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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Quantum Computing

Job ID 1948 Date posted 11/11/2019

Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is the scientific, extreme scale Data Laboratory in the US. With over 133 PB of archived data, we host the largest scientific data archive in the US and the 3rd largest worldwide. In contrast to many others, this is an active archive were we continuously reuse all the data in the archive. In 2017 we analyzed 500PB of data on site. This data comes largely from the many scientific user facilities that we support at BNL such as: the unique nuclear physics experiment RHIC, the brightest synchrotron in the world NSLS II, the largest Tier 1 center for the LHC Atlas experiment, the Japanese particle physics experiment Belle II, the Center for Functional Nano Materials and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program. BNL is currently in the process of building a new 60,000 sq. ft. Data Center to accommodate its growing operations.

As a result we have a lively, fast growing data science research program at BNL, with a specific focus on the challenges presented by the analysis, interpretation and use of data at extreme scales and in real time. The data science program is accompanied by significant computational modeling research effort, in support of the design, planning, analysis and interpretation of experiments and their results. The Computational Science Initiative (CSI - provides the laboratory wide umbrella for these activities, bringing together computer scientists, applied mathematicians and domain scientists to carry out leading edge research, convert research results into practical solutions that advance domain science and provide the necessary computing infrastructure services and training to support efficient operation.

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to perform original research in Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Science.  The term of employment for this position will be for two years contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

 The successful candidate is expected to work closely with quantum computing researchers and computational scientists at BNL to develop algorithms and software tools that can enhance the usability of NISQ-era quantum computers for scientific domains relevant to DOE’s missions, including, but not limited to, nuclear and high energy physics, material sciences, chemistry, etc..

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design and carry out original research in quantum circuit optimization and quantum compilation
  • Deliver open-source software essential for the completion of the research while applying software engineering best practices (documentation, version control, V&V, etc.)
  • Collaborate with scientists within and outside of CSI
  • Present research progress and outcome at internal meetings, external conferences and workshops
  • Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings
  • Participate in research grant proposal writing

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  •        PhD in Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or related fields
  •        Demonstrated knowledge of Quantum Computing and/or Quantum Information Science
  •        Familiarity with at least one programming language such as Python, C, C++  
  •        Effective interpersonal and written communication skills
  •        The ability to work in a collaborative environment with researchers from different scientific disciplines

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with using existing quantum computing platforms and/or simulators such as IBM Q, Rigetti, IonQ, etc.
  • In-depth experience in writing and/or maintaining production-level Python code is a plus
  • Knowledge of quantum programming languages and/or quantum compilation
  • Knowledge of quantum optimal control theory, quantum optics, various physical qubit implementations, and/or numerical optimization methods
  • Experience in contributing to and participating in developing open-source projects


  • Moderate domestic and international travels are expected
  • In addition to applying online at BNL Careers, please also arrange to have the following documents emailed (in PDF format) to Meifeng Lin (, cc Nicole Medaglia ( and Leo Fang (
    • o    Curriculum Vitae
    • o    Statement of Research Interests (no more than 2 pages)
    • o    Three letters of recommendation
  • The applications will be reviewed starting on December 1, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled.

BNL policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past five years. 

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vacation
  • Holidays
  • Life Insurance
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits

We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment. To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

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