Research Associate - LEBIT

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a new national 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 national user facility that will expand nuclear science into a whole new realm of possibility.

Position Overview

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) invites applications from outstanding candidates for a fixed-term research associate (Postdoctoral Researcher) position in the area of experimental nuclear science, who will work in the research group of Prof. Ringle.

Major Position Responsibilities

The successful candidate will primarily work on hardware developments and experiments related to the LEBIT facility, which is used to perform high-precision mass spectrometry on rare isotopes produced at the NSCL now, and FRIB in the future.  The LEBIT group is very active, typically performing multiple rare isotope measurements per year, as well as mass measurements of naturally occurring isotopes of scientific interest.  The range of science topics addressed by these measurements is broad, including nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, highly-forbidden decays, etc.  The new Single-Ion Penning Trap (SIPT) project will enable mass measurements with a single ion using the Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) technique.  SIPT is in the final stages of commissioning and will be available for first rare-isotope measurements in the near future.  An additional technical development currently underway is the implementation of the Phase Imaging Ion Cyclotron Resonance (PI-ICR) technique, which will offer improved resolution in shorter times.  A collision-induced-dissociation gas cell (CID GC) demonstrator is currently being developed to improve the purity of beams delivered to LEBIT and other experiments sensitive to molecular contaminants.  There is no shortage of opportunities to perform cutting-edge science with LEBIT that can’t be done anywhere else in the world.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in Nuclear Physics, Nuclear & Radiochemistry, Nuclear Astrophysics, or related fields
  • High potential for excellence in research, as demonstrated through completed research projects and publications in peer-review journals
  • Excellent communication skills to present approaches, plans, and findings as evidenced by presentations at conferences, workshops, or other professional meetings
  • Solid knowledge of principles and techniques pertaining to nuclear and/or atomic science and experimental research, demonstrated by the preparation, execution, and analysis of experiments
  • Demonstrable experience with the development of computer programs for the purpose of acquiring and analyzing data, ion optics simulations, and control systems for unique experimental equipment
  • Demonstrable experience with the successful development of experimental instruments
  • Strong interest in mass measurement experiments with rare isotope beams with applications in nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, and/or fundamental interactions, as described in the application for the position
  • Ability to work with export controlled technologies

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience with ion trap techniques used in nuclear science experiments
  • Demonstrated experience with ion trap techniques used for high-precision mass spectrometry
  • Demonstrated experience designing, building, and commissioning ion-trap-based experiments for any field


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 693654 and follow the application process.

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

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 $730M. 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 U.S. 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 350,000 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.