Research Associate - Experimental Research

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 (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). 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 May of 2022. FRIB 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. Since 2010, MSU’s nuclear physics graduate program is ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of graduate programs.

This position affords an exciting opportunity to become part of the world-class FRIB Laboratory that will enable unique discovery opportunities in nuclear science.

Position overview

FRIB is seeking to fill a position of Research Associate.

Major position responsibilities

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.

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.



  • 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


  • 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 number 3 above


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

How to apply

For immediate consideration, please visit and search for posting number 762849 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 persons with disabilities.

About FRIB and MSU, and the East Lansing community

FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes supporting discoveries about the physics of atomic nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes to benefit society.

MSU is located on one of the largest university campuses in the U.S. on 5,300 tree-filled acres. MSU has 17 degree-granting colleges and is a center for academic and research activities as well as the arts and athletics. The greater Lansing area has a population of more than 460,000 and offers lovely suburban areas, 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. named Lansing as the most affordable city on its 2018 Best Affordable Places to Live list and one of the 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live. East Lansing is one of the Best Places to Live according to the 2019 ranking by Neighboring city Okemos is No. 1 in the 2020 Best Places to Live in Michigan ranking.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The university and FRIB encourage applications or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.