Woman next to large machine
Credit: Andy Aaron, IBM

Education and Training

CQE IBM Postdoctoral Training Program

In collaboration with IBM, the CQE seeks postdoctoral candidates with research interests in the experimental or theoretical implications of scaling superconducting qubit quantum information processing beyond the confines of a single chip in a single dilution refrigerator.

The IBM Postdoc Program is not currently accepting applications.

Successful applicants help to further technology development and fundamental physical understanding of bidirectional microwave/optical transduction for quantum state transfer. Topics of potential experimental interest include, though are not limited to: understanding the fundamental physics of radio frequency and optical loss sources in electro-optic materials due to intrinsic band structure, surface properties and extrinsic defects; developing next-generation microwave/optical transducers based on opto-mechanical systems; developing prototype electro-optic microwave/optical transducers based on three-wave mixing in novel material systems such as SiC.

This experimental progress is coupled with theoretical applicants working to understand how to extend quantum information processing algorithms, circuit compilation and error correction to systems comprised of this heterogenous connectivity. Topics of potential experimental interest include, though are not limited to: research into efficient compilation methods for distributed quantum computers, including circuit partitioning, mapping, and error mitigation during computation; and developing methods for error correction on a distributed quantum computer with noisy links, and adapting existing methods, such as the surface code beyond the confines of a chip.

The CQE’s IBM postdoctoral trainees may be located at the following CQE member institutions: University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, or Northwestern University.

The CQE’s IBM postdoctoral trainees have access a wide breadth of tools and capabilities that make investigation of cutting-edge quantum science and technology possible. Postdocs work at member institutions that support their individual areas of research and receive dual mentorship at both the institution where they are placed and another member institution or IBM.

Each trainee is provided with salary and benefits, in addition to discretionary research funding annually. These positions are made possible through a partnership between the CQE and the IBM Quantum Network.

FAQ for IBM Postdoctoral Trainees

Q: Who is eligible to apply for this position?

A: This position is available for postdoctoral researchers in quantum science interested in the experimental or theoretical implications of scaling superconducting qubit quantum information processing beyond the confines of a single chip in a single dilution refrigerator. We are seeking both experimental and theoretical applicants. To be considered, you must have already graduated from a Ph.D. program or have an anticipated graduation date.

Q: Where will I be working during this position?

A:  IBM Fellows are employed by one of the CQE’s member institutions, based on the research project. The collaborative nature of this position means that you may travel to other CQE institutions. Postdocs with collaborative research projects with IBM may spend up to a quarter of their time at IBM Research facilities in the U.S.

Q: What sort of benefits and expense coverage exist for this position?

A: In addition to healthcare benefits, postdocs receive a $5,000 discretionary fund per year, allowing them, among other things, to travel and participate in seminars and conferences which interest them. Funding from IBM will be administered through the CQE member hiring institution.

Q: What should be included in the cover letter?

A: The cover letter should include a statement of research interests, including research goals, plan, and potential CQE mentors whose work aligns with these goals. Note: Applicants will be asked to suggest potential mentors from multiple CQE member institutions (UChicago, Argonne, Fermilab, UIUC, UW-Madison, and Northwestern).

Q: What is the hiring timeline?

A: The hiring timeline is flexible. Applicants are encouraged to submit as early as possible. When five outstanding candidates are identified the application will be closed. The application portal will remain closed until more postdoc positions are available.

Q: How long will this postdoc last?

A: The postdoc term is not defined, enabling the postdocs and the research project to drive the length of the collaboration. IBM is committed to supporting the program for five years.

Q: What are the IP provisions for the research?

A: Any IP that is developed by the postdoc is provided to both the employing CQE member and IBM via a nonexclusive, royalty-free license.