HR training for quantum science and technology

With the 2nd Quantum Revolution, fundamentally new quantum technologies are being developed that tap on subtle features of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement. These are harnessed for breakthrough applications:

  • Quantum computing;
  • Quantum communications;
  • Quantum sensing;
  • Quantum simulation.

There is an urgent need for institutions and countries to join this new wave of scientific and technological innovations. Europe must gather and foster a critical mass in these fields if we are to remain competitive in the next decades.

The Quantum Portugal Initiative (QPI) has seen FCT, INL and several Portuguese universities join forces to train a new generation of PhD students in Portugal in these areas.

The first steps

There was an open FCT call to students looking to enrol in a doctorate programme in any higher education institution in Portugal, in one of the following core areas:

  • Quantum communication
  • Quantum computation and simulation
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum materials for quantum science and technology
  • Sensors and imaging for quantum metrology.

From over 100 applications, a total of 24 students were selected by a panel of outside experts, and were awarded FCT PhD grants to pursue their studies at various Portuguese institutions. The starting dates varied, from mid-2020 to very recently.

INL offered the possibility of co-supervision by INL researchers, and access to INL facilities to support their projects.

These 24 students are co-hosted by the universities of Porto, Aveiro, Minho, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The internationalisation aspect of these projects is reflected by co-supervision or planned secondments abroad, at: Aalborg University (DK), Universiteit van Amsterdam (NL), University of Cambridge (UK), French quantum technologies start-up Quandela, and the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre – IMEC (BE).

INL has also set-up the QPI Lectures, a series of freely accessible live webinars organized by INL, to track the rapid progress of research and development in quantum science and technology. These free, online webinars have been providing a technically-minded audience with overviews of these disruptive areas, given by researchers who are world leaders in their fields. This on-going lecture series has already featured 12 speakers, with the events’ videos made publicly available:

The future

The 24 PhD projects are developing well. Here are some of the project topics:

  • Quantum machine learning
  • Quantum-assisted secure multi-party computation
  • Topological insulators and 2D materials
  • Single-spin magnetometry with a scanning tunnelling microscope
  • Quantum contextuality and coherence in quantum computation
  • Photonic quantum computation

Despite the recent start, we have identified already 27 publications of QPI students, jointly with their supervisors (see list at the end).

INL is doing their part, co-hosting the 24 initial QPI projects.

We hope this initiative is supported in the future with further PhD and post-graduate grants to help give Portugal a head-start in this rapidly developing area.


Recent publications by QPI students jointly with their supervisors. (Surveyed on Sept. 22nd, 2023.)


Daniel Brito
Carlos Fernandes
Luísa Pimental
Pedro Miguel Cruz
Tiago Queirós
Zeinab Rahmani
Maurício Quintela
Francisca Guedes
António Ruiz Molero
Anita Camillini
Manisha Jain
Catarina Martins
Maria Lopes
Ana Neri
Rafael Wagner
Mariana Gomes
Yelko Del Castillo Hernández
James Caleb Peters
Angelos Bampounis
Henrique Teixeira
Guilherme Ribeiro
Raman Choudhary
Pedro Conceição