Postdoctoral Researcher

Updated: about 1 year ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Physics and Astronomy

Position Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas seeks to fill a post-doctoral researcher position in silicon detector developments for cosmic ray measurements in collaboration with NASA.

Starting Date:
  July 1, 2019, or as soon thereafter as the position can be filled (also negotiable).

Length of Appointment
: Initial appointment is for one year with the possibility of renewal annually for three subsequent years subject to review.

Research in Silicon technology development with the application of detector cosmic ray in space (this project is performed in collaboration with NASA). The successful candidate will contribute in several aspects of the high energy physics group's research program including phenomenology, data analysis and event simulation, and publication of research results.

Job Description

The main goal of the project is understanding the different components of cosmic rays, interplanetary solar energetic particles and trapped particle population in the Earth’s radiation belts in terms of particle species is important to probe the models that describe the evolution of the Universe. We plan to develop new compact particle detector that allows recognition and classification of different particles. The project will start with the production of several prototypes and their characterization with beams of ions at different energies, developing, at the same time, the simulation tools to describe their behavior. Then, the best technology will be used to design and fabricate an instrument suitable to be flown in a CubeSat.

The R&D will be part of a collaboration between the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas (KU in Lawrence. Kansas) and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC in Washington).  In particular, the detector simulations and the development of the read-out electronics using ultra-fast PSD chip (SAMPIC or PSEC4) will be performed at the University of Kansas, while instrument assembly, calibration and testing will be done at NASA.

Specific job duties:

30% Simulation of the Si detector

  • Define compact and power efficient detector prototypes for space integration made of different layers of Si detectors to distinguish particles originating in cosmic rays.
  • Write simulation program describing the interactions between cosmic ray particles and the detector(s).
 35% Build and test the Si detector
  • Test simulation program to meet specifications of project.
  • Assist building Si detector to meet specifications of completed simulation.
  • Test Si detector in beam tests at Fermilab, Brookhaven, or Los Alamos research facilities.
  20% Integration of the Si detector into a satellite
  • In direct collaboration with NASA engineers and other project participants, finalize integration of Si detector within satellite specifications.
  • Analyze mechanics of the physical installation of detector within a satellite.
  • Analyze data transmission received from detector/satellite once installation is complete.

15%  Other Duties
  • Direct collaboration work of undergraduate and graduate students as needed to complete simulations and testing of prototypes.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor or project team

Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the required qualification and preferred qualification will be made through (1) records of accomplishments entered in CV, (2) description of research and education experience provided in the application materials, (3) references, and (4) publications as appropriate.

  • A Ph.D. in physics or in a related field by date of appointment
  • Experience in detector technology, electronics and simulation
  • NOTE

    : To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis not to exceed 6 months.

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Principles of particle detection, in particular using solid state detectors lab instrumentation: oscilloscope, signal generator, high voltage supply, etc.
  • C++ and/or python
  • Simulation and analysis tools: ROOT, GEANT, …
  • Knowledge of basic analog electronics​
  • Good communication skills.

  • Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete application will include the following items:
    Cover letter, CV, publication list, statement of research interests and skills.

    Additionally, at least three letters of recommendation should be sent via email to or mailed to the attention of Prof. Christophe Royon, Department of Physics & Astronomy, 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, 1082 Malott Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045 USA

    Application review date begins on April 15, 2019 and will continue to collect a pool of qualified applicants.
    For first consideration please apply by this date.

    Advertised Salary Range


    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Limited Term End Date


    Work Location

    University of Kansas - Lawrence

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    8-5 M-F/40 hours per week

    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding, Limited Term


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