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Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Center for National Security Initiatives (NSI) at CU Boulder is seeking a talented and motivated Research Associate to conduct applied R&D that will grow CU’s and NSI’s national security-related portfolio in Microelectronics. The Microelectronics Research Associate will be responsible for designing and performing research in state-of-the-art microelectronics, with a focus on resilience, security, and emerging technologies. Topics may include emerging electronic materials and devices, non-Von-Neumann and beyond Moore computing paradigms, heterogeneously integrated chiplets, space and edge microelectronics, AI/ML and cryptographic hardware, or hardware security and assessments. Depending on experience and funding, the Microelectronics Research Scientist/Engineer may also be responsible for identifying new sponsored research opportunities and preparing and executing strategic proposals in collaboration with other CU Boulder faculty and NSI researchers. This position will report directly to NSI’s Program Lead in Microelectronics and Cyber Security.

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 Center for National Security Initiatives (NSI) at CU Boulder provides high-impact national security research and workforce development enabled by world-class research scientists and essential infrastructure. We are a Center under the Research and Innovation Office (RIO), which is the central point for support and advocacy for CU Boulder’s world-class scholarship, creative work, and research. As one of two Tier-1 research institutions in Colorado, CU Boulder creates a prime opportunity for on-demand research collaboration among technical experts in the aerospace and defense enterprise. Over the past five years, CU Boulder has placed a strategic focus on national security research and received on average $45M in funding from Department of Defense projects. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Depending on qualifications and experience, the Microelectronics Research Associate may be appointed to a position as a Research Associate or Postdoctoral Research Associate in the CU system. Your responsibilities will be commensurate with the appointment level, and will include:

  • Design, plan and execute on key research tasks and deliverables in support of existing research projects within the Microelectronics Program at NSI. [75-95%]
  • Effectively share and communicate research results with colleagues, researchers and professionals in industry, government, national laboratories and academia through white papers, peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and conference attendance. [5-25%]
  • Assist or lead in the development of research proposals, key research tasks, and deliverables. [5-25%]
  • Establish and leverage a professional network with key customers, influencers, and executive decision-makers in the national security community; gain and provide insight into strategic directions, policies, and R&D priorities associated with relevant national security programs. [5-25%]

What You Should Know

  • Due to the requirement to access and handle export-controlled information, candidates need the capacity to comply with federally mandated requirements of U.S. export control laws.
  • Travel out-of-state will be required.
  • Irregular work hours including evenings and weekends may be required.
  • The position is term-limited to a 12-month position, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of funding.
  • The position is for a 50-100% FTE appointment, depending on salary and funding.

What We Can Offer

We offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package.

Depending on qualifications and experience, the Microelectronics Research Associate will be hired into one of the following positions, with its associated starting salary range:

  • Research Associate: $85,000.00-120,000.00.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate: $75,000.00-85,000.00.


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 groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Research Associate:

  • PhD in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science, Physics, Mathematics, or a field relevant to Microelecronics.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in academia, government, national laboratory, or industry (in microelectronics, aerospace, or defense) in a research role.

Postdoctoral Research Associate:

  • PhD in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science, Physics, Mathematics, or a field relevant to Microelecronics.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated high-level critical thinking and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to take guidance and work independently towards a goal or solution.
  • Ability to work within a complex, dynamic, matrixed structure across departments, colleges and university administration and externally with other academic, government and industry partners.

What We Would Like You to Have

  • Previous coursework or professional experience in microelectronics, semiconductor fabrication, integrated circuit design and tape out, semiconductor and electronic materials, device and solid-state physics, failure analysis, heterogeneous integration, electromagnetics, applied cryptography, space microelectronics, radiation hardening of electronics, or hardware security and assessments.
  • Familiarity with integrated circuit design, multiphysics, and modeling tools (Cadence, Synopsys, SPICE, COMSOL, etc.)
  • Experience with data/numerical analysis tools (Python, Matlab, C/C++, etc.)
  • Experience working in a collaborative and interdisciplinary role at, or with, an academic or research institution.
  • A passion for the national security mission and a desire to expand your role in a rapidly growing organization like NSI.

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.

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. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

Please apply by 5/31/24 for consideration.

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

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