Research Associate

Research Associate in Experimental Nuclear Science - General, Fixed Term      

Position Summary

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) invites applications from outstanding candidates for fixed-term research associate (Postdoctoral Researcher) positions in the areas of experimental nuclear physics, nuclear & radiochemistry and nuclear astrophysics.

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 vision, 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.

The FRIB Laboratory is a major administrative unit within Michigan State University, comprised of NSCL and the FRIB Project. MSU is establishing FRIB as a scientific user facility with financial assistance from the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC).

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The University actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Job applicants are considered for employment opportunities and employees are treated without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status. The University actively encourages applications of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

Minimum Requirements

Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, Nuclear & Radiochemistry, Nuclear Astrophysics, or related fields.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrable knowledge of principles and techniques pertaining to nuclear science 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

Research associates in experimental nuclear science are usually associated to a particular faculty member at NSCL. Applicants must therefore specify areas of focus and faculty members they want to work with in the cover letter of their application. Applicants must provide a Curriculum Vita including a complete list of publications and presentations. Applicants must also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be submitted.

To apply: please visit, search for posting number 488140 and follow the application process.

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 the relevant faculty member the applicant is hoping to work with. Openings for specific positions are posted at:

Further information

NSCL Experimental Research, with links to research pages of faculty members: