PhD student, on the subject of algorithms for near-term quantum computers

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has a vacancy in the QuSoft research group for a talented PhD student, on the subject of algorithms for near-term quantum computers.

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has a vacancy in the QuSoft research group for a talented PhD student, on the subject of algorithms for near-term quantum computers.

Job description

Quantum computing devices are rapidly increasing in scale and complexity. However they are still very far away from the abstract ideal of a computer. For the foreseeable future, running any kind of useful task or algorithm on such a device means explicitly taking into account their physical limitations. Do you enjoy working at the intersection between physics and computer science? Are you comfortable with mathematical work and interested in applying those skills in a practical setting? Then CWI and the Quantum Software Consortium invites you to apply for a PhD position where you will research quantum algorithms specifically designed for noisy, near-term quantum devices.

What are you going to do?
As part of your PhD project, you will develop new procedures and algorithms to run on (near-future) quantum computers. Potential research directions for your PhD include:

- Developing efficient and noise tolerant algorithms for the simulation of quantum systems (defined by a Hamiltonian).

- Developing and studying error mitigation techniques for near term quantum algorithms, both in the general sense and specialized to particular use-cases.

- Investigating new algorithms for the classical simulation of (special kinds of) quantum systems, with the goal of integrating these classical algorithms into error mitigation techniques.

You will work under the supervision of Dr. Jonas Helsen, who will also serve as your co-promotor, and of Prof. Harry Buhrman as promotor.

You will also work in close collaboration with QuSoft, the Dutch research institute for quantum software, which houses experts on all topics in quantum computing. Together, the local institutes form a rich research ecosystem with opportunities to work together with computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians from the various groups situated at the Amsterdam Science Park.

You will start your PhD project (approximately) concurrently with a PhD student who will work on theoretical questions directly associated with the Quantum Delta NL initiative (in particular the benchmarking of noisy quantum devices). This will give you the opportunity to work together on research questions concerning near-term quantum computation.

You will:
- Research near-term quantum computation, by developing new algorithms and error mitigation techniques and by mathematically studying their properties

- Publish and present your work in international conferences and journals

- Contribute to the local research groups at CWI and QuSoft


Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related subject. Preferable qualifications for candidates include proven research talent, an excellent command of English, and good academic writing and presentation skills.
Furtherly we ask for previous demonstrated interest in quantum computing, in the form of coursework, projects, or academic publications and a high motivation in pursuing academic research.

Terms and conditions

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The initial labour agreement will be for a period of 18 months. After a positive evaluation, the agreement will be extended by 30 months. The gross monthly salary, for a PhD student on a full time basis, is € 2,441 during the first year and increases to €3,128 over the four year period. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling and help with housing for expat employees.

Please visit our websites for more information about our terms of employment: and​​​​​

Information and application

All applications should include:

- A motivation letter
- A curriculum vitae
- Two references
- A sample your undergraduate research work (this could be your master thesis, or a term paper or anything else that you wrote that you consider relevant)

The deadline for the application is 23 December 2021.

Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. We aim to begin filling the position as of February 2022.

Additional information can be obtained from Dr. Jonas Helsen, email:

For more information about CWI, please visit or watch our video about working at CWI

Diversity code

CWI encourages a diverse workforce: we endeavour to develop talent and creativity by bringing people from different backgrounds and cultures together. We recruit and select based on capabilities and talent. We strongly encourage everyone with the appropriate qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities.

About CWI

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is an institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large. CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 30 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses. CWI is located at Amsterdam Science Park which is home to one of the largest concentrations of beta science in Europe. A melting pot of innovation. Companies looking to collaborate can work together with brilliant students, scientists and fellow entrepreneurs. Collectively they develop revolutionary solutions for today’s issues and tomorrow’s challenges.

About Research group

QuSoft is the Dutch research Center for Quantum Software that was launched in 2015. Its mission is to develop new communication protocols, algorithms, and applications for small and medium-sized prototypes as well as larger quantum computers. The researchers at QuSoft develop software and applications that exploit the extraordinary power of quantum computers based on their quantum mechanical properties such as superposition, interference and entanglement.

To find more information about QuSoft and the Algorithms and Complexity group, please visit their webpages and watch their video.