PhD Fellowship position in applied mathematics and physics

Oslo Metropolitan University
March 10, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Department of Computer Science

Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway's third largest university with almost 22,000 students and over 2,500 employees. We have campuses in central Oslo and at Romerike. OsloMet educates students and conducts research that contributes to the sustainability of the Norwegian welfare state and the metropolitan region.

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 4.000 students and 400 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.

The Department of Computer Science offers three bachelor's degree programmes, a master's degree programme, and is part of a cross-departmental PhD program. Academic staff at the department are pursuing research in a wide range of areas including computer science, the natural sciences, and innovation and management. Both students and researchers are also involved in an increasing number of interdisciplinary initiatives across the university.

The Department of Computer Science has a vacant PhD Fellowship position in the field of applied mathematics and physics within quantum mechanics/quantum chemistry. The project combines Moreau-Yosida regularization within Density- Functional Theory (DFT) with a more general inquiry of (quantum) optimization methods and Machine Learning (ML). The PhD position is a research collaboration between the OsloMet Quantum Hub and the REGAL project. The successful applicant will be affiliated with the Mathematical Modeling group and the newly established OsloMet Quantum Hub. In addition, work within the project will be carried out closely with various local, national, and international collaborators.

Area of research

Quantum theory is a branch of physics that describes the behavior of matter and energy at the smallest scales, such as electrons in atoms and molecules. This theory provides a framework for understanding the fundamental nature of the universe, including the properties of matter, energy, and their interactions.

Density-Functional Theory (DFT) is the most widely used method of quantum chemistry. In this approach the particle density is used instead of the quantum-mechanical wave function. The central object in this theory is the exact density functional. It is unknown and obtaining good approximations is a top priority. In the Kohn-Sham scheme a set of one-particle equations are solved iteratively using an effective potential that generates the same particle density as solving the many-body Schrödinger equation would. The key ingredient of the effective Kohn-Sham potential is the exchange-correlation part, which formally is derived from taking the derivative of the exact functional. However, the exact functional is everywhere discontinuous. The REGAL project sets out to study exact constraints in the regularized setting, as well as to investigate convergence of the regularized Kohn-Sham iteration scheme.

The research activities within the OsloMet Quantum Hub spread in several directions. One such direction lies in the overlap between quantum computing and Machine Learning. It also involves theoretical/computational studies of unbound, dynamical quantum systems. Yet another active area of research is the role of openness in present day noisy intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) computing. Understanding decoherence is crucial for putting present and near future quantum hardware to good use. Quantum optimization techniques such as quantum annealing are highly relevant in this regard, and parts of the successful applicant's research will follow this direction. The successful applicant will also have responsibilities related to the quantum computers at the OsloMet Quantum Hub. This involves facilitating the use of these quantum computers – for both students and researchers.

The successful applicant's primary duty is to carry out and publish research connected to the objectives of the REGAL project and other research activities under the Quantum Hub umbrella. This will include mathematical analysis and the implementations of algorithms that will involve programming language such as Python and Qiskit. The implementation will involve methods from mathematics (functional- and convex analysis) and numerical mathematics, and in addition quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry. The preferred candidate should have a good knowledge of quantum mechanics and be able to write good computer code in, for example, Python. The position involves working closely with researchers in quantum theory within the OsloMet Quantum Hub.

The candidate is also expected to contribute to the public outreach activities of the OsloMet Quantum Hub. This could, e.g., involve giving seminars at summer/winter schools and public dissemination work.

The position is advertised as a 4-year position with 75% research and 25% other tasks (supervision and outreach activities related to the Quantum Hub). The goal must be to complete the PhD program/degree within the decided time frame. The start date of the position is 01.10.2024 at the latest.

Qualification requirements and conditions
  • Master's degree in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science or other related fields. The degree must contain 120 credits (ECTS). All exams for the master's degree must be completed by 30 June 2024.
  • An academic profile that suits the project's and the department's needs.
  • Good communication skills in English, oral and written.
  • The following grade requirements are a condition for employment in the position:

  • Minimum average grade B on subjects included in the master's degree.
  • Minimum grade B on the master's thesis.
  • Minimum average grade C on the subjects included in the bachelor's degree. If you have an integrated master's degree, the grades from the first three standard years of the degree will be assessed.
  • Admission to the doctoral program in Engineering Science at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design within three months of employment is a prerequisite for the position. If you already have a doctorate in a related field, you will not qualify for the position.

