We have funding for multiple PhD and postdoctoral positions, suitable for excellent candidates from anywhere in the world.

Our work is based at the Heriot-Watt campus just outside the wonderful city of Edinburgh, and close to the beautiful nature, horrible history and terrible weather of Scotland.

For an idea of the research directions we are heading in, please see our projects page.

What will you be doing?

All positions will require candidates to work extensively both as experimentalists in the lab, and on numerical codes to model our experiments.

Experimental work will involve:

  • Performing and creating rigorous and systematic experiments to explore new physical phenomena.
  • Working with ultrafast optical setups, including pulse compression, synthesis and measurement.
  • Tuning and maintaining high energy ultrafast oscillator, amplifier and parametric amplifier systems.
  • Developing and constructing a high-pressure gas to high-vacuum laser beam-line for infrared, vacuum and extreme ultraviolet experiments.
  • Building optical characterization devices such as Mid-IR, VUV and EUV spectrometers, and pulse measurement devices such as FROGs. Including the development of new pulse characterization techniques in the VUV region.
  • Programming instrument control and data acquisition systems (in python).
  • Working with electronic and mechanical engineers and CAD models.

Our experimental philosophy tends towards building our own devices and systems rather than buying commerical products. This ensures we have greater technical expertise and that our experiments do exactly what we want.

Numerical work will involve:

  • Running existing simulation codes and processing their results.
  • Helping to develop new models and algorithms to simulate pulse propagation, the material response, and other aspects of our experiments.
  • Coding in Julia, python, C++ and Fortran (don’t worry, mostly Julia and python).


You will be expected to:

  • Have a good command of English.
  • Write excellent papers.
  • Be eager and good at presenting your results at international scientific conferences around the world.
  • Be willing to work in collaborations at other laboratories.
  • Have a good sense of fun and a healthy perspective on life.

PhD candidates must have:

  • An excellent academic performance record from a good scientific institution.
  • A proven interest in our field of research.
  • Hands-on experience with any of the above experimental skills will be a major advantage.
  • The will to learn, work hard, be creative and have fun!

Postdoctoral candidates must have all of the PhD requirements, but also:

  • Evidence of producing excellent experimental work in an optical laboratory.
  • A proven record in multiple of the above mentioned skills and techniques.
  • A clear explanation of why they want to join our group and the scientific direction they are heading.

If you are interested, please send an email to John Travers, explaining why.