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HSE Faculty of Physics Looking for Young Laboratory Heads in Breakthrough Fields

© Essentials/ iStock

HSE University is pleased to announce an international competition for experimental research laboratories in such breakthrough fields of contemporary physics as Quantum Technologies and Novel Functional Materials. The winners will have a chance to head and develop new research laboratories based out of the HSE Faculty of Physics.

Purpose of the Competition

The Faculty of Physics was launched in October 2016, and, by November 2017, HSE had entered the Times Higher Education ranking in physics for the first time, taking its place in the 401-500 cohort..

‘The key strategic task of the Faculty of Physics is to make HSE a globally recognized centre of research in physics,’ explained Mikhail Trunin, Faculty Dean. He notes: ‘To achieve this, we need to develop our academic environment and relevant infrastructure. First of all, we need cutting-edge research laboratories in such rapidly developing areas of condensed matter physics as Quantum Technologies and Novel Functional Materials’.

The new labs will help HSE be closely integrated into the global academic process, while also taking advantage of the faculty’s cooperation with Russian and globalleading research centres. Furthermore, the laboratories will be able to attract additional funding, and the results of their activities will form the basis for start-ups. We expect to encounter mayor demand on the part of companies for such research outcomes. In addition, these labs will serve as cutting edge (first class) experimental learning platforms for HSE students.

What Will The Labs Do?

The laboratories’ areas of research will include new and exciting fields by global standards.

The laboratories’ possible tasks may include:

  • developing quantum nanostructure forming technologies with preset characteristics, including their subsequent characterization;
  • studying a new generation of computer elements – qubit systems on acceptor atoms in monoisotopic silicon and grapheme;
  • developing high-speed detectors capable of tracking physical processes on the surface of crystals and heterostructures in real-time, diffraction-limited optical devices, quantum sensors for ultra-cold atoms, and single molecule detectors.

HSE plans to allocate up to 480 million roubles for the latest technologies to be used in the labs’ operations, as well as for their delivery and installation. The number of laboratories to be created will depend on the amount of money that the participants can effectively justify in their applications. For instance, the maximum cost for the equipment of one lab cannot exceed 150 million roubles.

For paying wages and other expenses, each laboratory will be able to receive 7 million roubles in 2019, as well as 13 million roubles annually in 2020-2024.

Key Provisions of the Competition

The competition invites young researchers with experience in Quantum Technologies and Novel Functional Materials who received their PhD (or Candidate of Sciences) degree no more than 15 years ago. Furthermore, the competition will evaluate their publication activities, experience in leading research teams, the relevance of the research to be carried out at the laboratory, the achievability of the forecast results, and the compliance of the requested equipment with the stated objectives.

Applications in English should be submitted by April 1, 2019. After applications are evaluated by independent experts, successful candidates will be invited for interviews (via videoconference, if they are not in Moscow). The competition’s results will be announced no later than May 30, 2019.

‘The labs will focus on innovative fields of contemporary physics,’ said Vladimir Lebedev, Professor at the HSE Faculty of Physics, adding: ‘And they will be headed and overseen by highly qualified researchers, capable of engaging in innovative work. Such people are somewhat hard to find on the global job market, but HSE nonetheless is ready to compete with the world’s leading universities for such professionals.’

The competition’s provisions and application form are available here.

What Comes Next?

The competition’s winners will sign job contracts with HSE as their primary place of employment up until the end of 2024. They will form laboratory teams and develop respective research agendas, procure the equipment and make sure it is used properly, raise funding from external sources, and ensure the laboratories’ integration with HSE’s regular educational processes.

The laboratory teams, which shall include undergraduate and postgraduates, will have an opportunity to publish their papers in respected international academic journals, as well as speak at conferences around the world. In addition, the laboratories will become departments under the Faculty of Physics and be based out of one of HSE’s buildings on Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa (in the 1940s, the famed academician Pyotr Kapitsa worked here).

Furthermore, every five years, the laboratories will be subject to an international expert evaluation of their operations, as a result of which, a decision on prolonging their funding for the next period shall be made.

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