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Postdoctoral Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) encourages applications for a Postdoctoral Associate!  The NIST Electromagnetic Fields Group has opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to develop experimental methods for Rydberg atom sensors for a variety of applications.  The Group maintains the National standard for RF field probes and is building a quantum-based antenna that uses Rydberg atoms excited by lasers to produce an electromagnetic transparent probe to measure field strength with SI Traceability.  This is a fundamentally new approach to radio frequency metrology, one that promises to improve the sensitivity, precision, and ease of tests and calibrations of high-frequency field probes used for measuring radiated fields in next-generation 5G wireless systems, biomedical, and nanoelectronic systems, and environmental and other sensors.

 Postdoctoral scholars will have opportunities to design, build, and troubleshoot laser systems and electronics of the types used in atomic physics experiments as well as working with RF electronic equipment and data analysis. In particular, this person will support experimental measurements of signal of opportunities using the Rydberg atom sensors and evaluate the system based on soil moisture concentrations obtained from these measurements.

 The NIST Electromagnetic Fields Group is located within the NIST Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL).  Recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential to NIST mission of enhancing innovation.  Through a diversity of people, disciplines and ideas, we find the best solutions.  The NIST Postdoctoral and Early-career Association of Researchers (PEAR) is a vibrant community advocating for professional development opportunities for postdocs, students, and other early-career researchers.

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

PREP is a special partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder.  PREP provides research opportunities to CU undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers with a Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD in NIST labs to gain research experience alongside NIST scientists.
The particular group that needs a researcher is the Electromagnetic Fields Group under the RF Technology Division at NIST.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Perform experiments, collect data, analyze experimental results and compare to theoretical models.
  • Keep a well-maintained log of experimental activities.
  • Maintain and troubleshoot laboratory equipment.
  • Disseminate research through peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and other presentations.

What You Should Know

All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to align with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement.  New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

The salary range for this full-time position is $69,000 - $74,000 annually.

 Onboarding/relocation assistance may be available, however, if within a 12-month period you exercise your right to willfully terminate your employment with the University of Colorado, you hereby agree to reimburse the department for your relocation expense.


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 ambitious. Be pioneering. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • PhD in Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related field.

What You Will Need

  • Research experience involving one or more of the following areas: atomic physics, quantum physics, optics, lasers, and/or RF electronics.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • PhD in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics or Quantum Physics with a focus on Rydberg atom spectroscopy.
  • Experience with atomic spectroscopy.
  • Experience with narrow-band diode lasers, frequency doubled lasers, laser stabilization, and opto-electronic devices.
  • Experience with RF calibrations and/or metrology laboratory practices.
  • Experience with RF remote sensing techniques for Earth observations.
  • Experience with MATLAB, Python.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
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.
During the application process, you will need to enter contact information for a reference.  We will request the letter of recommendation immediately following your application. 
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
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: Lisa Valencia

Posting Contact Email: