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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Laser Spectroscopy for the Study of Chemical Reactions

Job Description

Available Title(s):

306-NN_FACULTY - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Business Title:

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Laser Spectroscopy for the Study of Chemical Reactions

Employee Type:

Faculty (+) (Fixed Term)

Time Type:

Full time

Position Term:

12 Month

Position Details:

Summary of Duties:

We are looking to hire an experimentalist who enjoys hands-on work and problem-solving in a fast-paced research environment.

Using spatial light modulators, optical phase conjugation, and self-healing laser beams, the successful candidate will work on various aspects of the research project, including sensor development, optical characterization of materials, data analysis, and modeling. Occasional travel with access to Department of Energy (DOE) facilities is required.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform a variety of laser-based optical spectroscopy measurements (e.g., Raman, fluorescence, fluorescence lifetime)

  • Independently define and complete experimental projects and tasks

  • Conduct and analyze research experiments, document processes and procedures, and prepare reports and publications as appropriate

  • Take the lead in the design, development, and use of optical equipment and systems for optical measurements and other laser-based diagnostics

Required Qualifications:

A strong, hands-on experimental background is essential for this position. The required professional qualifications and personal attributes are:

  • A recent Ph.D. degree in Physics, Optics, Chemistry, or related field with a strong experimental background in optical physics, optical spectroscopy, lasers, or optoelectronics

  • Strong academic and research background related to optical and spectroscopy experiments and excellent problem-solving skills

  • Hands-on experience with optical spectroscopy techniques, data acquisition, and data analysis

  • Graduate or post-graduate experience at a U.S. Academic Institution or National Laboratory

  • Good oral and written communication skills (i.e., ability to engage in scientific discussions and clearly express and understand ideas, and ability to summarize research results in a succinct written manner)

  • Ability to perform independent research

  • Critical thinking, good judgment, clear sense of purpose, attention to detail, and accountability

  • Must be able to obtain a badge at U.S. Department of Energy facilities to gain access to restricted areas/information

Preferred Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will also have experience with:

  • Raman spectroscopy

  • Nonlinear optics

  • Spatial light modulators

  • Wavefront shaping

Additional Information:


College of Arts and Sciences

Department Name:

Institute for Shock Physics / Applied Sciences Laboratory (ASL)

City, State, Zip:

Spokane, WA 99202

Department Link:

Institute for Shock Physics Applied Science Laboratory

Annual Salary: $70,000 - $75,000 | Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

In accordance with RCW 49.58.110 , the above salary reflects the full salary range for this position. Individual placement within the range is based on the candidate’s current experience, education, skills, and abilities related to the position. WSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes paid sick and vacation leave; paid holidays; medical, dental, life and disability insurance package for employees and dependents; retirement; deferred compensation and optional supplemental retirement accounts. For a more detailed summary of benefits offered by WSU for Faculty please review the summary of benefits for WSU Faculty and Total Compensation


This is a temporary position in which the appointment is made on an annual basis. Subsequent renewals are subject to performance appraisal, mutual consent, and available funding. Long-term, multi-year research funding is expected.

Posting Close Date:

Applicants must submit their completed application by Monday, October 16, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

Background Check:

This position has been designated by the department to require a background check because it requires access to children or vulnerable adults as defined by RCW 74.34, engages in law enforcement, requires security clearance, interacts with WSU students in a counseling or advising capacity, has access to personal identifying and/or financial information, unsupervised access to university buildings/property, or other business-related need.  A background check will not be completed until an initial determination of qualification for employment has been made.

Application Instructions:

As a part of the application process, applicants are asked to submit a cover letter to the attention of Dr. Hergen Eilers addressing the required and preferred qualifications for this position, a CV, and the names and contact information for three professional references. 

  • External candidates, please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of your application. Internal candidates, please upload all documents in the “Resume/Cover Letter” section of your application. 

  • Documents may be submitted in one file or separate files.

  • Applicants are encouraged to upload as a PDF if possible.

  • Applicants will be requested to provide contact information for professional references within the online application.

Required Documents:

  • Cover Letter

  • CV

  • Contact information for three professional references

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or hrs@wsu.edu .

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