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Research Associate-Fixed Term

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 762849
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Facility For Rare Isotope Beams
Department: Facility For Rare Isotope Beams 10049299
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) user facility for nuclear science. Hosting the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes. FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of atomic nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes benefitting society.

FRIB will commence scientific user operation in 2022. It is funded by DOE-SC, Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan, with user facility operation supported by the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics.

Research Disciplines

The successful candidates will have the unique opportunity to contribute to one or more of the research programs listed below:

    1. Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC)  - The NSSC is a consortium of eight universities and five national laboratory partners created to support 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.* 
      • Nuclear structure studies with γ-ray tagged direct reactions to probe single-particle and collective degrees of freedom (Alexandra Gade)
      • Nuclear spectroscopy and excited-state lifetime measurements (Hironori Iwasaki)
      • Nuclear structure and astrophysics probed through the decay of neutron-rich rare isotopes (Sean Liddick)
      • Nuclear astrophysics experiments with radioactive beams, with a focus on heavy element nucleosynthesis (Artemisia Spyrou)
    2. Study of open quantum systems - The goal of the research is to explore the limits of nuclear stability, study the properties of weakly bound nuclei, and understand the nuclear reactions to produce the rarest isotopes.
      • Search for new isotopes (Brad Sherrill, Oleg Tarasov)
      • Study of the properties of weakly bound nuclei (Paul Gueye, Thomas Baumann,)
      • Fragment separation and the production mechanisms of rare isotopes (Oleg Tarasov, Brad Sherrill)
      • Study of next generation neutron detectors for invariant mass and missing mass spectroscopy of neutron-unbound states (Thomas Baumann, Paul Gueye)
    3. The Precision Measurements group at FRIB performs experiments to determine atomic masses, nuclear radii, and searches for exotic decays. Their impacts on interpretation of astrophysical observables, understanding the organization of protons and neutrons in a nucleus, and the study of the fundamental symmetries in nature are the focus of our research program.
      • Nuclear structure studies through charge radii and EOS with laser assisted techniques (Kei Minamisono)
    4. Nuclear structure and reactions research at FRIB – The groups of (Bazin, Gade, Iwasaki and Liddick) perform complementary research involving direct reactions, beta decay and in-beam spectroscopy and excited-state lifetime measurements with fast and reaccelerated beams using a variety of cutting-edge instrumentation such as the AT-TPC, the FRIB decay station initiator, GRETINA, and the TRIPLEX plunger. The candidate will have the unique opportunity to pursue projects across this portfolio.
    5. Indirect neutron capture studies – The groups of (Liddick and Spyrou) perform research to indirectly constrain neutron capture cross sections for exotic isotopes using beta decay.
    6. Charge-exchange reactions and nuclear astrophysics - The group of (Remco Zegers) performs charge-exchange experiments with unstable beams and stable beams with a focus on the extraction of Gamow-Teller strengths and other nuclear properties that are important for astrophysics and neutrino physics. Experiments utilize fast beams (~100 MeV/u) and involve the S800 spectrometer, the Low-Energy Neutron Detector Array, the AT-TPC, and GRETINA. Projects can also involve astrophysical simulation and reaction studies.
    7. Radiochemical-The group of (Greg Severin) develops radiochemical techniques to access, study, and employ rare isotopes produced at FRIB
  • All postdoctoral researchers are expected to be active members of the department, interact with graduate students, contribute to the ongoing experimental program, and analyze and publish their experiment results in a timely fashion.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Nuclear Physics or related field

Minimum Requirements

  • PhD. in nuclear physics, nuclear or radiochemistry, nuclear astrophysics or related field.
  • An ability to carry out independent and original research as demonstrated by published works in refereed journals and/or conference proceedings.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills, as evidenced by published works and by presentations at conferences, workshops, scientific outreach, and other professional meetings.
  • Strong research interest, demonstrated in the cover letter, in one or more of the specific research areas listed above.
  • Positions within the groups labeled by an “*” above require US citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • Ability to work with export controlled technologies.

Desired Qualifications

  • Programming skills in C++
  • Experience in using ROOT and Geant4
  • Experience in nuclear electronics and data acquisition
  • Experience in detector design and assembly
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze experimental data
  • Experience in laser spectroscopy techniques for opportunity 3

Required Application Materials

  • Cover letter highlighting area of interest and experience related to position
  • CV including complete list of publications and presentations
  • Contact information for at least three references

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

The search committee will review applications the first Wednesday of each month and continue until positions are filled.

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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