    General criteria for employment in academic positions are covered by the Regulations on employment conditions for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, scientific assistant and specialist candidate.

    Preferred selection criteria
  • Documented background and good familiarity with quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry.
  • Previous work on Density-Functional Theory, Machine Learning, and optimization techniques such as, e.g., quantum annealing.
  • Strong motivation to successfully conduct a PhD education and a wish to develop the ability as a researcher.
  • It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to make adaptations to the workplace where required. You are also welcome to apply for a position with us if you have had periods where you have not been in employment, education or training.

    We can offer you
  • An exciting job opportunity at Norway's third largest and most urban university
  • Opportunities for professional development in the Mathematical modelling group.
  • To join a novel and innovative research collaboration.
  • The chance to contribute significantly to developing and strengthening the newly established OsloMet Quantum Hub.
  • An active work environment.
  • Beneficial pension arrangements with the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Beneficial welfare schemes and a wide range of sports and cultural offers
  • Free Norwegian language classes to employees and their partners/spouses
  • Practical information about relocation to Oslo and living in Norway.

    The position is paid according to the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, position code 1017 PhD fellow, NOK 532 200 per year.


    To be considered for the position, you must upload the following documents by the application deadline:

  • Application letter describing your motivation and how your professional profile is relevant for this position (1 page max).
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts for bachelor's and master's degrees (which list subjects and grades) and certificates. Please note that a description of the grading system at the university/country where you took your degree must be attached. This must be an official document with a stamp from your university. Foreign diplomas must be translated into English by the university that issued the diploma.
  • If you have not completed your master's degree at the time of application, you must attach a preliminary transcript in English or a Scandinavian language from your university by the application deadline. It is desirable that you also attach an overview of subjects/exams you will complete during spring 2024.
  • Relevant applicants must also send an official confirmation from the educational institution that all examinations for the master's degree, including the master's thesis, have been completed by 30 June 2024.
  • Name and contact information of two references (name, relationship, e-mail and telephone number).
  • Copy of master´s thesis and other scientific work that you want to be assessed. Relevant applicants who have not completed a master´s degree at the time of application, must send a copy of the master´s thesis within 30 June 2024.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not a first language must submit the result of an official language test. The following applicants are exempt from this language requirement:
  • Applicants from EU/EEA countries.
  • Applicants who have completed at least one year of study in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Great Britain or the United States.
  • Applicants who hold an “International Baccalaureate (IB)” diploma.
  • The following language tests are approved documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). In these tests, you must have achieved at least the following scores:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, where none of the sections should have a lower score than 5.5 (only the Academic IELTS test is accepted).
  • Official diploma and transcript must be submitted before taking up the position, no later than 01.10.2024. If your educational institution is not able to deliver an official diploma by the deadline, you must submit documentation from the institution that confirms that your master´s degree is completed by the same deadline.

    We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Translations must be authorized. You must present originals at any interview. OsloMet checks documents, so that you as a candidate will get a real evaluation and fair competition.

    The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. A background check may be conducted to verify information in submitted CVs and available documents. Background checks are not conducted without the consent of the applicant and relevant applicants will receive further information about this.

    Other information

    If you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact:

  • Associate Professor Andre Laestadius, email: [email protected], tel: +47 67 23 53 73
  • Professor Sergiy Denysov, email: [email protected] tel: +47 67 23 63 79
  • Professor Sølve Selstø, email: [email protected] tel: +47 67 23 86 85
  • Group leader Boning Feng, email: [email protected], tel: +47 67 23 87 14
  • If you have administrative questions about the position, please contact [email protected] .

    Deadline for applications: 10.03.2024

    Ref.: 24/07641

    OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion.

    OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

    The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who are seen to be in conflict with the criteria in the latter law will not be considered for the position.

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    Type of employment Fixed-term post

    Contract type Full time First day of employment Latest 01.10.2023 Salary Stillingen lønnes i henhold til Statens lønnsregulativ Number of positions 1 Full-time equivalent 100% City Oslo County Oslo Country Norway Reference number 24/07641 Contact

  • Andre Laestadius, +4767235373
  • Sergiy Denysov, +4767236379
  • Sølve Selstø, +4767238685
  • Published 15.Feb.2024 Last application date 10.Mar.2024 11:59 PM CET

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