Assistant Professor of Physics in Experimental Quantum Optics

The Department of Physics is in the College of Letters and Science. The Department is committed to education and research in physics, the study of the fundamental universal laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy, and the exploration of the consequences and applications of those laws. The Department of Physics is widely known for its excellent teaching and student mentoring and plays an important role in the university’s Core Curriculum. The Department of Physics has strong academic programs with several options for undergraduate physics majors, leading to the B.S. degree, as well as graduate curricula leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

The principal concentrations of the department’s research groups are in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Gravitational Physics, Lasers and Optics, Physics Education, Solar Physics, and the Space Sciences. Numerous outreach activities carry physics to K-12 teachers, classrooms, and the general public. Student involvement is central to the department’s educational, research, and outreach activities. The varied accomplishments of our department are a tribute to the extraordinary efforts of the 19 tenure-track faculty, 15 research and teaching faculty, 22 postdoctoral fellows and research scientists, 65 graduate students, and 90 undergraduate students, supported by an outstanding and highly-motivated staff.

Additional information can be found on the departmental website:

Montana State University was established in 1893 under the land grant mission to further the education of students in the region and to institute research facilities to serve the broader constituency. MSU is the largest research university in Montana and contributes significantly to the regional economy by creating jobs, providing contracts to businesses, and applying research findings. The land grant mission is particularly important for health research, as investigators recognize the importance of sharing their results with practitioners and patients who could directly benefit from their findings.

For the fourth year in a row, Montana State University recorded an all-time high for research expenditures, and the tally of $201 million for the fiscal year ending in June 2022 puts MSU Research over the $200 million mark for the first time ever. Over the last decade, MSU has earned a reputation for high research activity. Currently MSU is ranked as “very high research activity” under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions. MSU currently holds 63 active issued patents for significant MSU discoveries, with 53 more pending.

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. The College of Letters & Science (CLS) at Montana State University encourages individuals interested in advancing the University’s Strategic Plan diversity, equity, and inclusion goals to apply. Links to the University Strategic PlanOffice of Diversity and InclusionBlack, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) PlanCLS Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and CLS newsletter, Diversity Matters are all embedded here for reference. CLS is committed to developing a diverse faculty, staff, and student body and to modeling an inclusive campus community which values the expression of differences in ways that promote excellence in research, teaching, and service/outreach engagement, and institutional success. In keeping with this commitment, the College encourages applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds. We recruit, employ, train, and promote regardless of race, gender, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, color, national origin, disability, age, veterans status, and other underrepresented groups. MSU also recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

The Department of Physics at Montana State University invites applications for a tenure-track position in experimental quantum optics. We seek to hire a scientist conducting experimental research at the forefront of quantum optics related to quantum information science (QIS). Possible research areas include: quantum communications or networks; quantum computing and sensing; quantum materials; atomic, optical, and molecular physics; fundamental limits of light-matter interactions; quantum transduction of photons; photon mediated interactions; quantum opto-mechanics; nanoscale quantum optical devices; spin-photon interactions; quantum coherence of larger-scale systems; quantum optics at novel wavelengths; or non-linear quantum optical processes. The hire will complement current multidisciplinary QIS research collaborations among the Physics, Engineering, Spectrum Lab, MonArk Quantum Foundry, the Optical Technology Center, and local industry. The appointment is expected to be at the Assistant Professor level.

The new faculty member is expected to:

  • develop a competitive and internationally recognized grant-funded research program focused on experimental quantum optics
  • teach physics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • mentor undergraduate and Ph.D. students in research projects
  • diversify the department’s research and teaching portfolio

Screening of applications will begin on January 8, 2022. However, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Apply via this link:

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. A Ph.D. in physics or closely related field upon hire date.
  2. Demonstrated research experience in experimental quantum optics, as evidenced by a record of publication.
  3. Demonstrated potential to establish an internationally recognized and externally-funded research program.
  4. Demonstrated ability or potential to teach both undergraduate and graduate physics courses.
Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. Demonstrated commitment to excellence in graduate and undergraduate teaching and research.
  2. Demonstrated ability or potential to develop a research program that complements and expands current department and campus research.
  3. Demonstrated ability or potential for excellence in advising of graduate and undergraduate students through research experiences.
  4. Demonstrated ability or potential to involve students from other academic disciplines in interdisciplinary research.
  5. Demonstrated ability or potential to contribute to significant technology transfer within the region that continues to bolster Montana’s high-tech industry.
  6. Demonstrated commitment in developing student, faculty, and staff diversity, particularly among underrepresented groups.
The Successful Candidate Will
  • Be a dynamic and visionary scientist and educator who will advance MSU’s goals of outstanding research, teaching, and service.
  • Expand MSU’s quantum information science, optics, condensed matter, and laser research and development efforts.
  • Further the integration of learning, discovery, and engagement through student involvement in research.
  • Have demonstrated the ability or potential to teach physics effectively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Have excellent communication skills.
  • Have an appreciation of diverse constituencies and add intellectual diversity and other forms of traditionally underrepresented diversity to the department.
Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

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