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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 580784
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Facility For Rare Isotope Beams
Department: Facility For Rare Isotope Beams 10049299
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Position Summary

The NSSC is consortium of eight universities: University of California at Berkeley, Irvine, and Davis, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Texas A&M University, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, George Washington University, and Michigan State University.  The NSSC also includes five national laboratory partners: Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia National Laboratories.  The mission of the NSSC is to support of the nation’s nuclear security agenda, recruit and train students and postdoctoral researchers in relevant nuclear disciplines in preparation for research and leadership roles at the U.S. national laboratories.  The local PIs at MSU include S.N. Liddick, A. Gade, H. Iwasaki, and A. Spyrou. The successful candidate will work within the group of one of the NSSC PIs but is encouraged to participate in other opportunities available within the NSSC and NSCL. The focus of the NSSC PIs are listed below:


Alexandra Gade: Nuclear structure studies with γ-ray tagged direct reactions to probe single-particle and collective degrees of freedom

Hironori Iwasaki: Nuclear Spectroscopy and excited-state lifetime measurements

Sean Liddick: Nuclear structure and astrophysics probed through the decay of neutron-rich rare isotopes.

Artemisia Spyrou: Nuclear astrophysics experiments with radioactive beams, with a focus on heavy element nucleosynthesis 


NSCL is one of the world’s flagship nuclear science research facilities. The Laboratory’s research program is broad: fast, stopped, and reaccelerated beams of rare-isotopes are available to address key scientific questions concerning the creation of the elements in the cosmos, the limits of nuclear stability, the properties of nuclei with extreme neutron-to-proton ratios, and the equation of state of neutron-rich nuclear matter as it may exist inside neutron stars. Postdoctoral researchers play an important role in expanding, improving and utilizing the world-class experimental capabilities at the Laboratory. Experimentalists often work closely with theorists in the Laboratory and beyond and projects can involve high-performance computing.

NSCL is part of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beam (FRIB) Laboratory, which aspires to become the world’s leading laboratory for education and research in rare isotope science, in accelerator science, and in applications of rare isotopes to meet societal needs. To realize this vison, the FRIB Laboratory builds on the expertise and the achievements of NSCL as it establishes FRIB, which will extend the frontier of nuclear science through unprecedented discovery potential.

Research Associate positions are typically for two years, depending on the availability of funds. Renewal for the second year is based on a performance evaluation. A third year is possible, subject to funding and satisfactory performance evaluations.

Besides the excellent research environment, the FRIB Laboratory offers a strong program for mentoring postdoctoral researchers in preparation for the next steps in their careers. You can read more in the postdoc mentoring plan. Postdoctoral researchers play a role in running the Laboratory, from leading forefront research to serving on important committees. They help supervise students and, for those interested, there are opportunities to engage with teaching and outreach.

NSCL is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Nuclear Physics program of the NSF Physics Division to be a national user facility with a mission to provide beams of rare isotopes for researchers from around the world. Hundreds of users come to Michigan State University each year to take advantage of our facilities and explore the inner workings of atoms and their role in the universe.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Nuclear Physics, Nuclear & Radiochemistry

Minimum Requirements

  • Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, Nuclear & Radiochemistry, Nuclear Astrophysics, or related fields
  • Authorized to work in the US 
  • Interest expressed in one of the research areas listed above
  • Ability to work with export controlled technologies

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrable knowledge of principles and techniques pertaining to nuclear science, nuclear astrophysics, and experimental research
  • Experience with computer programming for the purpose of acquiring and analyzing data and for the comparison with model predictions
  • Excellent communication skills to present approaches, plans, and findings both verbally and through written documents to peers

Required Application Materials

In the cover letter of their application, applicants must highlight their interest in and experience/expertise related to the open position in the NSSC. Applicants must provide a Curriculum Vita including a complete list of publications and presentations. Applicants must provide contact information for three referees  to provide letters of recommendation.

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin immediately and the search will continue until the positions are filled. General questions regarding the position may be sent to the Associate Director for Experimental Research, Remco Zegers (; specific research questions should be sent to Prof. Sean Liddick (

Review of Applications Begins On



MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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