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Ph.D. Intern in Quantum Computing

The Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD) researchers lead major R&D efforts in experimental and theoretical interfacial chemistry, chemical analysis, high energy physics, interfacial catalysis, multifunctional materials, and integrated high-performance and data-intensive computing.

PCSD is PNNL’s primary steward for research supported by the Department of Energy’s Offices of Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific Computing Research, and Nuclear Physics, all within the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Additionally, Directorate staff perform research and development for private industry and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and NASA. The Directorate's researchers are members of interdisciplinary teams tackling challenges of national importance that cut across all missions of the Department of Energy.

The High-Performance Computing (HPC) Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking Ph.D. Interns for this fall with a strong background in distributive quantum computing, quantum computing architecture, numerical simulation of quantum systems, quantum networking, and/or quantum error correction. The candidate will be expected to contribute to world-leading research as part of PNNL within its US Dept. of Energy funded projects. The candidate will be expected to collaborate closely with laboratory personnel in computing and application domains, as well as researchers at collaborating national laboratories, universities, and industry partners on center activities focused on the development, application, benchmarking, compilation, and optimization of quantum architecture and software.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities Include:

  • Developing frameworks on mapping existing QASM programs to a new quantum architecture
  • Investigating the distillation protocols for networking and magic state
  • Developing high-performance simulation tools and environments on classical HPC clusters for efficient quantum circuit simulation
  • Research on quantum error mitigation and error correction
  • Publish results in top-tier computer architecture conferences and journals, including ISCA, ASPLOS, MICRO, HPCA, and others
  • Interact with internal and external research staff and domain scientists for collaboration purposes
  • Participate in and potentially lead technical presentations on the work
  • Participate in team meetings

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates must be currently enrolled/matriculated in a PhD program at an accredited college.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Quantum computing or quantum physics background
  • Experience with Qiskit
  • Experience with GPU programming languages and programming models, including CUDA
  • Experience with quantum transpilation or other circuit optimization techniques
  • Experience with quantum noise models or quantum error correction code

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment
Not applicable

Testing Designated Position
This is not a Testing Designated Position (TDP)

About PNNL
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or ~3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity
Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at

Drug Free Workplace
PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

HSPD-12 PIV Credential Requirement
In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and Department of Energy (DOE) Order 473.1A, new employees are required to obtain and maintain a HSPD-12 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credential.  To obtain this credential, new employees must successfully complete and pass a Federal Tier 1 background check investigation.  This investigation includes a declaration of illegal drug activities, including use, supply, possession, or manufacture within the last year.  This includes marijuana and cannabis derivatives, which are still considered illegal under federal law, regardless of state laws.

Mandatory Requirements
Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries, you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Rockstar Rewards
Regular Hourly:

Employees are offered an employee assistance program and business travel insurance. Employees are eligible for the company funded pension plan and 401k savings plan, once eligibility requirements are met.

Temporary Hourly:

Employees are offered an employee assistance program and business travel insurance.

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Notice to Applicants
PNNL lists the full pay range for the position in the job posting. Starting pay is calculated from the minimum of the pay range and actual placement in the range is determined based on an individual’s relevant job-related skills, qualifications, and experience. This approach is applicable to all positions, with the exception of positions governed by collective bargaining agreements and certain limited-term positions which have specific pay rules.

As part of our commitment to fair compensation practices, we do not ask for or consider current or past salaries in making compensation offers at hire. Instead, our compensation offers are determined by the specific requirements of the position, prevailing market trends, applicable collective bargaining agreements, pay equity for the position type, and individual qualifications and skills relevant to the performance of the position.

Minimum Salary
USD $22.93/Hr.
Maximum Salary
USD $35.00/Hr.