Research Associate

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on the site of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) on the MSU campus and to be operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB and NSCL will continue to enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.

Rare-isotope beams are produced and separated in-flight, presently at the NSCL Coupled Cyclotron Facility and in the future at FRIB, and subsequently thermalized and reaccelerated to energies up to 6 MeV/u, by the ReAccelerator facility ReA3, a worldwide unique, state-of-the-art accelerator for rare- isotope beams. An upgrade to higher energies (ReA6) is presently under construction. When FRIB comes online, it will supplant the Coupled Cyclotron Facility and provide the highest possible intensity rare isotope beams as input to the ReA facility.

This position affords an exciting opportunity to become part of the world-class FRIB Project, and to get in on the ground floor of an emerging user facility that will expand nuclear science into a whole new realm of possibility.

Position overview

FRIB will be a new world-leading scientific accelerator facility for nuclear science. FRIB is based on a 400 kW, 200 MeV/u heavy ion linear accelerator and uses projectile fragmentation or fission and in-flight separation to provide a wide variety of high-quality beams of rare isotopes, opening exciting research perspectives in low-energy nuclear science. The primary mission of FRIB's Radiation Transport Group is to use computational nuclear analysis expertise and practical applications experience to provide problem-solving tools, technical solutions to quantify effects of beam interaction with matter, and to support radiation safety. The group conducts modeling, analysis, and simulation of radiation transport, radionuclide determinination of inventories and transport behavior, radiological source term characterizations, and contributes to active and passive radiation mitigation and monitoring architectures.

Major position responsibilities

The primary function of this position is to perform work to quantify the effects of radiation in addressing challenging problems that arise from high-energy heavy ion beams interacting with matter. The prediction of prompt and induced radiation effects is a primary focus. The projects typically require the application of nuclear analysis codes, such as radiation transport and activation and depletion codes. In addition to using modeling and simulation for prediction, design, and evaluation, using modeling and simulation can also be used in projects as part of the process of analyzing measurement data taken at the facility during operation. Some projects may also require adding new capabilities to existing modeling and simulation software used at FRIB. The candidate will be expected to work in a team environment and fully document research in journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports.



The successful candidate must have a PhD in physics, nuclear engineering, or related field and should have demonstrated expertise in modeling and simulation methods for nuclear engineering applications, radiation detector characterization, and data analysis. The candidate should have considerable programming experience with high-level languages on a Linux-based operating system. The ability to perform research and development in a collaborative environment is required, including excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work with export controlled items.


The ideal candidate would have diverse experience in many application areas such as neutron and gamma ray detection, and radiation transport technologies. Additional capabilities, such as programming on parallel processors, are a plus. Prior experience with a radiation transport code like MCNP, Phits, or Mars, is desirable but not required.


MSU employees receive excellent benefits including health/dental plans, a generous retirement plan, and educational assistance.

How to apply

For immediate consideration, please go search for posting number 632978 and follow the application process.

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and person with disabilities.

About FRIB and MSU, and the East Lansing community

FRIB is currently under construction and baselined at a total project cost of $730 million. Upon start of user operation in 2022, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes to benefit society.

MSU is one of the largest university campuses in the United States with a beautiful campus of 5,000 tree-filled acres. It has 17 degree-granting colleges and is a center for academic and research activities as well as the arts and athletics.

The campus sits between Lansing (Michigan’s capital city) and East Lansing. The Lansing area has a population of 460,000 and offers lovely suburban areas, loft condos and other urban living opportunities as well as easy-to-get-to rural areas. A symphony orchestra, excellent health care, many community and professional theatres, rivers, lakes, outdoor festivals, close access to large cities and Lake Michigan make for a near-perfect living environment.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.