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PostDoctoral Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder encourages applications for a PostDoctoral Research Associate! This role will work as part of an international collaboration funded by the Simons Foundation to study “Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy” for the design and optimization of stellarator plasma confinement devices.
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Department of Applied Mathematics: The departmental roots go back to the turn of the last century when it originally was the Department of Engineering Mathematics. The Department teaches thousands of students and has a major research presence in computational and physical/biological mathematics and the statistical sciences. It has 23 tenured or tenure track faculty. In addition there are 10 full time instructors, more than 110 graduate students including approximately 40 teaching assistants, about 179 applied math majors, 109 statistics majors, 105 minors and a thriving Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's program.

The Department strives to be a leading program of applied mathematics. In 2018, the US News & World Report ranked the unit’s graduate program 14th in the nation. The unit also ranked positively in many measures by the National Research Council in its 2010 decadal survey.

Our faculty have won numerous awards including: four being named fellows of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, two being named fellows of the American Mathematical Society, two being named fellows of the American Physical Society, two Guggenheim Fellows, American Statistical Association Fellow, Sloan Fellow. At CU-System: one Distinguished Professor, and at CU-Boulder: Hazel Barnes Prize, Professor of Distinction, winners of numerous CU-Boulder faculty awards, and two distinguished research lecturers.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • The project is to explore the optimal design of toroidal magnetic confinement devices for plasma that have (nearly) integrable guiding-center dynamics (to maximize the confinement) and no externally driven current (to minimize associated instabilities and the need for current drive); such devices are called stellarators. The latter condition requires significant deviation from axisymmetry, which would otherwise be the straightforward way of achieving the former and is the principle of the tokamak. Integrability is guaranteed, however, under a condition called quasisymmetry, and confinement under a more general symmetry called omnigenity. 
  • The goal is to develop criteria to maximize the degree of integrability of the field line and guiding center motion that will then be used in optimization codes being developed by collaborators at other institutions. 
  • The postdoc will be expected to help develop these ideas and the computer codes to test them, as well as write and contribute to the writing of manuscripts submitted for publication.

What You Should Know

This position is anticipated to last 2-3 years.

What We Can Offer

The salary for this full-time appointment is $50,000.00 annually.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be dynamic. Be proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A candidate should have a PhD in applied mathematics or physics and expertise in dynamical systems, preferably of Hamiltonian dynamics.

What You Will Need

  • A successful applicant will be a highly motivated and creative researcher.

What We Would Like You to Have

  • Interest in contributing to an international project studying the design and optimization of toroidal magnetic confinement devices for plasmas.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Statement of Research Philosophy
If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources Department using an approved online vendor. However, if your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

During the application process you will need to enter contact information for three references. We will request letters of recommendation immediately following your application. 

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until May 30th, 2024.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: