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Quantum Light and Matter

Postgraduate recruitment

Why you should do a research degree with Durham QLM.


When you join Durham Quantum Light and Matter (QLM) as a PhD or Master by research student, you’ll become a member of a friendly research section home to almost 50 members, including 10 permanent members of staff, 18 research fellows, and around 20 postgraduate students. Furthermore, QLM is the leader of the Joint Quantum Centre (JQC), linking with researchers from the Durham University Chemistry and Newcastle University Applied Maths departments.

As part of QLM, you will begin research on a project that will truly become yours over the course of your PhD. As a first year postgraduate, you will be part of a cohort of students who will study a graduate course tailored to quantum light and matter, with the opportunity for training in experimentally important areas such as skills in the mechanical workshop and CAD design, giving you the foundation you need to excel in your research.

To advance your research, you will have access to several excellent facilities including the Department’s mechanical workshop, electronics workshop, and the support of a team of research technicians. You will be able to use the group’s private electronics prep-room and vacuum prep-room, which are open to all QLM postgraduate students.

In QLM’s shared, open-plan office, you will be work alongside QLM postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are always happy to offer you expert advice, as well as a good laugh. This social aspect extends beyond physics as well: you won’t want to miss our weekly cake club and Friday evening meetups!

In your second year, you will have the opportunity to take part in physics outreach, where you, with your cohort, will design QLM-related outreach activities for a general audience. QLM hosts weekly group meetings, where postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers present the state of their research. These are an excellent way to learn more about QLM outside of your particular focus, and to see what other members of the group are working on. After your first year, you will have the opportunity to improve your own presentation skills and share your work by presenting at meetings yourself.

The group also holds weekly seminars in which an external speaker is invited to present their research to the group. You will have the opportunity to interact with experts from universities across the country and further afield. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend summer schools and conferences abroad, where you will meet other students as well as world-leading experts.

These are some of the many opportunities and benefits available to members of our group. We hope that you too will join us and become part of QLM!