Postdoctoral Research Associate | The University of Sydney


Posted: 14-Mar-23

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Physics: Photonics

Physics: Physics



Work Function:

Postdoctoral Research

Required Education:


  • Full time fixed term for 30 months with potential extension
  • Opportunity to join a new research initiative within the School of Physics located at the University of Sydney Camperdown Campus
  • Base Salary, Level A, $102,832 p.a – $124,087 p.a + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

The University of Sydney is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join a new research initiative, in the area of photonics with applications in neurophotonics, between the Nanophotonics and Plasmonics Advancement Lab (NPAL), part of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) in School of Physics, at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University. The successful candidate will conduct research using conventional photonic modelling, fabrication and optical testing techniques to develop on-chip neurophotonic devices. These will be capable to induce neural activity in individual neurons via the emitted light from the chip as well as collecting photons emitted by individual neurons when a neural activity is present. The research will be carried out with researchers at the two institutions.

This research is part of the NHMRC-funded Ideas Grant “Universal Neurophotonic Interface: A Revolution In Medical Bionics” in addition to the funded support from the School of Physics and the Physics Foundation, thanks to the Physics Grand Challenges winning proposal “Universal Neurophotonic Interface: Bionics with “Feeling”. The overarching project is highly cross-disciplinary and requires the candidates to interact with scientists with expertise in photonics, stem cell biology, gene editing, bioengineering, nerve conduits, neuromodulation and neuroscience in general. You will supervise and/or co-supervise undergraduate and/or postgraduate students working on related projects. From time-to-time you will also be asked to contribute to the general activities of the Team and potentially to other projects aligned with the scientific goals and interests of the participating research groups. The role requires regular reporting in writing and in person to the Team Leaders.

 About you

 The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who has:

  • a PhD in Physics or Engineering (candidates who are near completion may also be considered), with experience in Photonics modelling, fabrication and experimentation
  • proven experimental research ability, and evidence of self-motivation, passion and research potential
  • excellent written and oral communications skills
  • a demonstrated excellence in experimental photonics research through, but not exclusively, peer reviewed research publications
  • knowledge and experience in fabrication techniques specifically focused on manufacturing high quality structures for Photonics applications (e.g. waveguides, gratings, ring resonators, etc.)
  • demonstrated experience in photonic modelling by using conventional packages like COMSOL and/or Lumerical
  • ability to conduct and develop optical tests on photonic devices in free optics setups, e.g. optical microscope and custom built optical benches as well as modifying these setups if required
  • demonstrated ability to conduct research under limited supervision, either independently or as part of a team.

It is desirable to have experience in some of the following:

  • expertise in fabricating high quality photonic structures in Si3N4 or similar, i.e. materials that have negligible loss and high refractive index in the visible spectrum region
  • experience in Neurophotonics and/or Optogenetics
  • the use of Near Field Scanning Optical Microscopes
  • experimental Nanophotonics and more specifically Plasmonics.

To apply for this role please address the following questions in a cover letter that you attach to your application:

  1. How do you or how would you approach working with a multidisciplinary team?
  2. Provide examples of times you have worked on a project with a diverse set of stakeholders. How did you modify your communication style or approach to meet the differing needs of these groups?
  3. Provide examples demonstrating your ability and experience in experimental photonics as outlined above.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

 How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard.  Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

The closing date is 12 April 2023.

How to apply

Please click here to apply

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