School of Informatics

PhD studentship in Quantum Computing

Deadline: 30 June 2023 (or until the position is filled)

One fully funded PhD position to work with Prof Elham Kashefi in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh on a project titled “Quantum Computing”. The project is supported by Nomura International PLC. An external partner with a reputation for digital disruption, diversified expertise, and integrated processes.

Quantum Computing is an emerging technology with the potential to transform Finance. This research proposal focuses on the development of algorithms and numerical methods that exploit the unique features of quantum systems, in preparation for the appearance of scalable and fault-tolerant quantum computers.

 The target applications are in the pricing and risk management of financial derivatives. As a mathematical problem, this resolves into two parts:

  • Capturing the distribution of the underlying market variables.
  • Evaluating the moments of the market distribution, potentially with complicated boundary conditions.

The research challenge is to develop algorithms that effectively exploit these quantum features and demonstrate their advantage in applications.

 Candidate’s profile

  • A high level of mathematics and an understanding of quantum mechanics, with experience of learning in quantum computing and data science.  
  • A Bachelor’s Hons degree (at class 2.1 or above, or international equivalent) and/or Master’s degree in a relevant subject (mathematics, physics, computer science). 
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship covers:

  • Full time tuition fees for a student with a Home fee status (£4,712 per annum) or overseas fee status (£29,700 per annum); and
  • A tax free stipend of £18,622 per year for 3.5 years.

Application Information

Please submit an application with 01 Jan 2024 start date via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and the LFCS: Theory and Foundations of Computer Science, Databases, Software and Systems Modelling programme.

Applicants should state the project “Quantum Computing” and the research supervisor (Prof Elham Kashefi) in their application and Research Proposal document. 

Complete applications submitted by 30 June 2023 will receive full consideration; after that date, applications will be considered until the position is filled. 

Applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in the fields of quantum computing and mathematics are encouraged. 

The anticipated start date is 01 Jan 2024 but earlier or later start dates can be considered depending on the immigration requirements of the successful applicant. 

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable).
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable). 
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages).
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Two references.

Only complete applications (i.e. those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.   


The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.


Professor Elham Kashefi

Nomura PhD Studentship Description