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QuEST Postdoc Seed Funding Call 2023/24

QuEST Postdoc Seed Funding Call 2023/24

Imperial’s Centre for Quantum Engineering Science and Technology (QuEST) are inviting postdocs to apply for funding to support their own research aligned with QuEST priorities.

The overarching aim of QuEST is to translate discoveries in quantum science into transformative quantum technologies. The funds are intended to help early career researchers develop and validate their ideas and take a step towards independence, e.g. by strengthening their case for an independent fellowship application.

We expect to fund up to nine proposals of up to £5k each for projects that run before 30 June 2024.

Please read the full details below before submitting your application. Your application should be submitted to no later than Wednesday 10 January 2024, using the QuEST Postdoc Seed Funding - Application Form.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel chaired by Professor Peter Haynes, QuEST Director and representatives from QuEST’s three strategic research areas.

To inspire new research opportunities and aid with your application, we will run a workshop on 1 December 2023. The workshop will provide advice on writing successful proposals, networking opportunities and a sandpit activity to facilitate idea exchange. A separate announcement with registration details will be made shortly.

Eligibility criteria

  • This call is open to all Imperial College London Postdocs with a contract until at least 30 June 2024. (Note: you cannot apply if you have a permanent academic role.)

  • The proposed research activity should be outside of your supervisor’s topic area, and/or you should consider working with a new academic, team, or industrial partner to develop it.

  • The activity must be aligned with QuEST's overarching aim and research areas.

  • The activity must not already have funding from other existing schemes.

  • The activity must be able to be carried out within your 10 development days (in every postdoc contract).

  • We strongly encourage you to discuss participation in this call with your PI/line manager

  • Applications must be made via the application form by 10 January 2024.

  • The aim of the fund is to promote the advancement of your career; therefore, you need to clearly indicate how your proposed activity is different to your PI’s current research.

  • A clear breakdown of costs with justification must be included in the form (Eligible costs are shown below).

  • All proposals should be pitched at a level as to be understood by a non-specialist.


  • The maximum budget per applicant is £5,000.

  • Funds may be used for consumables, software, training, facilities access charges, lab visits, or to set up events (e.g. setting up a workshop on a particular topic).

  • Funds cannot be used to cover salary or conference travel.

  • All expenditure must be incurred by 30 June 2024. Any unspent funds will become eligible for reallocation by QuEST on 1 July 2024.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with QuEST’s overarching aim and research areas.

  2. Scientific excellence of the idea.

  3. Independence from the supervisor/ potential for further funding (e.g. fellowship application).

  4. Feasibility of the proposal to be carried out in ten days.

  5. Justification of budget.

Conditions of Acceptance

Award recipients will be required to:

  • Create a brief summary of their activity for the QuEST website.

  • Provide a summary of the activity on completion with details of the outcomes and next steps.

  • Provide a financial breakdown of how the funds were spent by 15 July 2024.

  • Present a short talk to QuEST members on the activity.


    26 October 2023 – Call opens
    1 December 2023 (14:00-16:00) – Workshop for potential applicants
    10 January 2024 – Deadline for proposals to be submitted to 
    31st January 2024 – Notification of outcome
    1 February to 30 June 2024 – Project window

QuEST DTP Studentships

QuEST has been allocated two DTP studentships by the Faculty of Engineering for the 2024-25 academic year. We are currently inviting applications for these studentships via engineering departments across the College. 

If you would like to nominate a student for one of these awards, details are below:


  • Candidates must be incoming PhD students for the 2024-25 academic year, with home-fee status and registered in the Faculty of Engineering.
  • The candidates project must fall within the remit of “Engineering Quantum Technologies”.

The QuEST DTP studentship will provide up to 3.5 years of support (42 months), including:

  • Full funding for home or Ireland tuition fees.
  • A UKRI-level stipend, including London weighting.
  • A consumables fund of £1,000 per annum for the first three years.

Nomination process:

  • If you are interested in nominating a candidate for a QuEST DTP studentship, you should speak to the PG admissions team in your home department, as departments are collating nominations on behalf of QuEST.
  • Departments have been asked to provide a shortlist of eligible candidates to QuEST no later than 8 January 2024, with the outcomes expected to be returned by 26 January 2024.
  • Nominations will need to include a copy of the candidate’s application and a supporting letter from the potential supervisor.