Universality in Non-Equilibrium Quantum Systems

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact Dr Sascha Wald.


Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

Project details

Complex systems are wholes that are more than the sum of their parts. They are ubiquitous and comprise phenomena reaching from migrating birds to socializing humans, from granular flow to traffic, even including the quantum world from Bose-Einstein condensation to superconductivity. Although the description of complex systems is important to understand emergent phenomena in the everyday world, a consistent and tractable formulation remains a significant challenge. In particular, for quantum systems this challenge is further complicated due to many-body entanglement.

Entanglement is a phenomenon occurring in complex quantum systems that does not allow the description of one constituent of the complex system without considering all the others. To achieve a tractable description of the dynamics of complex quantum systems we will use quantum cellular automata. Cellular Automata represent a controlled approach to describing complex dynamics by introducing a fixed set of rules that dictate the time evolution during discrete time steps. This allows generating many-body entanglement gradually from few-body entanglement such that a numerical and analytical description is attainable. Key questions of the project are how quantum entanglement affects the universal physics of complex systems and how to exploit these findings for designing quantum computers and increasing their performance.


Tuition fees and bursary.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/research-entry-criteria/

Additional requirements

In addition to the candidate specification above it is expected that the successful candidate holds or be on course for a BSc or MSc degree in mathematics or physics. The candidate should be motivated to perform numerical simulation, with knowledge of programming languages, such as C++, Python, etc. Experience with tensor networks is seen as an advantage but not a requirement. Informal enquiries are required and should be addressed to Dr Sascha Wald (sascha.wald@coventry.ac.uk). Please send a full CV and transcript of grades before completing the Coventry application process

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Sascha Wald.

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