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Research Assistant/Associate in Quantum Gases

Requisition ID:  24734

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-Nov-2022


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


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Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.



Research Assistant: £29,619 to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 to £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 08 December 2022


The Role

We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic Research Assistant / Associate to work on the theoretical and modelling activities of the EPSRC-funded project ‘Dilute Quantum Fluids Beyond the Mean-Field’. You will also have the advantage of working closely with the experimental group of Prof. Simon Cornish at Durham University.


Quantum fluctuations lie at the heart of many physical phenomena, from fundamental forces to cosmological processes.  While usually hard to probe directly, recent experiments with binary Bose-Einstein condensates have created a liquid-like state in which quantum fluctuations play a dominant role.  This discovery raises opportunities for probing quantum fluctuations and testing our understanding across microscopic and macroscopic scales.    


Our overall experimental-theoretical project aims to advance our understanding of beyond-mean-field physics and associated emergent phenomena using highly controllable dilute quantum fluid mixtures.


In this aspect of the project, our objectives are to develop theoretical and computational models of the beyond-mean-field quantum fluids, test these by modelling the experiments at Durham University, and thereby advance our theoretical understanding of beyond-mean-field physics.    

It is essential that you have a keen interest and strong understanding of quantum gases and quantum theory. You should have demonstrable numerical skills and an overall passion for research in Higher Education.


You will be based within the Quantum Matter Research Group in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, part of the Joint Quantum Centre Durham-Newcastle. You will be expected to make frequent visits to the experimental group in Durham.


This position is available on a full time, fixed term basis and tenable for 18 months, or until project end date, whichever is soonest. We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal enquires, please contact Dr Nick Parker ( or Dr Thomas Billam (


For more information about the School, please visit here.

For more information about the Dilute Quantum Fluids Beyond the Mean-Field project, please visit here.


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Key Accountabilities

  •     Develop computational models of beyond-mean-field quantum fluids based on the Gross-Pitaevskii equation 
  •     Run these models on the institutional high-performance-computing facilities to characterise the system behaviour and model the Durham experiments, and participate in the interpretation of the results
  •     Collaborate with the Durham experimental group of Professor Simon Cornish and theoretical collaborators within the UK and abroad
  •     Assist in the day-to-day supervision of research students working in the same team
  •     Publication of a number of high-quality research papers in journals of international standing
  •     Presentation of results at external meetings or seminars, both nationally and internationally
  •     Participation in the activities of the Quantum Matter Research Group and Joint Quantum Centre Durham-Newcastle 
  •     Minor involvement in the teaching activities of the school, as mutually agreed


As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  •     A solid theoretical background in quantum mechanics of many-particle systems and Bose-Einstein condensation
  •     Experience with running intensive simulations of the three-dimensional Gross-Pitaevskii equation to model quantum gases 
  •     Excellent programming and numerical skills, with experience of C/C++, Fortran, Matlab or Python 
  •     High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
  •     Proven ability to work successfully as part of a team
  •     Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the proven ability to communicate research to a scientific audience
  •     Previous research experience in an academic environment, including the publication of high-quality papers in a relevant area of research
  •     A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or stakeholder events, commensurate with career development
  •     Experience of working on parallel computing facilities

Attributes and Behaviours

  •     Commitment to the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of your work
  •     Ability to interact with researchers of all levels within the University, particularly postgraduate research students
  •     Competence working both alone and as a member of a team
  •     Willingness to learn and undertake research in new branches of science
  •     Willingness to travel regularly in the North East region
  •     Willingness to travel nationally and internationally


  •     An interest in the (co-)supervision of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students 
  •     Demonstrable commitment to promoting a positive and healthy research culture (e.g., by actively supporting/mentoring students, supporting initiatives to improve the work environment etc.)



  •    Have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in physics, theoretical physics, applied mathematics, or a closely related discipline




The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24734