Skip to main content

Assistant Project Scientist (Plasma and Fusion Physics)

Recruitment Period

Open August 25th, 2020 through Friday, Oct 30, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

If you apply to this recruitment by October 30th, 2020, you will have until November 6th, 2020 to complete your application.


The Plasma Diagnostics Group (PDG) in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA seeks outstanding candidates for a position as an Assistant Project Scientist in the area of Plasma and Fusion Physics. The position will focus on the development and application of advanced millimeter wave diagnostic techniques to measure helicon wave (a.k.a. fast magnetosonic wave) amplitude and spatial power distribution in radio frequency current drive experiments on the DIII-D tokamak at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California. The experimental effort, to be performed in collaboration with the DIII-D Team, will play a critical role in advancing the physics basis for helicon wave current drive as a reactor-relevant current drive capability. Tasks include (1) commissioning and operating a new, dedicated millimeter wave diagnostic for helicon wave measurements in DIII-D, (2) exploiting the new diagnostic to measure the amplitude and spatial distribution of antenna-launched helicon wave power in DIII-D, and (3) leading and participating in experiments in collaboration with DIII-D researchers and code experts to (a) validate predictive capabilities for helicon wave propagation and current drive, including the AORSA full wave code and the GENRAY ray tracing code (b) and evaluate helicon current drive efficiency. The Assistant Project Scientist will be stationed in San Diego, at the DIII-D facility, but would be expected to make frequent trips to UCLA to work with researchers at UCLA.
The initial appointment will be for a 2-year period, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory performance and renewal of funding. Salary will follow standards for Project Scientist Series and will scale with the applicant’s experience. Qualified candidates will have a Ph.D. in Physics or a related field, at least 4 years subsequent experience and a demonstrated background directly applicable to the tasks, including significant experience with plasma diagnostic hardware. Experience with millimeter wave hardware and quasi-optical systems are significant pluses. Hiring is contingent on having the right to work in the U.S. and a willingness to relocate to San Diego upon hiring. Candidates must also be willing to work in the DIII-D facility under the provisions for visitors to the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic ( Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a publication list and arrange for 2-3 letters of reference to be uploaded to UCLA Academic Recruit. Candidates may optionally provide a statement that describes their past, present, and planned contributions to equity, diversity, and/or inclusion. For full consideration, applications should be received by September 25, 2020. Review of applications will start on September 25, 2020. However, applications will be accepted until October 30, 2020.

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: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

Job location

San Diego, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Publication list - Your complete bibliography

  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - An EDI Statement describes a faculty candidate’s past, present, and future (planned) contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion. To learn more about how UCLA thinks about contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, please review our Sample Guidance for Candidates and related EDI Statement FAQ document.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 letters of reference required