About the Role

You’ll plan and deliver a number of technical activities to take our research to the next level. As we’re pushing boundaries all the time, we’ll expect you to acquire new knowledge to find solutions to advance our research. It’s your responsibility to share your learnings so that we all benefit, mentoring those with less experience than you. Equally, if commercial opportunities arise from your work, you’ll need to flag these – as this is how new products and services are born. The same can be said for developing partnerships to strengthen our capability. You’ll also act as an ambassador for our work externally and be willing to promote what we do. And, as an expert in your field, we’ll also seek your technical support for any bids we may be undertaking.

About You

Do you have the skills to be part of NPL’s role in giving the UK a world-leading position in the rapidly developing quantum technology market?


You will be joining NPL’s Quantum Technologies Department at a very exciting time - as quantum phenomena are delivering breakthroughs in many areas, including increased information processing power, secure communications, high-precision measurement and sensing, and early diagnosis of diseases.

The Quantum Photonics team undertakes research to test and evaluate quantum information technologies - e.g. single-photon sources and detectors, terrestrial and satellite quantum key distribution systems, quantum random number generators - and their enabling technologies. We work with leading UK and European industrial and academic researchers, our European national laboratory counterparts, and international standards developing organizations.


We are growing our team of multi-disciplined scientists and engineers. Permanent positions at different seniority levels are available, and we are also interested in early-career general scientists and engineers with the potential to develop a career supported by on-the-job training at NPL.

About You

Responsibilities(depending on seniority):

·      Devising experimental methods to characterise optical fibre, free-space or ‘on-chip’ quantum information devices and systems

·      Building experimental set-ups and bespoke instrumentation

·      Designing and implementing control and data analysis software

·      Analytic and numerical analysis of experimental data

·      Writing scientific papers and making conference presentations

·      Preparing and presenting project and internal reports

·      Establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with UK and international partners

·      Supervising and guiding less-experienced staff

·      Understanding the evolving requirements of the UK quantum technology landscape, and identifying funding opportunities and preparing bids

·      Representing NPL and the UK in various international for a, e.g. standards developing organizations and metrology committees

Requirements will include one or more of:

·      PhD, undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in physics, engineering, electronic engineering, hardware development

·      Experience with photonic systems (fibre, free space or ‘on chip’)

·      Work experience within an engineering, research and development, or software/hardware development environment

·      Ability to work independently and as part of a team, managing your time according to priorities

·      A rigorous approach to problem solving and ability to develop solutions to difficult problems

·      An inquisitive mind and willingness to interact dynamically within a team

·      Excellent written and verbal communication

·      Senior candidates – track record in a relevant area and leadership ability in managing scientists and engineers

Advantageous skills include:

·      Experience in working with external collaborators 

·      Experience with single-photon sources and detectors and related applications

·      Programming experience: LabVIEW, MATLAB and Python are preferable

·      Electronics design and implementation

·      Experience with high-speed (GHz) electronics

Please note these roles are being advertised across multiple zones. Offer and salary will be dependent on experience. We will be reviewing applications prior to the official close date, so we may change the close date if needed

About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.