to join us in the Quantum Science and Technology Doctoral Pilot Program at the University of Oulu, in the following topics

  1. Dynamical quantum phase transitions in transmon and fluxonium arrays
  2. In silico platform for quantum simulation of molecular qudits
  3. Spin- and photophysics of NV- centres in diamond
  4. Cybersecurity of quantum computing technologies

at the Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit (position I), NMR Research Unit (positions II & III) and Biomimetics and Intelligent Systems Group (position IV).

Quantum Science and Technology Doctoral Program

The Quantum Doctoral Pilot Program is a part of the Finnish Quantum Flagship bringing together leading quantum experts in physics, computational science, mathematics, nanoscience and nanotechnology, as well as economics to consolidate and expand Finland’s national ecosystem for quantum technology. The Flagship and the doctoral program aim to boost the emergence of new businesses and secure Finland’s position as a leading quantum-enabled society. The doctoral pilot program also answers to the growing demand for research-based expertise in quantum technology. At the University of Oulu, quantum computing and technologies is one of the research focus areas.

Job description

Position I. Dynamical quantum phase transitions in transmon and fluxonium arrays (Supervisor Associate Professor Matti Silveri)

Quantum computers are yet too noisy for long quantum algorithms. Before full-fledged quantum information tasks, they can be used to implement analog and digital quantum simulations of many-body physics phenomena. This theoretical and computational project aims at boosting realization of dynamical quantum phase transitions in arrays of superconducting quantum devices. Methods are a combination of analytical and numerical many-body physics, quantum information, quantum hardware, and programming on online quantum computers.

The project studies and compares different quantum processor architectures and educates a theoretically and numerically skilled doctor ready to contribute to e.g quantum processor and hardware development in quantum technology industry.

Specific qualifications: Quantum mechanics, scientific computing and condensed matter physics Experience in any of the following is beneficial but not mandatory: quantum information, quantum devices

Position II. In silico platform for quantum simulation of molecular qudits (Supervisor University Researcher Akseli Mansikkamäki)

Single-molecule magnets (SMM) are individual molecules that have a specific electronic structure so that they can be magnetized by an external magnetic field, and they retain this magnetization even after the field is switched off. The quantum-mechanical nature of their magnetic state makes it possible to utilize them as multidimensional computational units – or qudits – in quantum computing. In 2017 a quantum algorithm was implemented in an individual SMM in a proof-of-concept study. Unlike some other technologies used for the realization of quantum computing, the use of molecules is still very much in its infancy. In this project, the doctoral researcher will work to develop a theoretical and computational platform which can be used to study the implementation of quantum algorithms into individual SMMs. The goal is to establish molecular systems as a basis for a new way of building practical quantum computers.

The research takes place at the intersection of physics, chemistry and materials science utilizing methods from all these fields. The specific methods used in the project involve i) quantum-chemical calculations with professional software using high-performance computing to model electronic structure of molecular systems and extended molecular solids; ii) derivation of the necessary working equations used in quantum simulations; and iii) development of a new program code to carry out fully quantum-mechanical simulation of a molecular system under the influence of electromagnetic fields.

Specific qualifications: Good working knowledge of molecular quantum mechanics and some programming skills. Experience in any of the following is preferred but not mandatory: scientific programming, quantum chemistry, density functional theory, command-line usage of Linux, quantum simulation.

Position III. Spin- and photophysics of NV- centres in diamond (Supervisor Professor Juha Vaara)

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) are central tools of gaining structural and dynamical information on materials at the microscopic level. With the NV- point defect in diamond it is possible to realise a quantum sensor allowing NMR and EPR of individual nuclear and electron spins both within and outside of the diamond material. In this project we construct and apply a computational multiscale model for the magnetic and optical transitions in the NV- centre, aimed at simulating existing and suggesting novel single-spin NMR and EPR experiments for ultra-sensitive spectroscopy, quantum magnetometry and quantum state control.

The project educates the student in multiscale modelling featuring molecular dynamics simulations of atomic motion in bulk and surface models of diamond, electronic-structure determination of spin Hamiltonians, and spin dynamics simulations of coupled electronic and nuclear spins using these Hamiltonians. The methodology involves density-functional theory (DFT) for atomic dynamics and structure optimisation, correlated ab initio wave function theory for determining the spin Hamiltonians, and Liouvillian spin dynamics governed by the microscopic Zeeman, zero-field splitting and hyperfine interactions, subject to Lindbladian dissipation and with the optical transitions modelled as rapid chemical exchange.

The graduated doctor will be in an excellent position to apply multiscale models in a range of cutting-edge fields from modern biomolecular NMR to quantum optics and fundamental physics. The research is done in collaboration with groups at Algorithmiq Ltd, who will host an industry secondment, as well as University of Eastern Finland.

