The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT ”la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers—of any nationality—who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Spanish or Portuguese territory. Sponsored by ”la Caixa” Foundation, it is aimed at supporting the best scientific talent and fostering innovative and high-quality research in Spain and Portugal by recruiting outstanding international students and offering them an attractive and competitive environment for conducting research of excellence.
The Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona is a research centre accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence María de Maeztu in 2020, the perfect place to carry out your PhD project through an INPhINIT Incoming fellowship.
We are currently entering the so-called second quantum revolution, where the high control of nature at the smallest scales is allowing us to build a fantastic set of new technology based on quantum mechanics. Among the many open fronts, a fascinating one is the possibility of producing human taylor made new materials with exoctic quantum properties, e.g. new superfluids.
There is important experimental progress in the field of ultradilute quantum gases in the last few years, in particular, in the realization of ultradilute quantum liquids and dipolar gases. Ultracold atomic systems are a perfect testbed for quantum theories for three main reasons:
(i) They are extremely pure and defect free
(ii) They are highly controllable in terms of the interactions between atoms
(iii) The trapping potentials can be custom made, i.e. lattices, 1D systems, etc.
Recently, quantum ultradilute liquids have been experimentally created in the experimental group of Prof. Tarruell at ICFO (Spain) , featuring densities that are eight orders of magnitude more dilute as compared to the usual ones. Such many-body systems are self-bound, akin to liquid drops or nuclei. It is of great interest to study their properties and to predict the possible existence of such ultradilute liquids in other systems, i.e. in lattice-trapped atoms [2,3]. In another important recent experiment in the group of Prof. Lev (Stanford), a topological pumping mechanism has been experimentally produced in dysprosium gases trapped in 1D systems . Interestingly, in this case, the atoms feature long-range dipolar interactions, opening the possibility of building quantum simulators of materials featuring exotic quantum phases.
 C. R. Cabrera, et al., Science 359, 301 (2018).
 I Morera, et al., Phys. Rev. Res. 2 (2), 022008 (2020).
 I Morera, et al., Phys. Rev. Letts. 126 (2), 023001 (2021).
 Wil Kao, et al., Science 371, 296 (2021).
Job position description
The research project aims at providing an accurate ab initio description by means of state-of-the-art Montecarlo and Tensor networks tools, combined with analytical tools and exact diagonalization calculations. The ICCUB group has ample experience in using tensor networks, exact diagonalization and analytical tools. The project will be cosupervised by Prof. Astrakharchik, a long-term collaborator of the group, currently on a one-year stay in the group, who is a world expert in Monte Carlo methods applied to many-body quantum systems. The research group is currently composed of five senior members, three visiting professors, one postdoc, and two PhD students.
The main objectives of this work are:
● Theoretically study the physical properties of state-of-the-art exotic quantum fluids produced in ultracold atomic laboratories worldwide.
● Learn and apply the Tensor networks and Montecarlo techniques to study many-body quantum systems, in particular exotic quantum liquids and low-dimensional quantum many-body systems.
The fellow will join the Quantum Technologies area of the ICCUB and will participate actively in our Quantum Technologies meetings and seminars. The student will join our network of international collaborators.
During the PhD period, the student will participate in Schools and Workshops to strengthen his/her background, and will be encouraged to present the results of the research at international conferences. The fellow is expected to learn: i) Performing theoretical and computational high-quality research; ii) Participating in the preparation of manuscripts for publication and presentations at scientific conferences.
Prof. Bruno Julia Diaz
Research product / Research group
Many-body quantum physics group
The maximum total payment amount will be €122,592, as broken down below:
- An annual payment of €35,800 to the institution to cover the Fellow’s contract, who will receive a gross annual income around €28.000. This amount might vary if there are modifications in the legal framework.
- €3,500 per year, as an additional amount for conferences, courses, research stays, consumables, equipment, charges for the use of intellectual property, etc.
The ”la Caixa” Foundation will award a prize of €7,500 (subject to taxes), which will be paid to the fellows who deposit their thesis within 6 months after the third year of their fellowship has ended.
- The tuition fees to the official doctoral programme
In addition to financial support, the fellowship includes a training programme on transversal skills, which has been specially designed by leading international institutions in the sector.
For more information on the employment conditions, please refer to this document.
Working at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences
The Institute of Cosmos Sciences is a research institute of the University of Barcelona. It is an interdisciplinary centre dedicated to fundamental research in the fields of cosmology, astrophysics, and particle physics. In addition, the institute has a strong technology program through its participation in international collaborations in observational astronomy and experimental particle physics.
Moreover, the ICCUB participates in many key international scientific consortia and projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the Gaia astrometric space mission, the MAGIC / CTA high-energy astrophysics telescopes, and the Virgo gravitational wave detector, among others. Additional information about the Institute and the University of Barcelona can be found here.
You will be encouraged to contribute and interact with other researchers in the vibrant and international research environment as well as to participate in our outreach initiatives, more information at serviAstro and serviParticules.
As part of the University of Barcelona, the ICCUB is a recipient of the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) Award, which recognises, among other achievements, respect for equal opportunities and the capacity to attract talent in a positive working environment that promotes the pursuit of successful research careers. The ICCUB respects the principles of open, transparent, merit-based selection. We strongly encourage women and underrepresented minorities in physical sciences to apply. For additional information please see the Diversity, equity and inclusion Commission.
The ICCUB is located in Barcelona, considered the 8th World's Best Cities 2021: one with near-perfect weather year-round, miles and miles of beaches, iconic parks, striking architecture and colourful neighbourhoods that march to their own beat—artistic, sophisticated, bohemian. Moreover, it is a pole of attraction for the technology sector, a top choice to establish a company in this sector, and it hosts some of the world's major technological events, such as the Mobile World Congress and the Smart City Expo. In addition, Barcelona and its metropolitan area is a leading destination on the map of global technological ecosystems and has infrastructures such as science parks, universities and the 22@ district.
In order to be accepted, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Experience: At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree or be in a position to apply for one.
- Studies pursued: Applicants must hold a higher education degree that makes them eligible to enroll in a doctoral programme before starting at their host institutions.
The host university will verify, upon starting the admission process to the doctoral programme, that the studies taken up by the selected candidates make them eligible to enroll in an official doctoral programme in accordance with the regulations in force in Spain or Portugal. Should they be found not eligible after verification, the fellowship will be withdrawn.
Under no circumstances may candidates have previously enrolled in the same doctoral studies for which they are applying for the fellowship.
- Geographic mobility: Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.
- Level of English: Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).
For more information on the candidates requirements, please refer to this document.
Inquiries about the application submission can be directed to email@example.com.
Deadline: Please submit your applications by January 25th 2023 at 2pm.
The process is comprised of three phases:
- Eligibility screening: all applications received are reviewed to check the accomplishment of the eligibility criteria published in the rules for participation
- Remote evaluation (shortlisting): an evaluation panel will review the applications and those that receive the highest scores will pass to the next stage.
- Personal interviews: shortlisted candidates are invited to a remotely interview before a multidisciplinary committee on May 23, 35 and 25 2023.
The rating criteria that govern the selection process can be found in the Evaluation of applications section of the ”la Caixa” Fellowship Programme website.
For more information on the selection process, please refer to this document.
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No713673.
The co-funded part of the programme runs from 01/10/2016 to 30/09/2021 and finances the researchers recruited under Call 2017 and 2018.