LIGO Laboratory

Position ID:LIGO Laboratory-EXP [#22727]
Position Title: Instrument/Experiment Postdoctoral position at the LIGO Laboratory
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Pasadena, California 91125, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Gravitational Physics
Appl Deadline: (posted 2022/09/09, listed until 2024/11/04)
Position Description:    

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has as its goal the development of gravitational wave physics and astronomy. The LIGO Laboratory is managed by Caltech and MIT, and is funded by the National Science Foundation. It operates observatory sites equipped with laser interferometric detectors at Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, which have made the first confirmed detection of gravitational waves. A vigorous LIGO Laboratory R&D program supports the development of enhancements to the LIGO detector and development of future detectors and detector technologies.  

The LIGO Laboratory anticipates having one or possibly more experiment/instrumentation postdoctoral research positions at one or more of the LIGO sites – Caltech, MIT and at the two LIGO Observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA – as positions become available. Hires will be made based on the availability of funding. Successful applicants will interact with faculty members Rana Adhikari and Lee McCuller (Caltech) and Matt Evans and Nergis Mavalvala (MIT) as well as the Lab’s extensive network of experienced researchers and personnel. Successful applicants will be involved in the operation of the world’s most sensitive interferometers, and/or the R&D program for future detector improvements. Examples include optimizing the squeezing of the vacuum to minimize quantum noise, a prototype cryogenic interferometer, using machine learning for nonlinear feedback control, devising techniques to quell opto-mechanical instabilities that can disable the interferometers, and designing new suspension systems for 100 kg test masses. We seek candidates across a broad range of disciplines. Expertise related to modeling, data analysis, electronics, laser and quantum optics, vibration isolation and control systems is desirable. Most importantly, candidates should be broadly trained scientists, willing to learn new experimental and analytical techniques, and ready to share in the excitement of building, operating and observing with a gravitational-wave observatory. A list of former postdocs at LIGO Hanford and LIGO Livingston is available here . Appointments at the post-doctoral level will initially be for one-year with the possibility of renewal for up to two subsequent years.  

Applications for postdoctoral research positions with LIGO Laboratory should indicate which of the LIGO sites (Caltech, MIT, Hanford, or Livingston), if any, are preferred by the applicant, and which (if any) are likely to be unworkable. Caltech and MIT are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employers. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are encouraged to apply.  Applications should be submitted through Academic Jobs Online and include  curriculum vitae , list of publications (with refereed articles noted), and the names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of three or more references. Please also attach a research statement describing past experience and current and future research interests (3-4 pages). Applicants should request that three or more letters of recommendations be submitted directly through Academic Jobs Online. Consideration of applications will begin on November 15 but will also continue throughout the academic year and until all positions are filled.  

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. Click here to read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Caltech is committed to working with and providing access and reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical or mental disabilities. To request disability accommodations for any part of the interview or hiring process, please reach out to the contact on the job posting. 

$64,480 - $80,000 per year. The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, experience, qualifications, skills, education, specialty, training, and internal equity. As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off, parental leave, tuition reimbursement, and more. Learn more about our benefits and who is eligible.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research statement
  • Publication list
  • Three reference letters (to be submitted online by the reference writers on this site help popup)
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
1200 E. California Blvd MC 100-36
Pasadena, CA 91125