Project proposal: Call for Expression of Interest

Closes 23 Jul 2025

Opened 18 Jun 2024


The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) announces its doctoral studentship scheme that will provide support for 30 students over 8 years. Currently, there are 6 doctoral studentships available for eligible UK universities, to run from autumn 2025.

The funding will be provided through EPSRC Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Engineering (ICASE), with the NQCC as the industrial partner. The application process has two stages. Firstly, the NQCC is inviting short summaries of proposed projects via an Expressions of Interest (EOI) call. Shortlisted EOI summaries will then be developed into full proposals with an NQCC co-supervisor. In mid-August the outcome of the EOI stage will be shared with all applicants and more information on the full proposal stage of the process will be shared with the shortlisted EOI applicants. 

A description of this studentship scheme with instructions on how to submit an expression of interest (EOI) is available below. The deadline for EOIs is 21st July.  

Important dates 



EOI for studentships 

Opens 18th June 2024 

Closes 21st July 2024

EOI shortlisting  

Early August 2024 

Full project proposals  

Invitations by mid- August

Closes 30th September 2024 

Final panel shortlisting  

October 2024 

Announcement of results 

By 31st October 2024 

NQCC studentships 

The NQCC’s vision is for the UK to harness the power of quantum computing to solve some of the most complex and challenging problems facing society today. To support this vision, the NQCC’s technology roadmap addresses key challenges associated with scaling quantum computing and aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry, helping to de-risk the technology.  

To support the delivery of the National Quantum Strategy, particularly its objective to "ensure the UK is home to world-leading quantum science and engineering, growing UK knowledge and skills", the NQCC’s doctoral studentship scheme aims to: 

  • Fund applied research aligned with the NQCC’s technology roadmap and objectives. Please see the NQCC’s strategic intent document for more information

  • Drive the generation of deeply skilled academic graduates that are highly employable across the UK quantum computing value chain. 

The NQCC wishes to fund studentships across quantum computing hardware, software, applications and component technologies. Studentships will sit within one of the NQCC’s 5 technical teams: trapped ions, superconducting qubits, cold atom tweezer arrays, software and control systems, quantum applications. NQCC priority themes within both quantum software and hardware research are outlined below. Topics of particular interest are highlighted within these themes. However, we welcome applications on any topics associated with these themes.  

Quantum Software 

i) Tailored algorithms for (near-term) quantum advantage 

  • Quantum solvers for systems of linear and differential equations

ii) Benchmarking and verification of NISQ platforms

  • Benchmarking analogue and hybrid quantum computers for quantum advantage 

iii) Scalable error correction and noise mitigation protocols 

  • Error corrected compilers and algorithms for tweezer array quantum computing 

iv) Emulation, noise modelling and resource estimation

  • Resource estimation for quantum advantage in digital quantum systems through computational and circuit complexity 

  • Characterising tweezer array performance through open-source noise simulation and device emulation or Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS)

Quantum Hardware 

i) Future directions in qubit architecture 

  • Individual addressing/all-to-all connectivity with microwave driven trapped-ion gates 

  • Novel and noise-protected superconducting qubits (including multi-mode or bosonic-encoded qubits) 

  • Improved superconducting qubit connectivity: long-range coupling, non-planar coupling, native multi-qubit interactions 

ii) Demonstrations of error correction

  • Logical qubits in small ion chains 

iii)  Networking of quantum computing systems

iv) Scaling through systems engineering, improved stability and yield  

  • Fabrication of scalable ion trap architectures 

  • Fabrication techniques or materials for improved variability, stability and yield of superconducting qubits 

v) Scalable and synchronous control systems 

  • Scalable measurement, atom rearrangement, syndrome extraction and error correction 

  • Distributed FPGA control nodes 

  • Adding real-time control (e.g. WhiteRabbit) to EPICS 

vi) HPC integration

Funding available 

The NQCC will receive 6 EPSRC Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Engineering (ICASE) vouchers, to be awarded to successful academic partners. The EPSRC ICASE studentships are funded for 4 years starting in autumn 2025, each having a total value of approximately £140,000 covering fees, stipend and the Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). The RTSG covers budget for consumables, equipment and travel. Please see training grant terms and conditions and specific ICASE terms and conditions for further information. Any estates or indirect costs must be covered by the university.  

All financial contributions will be covered by the EPSRC ICASE grant i.e. universities will receive funding directly from the ESPRC and no separate contributions will be made by the NQCC. The student will need to be registered at the host university. The NQCC will set up an agreement with the host university to outline how we will collaborate, ownership of intellectual property and any other details of the working arrangements for the studentship. 

Eligibility criteria 

NQCC doctoral studentships should be co-supervised by a UK university academic and a staff member with relevant expertise from one of the NQCC’s 5 technical teams. Studentships can only be placed in a UK university in receipt of Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) funding from EPSRC. Any academic belonging to eligible UK universities with the authorisation to supervise PhD students may apply as the university supervisor.  

NQCC studentships are open to home students only. To be treated as a home student, candidates must meet one of these criteria: 

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements) 

  • Have settled status 

  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements) 

  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter. 

The student must spend a minimum of 3 months of their time at the NQCC during their PhD, in a schedule to be arranged by mutual agreement between the NQCC and university supervisors. However, the exact length of time the student spends at the NQCC should be agreed by the NQCC and university supervisors prior to recruitment. 

Due to the potential nature of projects the successful candidate may be required to successfully complete national pre-employment control checks to the BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) to fulfil the role. BPSS checks can take between 9-12 working days. Government baseline personnel security standard - GOV.UK ( 

How to apply/ process 

Applicants should complete the EOI response form by 21st July 2024. EOI project summaries will be shortlisted, and applicants informed of the outcome in mid-August. Shortlisted EOI summaries will then be invited to develop full proposals with an NQCC co-supervisor. More information on this stage of the process will be shared with shortlisted applicants in mid-August.  


  • EOI proposals should focus on research and innovation ideas aligned to the priority research themes outlined, and the NQCC’s technology roadmap – please see the NQCC’s strategic intent document for more information

  • EOI proposals should focus on applied research as opposed to fundamental research into quantum computing, in line with the NQCC’s remit. Proposals should demonstrate how the project will advance and raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of the area presented.

Fill in the expression of interest form


  • Anyone from any background


  • Post Graduate Research (PGR)