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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Experimental Nuclear/Particle Physics (multiple positions)
University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts
Date Posted 05/12/2022
Postdoctoral-Researcher Other
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Apply now Job no:513684
Work type:Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location:UMass Amherst
Department: Physics
Union: Post Doc
Categories:Laboratory & Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Experimental Nuclear Physics Research at UMass Amherst

UMass nuclear physicists play a leading role in the MOLLER experiment at Jefferson Lab, now in the engineering design and construction phase, and poised to make the world’s most precise measurement of a low energy purely leptonic weak neutral current process. Ongoing activities focus on engineering design support, simulations, prototype testing, and software and analysis infrastructure for installation and commissioning.

UMass nuclear physicists are also involved in the nEXO double beta decay experiment, with leadership roles in the design of the detector calibration, cryogenics, and xenon purification and handling systems. UMass nEXO R&D includes laboratory tests to characterize SiPM sensors for xenon scintillation, studies of LXe optical parameters, and development of laser-driven photocathodes for in-situ charge calibrations.

Faculty members are also involved in the DarkSide experiment searching for particle dark matter with large liquid argon detectors, in measurements of the solar neutrino spectrum with Borexino, the LZ dark matter experiment, searches for low-mass dark matter with superfluid helium detectors, the Fermilab muon g-2 experiment, searches for permanent electric dipole moments of fundamental particles, and precision tests of QCD.  The department is home to a large group working on ATLAS at the LHC and the Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions (ACFI) that brings together theorists and experimentalists at the interface of the intensity, cosmic, and energy frontiers of particle physics through workshops, schools, and support for visiting scientists.

Job Summary

Postdoctoral Research Associate to carry out experimental nuclear physics research on precision tests of the strong and electroweak interactions using electron scattering and/or searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay. The specific projects of focus will be MOLLER and/or nEXO. Synergistic R&D on the P2 experiment at Mainz, the SOLID proposal at JLab, future high luminosity measurements at the EIC, EXO-200 data analysis and the DarkSide Experiment could also be part of the research activities.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Collaborate in the design, simulations, testing, prototyping, construction and commissioning of the MOLLER experiment at Jefferson Lab and/or the nEXO project.
  • R&D on novel particle and light detectors.
  • Monte Carlo simulations to aid in the design and evaluation of performance of radiation-hard detectors and light and charge collection in noble liquid time projection chambers.

Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in Experimental Nuclear, Particle Physics, or in a closely related field.
  • Experience and skill with nuclear/particle experiment hardware development and/or simulation and data analysis.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Prior participation in the design and analysis of accelerator-based or underground precision measurements and/or rare event searches.
  • Experience with particle detector design and construction.
  • Experience with low-background and fluid handling techniques for rare event searches.
  • Familiarity with lasers for nuclear and particle physics applications.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical experimental research environment.

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm, 40 hours a week (100% FTE).

Salary Information

Commensurate with experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three (3) letters of recommendation from professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and the search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified and positions are filled.

Enquiries and/or clarifications on the position description can be directed to: kkumar@umass.edu and/or pocar@umass.edu .

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion )

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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