Specific qualifications: Quantum mechanics, scientific computing, experience in one or more of the following areas: quantum chemistry, spin dynamics, molecular dynamics, reaction kinetics.

Position IV. Cybersecurity of quantum computing technologies (Supervisor Professor Kimmo Halunen)

Cybersecurity is considered an essential property of computers and networked systems. The security of traditional computing platforms has been under development for several decades and although perfect security can never be attained, great progress has been made in this field. Now, the emerging technologies of quantum computing would need to have similar protections and precautions built-in from the beginning.

At the moment, there are several different technologies that enable quantum computing for example based on superconductivity, trapped ions or photonics. There are also quantum annealing based and even analog quantum computers. All these technologies are developed to tap into the powers promised by quantum computing. However, the security properties of these are not really well studied. Thus, the goal of this PhD project is to research the cybersecurity properties (both commonalities and differences) of these different quantum computing architectures.

The graduated doctor will be in an excellent position to apply their understanding of two immensely interesting technologies to pursue career in academia or in industry. The research will be done in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Matti Silveri in Oulu and also with researchers from University of Jyväskylä. Also industry collaboration is possible through ongoing and upcoming projects.

Specific qualifications: Experience in either the field of cybersecurity or quantum computing, willingness to learn more about the other. Experience in the fields of theoretical computer science, computer engineering and programming skills are beneficial.

Qualification requirements

The chosen doctoral researchers will also be expected to apply for doctoral study rights at the University of Oulu Graduate School. Eligibility for study rights will be evaluated during the job application process. We are looking for excellent candidates that meet the following criteria:

  1. Must hold a master's degree or equivalent degree in a field related to the project topics. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply provided their master’s or equivalent degree is finished by July 31st, 2024.
  2. Must have achieved a good grade in their degree (i.e., at least 60 % of the maximum grade in both taught courses and the master's thesis).
  3. Must be able to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficient to follow doctoral studies. See more detailed in general requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School.

We view it as a benefit if you are a highly motivated candidate with good communication, teamwork skills, capability for independent work, and organizational skills.

What we offer

  • You will become a part of a highly talented research group, working on strategically and globally significant research areas of quantum technology and science
  • The support of an experienced and enthusiastic team and supervisors where you can share your expertise and grow as an expert
  • An inspiring international and interdisciplinary research atmosphere in well-established research units, world-class guidance, structured doctoral training, cutting-edge infrastructures and networks with academic and non-academic partners.
  • The interdisciplinary research training and transferable skills that help you to develop skills and competences and multiple opportunities to advance career via different routes.
  • Possibilities for flexible work via well-established practices and agreements for flexible working hours, part-time working and teleworking.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close-ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have a HR Excellence in Research -quality label which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers.
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education and healthcare system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Position and salary

Doctoral researchers selected in the pilot programme will by default be offered a three-year (36-month) fixed-term full-time employment contract by the University of Oulu. These positions are available for highly motivated and talented researchers wishing to undertake and complete training for a research-focused doctoral degree. The selected applicants are expected to start their project no later than August 1, 2024. A six-month trial period is applied in the position.

The salary of the selected doctoral researchers will be paid monthly. The salary will be based on the levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). The starting gross salary (before taxes) will be roughly 2500-2800 € / month for the full-time employment. Later the salary follows the YPJ salary system of Finnish Universities.

The employment contracts are based on a total working time of 1 612 hours per year, which gives the doctoral researchers freedom to plan their working hours.

How to apply?

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by April 30, 2024 at 23:59 Finnish local time. The application should be written in English and include the following:

The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise, and describing applicant’s research interests and motivations in the projects. Also, information on other personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here. The letter should also include potential specific interests in the University of Oulu research unit(s).
  2. Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) of the applicant, including a list of any peer-reviewed scientific publications (with full reference details). A recommended CV template can be found on the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity at
  3. Certificates/diplomas - scanned copy of the original relevant master’s degree certificates and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English.
  4. A valid certificate of language proficiency
  5. Contact information of two persons available for recommendation
  6. Prioritize the positions

Only applications containing all relevant appendices, submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.

The eligible applicants fitting best in the profiles expected for the positions will be invited to a remote or on-site interview. All applicants will be notified during the selection process.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, such as people of different ages, genders and lingual, cultural or minority groups.

Contact Information

For further information, please contact

Associate Professor Matti Silveri, Oulu coordinator of the Doctoral Pilot in Quantum Science and Technology,, (position I)
Unversity Researcher Akseli Mansikkamäki,, (position II)
Professor Juha Vaara,, (position III)
Professor Kimmo Halunen,, (position IV)

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2024/151
Published 03.Apr.2024
Last application date 30.Apr.2024

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