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Assistant Research Physicist – Space Plasma Instrumentation and Analysis – Space Sciences Laboratory

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The Department of Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley seeks applications for an Assistant Research Physicist, Step I-VI, in the area of space plasma physics and instrumentation, to participate in our ongoing research initiatives in the SWEAP investigation on the Solar Probe Plus mission.

General responsibilities may include:
• Electrostatic analyzer design & development.
• Microchannel plates and associated electronics.
• Instrument testing & calibration.
• Working with vacuum chambers, high voltage power supplies and ion accelerators, and cleanroom and ESD training.
• Operation of ion guns and in-house plasma accelerators.
• Programming in Python and IDL
• Analysis of space plasma data products from either the solar wind or planetary environments.
• Science operation planning including defining and implementing instrument science modes.
• Testing of electronics such as constant fraction discriminators, application specific integrated circuits, and field programmable gate arrays.
• Simulations, modeling, and verification of instrument characteristics.

Basic Qualifications (required at the time of application): Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent degree in physics, astronomy, or a closely related field.

Additional Required Qualifications (required by start date): At least two years of postdoctoral experience in the general area of space plasma instrumentation and/or data analysis including experience in the development and testing of electrostatic analyzers.

Preferred Qualifications (required by start date): Preference will be given to those with experience with any of the following: knowledge of NASA instrumentation practices, mechanical design and assembly, electronics for particle counting systems, high vacuum systems, and clean room operations. Familiarity with Python, IDL, Matlab, GSEOS, and Unix computing environments is also desirable.

Appointment: This position reports to Dr. Davin Larson. The anticipated start date is summer or fall 2017. This position is full-time (100%). The initial appointment will be for two years, with a possibility of renewal. Extension of the appointment is subject to performance and availability of funds.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage are included in the compensation package. To apply, please go to the following link:

Applicants should submit a Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications, a statement of research interests, and optional cover letter. Applicants should also request three reference letters. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

This position is open until filled. Please direct questions to

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

About U.C. Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory Built six decades ago, UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) was the realization of NASA’s vision to gather many of the most innovative and dedicated science minds in one place at Berkeley. In the hill above Berkeley, physicists, researchers, biologists, engineers and technicians worked in unison: interacting, learning from one another, leading, challenging and inspiring one another in creating cutting-edge space science instrumentation and conducting top research. Through sixty years of NASA-funded support, their efforts, and those of hundreds of dedicated students and staff, have brought about myriad highlights, such as the space science missions of EUVE, WIND, FAST, RHESSI, SOHO, FUSE, GALEX, HST-COS, THEMIS, MAVEN,. All have contributed to new discoveries about the physics of space, and initiated marked new advances in engineering technology. Visit us on the web to learn more about the exciting opportunities that our most recent projects will reveal about the connection between Earth and sky, the intricate workings of our Sun and its future way of producing energy, and the mysteries of how the atmosphere on Mars evolved.

Job location

Berkeley, CA

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Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Including a list of publications and statement of research interests

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required