Quantum Technologies Scientific Director

Ikerbasque, the Basque Foundation for Science, in alliance with DIPC, a center of the network of Basque Excellence Research Centers BERCs, is opening the call for applications for the position of QUANTUM TECHNOLOGIES SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR.

The new Scientific Director should prove excellent scientific background in the field of quantum science and technology, paired with strategy and leadership skills to lead the consolidation of the quantum strategy for the future years. Only applicants with a strong scientific and leadership background will be considered.

The Scientific Director should be a person with a solid research track record in the area of HPC and quantum technologies and at least 15 years research experience after the completion of the PhD. She/He should also have experience in the top management of high-profile research institutes which would include: defining and deploying strategies, running management duties. Expected candidates may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted projects, awards, prizes, etc.

The purpose of this position will be to lead the research and innovation strategy of the Basque Country in the area of quantum. The Basque Government is pursuing a strong and sustained investment of over 120 million euro in research, development and innovation in the field of quantum technologies, through its IKUR 2030 Strategy.

This strategy currently includes five quantum areas: Communication, Computation, Simulation, Sensing/Metrology and Basic Science.

 These topics will be deployed in four core research lines:

  • Fundamentals of quantum technologies
  • Development of materials for quantum technologies
  • Developments in photonics with applications in quantum technologies
  • Development of software and engineering to accelerate experimentation, application, and transfer

The IKUR strategy aims at creating an ecosystem of Research, Talent and Innovation in Quantum Technologies, with sufficient critical mass and connected internationally, so that it can become a pole of attraction for the brightest researchers from around the world and for the development of innovative business opportunities in the field of Quantum Technologies.

Ikerbasque, the Basque Foundation for Science, is an established research foundation in the Basque Country, Spain. With an annual budget of 30 million euro, Ikerbasque currently employs 345 researchers from 35 nationalities who develop their research in 24 universities and research centers in the Basque Country in all research fields. Ikerbasque has also fostered the creation of a network of nine excellence research centers -BERCs- in the Basque Country.

The position of Quantum Technologies Scientific Director will carry a permanent contract based in the Basque Country, competitive salary and excellent working conditions to establish and develop a solid research career in Ikerbasque. The envisaged starting date of the position will be the second semester of 2023 (or at the earliest convenience of the appointed candidate). 

Duties and responsibilities of the position

In the framework of the Quantum Strategy of the Basque Country, the Quantum Technologies Scientific Director will:

  • Revise and implement the quantum technologies strategy for the 2023 – 2030 period in coordination with the Basque Government
  • Define the long-term R+D+I strategy in quantum technology
  • Define research lines in quantum technologies
  • Be responsible for Quantum Technologies infrastructure’s system 
  • Propose a higher education innovative academic offer in the field of quantum technology   
  • Identify quantum technology research impact opportunities 
  • Propose and direct the deployment of the annual scientific plans 
  • Set and be responsible for the accomplishment of the strategic objectives 
  • Obtain national and international research funding
  • Identify and attract the necessary research personnel at senior and junior level, with a special commitment to coaching, mentoring and development of Research Line leaders
  • Develop the international research collaborations
  • Be capable and skilled at media relations and public speaking with both scientific and lay audiences

Requirements for applicants

Recognised scientific and leadership excellence in the field of quantum:

  • The Scientific Director should be a person with a proven research track in the field of quantum and at least 15 years research experience after the completion of the PhD.
  • Leadership in people and teams in academic/research environments– at least 5 years in duties related to managing research teams on various levels and skills and experience in supporting and nurturing the careers of younger scientists.
  • Demonstrated experience and a long-term successful record in obtaining research funding internationally and managing and directing scientific research programmes, including a commitment to scientific excellence and accompanying energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to facilitate and foster research efforts at the forefront of science.
  • Strong sense of responsibility, initiative and self-motivation along with an ambition to develop the Basque Quantum agenda to a world-class standard.
  • Proven capacity to take decisions, both at strategic and operational level.
  • Language: English proficiency. Knowledge of Spanish and Basque will be a plus.

Recruiting Process


  • Opening date: May 12, 2023
  • Closing date: June 12, 2023

Interested candidates should send the following information by email to

  • a letter of interest, including a description of past research and leadership experience and future proposed plan for the position
  • CV

Selection procedure:

  • Collection of applications (CV and motivation letter) 
  • Evaluation of candidates by the Scientific Advisory Board of Ikerbasque
  • Final appointment: approval by the Executive Committee of Ikerbasque and appointment for the position


  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • Appointment to start in the 2Q 2023 or at the earliest convenience of the selected candidate