​Research Fellow (IrelandQCI)

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 an EU-funded project linked to the research area of quantum communication. The EU Digital Europe Programme’s EuroQCI initiative aims to develop a secure pan-European quantum communication infrastructure. Walton Institute in SETU is the lead partner in IrelandQCI, a €10 M project that focuses on building a national ground-based quantum communication network for Ireland. Collaborators in the project include Trinity College Dublin, Tyndall National Institute (UCC), University College Dublin and Maynooth University. All are member institutions of CONNECT, the SFI Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT’s mission is to research and develop innovative solutions for the communications challenges facing society today. Other partners in IrelandQCI include the Irish Centre for High-end Computing (University of Galway), as well as HEAnet and ESB Telecoms.

The project activities will focus on the development, implementation, testing and management of a range of use cases for ground-based quantum communication networks. These include but are not limited to QKD encryption, classical-quantum co-existence, quantum communication protocols, quantum entanglement networks, quantum sources and detectors, quantum algorithms, quantum systems architecture, standardization and certification. Eligible applicants will have a PhD degree in Physics, Computer Science or Computer Engineering. They are also required to have strong expertise and skills in computer simulation and engineering/physics laboratory.

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:

  • Apply research expertise to challenges in the areas of quantum communication networks;
  • 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 development of use cases for quantum communication networks;
  • Disseminate research results via publications in scientific conferences and journals;
  • Participate in the supervisory teams of postgraduate research students;
  • Work with the project Principal Investigator(s) and the SETU Technology Transfer Office to protect and exploit developed intellectual property;
  • Contribute to the development of research funding proposals;
  • Contribute to internal Walton research dissemination, knowledge sharing and training activities;
  • Perform other tasks as set by the Walton Research Division Manager in order to progress the development of the unit;
  • Carry out other such duties as determined and directed by the Director(s) of Walton Institute that contribute to the achievement of the strategic initiatives of the organisation.

Person Specification

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in the field of Physics, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a related 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 quantum optical technologies and quantum communication networks;
  • Expertise in applied quantum optics and the development of table top quantum sources and receivers and experiments;
  • 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 to quantum communications research;
  • Experience leading a research team.

Specific knowledge and skills


  • Expertise in developing table-top quantum optics systems for testing quantum communication protocols;
  • Capability to identify new emerging challenges and propose potential solutions or concepts that can actively feed into new research funding proposals;
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to accurately represent and promote scientific projects to audiences of diverse technical backgrounds;
  • Proven track record of high-quality peer-reviewed publications in top tier journals.


  • Expertise in simulating performance of quantum communication protocols.

I.T. Skills


  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite to include Word, Excel and Powerpoint;
  • Experience with matlab/python to interface and control laboratory experiments.


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


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. 

Find Us
353 051 302920
Walton Institute
Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus
X91 P20H
United Kingdom

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