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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Quantum Computing/Theoretical Nuclear Physics

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Date: Nov 6, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4155 


We are seeking a Postdoctorate Research Associate who will focus on developments, implementations, and testing of hybrid algorithms that combine quantum computing and coupled-cluster methods for applications to strongly correlated quantum many-body systems in nuclear physics and related fields. The candidate will be performing calculations using both quantum simulators and existing quantum hardware, determine scaling and error requirements, with the goal of publishing the results in high-impact research journals. The position will be part of the nuclear theory team that resides in the Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics Group, Nuclear Science and Advanced Technology Section, Physics Division, Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). 


As a postdoc you will collaborate with theory staff in the Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics Group group at ORNL as well as faculty at the University of Tennessee. 


This position is supported by the Department of Energy Quantum Science Center, a National Quantum Information Science Research Center. Postdoctoral research associates appointed to the Quantum Science Center will engage with a network of universities, national laboratories, and industry to overcome key roadblocks in quantum state resilience, controllability, and ultimately the scalability of quantum technologies to realize the quantum future.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop formalism and methods for quantum simulations of strongly correlated many-fermion systems
  • Perform quantum simulations in selected proof-of-principle systems with the aim of applying these methods to realistic simulations of atomic nuclei
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics




Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Theoretical Physics or a related discipline completed within the last five years
  • Experience with High Performance Computing and programming for massively parallel computers
  • Experience with quantum many-body methods


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in quantum computing and quantum simulations of strongly correlated many-fermionic systems such as atomic nuclei, atoms, or molecular systems
  • A strong computational science background
  • Familiarity with coupled-cluster theory
  • Understanding of application development techniques (numerical methods, solution algorithms, programming models, and software) at scale (large processor/node counts)
  • A record of productive and creative research as proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and letters of reference from active practitioners in the field
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs
  • Experience with MPI, OpenMP, parallel I/O (including HDF5), CUDA and/or OpenACC, FORTRAN, Python


Special Requirements

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville