Senior Research Scientist - Quantum AI and ML

Location: Remote

Team: IconiQ Labs - Research & Development

Type: Full-Time

IonQ is developing the world's most powerful full-stack quantum computer based on trapped-ion technology. We are pushing past the limits of classical physics and current supercomputing technology to unlock a new era of computing. Quantum computing has the potential to impact every area of human society for the better. IonQ’s computers will soon redefine industries like medicine, materials science, finance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptography, and more. IonQ is at the forefront of this technological revolution.


We are looking for a senior research scientist to work on quantum artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). As a research scientist, you’ll be part of a cross-functional team whose mission is to lead IonQ on its journey to build the world’s best quantum computers to solve the world’s most complex problems. 

Your research in quantum AI and ML will develop quantum systems that bring novel approaches to application areas such as image and language processing, decision-making, logistics, and biochemical informatics. You will collaborate with other researchers and engineers to identify core mathematical operations that are common and valuable components in many applications, and develop production implementations and circuit optimizations of such components on IonQ’s quantum hardware. You’ll be running experiments regularly on quantum hardware, with the daily challenge of getting as much scale and accuracy out of the most delicate and promising computing machines ever built.


  • Use the AI and ML literature, and your own inventiveness, to apply AI and ML on quantum computers, to solve practical challenges using real data
  • Extrapolate to predict the accuracy and value of results at larger scales, to understand the hardware scale and reliability that would unlock commercial success
  • Collaborate with other researchers and developers on commercially-important AI and ML projects, particularly to promote engineering best-practices and code reuse across projects
  • Work with quantum hardware, regularly running jobs, analyzing results, identifying strengths and weaknesses in IonQ’s machines and their calibration, and proposing improvements where possible
  • Deliver results in the form of research reports, disclosures, publications, prototype systems, or production code, as appropriate for each project

You’d be a good fit with:

  • Higher degree in Mathematics Physics, Computer Science, Machine Learning, Statistics, Operations Research, or relevant field, or equivalent experience
  • Experience with AI and ML - neural networks, kernel methods, regression and classification, data preparation and evaluation, etc.
  • Hands-on programming skills, including tools like Python, bash, sklearn, git, SQL, web APIs, etc.   
  • Fluency with key mathematical techniques used in quantum computing - vectors, linear operators, transformation groups, matrix decompositions, tensors and tensor networks, probability
  • Proven communication skills. and quick learning ability
  • Success working collaboratively in a team environment

You’d be a great fit with: 

  • Experience with cloud computing and distributed systems
  • Experience in quantum information science, particularly in building quantum circuits and running them successfully on quantum hardware
  • Active research portfolio, and experience publishing and delivering scientific papers in quantum computing, AI, or ML
  • Active software portfolio, including collaborative software design and delivery (for example, contributions to shared open-source projects)
  • Expert knowledge of one or more domain areas, such as image or language processing, logistics, economics, biomedical informatics
  • Track record of cross-team, cross-disciplinary success, ideally in organizations trying to build something technically very complicated and challenging! 

Our HQ is located in College Park, Maryland and we are a 15 minute metro ride from Washington DC. We are actively building out teams in the Washington D.C., Seattle, and Boston metro areas and will want to locate you in one of these geographies. However, IonQ will be expanding into additional geographies both domestically and internationally so don’t let this stop you from applying.
At IonQ, we believe in fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers. We empower employees to thrive by fostering a culture of autonomy, productivity, and respect. We are dedicated to creating an environment  in which any individual can feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued.
We are committed to equity and justice. We welcome different voices and viewpoints and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, and military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
If you are interested in being a part of this team and mission, we encourage you to apply.

IonQ Covid-19 Policy: IonQ requires all employees to provide proof of full vaccination for Covid-19 before starting employment.