Research Associate – Nuclear Science and Security Consortium

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is a major new scientific 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, with operations supported by the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB will be operational in 2022. Presently, experiments are performed at MSU at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) supported by the National Science Foundation. NSCL accelerates stable and long-lived rare isotopes. 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.

Position overview

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 within the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) at MSU.

Major position responsibilities

The NSSC is consortium of eight universities: University of California at Berkeley, Irvine, and Davis, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Texas A&M University, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, George Washington University, and Michigan State University. The NSSC also includes five national laboratory partners: Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia National Laboratories. The mission of the NSSC is to support of 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. The local principal investigators (PIs) at MSU include S.N. Liddick, A. Gade, H. Iwasaki, and A. Spyrou. The successful candidate will work within the group of one of the NSSC PIs but is encouraged to participate in other opportunities available within the NSSC and NSCL. The focus of the NSSC PIs are listed below:

  • Alexandra Gade: Nuclear structure studies with γ-ray tagged direct reactions to probe single-particle and collective degrees of freedom
  • Hironori Iwasaki: Nuclear spectroscopy and excited-state lifetime measurements
  • Sean Liddick: Nuclear structure and astrophysics probed through the decay of neutron-rich rare isotopes
  • Artemisia Spyrou: Nuclear astrophysics experiments with radioactive beams, with a focus on heavy element nucleosynthesis



  • PhD in nuclear physics, nuclear and radiochemistry, nuclear astrophysics, or related fields
  • U.S. citizenship
  •  Interest expressed in one of the research areas listed above
  • Ability to work with export-controlled technologies


  • Demonstrable knowledge of principles and techniques pertaining to nuclear science, nuclear astrophysics, and experimental research
  • Experience with computer programming for the purpose of acquiring and analyzing data and for the comparison with model predictions
  • Excellent communication skills to present approaches, plans, and findings both verbally and through written documents to peers


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 706374 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 construction is nearing completion. 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 a member of the prestigious Association of the American Universities, a group of 65 universities widely regarded as among the top research-intensive institutions in North America. MSU is among the 100 Best Global Universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2021 rankings. 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 schools.

MSU is one of the largest university campuses in the U.S. with a beautiful campus of 5,300 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 more than 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. 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 Okemos is No. 1 in the 2020 Best Places to Live in Michigan ranking.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.