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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!

This position is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Professional Research Experience Program (PREP).  NIST recognizes that its research staff may wish to collaborate with researchers at academic institutions on specific projects of mutual interest, thus requires that such institutions must be the recipient of a PREP award.  The PREP program requires staff from a wide range of backgrounds to work on scientific research in many areas.  Employees in this position will perform technical work that underpins the scientific research of the collaboration.

The Faint Photonics and Quantum Photonics groups at NIST-Boulder have immediate openings for qualified postdoctoral researchers to design, fabricate, and test superconducting single-photon detectors and associated readout electronic circuits.  We anticipate open positions in support of our existing efforts in transition edges sensors (TESs) and superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs).  One project is focused on photonic quantum information applications and involves development of TES detectors with near-unity system detection efficiency that can operate at counting rates on the order of MHz and higher, while maintaining good photon-number resolution.  Other projects involve creating large arrays of infrared-sensitive SNSPDs for characterization of semiconductor integrated circuits as well as integration of SNSPDs with ion traps.

 The projects involve detector design and characterization, as well as testing and improvements of associated readout electronic circuits.  This work will be done in conjunction with new device fabrication and rely on a fast detector design-to-fabrication cycle, enabled by our NIST-Boulder Microfabrication Facility.  This facility is a state-of-the-art 18,000 square foot cleanroom dedicated primarily to superconductor micro- and nano-fabrication.
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 Faint Photonics Group under the Applied Physics Division at NIST.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Detector design and characterization;
  • Testing and improvements of associated readout electronic circuits;
  • Work closely with detector fabrication team in order to advance detector optimization;
  • Presenting results at internal meetings and conferences;
  • Ensuring that results, protocols, software, and documentation have been properly documented either as scientific publications or internal documents;
  • The SNSPD work will involve close collaboration with industry partners to measure faint photonic emission from state-of-the-art integrated circuits.

What You Should Know

Privacy Act Statement

Authority:  15 U.S.C. § 278g-1(e)(1) and (e)(3) and 15 U.S.C. § 272(b) and (c)

Purpose:  The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) hosts the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) which is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduates, post-bachelor’s degree holders, graduate students, master’s degree holders, postdocs, and faculty.

PREP is a 5-year cooperative agreement between NIST laboratories and participating PREP Universities to establish a collaborative research relationship between NIST and U.S. institutions of higher education in the following disciplines including (but may not be limited to) biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, electronics, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron science, physical science, physics, and statistics.  This collection of information is needed to facilitate administrative functions of the PREP Program.

Routine Uses:  NIST will use the information collected to perform the requisite reviews of the applications to determine eligibility, and to meet programmatic requirements.  Disclosure of this information is also subject to all the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notices:  NIST-1: NIST Associates. 

Disclosure:  Furnishing this information is voluntary.  When you submit the form, you are indicating your voluntary consent for NIST to use of the information you submit for the purpose stated.

What We Can Offer

The salary range for this full-time position is $68,500 - $93,500 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 expenses.


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 degree in Physics, Electrical Engineering or a related field.

What We Would Like You to Have

  • Cryogenics and superconducting devices expertise.
  • Single-photon detection technologies or low temperature readout electronics expertise desirable.
  • Knowledge of cleanroom nanofabrication techniques.
  • Knowledge of and experience with optics and photonics.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

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 as an Optional document.

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: