Research Associate - Accelerator Systems

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 searching for a postdoctoral research associate to join the SRF Department in the FRIB Accelerator Systems Division. The research associate will work to develop next-generation SRF devices such as ultra-low-emittance SRF electron photo-injectors and FRIB energy upgrade SRF cavities and cryomodules. Both efforts are oriented toward pushing the limits of SRF technology. This work will be done under the supervision of FRIB SRF scientists and engineers at a state-of-the-art SRF facility at MSU.

Major position responsibilities

  • Develop new surface preparation methods to improve the quality factor of low-beta coaxial cavities and medium-beta elliptical cavities
  • Characterize the performance of SRF cavities and subsystems via vertical and horizontal tests
  • Conceive and develop new ancillary devices for an SRF photo-injector cryomodule or the FRIB energy upgrade cryomodule
  • Conceive and develop new instrumentation and measurement systems for SRF cavity testing
  • Model and simulate new SRF devices, e.g. EM simulation of SRF cavities and EM/thermal analysis of RF couplers
  • Coordinate with clean room personnel and chemical engineers for SRF cavity surface preparation
  • Develop and/or improve cryomodule components and procedures for better cryomodule performance and reliability



  • PhD in physics or closely related field
  • Demonstrated knowledge of SRF technology
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and technical report writing skills
  • Efficient collaboration within project teams
  • Ability to work with export-controlled items


  • Experience with vertical testing of SRF cavities
  • Experience with cryogenic instrumentation and high-power RF
  • Experience with engineering software such as Labview and Matlab
  • Experience with electromagnetic modeling software such as CST Microwave Studio


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 721565 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.