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Phd Scholarship: Space-based Quantum Communications Platforms Using Continuous Variables


Any Industry
Source: uWorkin


UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 46 in the QS World University Rankings, 42 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 66 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 54 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The successful student will be a member of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UQ and work within an internationally competitive research environment. The research project is funded by an ARC linkage project involving UQ, UNSW and Northrop Grumman, a major US aerospace company. A generous top-up and travel funds for attending international conferences and visiting collaborators are available. The principal supervisor will be Prof Timothy Ralph at UQ. The associate supervisor will be Prof Robert Malaney at UNSW. Note funding is currently subject to the grant being fully executed.

The award

Supervisor – Professor Timothy Ralph

This work proposes to investigate a new space-borne platform capable of quantum communications with a terrestrial ground station. Different from existing space-borne quantum communication platforms, our new platform will be based on CV (Continuous Variable) technology and will integrate the ability to seamlessly switch to classical Free-Space Optical communications when channel conditions deem quantum communications are too difficult. Currently no quantum satellite built on CV technology exists. Our research will produce a significant advance in an emerging technology space, and will allow Australia to take scientific leadership in an important aspect of ultra-secure communications from satellites. The research involves a major international aerospace company as a partner and is in collaboration with UNSW.

A working knowledge of quantum mechanics and optics would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Selection criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ.

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of physics and particularly quantum mechanics and/or optics and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of quantum optics or quantum communication is highly desirable.


The 2021 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$28,597 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for three years with two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply). A top-up of $10,000 per annum for up to 4 years is also available.


For further information, please contact Professor Timothy Ralph at ralph@physics.uq.edu.au +61 7 3346 9693

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

  • check your eligibility
  • prepare your documentation
  • contact Professor Timothy Ralph (ralph@physics.uq.edu.au) to discuss your suitability for this scholarship

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘QUANTUM-RALPH’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Applications close: 5 July 2021 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time