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Research Fellow (part-time, non-benefited) - Center for Quantum Networks

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Description

The NSF ERC Center for Quantum Networks (CQN) is hiring a part-time Research Fellow to support the development of full-stack multi-physics multi-formalism simulator tools for quantum dynamics, computation, and communication.

The home institution for the position is the University of Massachusetts Amherst, at the Manning College of Information and Computer Science, and it would be in support of a wider research project under the CQN umbrella. The prospective hire would be instrumental in creating the tools necessary for the creation of a digital twin of the quantum network testbed infrastructure being built in collaboration with researchers at University of Arizona, Harvard, MIT, and Yale. We would be working particularly closely with MIT and U of Arizona scientists. Five other universities also contribute research towards this goal: BYU, University of Chicago, Howard University, University of Oregon, and Northern Arizona University.

Job Duties:

  • Develop modeling techniques and software tools with capabilities for:
    • modeling quantum systems at various levels of the technology stack, including low-level noisy analog physics, and higher level Clifford circuits for communication and error correction;
    • designing, modeling, and optimizing communication, distillation, and error correction protocols;
    • tightly coupling with experimental data for parameter estimation and Hamiltonian learning;
    • symbolic algebra capabilities for modeling quantum systems;
    • discrete event simulations;
    • automatic differentiation and sensitivity analysis for the prediction of the models;
  • Describes techniques and results for use in scientific papers and conferences; assists in writing reports and articles.
  • Contributes to the development of new research proposals.


The position would be 40% research and development of modeling tools, 40% research of new protocols, 20% "personal" research projects with application to QIS.



  • Bachelor's Degree in Physics, Engineering, Computer Science or related field with focus on Quantum Information Science (or equivalent combination of education and experience).
  • Capacity for excellent research, as demonstrated by publications or other professional activities, appropriate to the number of years in the field.
  • Expertise with high performance computing and related programming languages, in particular the Julia scientific stack.
  • Expertise with building and maintaining software systems.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise with common tools for:
    • analog quantum dynamics: master equations; software tools like qutip, QuantumOptics.jl and DifferentialEquations.jl;
    • (noisy) digital dynamics: gate model, typical error models, CPTP description of quantum processes; software tools like Yao.jl, cirq, or qiskit;
    • error correction and Clifford circuits: software tools like ldpc, stim, or QuantumClifford.jl;
    • network modeling: software tools like netsquid and simpy;
    • computer algebra systems: software tools like sympy and Symbolics.jl
    • automatic differentiation: software tools like SciML.jl, pytorch, tensorflow, jax.


About The Center for Quantum Networks

The Center for Quantum Networks was funded by an NSF grant beginning in September 2020.

The Center for Quantum Networks will play a pivotal role in developing the quantum Internet similar to that of ARPANET for today's Internet. CQN's research will lay the foundations for a socially responsible quantum Internet that will spur new technology industries and a competitive marketplace of quantum service providers and application developers.

CQN is a full-stack quantum networking program that brings together experts with diverse backgrounds to develop theoretical research and critical components in the entire stack of device and subsystem technologies to realize the vision of a scalable quantum Internet. CQN's research focus is on building a quantum communication infrastructure supported by fault-tolerant quantum repeaters and routers. CQN's research and development spans:

  • the physics of new materials for quantum memories and photon-matter qubit-conversion interfaces
  • integrated photonic devices for scalable entanglement sources and for quantum manipulation of light
  • quantum error correction for physical-layer quantum encoding and entanglement distillation
  • network-layer protocols to serve a variety of user- and application-driven needs of quantum communications for distributed computing, sensing and communications
  • including a capability for serving many applications simultaneously.


With the University of Arizona serving as the lead institute and host, the center will be funded with an initial five-year, $26 million grant, which may be renewed for an additional five years in 2025. The Center includes Harvard, MIT, and Yale as core university partners, with six other universities also contributing research: BYU, University of Chicago, Howard University, University of Oregon, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and Northern Arizona University.


Additional Information

  • The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of reappointment contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding. Continuation of this appointment is also contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding.
  • This is a part time, non-benefited position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.


Application Instructions

Along with the application, please submit a CV and contact information for three (3) professional references. Optionally, applicants may submit references to scientific publications or computer code they have worked on and find pertinent to CQN's mission.

Review of applications will start in February 2023 and will continue on a rolling basis.

To apply, please visit: https://careers.umass.edu/amherst/en-us/job/517458/research-fellow-parttime-nonbenefited-center-for-quantum-networks


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.