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Assistant Project Scientist (Experimental Fusion and Plasma Physics)

Position overview

Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. The annual salary range for this position is $71,500 to $79,300.

Application Window

Open date: July 13, 2023

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Aug 23, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Saturday, Sep 30, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Plasma Diagnostics Group (PDG– in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA invites outstanding candidates to apply for a full-time (100%) appointment in the career position of Assistant Project Scientist in the area of Plasma and Fusion Physics. The successful candidate will engage in experimental research within the broad area of fast-ion physics in fusion research plasmas in spherical tokamaks. The successful candidate will analyze experimental data from the National Spherical Torus eXperiment Upgrade (NSTX-U, spherical tokamak and its predecessor NSTX and perform related modeling and simulation to solve challenging problems in the area of wave-particle interactions and their consequences for fusion plasma performance. The successful candidate will also propose, participate and lead new experiments in NSTX-U beginning in late 2025 or 2026, when NSTX-U is expected to commence experimental operations. Energetic ions from high power, high energy neutral heating beams play a critical role in plasma heating and current drive. However, these energetic ions also drive waves with a diverse range of significant, sometimes negative, consequences for spherical tokamak performance that must be understood to advance the spherical tokamak as a fusion reactor concept. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with other members of the PDG and the NSTX-U Research Team at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton (PPPL), NJ, USA, and disseminate the results of their research through presentations at international conferences and publications in peer reviewed journals. The successful candidate will candidate will be stationed at PPPL, in Princeton, NJ, embedded in the NSTX-U research program, after NSTX-U experimental operations start. Prior to that, the successful candidate may optionally be stationed at UCLA, in Los Angeles, CA.
Qualified candidates will have a Ph.D. in Physics and at least two years of research experience subsequent to the completion of the Ph.D. at the time of hiring. The candidate should have a demonstrated background directly applicable to the area of research. Experience with both data analysis and modeling or simulation is advantageous. Experience with programming for these tasks is advantageous, particularly with Python, NumPy and SciPy.
Candidates should provide a Cover Letter, Curriculum Vita, a Publication List, a Statement of Research Experiences and Future Research Goals, a Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion describing an applicant’s past, present, and future (planned) contributions (see EDI Statement FAQ–, and complete a reference check authorization release form. The candidate should arrange for 2–3 letters of reference to be included with the application. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. However, for full consideration in the first review of applicants, materials should be submitted by August 13, 2023.
The initial appointment will be for a two-year period, with the possibility of renewal. Initial salary will scale with the successful candidate’s experience from $71,500/year to $79,300/year. The successful candidate will be eligible for a wide range of competitive benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, retirement and more. For further information regarding salary, term of appointment and benefits, see details for Project Scientist Series (Represented) at and resources referred to therein.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Ph.D. degree in Physics
  • At least two years of research experience subsequent to the completion of the Ph.D. at the time of hiring, directly applicable to the area of research.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Cover Letter

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

  • Publication list - Your complete bibliography

  • Statement of Research - Statement of Research Experiences and Future Research Goals

  • 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 EDI Statement FAQ document.

  • Reference check authorization release form - Complete and upload the reference check authorization release form

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 letters of reference required

Please ask reviewers to upload letters directly into UC Recruit

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Campus Information

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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

Princeton, NJ