PhD Fellowship in Atom Optics and Nanophotonics

The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in experimental quantum optics to contribute to the development of quantum memories for light based on atomic and nanophotonic arrays (Q-MANTA).

The Q-MANTA project is financed by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme (NQCP),

The newly established Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Program (NQCP) is building a talented and diverse international team to create a cutting-edge program in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. At the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, where the formulation of Quantum Mechanics was born 100 years ago, the ambition is to build a mission-driven full-stack approach which will involve exciting innovations at every level, from the quantum processor to the quantum-classical interface all the way quantum algorithms and applications.  The vision of the programme is to enable the development of fault-tolerant quantum computing hardware and quantum algorithms that solve important problems in the life-sciences.

Start date is (expected to be) 1 February 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
The project will focus on experimental development of a new platform for optical quantum memories and new tools to combine cold atoms and nano-scale dielectric structures. As this project is highly multidisciplinary, we expect that the PhD student will contribute to research on single-atom imaging and control, nanofabrication, and characterization of nanophotonic structures.

An important goal will be to demonstrate strong atom-atom interactions mediated by light propagating in carefully engineered nano-scale dielectric waveguides.

Description of the scientific environment
Research will be carried out in collaboration at NQCP ( and QUANTOP ( – Center for Quantum Optics at the Niels Bohr Institute (Department of Physics) at the University of Copenhagen.

QUANTOP is a vibrant group of approximately 20 researchers and students working on quantum physics of atoms, light and mechanical objects with particular emphasis on interfacing disparate quantum systems with light. Generation of entangled states of light, atoms, material objects, and their use for quantum sensing, quantum communication and quantum simulations are the core activities of the group.

At both NQCP and QUANTOP, we offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.  The project takes place in a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary environment with regular interactions with physicists and quantum engineers.

Our research facilities include modern laboratories located on Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen Ø.

Principal supervisor is Professor Eugene S. Polzik

Co-supervisors are  Assistant Professor Jean-Baptiste Béguin (Q-MANTA Lead), Niels Bohr Institute. E-mail:; Professor Peter Krogstrup (NQCP),, and  Associate Professor Jörg Helge Müller, Niels Bohr Institute, (

The PhD programme
Depending of your level of education, you can undertake the PhD programme as either:

Option A: A three-year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme) if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Option B: An up to five-year full-time study programme within the framework of the integrated MSc and PhD programme (the 3+5 scheme) if you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree – but you have an education equivalent to a Danish bachelor’s degree.

Option A: Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Applied Physics. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance.

Option B: Getting into a position on the integrated MSc and PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the integrated MSc and PhD programme
If you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree, you might be qualified for the integrated MSc and PhD programme, if you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish bachelor´s degree. Here you can find out, if that is relevant for you: General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database. 

Terms of the integrated programme
To be eligible for the integrated scholarship, you are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in Physics.

Students on the integrated programme will enrol as PhD students simultaneously with completing their enrolment in this MSc degree programme.

The duration of the integrated programme is up to five years and depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme, please see:, “Study Structures”.

Until the MSc degree is obtained, (when exactly two years of the full 3+5 programme remains), the grant will be paid partly in the form of 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: “SU-klip”) plus salary for work (teaching, supervision etc.) totalling a workload of at least 150 working hours per year. A PhD grant portion is DKK 6,243.

When you have obtained the MSc degree, you will transfer to the salary-earning part of the scholarship for a period of two years. At that point, the terms of employment and payment will be according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance.

Your responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

  • Complete and pass the MSc education in accordance with the curriculum of the MSc programme (ONLY when you are attending the integrated MSc and PhD programme)
  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision and within a team 
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
  • Work for the department

We are looking for the following qualifications

  • Applicants should hold an MSc degree in physics with good results
  • Relevant work experience in experimental atomic physics, quantum optics, and/or nanophotonics
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications (if any)
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in fundamental research and quantum technologies
  • Good English language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  1. Cover letter of application (max. one page). This should include your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project. Please explicit state which PhD project you are applying for.
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV) including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science and Master of Science. Please also include transcripts of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  5. (1-3) reference letters (if any). According to Danish law, reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting committee must NOT obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant.

The deadline for applications is 22 October 2023, 23:59 GMT +2. 

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the above mentioned requirements.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

The further process 
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment.

You can read about the recruitment process at

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Assistant Professor Jean-Baptiste Béguin,


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 22-10-2023
Employment start: 01-02-2024
Department/Location: The Niels Bohr Institute

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