Researcher in Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago
United States


The Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago invites applications for the position of Research Scientist, working in Professor Jeff McMahon’s lab. The primary responsibility for this position involves day-to-day management of the development and fabrication of a novel anti-reflection coating for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) instruments in the metamaterial laboratory at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Duties will include developing and optimizing the process and workflow, ensuring the design, fabrication, and testing of these optics meet the requirements. The Research Scientist will participate directly in this operation through calculations, fabrication, measurements, and analysis, as well as support the PI with mentorship of researchers who will collaborate on the project.

The Research Scientist will also have opportunities to collaborate more broadly in Simons Observatory and other CMB projects. This work could involve instrument development, instrument testing, calibration, and data analysis. The Research Scientist is expected to give public presentations at conferences and help prepare grants and reports on their research.

Expected project length is 2 to 3 years, with an initial appointment of 2 years.


Minimum qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, astrophysics, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering;
  • Experience with precision machining and either CMB instrumentation, metamaterial fabrication, or silicon dicing;
  • At least two years of postdoctoral experience.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Postdoctoral experience in experimental CMB or metamaterial fabrication or a related field.
  • Experience with machining or nano-fabrication, and microwave engineering. 
  • Experience with cryogenics at millikelvin temperatures.

Application Instructions

Required materials are:

  • A cover letter;
  • A current CV;
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation.

Applicants must apply online through the University of Chicago academic careers website using this link:

The University of Chicago is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877) 997-8807.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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