Research Fellow

Walton Institute
Waterford, Ireland
€58,641 p.a.
Closing date
31 Mar 2023

Job Details

A panel may be formed from the competition from which future vacancies may be filled for this post.

Job Overview:

Walton Institute is recruiting for a Research Fellow to work on research projects linked to the area of Quantum Communications. The EU IrelandQCI project aims to deploy a national Quantum Communications Infrastructure based on Quantum Key Distribution technologies. Walton Institute are coordinating this exciting project in collaboration with our Irish partners in the SFI CONNECT Research Centre (TCD, Tyndall, UCD, MU), HEAnet, ESB Telecoms, and ICHEC.

The vision of IrelandQCI is to build a national quantum communication network that will support an innovative quantum technology ecosystem that will enable and drive the transition from research-based experimental quantum systems and devices to commercialization-ready quantum communication products, solutions and services and lay the ground work for International networks.

Eligible applicants will have a PhD degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications, or Computer Science, preferably with 4 years postdoctoral research experience. The candidate is required to have strong expertise optical and quantum communications.

If you are interested in working in a unique research organisation within the higher education sector, Walton institute offers a culture that promotes autonomy and the pursuit of individual interests and ideas. We’re excited about opportunities that will create new technologies, advance existing ones and we will actively support the commercialisation process of these technologies. This provides you with the opportunity to explore your own creativity and work on cutting edge technologies across a variety of challenging projects, engaging and collaborating with like-minded people. Walton Institute ultimately offers flexibility in a great working environment for those looking to embark on a challenge.

Key Responsibilities/ Duties:

  • Research expertise in the areas of optical communications (both fibre based and free space), quantum communications, quantum key distribution, and network management;
  • Perform basic and applied research in line with the objectives and workplan of funded research projects, under direction from the project Principal Investigator(s);
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of quantum communications network protocols;
  • Disseminate research results via publications in scientific conferences and journals;
  • Work specifically on research projects as Work package lead, taking responsibility for tasks and reporting to the project coordinator and European commission as required;
  • Participate in the supervisory teams of postgraduate research students;
  • Work with the project Principal Investigator(s) and the WIT Technology Transfer Office to protect and exploit developed intellectual property;
  • Contribute to the development of research funding proposals;
  • Contribute to the Divisions strategic research plans;
  • Grow your own research interest area group linked to research directions within the quantum communications thematic area in RITs;
  • Contribute to internal Walton research dissemination, knowledge sharing and training activities;
  • Perform other tasks as set by the Walton Research Head of Division in order to progress the development of the Division;
  • Carry out other such duties as determined and directed by the Director(s) of Walton that contribute to the achievement of the strategic initiatives of the organisation.

Person Specification

Academic Qualifications


  • PhD in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications, Computer Science, or similar field.



  • 4 years postdoctoral researcher experience in an academic environment, ideally including an international element and/or enterprise experience;
  • Ability to secure independent external research funding;
  • Expertise in optical communications, communications network management, and quantum communications / QKD;
  • Ability to work in a team environment, guiding young researchers, and meeting defined targets and milestones within research projects;
  • Experience supervising PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.


  • 3 or more years’ experience relating quantum communications;
  • 1 year or more enterprise experience;
  • Experience and knowledge in the field of optical communications profiling and troubleshooting;
  • Experience leading a research team

Specific knowledge and skills


  • Strong optical (fibre & free-space) and quantum communications skills;
  • Capability to identify new emerging challenges and propose potential concepts that can actively feed into new research funding proposals;
  • Excellent organizational and management skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to accurately represent and promote scientific projects to audiences of diverse technical backgrounds;
  • Track record of high-quality peer reviewed publications in top tier journals.


  • Knowledge in satellite communications;
  • Experience deploying and managing optical networks in the field.

I.T. Skills


  • Programming expertise in Matlab / Python or similar programming language;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite to include Word, Excel and Powerpoint.


  • Communications Network Management;
  • QKD configuration and deployment.

Specific Personal Qualities


  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic about position;
  • Excellent Communication and Presentation Skills;
  • Excellent attention to detail and methodical approach to problem solving;
  • Good organizational and time management skills;
  • Flexibility.


  • Good Leadership skills;
  • Strong analytical skills and logical approach to problem solving.

Salary: The gross salary applicable to this post is: €58,641 p.a. (Walton Research Fellow Scale, Point 1).

Application Procedure: Applications must be submitted through the SETU Recruitment Portal by the closing date -  SETU Vacancies.

At a minimum candidates must demonstrate in their application that they possess all of the essential elements applicable in the person specification. The Technological University will then decide to interview only those applicants who appear from the information available, to be the most suitable, in terms of experience, qualifications and other requirements of the post. Candidates should keep a hard copy of the advert for their file as this will be needed for review should their application progress.

SETU is an equal opportunities employer.


More about us

Formerly known as the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG), the aim of the Institute is to investigate futuristic next-generation technologies, to verify their capabilities and applicability for today’s society, and to work in collaboration with industry to ensure their commercialisation. Walton Institute encourages inter-disciplinary research with prominent national and international reputation and competitiveness firmly positioning the South East of Ireland on the Knowledge Economy map. 

Walton Institute is named after the renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, Dr. Ernest Walton. Born in Co. Waterford, Dr. Ernest Walton dedicated his life to academia receiving numerous prizes for excellence in physics and mathematics and, most notably, the Nobel Prize in physics in 1951 for being the first to split the atom. 

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Walton Institute
Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus
X91 P20H
United Kingdom