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Postdoctoral Fellow

Amherst College
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Jun 8, 2023

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Amherst Campus
Full Time

Amherst has taken a leadership role among highly selective liberal arts colleges and universities in successfully diversifying the racial, socio-economic, and geographic profile of its student body. The College is similarly committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff.

Job Description:

Amherst College invites applications for the Postdoctoral Fellow position. The Postdoctoral Fellow position is full-time, with starting salary in the range $50,000 - $55,000, commensurate with experience. The position has an initial appointment of one year with options for extending the term up to three years total. Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the ways in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community.

This is an NSF grant-supported position in the Physics & Astronomy Department in the lab of Professor David Hanneke. The postdoc will participate in a research program to create optical molecular clocks for new physics searches. The work will focus on laser spectroscopy of trapped molecular ions. The postdoc will contribute to effectively training and mentoring a diverse group of undergraduate students. The Physics & Astronomy Department's faculty, postdocs, and students maintain a vibrant research environment, enhanced by weekly seminars as well as other nearby colleges.

Summary of Responsibilities

Research and scholarship
  • Support new and ongoing research programs associated with an NSF grant to create optical molecular clocks for new physics searches
  • Design and construct experimental systems, in particular ones related to lasers and optics, vacuum, ion-trapping, and computer control
  • Design and implement experimental procedures for quantum-state control of molecules, molecular spectroscopy, and new-physics searches.
  • Collect and analyze data. Evaluate statistical and systematic uncertainties.
  • Participate in the preparation, publication, and dissemination of scientific results in peer reviewed journals and at conferences
  • Effectively collaborate with a diverse group of other researchers at the college as well as the department's technical staff, such as attending the department colloquium and working with the heads of the Machine and Electronic Shops to create custom components for the lab

Training undergraduate students
  • Train a diverse set of undergraduate students in laboratory techniques
  • Find ways to include undergraduates in the work of the lab, such as identifying projects that can be completed in a summer or two semesters.
  • Collaborate with and mentor undergraduates in the lab, especially working closely with summer students and honors-thesis writers, paying attention to the creation of an engaging, inclusive student experience

Lab management and other duties
  • Complete administrative tasks, such as laser and chemical safety training or gathering documents for purchasing
  • Maintain a safe lab


  • PhD in Physics or related field by the time the position starts
  • Demonstrated level of independence to perform research responsibilities
  • Strong attention to detail, time management, and organizational skills
  • Commitment to working with undergraduate students
  • Commitment to working with a diverse and inclusive community
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in one or more of atomic or molecular physics, optics, trapped charged particles, spectroscopy, precision measurement, quantum control, radiofrequency electronics, ultrahigh vacuum systems, molecular beams, and/or computer-control of experiments (experience in multiple areas is preferred)

  • Experience with LabVIEW, Python, Mathematica
  • Experience working with undergraduate students

Amherst College offers many opportunities for professional growth and development, continued learning, and career advancement.

Amherst College requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (medical and religious exemptions may apply).

Amherst College is pleased to provide a comprehensive, highly competitive benefits package that meets the needs of staff and faculty and their families. Benefits are an important part of our overall compensation, so it is critical that you review all of the options to ensure it meets your total compensation requirements. Click here for Benefits Information.

Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter addressing their qualifications and interest, a CV including list of publications, and the names and contact information of three references. Applications should be submitted online at .

Please be sure to upload all requested documents prior to clicking Submit. Applications cannot be revised once submitted. (Current employees and students should apply by clicking on the Career icon from their Workday home screen)

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

To find information about job group and level (JGL) follow this link.

To apply, visit


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