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Professional Research Assistant

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

The Professional Research Assistant position will grow into an increasingly independent research role in complementary problems concentrated in measurement and characterization, and detection of:

1) Ambient Radio Frequency (RF) noise and interference that clutters everyday wireless spectrum, and 

2) its impact on reception by users in applications like cellular wireless, global satellite navigation, or radar.

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 Shared Spectrum Metrology Group at NIST and is on the forefront of researching coexistence of emerging and incumbent wireless systems and RF sensor systems.  The laboratory contains state of the art low noise receivers, calibration standards, software defined radios, and over the air test facilities. We are capable of designing, evaluating and validating remote sensing receivers, RF sensors, and interference test methodologies, where we answer industry relevant questions such as:
  • How do we calibrate and estimate performance of distributed sensor systems?
  • Can we quantitatively assess the existing RF noise floor in today’s communications world?
  • What kind of instruments do we need to precisely measure RF noise, out-of-band emissions, and interference in digital communications? – and can we build them?
The group addresses these questions through new test methodologies, sensor architectures, and calibration techniques. The post-doctorate researcher will support part of the abovementioned spectrum sensing, and RF noise characterization efforts.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Collaborate and interface with investigators, group members, and other areas of NIST and industry stakeholders.
  • Develop, execute, and manage research projects with internal and external collaborators.
  • Work independently with a team in laboratories, perform experiments with commercial and custom-made equipment, automate instrument control and data acquisition.
  • Investigate new research topics in communication technologies, including spectrum sensing and monitoring, spectrum sharing, receiver calibrations, etc.
  • Create and maintain data and uncertainty analysis tools for measurement-precision evaluation; provide input on updates and revisions.
  • Report research progress, document experiment procedures, and contribute to scientific journal publications and conferences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

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 Ambitious. Be Resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • PhD or Master’s in a STEM related field.
  • Research background in electromagnetics, metrology, and/or wireless communications.
  • Demonstrated strengths in technical writing and presentations.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities and interest in problem ownership.
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented, and persistent with strong communication skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • A degree in engineering or physical and applied science discipline.
  • Experience with signals and linear systems in the time and frequency domains.
  • Familiarity with test equipment including spectrum analyzers, function generators, vector network analyzers, power meters and radiometers.
  • Uncertainty analysis is a plus.
  • Programming skills in Python, Matlab, or LabView.
  • Hands-on skills in electromagnetic and/or thermal CAD tools, such as ADS, HFSS, CST Microwave Studio, AWR Microwave Office, COMSOL, ANSYS Thermal and Mechanical, Autodesk Inventor, or Solidworks.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. 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.