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Professional Research Assistant

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

The Professional Research Assistant (PRA) will be responsible for designing, building, and operating the world’s first quantum internet testbed. Specifically, this will entail constructing and operating a quantum optical correlator for continuous variables measurements to perform photon entanglement verification and swapping. PRA will develop and test network protocols to be utilized in the establishment of a low-noise, stable, optical channel operating at or near the quantum limit. Measurements will include channel characterization, quantum tomography, entanglement verification, signal integrity, and protocol demonstrations.

Who We Are

The Professional Research Experience Program (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 High-Speed Measurements Group in the RF Division at NIST.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

 Job duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Design and construct optical processing and detection systems using bulk components which maximize mode matching and minimize optical loss.
  • Implement feed-back control systems to stabilize optical frequency, phase, polarization, and mechanical motion to enable coherent optical measurements.
  • Design and construct low-noise electronic circuits for detection, control, and measurement.
  • Perform analysis on and interpretation of statistical measurements from optical systems.
  • Work as a member of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team.
  • Provide technical input to research problems which have been recognized as critical obstacles to progress in areas of exceptional interest.
  • Prepare and review journal publications, contributing important advancements to quantum optics, quantum networking, optical communications, and optical measurement techniques.
  • Attend research conferences and present technical results.

What We Can Offer

The annual salary range for this position is market-based, highly competitive, and will be based upon relevant background and experience.


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 Effective. Be Resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Master’s or PhD degree in a STEM discipline.

What You Will Need

  • Experience with ultra-stable lasers, entangled light sources, phase-locked loops, balanced detection, low-noise receive design, polarization optics, and optical modulators.
  • Experience with optical measurement techniques such as: coherent detection, quantum tomography, beam diagnostics, laser diagnostics, noise characterization, and statistical optics.
  • Experience with protocols used in traditional, coherent optical networks is very desirable.
  • Ability to code with, or learn to code with:  MATLAB, LabView, and Python is required.
  • Familiarity with optical system design software (e.g. Zemax, Code V, OSLO) is advantageous.
  • Ability with opto-mechanical design and machine shop fabrication is desirable.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  • Resume/CV
  • Cover Letter
  • Letter of Recommendation (non-confidential)
This position will remain open until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Tiffany Mason

Posting Contact Email:

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.