Job details

Job posted by The University of Birmingham (25/02/2014 14.53)

Marie Curie Actions funded job vacancy 'HR Excellence in Research' logo awarded to institutions actively implementing the European Charter and Code for Researchers 14 Early Stage Researcher (PhD students) posts on the ITN “Future Atomic Clock Technology”. Project FACT

FACT (Future Atomic Clock Technology) is an Initial Training Network (ITN) related to the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards. The training will be for 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with the aim of implementing a training programme which focusses on the technological developments enhancing the technology readiness of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance of development by the commercial sector. The FACT Network is coordinated by the University of Birmingham in the UK and comprises 14 industrial and academic partners from the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland. In addition, there is 1 associated partner, Entanglement Tech who will provide training opportunities.


During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in “relativistic geodesy”, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. FACT is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.

The FACT Network seeks to recruit 14 graduates to study for a PhD (ESRs) for placements of 13 x 36 and 1 x 32 months respectively. The start date will be 1st April 2014 or as soon after this date as possible. The Network will operate an Equal Opportunities recruitment policy and female candidates are encouraged to apply
• ESRs must, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
• At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of his/her recruitment on the project.
• The researchers may be of any nationality but must have excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

Full-time equivalent research experience means the research experience measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or ever was envisaged.

Nr of positions available : 14

Research Fields

Physics - Quantum mechanics

Career Stage

Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)

Research Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)


ESRs will be paid at Marie Curie published rates. These are 38,000€/annum living allowance adjusted by the country coefficient and then subject to employer and employee deductions. In addition, a mobility allowance will be paid, this will be either 700€ or 1000/month, depending on family circumstances, with the same adjustments and deductions as for the living allowance. Country coefficients related to FACT are 134.4 – UK, 94.8 – Germany, 116.1 – France, 106.6 – Italy and 119.6 – Switzerland.

Comment/web site for additional job details

For expressions of interest in any of these vacancies please contact Dr Yeshpal Singh ( or Kathleen Hynes (

Adverts for the individual ESR positions from the FACT Partners will appear on EURAXESS in due course. They will also be added to the FACT website and the individual partner websites.


Required Education Level
Degree Field Physics
Degree Master Degree or equivalent
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EdgbastonBirmingham B15 2TT


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West Midlands

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The University of Birmingham

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EdgbastonBirmingham B15 2TT
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