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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is one of 17 Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories, and operated by Stanford University on behalf of the DOE. SLAC develops and operates some of the world’s premier science facilities, including the first hard X-ray free-electron laser. Research at SLAC explores the structure and function of matter and the properties of energy, space and time, at the smallest and largest scales, all with the goal of solving problems facing society and advancing human knowledge.



Research Associate [SPEAR3 Accelerator Physics]

Job Requisition #: 3489
Classification Title: Research Associate - Experimental
Grade: NA
# of openings: 1
FLSA: Exempt
Location: Menlo Park, CA (HQ)


SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s SPEAR3 is one of the four US third generation light sources – electron storage rings dedicated to producing brilliant X-ray beams. SPEAR3 serves Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a national user facility with the longest history of utilizing synchrotron radiation for multi-disciplinary experiments. Presently we are seeking a Research Associate with research background in Accelerator Physics to help support SPEAR3 operation and contribute to R&D work related to future upgrade plans. 

Your specific responsibilities include:

  • Perform design optimization and study beam dynamics and practical issues for the SPEAR3 short pulse upgrade plan. Other possibilities for future upgrades may also be studied.
  • Develop experimental methods or tools that will help the implementation of future storage ring upgrades.
  • Study the performance limiting issues for the SPEAR3 accelerator complex with simulation or experiments and develop solutions.

Note: The Research Associate role is a fixed term staff position. This is a 2 year fixed term position with the possibility of extension. Assignment duration is contingent upon project needs and funding.

Applicants must provide evidence of either a recently completed PhD degree or confirmation of completion of the PhD degree requirements prior to starting the position. Applicants should also include a cover letter, a statement of research area including brief summary of accomplishments, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and names of three references for future letters of recommendation with the application.

Contact: Please send in a cover letter, a CV with a list of publications and have three of your referees send letters of recommendation directly to Dr. Xiaobiao Huang at the address below.
SLAC National Accelerator Lab
2575 Sand Hill Road, MS 69
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tel: 650-926-5056

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • PhD in Accelerator Physics, or related fields with demonstrated coursework and research experience in the area of accelerator physics, including:
  • Demonstrated research experience as evidenced by a publication record.
  • A solid foundation in the theory of beam dynamics (single particle dynamics and collective effects)
  • Strong mathematic and computational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Excellent communication skills. 

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • Familiarity with accelerator modeling and simulation tools, such as Elegant, MAD and Accelerator Toolbox, is highly preferred.
  • Experience with linac, synchrotron, storage ring, or RF technology.

Candidates will provide evidence of either a recently completed PhD degree in Physics, EE, or related field, or confirmation of completion of the PhD degree requirements prior to starting the position.

SLAC Employee Competencies:

  • Effective Decisions: Uses job knowledge and solid judgment to make quality decisions in a timely manner.
  • Self-Development: Pursues a variety of venues and opportunities to continue learning and developing.
  • Dependability: Can be counted on to deliver results with a sense of personal responsibility for expected outcomes.
  • Initiative: Pursues work and interactions proactively with optimism, positive energy, and motivation to move things forward.
  • Adaptability: Flexes as needed when change occurs, maintains an open outlook while adjusting and accommodating changes.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences and creates and delivers clear, appropriate written, spoken, presented messages.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve common goals.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job. May work extended hours during peak business cycles.

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for environment, safety and security; communicates related concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.  Meets the applicable roles and responsibilities as described in the ESH Manual, Chapter 1—General Policy and Responsibilities:
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,


SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All staff at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. SLAC is an E-Verify employer.


Final candidates are subject to background checks prior to commencement of employment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Internal candidates, who are selected for hire, may require degree verification and/or credit checks based on requirements of the new position.


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