PhD Research Fellow in quantum optomechanics

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences, and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a temporary full time position as PhD Research Fellow on the theory of mechanical systems in the quantum regime, and in particular quantum optomechanics, from 01.10.2022. The position is located at the Department of Science and Industry Systems and reports to the Head of Department. The place of employment is Kongsberg.

The employment period will be three years of full time with no teaching obligations. An appointment term of four years with 25 % teaching obligations may be offered to  suitable candidates. There is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD-program in Applied Micro- and Nanosystems within three months of accession in the position.

About the PhD-project

Mechanical systems prepared in specific quantum states can serve as a resource for secure communication protocols or as elements of quantum information processing architectures. Exotic quantum states can also be exploited to enhance sensing capabilities beyond what is possible with traditional methods. Controlling the quantum state of micro- or nanomechanical systems is currently a topic of intense investigations in laboratories worldwide. This activity relies both on theoretical modeling and on the development of new protocols for preparation and characterization of such quantum states.

In this project, new ideas for how to prepare and characterize particular quantum states of mechanical resonators in realistic experimental settings will be developed, which will involve close collaboration with several experimental collaborators abroad. The project will be particularly focused on optomechanical systems, where the toolbox of quantum optics may be exploited in order to manipulate and characterize mechanical systems in the quantum regime. The main supervisor of the PhD-project will be Professor Kjetil Børkje.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent higher education qualifications in theoretical physics. Any previous background in quantum optomechanics, quantum optics, or the theory of open quantum systems is considered as an advantage, but strong candidates from other fields of physics are encouraged to apply as well.

The degree must be accomplished before the application deadline. However, students in the process of finalizing their degree before the scheduled commencement of the position may also apply and can be offered a position conditioned on a satisfactory result.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Applied Micro- and Nanosystems within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the programme a weighted average grade of B or higher is usually required.

The applicant must document that he/she is fluent in English orally and in writing.

The candidate must have the ability to work independently and at the same time have the motivation to share knowledge and take part in team work.

Co-operation between staff members is an integrated part of the working atmosphere at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The candidate must be motivated and demonstrate a proven ability to work effectively within a team and in a collegiate manner to formulate and realise common objectives.

Personal suitability for the post will be emphasised.


We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 491 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with a background as an immigrant.

The Department has few women appointed in scientific positions, and women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Contact information

For more information about the position, please contact:
Professor Kjetil Børkje, email: 

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact:
Head of Section, HR-Department, Britt G. Wien, email: 

How to apply

The University of South-Eastern Norway makes use of online application management. Applicants to the post must register their application and CV with enclosures online via the Jobbnorge recruitment portal by clicking on the link on the right-hand side –  “Søk stillingen” (Apply for the post).

The following documents shall be attached to the online application:

  • Transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees (120 ECTS)
  • A maximum 2-page motivational letter
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Master thesis in pdf format, or a link to an online archive where it can be accessed
  • Any scientific publications, and a list of these
  • Contact information of three references

Please note that all documents must be in a Scandinavian language or in English. Any translations must be certified.

The application will be assessed on the basis of the attached documentation as requested above. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required documentation has been uploaded with the application deadline.

The University has been awarded a Charter & Code certificate by the European Commission, and is entitled to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo. The University is also a member of the EURAXESS network, which contributes to good working conditions for mobile researchers.

About USN

The University of South-Eastern Norway, USN, is one of Norway’s largest higher education institutions, with around 18,000 students and 1,900 employees across eight different campuses.

We offer studies, research and knowledge dissemination, all targeting various professions and working life and with a high level of quality internationally. Our goal as a University is to create value both for the individual student and for business and commerce, the public sector and society in general. We achieve this by utilising the best tools we have: education and research.

USN is a University with a strong social commitment where studies and working life are integrated. At USN, we focus on practice-relevant, profession-oriented and applied research and education.

The students shall benefit from innovative educational methods and challenging studies closely associated with society’s requirements and needs. They will learn how to adapt to a society and working life that is constantly changing. The University shall meet major social challenges with knowledge and expertise, helping to promote practical solutions, structural changes and new ways of thinking. USN’s academic activities shall be embodied by a clear dedication to the UN’s sustainable development goals. The University aims to realise this main profile in close cooperation with society and working life.

For more information on USN, please go to

Read the job description at the university homepage

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1st August 2022

Post expires on Monday August 1st, 2022