PhD Position in quantum chemistry at Chalmers University of Technology and AstraZeneca

Job type: 
Application deadline: 
Sunday, March 31, 2019

Are you interested in developing the next generation of computational methods to access drug development using quantum computers? Would you like to apply your expertise in a company that are following the science and turn ideas into life changing medicines? Then you might be the one we are looking for!

AstraZeneca is now recruiting an Industrial PhD student to join the Pharmaceutical Sciences department. The Pharmaceutical Sciences’ mission is to transform molecules into investigational medicines, meeting the unmet needs of future patients. This industry PhD project will be done as part of the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT). The successful individual will be employed by AstraZeneca but mainly be placed at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The PhD project

Early assessment of risk for chemical and physical degradation of pharmaceutical active molecules is today done by a combination of calculation and experimental evaluation of degradation pathways. Quantum chemical calculations of tentative chemical degradation pathways is used for selected molecules, but not all degradation pathways are today possible to asses due to computational limitations and limited mechanistic insight. Quantum computers have the potential to overcome the computational bottleneck of traditional computers. However, significant method and hardware development is needed before quantum acceleration of quantum chemical calculations can become competitive. The end goal with this PhD project is to develop and validate methodology that eventually could be used in drug discovery.


We are looking for an individual that has a strong personal drive, an entrepreneurial mind set, an interest in programming and good understanding of chemical reactivity. You will most likely have a master’s degree in chemistry, theoretical chemistry, physics, mathematics or equivalent. To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field.

A good understanding of quantum mechanics from an undergraduate education is a requirement, and knowledge of quantum information processing and/or quantum chemical calculations are advantageous. Excellent communication skills in English is essential, both oral and written. To be successful, you must be highly motivated and creative, have a problem-solving ability, and enjoy working both by yourself and in close cooperation with others. A curious mindset and a passion for basic science is a prerequisite.


The PhD position is part of the industrial collaboration of the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT) – a 10-year initiative, started in 2018, aimed to advancing Swedish academia and industry to the forefront of quantum technology. For more information, see

As a PhD student within WACQT, you will also be part of the WACQT graduate school, which includes joint courses and summer/winter schools together with PhD students from other universities in the Centre.

If you are interested, apply now!

For more information please contact recruiting manager Anders Broo, PhD on +46 722 108177 or academic supervisor Martin Rahm, PhD on +46 31 7723050

Welcome with your application no later than March 31, 2019.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-driven biopharmaceutical company. We turn ideas into life changing medicines. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. Here, we see the impact of our collective ideas and expertise, and the power of science to deliver them.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.