PhD fellowships in the field of Cavity QED and Atomic physics at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

A 3-year PhD fellowship is available in the Quantum Metrology group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, with an expected start from 1 January 2020, or shortly thereafter.The fellowship is partly funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement No. 731473, the QueantERA project: Q-Clocks.

About Q-Clocks (Cavity-Enhanced Quantum Optical Clocks)

The “Atomic Quantum Clock” is a milestone of the European Quantum Technologies Timeline. Q-Clocks seeks to establish a new frontier in the quantum measurement of time by joining state-of-the-art optical lattice clocks and the quantized electromagnetic field provided by an optical cavity. The goal of the project is to apply advanced quantum techniques to state-of-the-art optical lattice clocks, demonstrating enhanced sensitivity while preserving long coherence times and the highest accuracy

About your project

You will be working on an experiment with cold strontium atoms interacting with the mode of an optical cavity. This system is the foundation for a range of cavity-QED experiments focusing on the use of large atomic samples in the collective strong coupling regime for precise frequency metrology and atomic clocks. Such systems are excellent quantum sensors and allow for the characterization of the environment of the atomic ensemble or can act as accurate clocks when the environment has been carefully controlled.

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To conduct secondments at the partner institutes
  • Work for the department

Principal supervisor is Professor Jan W. Thomsen, Niels Bohr Institute,


Applicants should hold an MSc degree or equivalent in the field of physics, photonics, electronics or a related discipline. Applicants must have an excellent background in atomic physics or optics-related experiments. Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves accurately in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to actively participate in international collaborations and write papers.

About the host institute

University of Copenhagen is the largest research and education institution in Denmark. Internationally, the University is highly competitive and is ranked as one of the leading universities globally with the most recent Shanghai rankings placed the University as No. 30 worldwide and No. 6 in Europe. This is also reflected by its membership of the prestigious International Alliance of Research Universities.

The Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) has more than 500 employees and over 40 full professors. It has a broad basis in quantum physics, solid state physics, particle physics, astrophysics, geophysics and biophysics, as well as a strong international environment. UCPH has a strong commitment to its doctoral programme and NBI recruits over 35 new PhDs annually, about half being foreign students, which ensures a multicultural and international environment. NBI participates in large-scale international collaborations such as CERN and the MAX IV/ESS centers and has significant international collaborations. The principal supervisor, Jan W Thomsen, is an expert in experiments on cold group II atoms such as Mg, Sr and Yb as well as the field of ultra-stable frequency references.

Terms of employment

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the University’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 27.135 DKK /approx. 3.633 EUR (April 2019-level) plus pension.

More information

More information about the Q-Clocks project can be found at

For further information about the position, applicants are encouraged to contact principal supervisor Professor Jan W. Thomsen, the Niels Bohr Institute, or Stefan Alaric Schäffer, the Niels Bohr institute,


Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do
  • Publication list (if relevant)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The closing date for applications is 24 October 2019.

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

The further process

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at   

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.


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.

Deadline: 24 October 2019
Unit: Faculty of Science
Campus: Niels Bohr Institutet
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Thursday October 24th, 2019