Montana Jobs

facebook youtube linkedin
Mobile Montana Labor & Industry Mobile Logo

Job Information

Montana State University Research Scientist/Engineer *Updated as of 9/10/2021* in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Announcement Number STAFF - VA - 21204

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Krishna Rupavatharam at 406-994-7675 or

Classification Title Research Scientist and/or Research Engineers

Working Title Research Scientist/Engineer Updated as of 9/10/2021

Brief Position Overview

Spectrum Lab is seeking a Research Scientist\Engineer to immediately contribute to current grant and contract research activities in the applied research areas of experimental Quantum Optics, Quantum Communications, Quantum Networks, Quantum Communications, Fiber optics, or Non-linear Optics.

This individual is expected to work productively both independently and collaboratively as a team member and as a team leader, as per project requirements. This individual will be expected to work on various project tasks that are autonomous in nature, but which will integrate with or benefit the project as a whole.

This individual is planned to be hired at the Research Scientist or Research Engineer level. The individual’s title is negotiable, depending on the education, experience, and interests of the candidate and on whether expected contributions in the described duties will be more in the areas of engineering or science.

Current applied research areas at Spectrum Lab include microwave photonics, optical signal processing, remote sensing (polarimetry and geo-location sensing), advanced imaging techniques, digital holography, quantum optics, quantum networking, electromagnetic wave propagation, opto-mechanical design, non-linear optics, and laser development.

This individual would also participate in the writing of proposals for securing funding for new projects in collaboration with other Spectrum Lab personnel, MSU Faculty, or local industry.

Position Number 4C1169

Department Spectrum Lab

Division Office of Research and Economic Development

Appointment Type Professional

Contract Term Fiscal Year


If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

FLSA Exempt

Union Affiliation Exempt from Collective Bargaining

FTE 1.0 (Flexible work schedules are negotiable)

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary Salary commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications.

Contract Type LOA

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

General Statement

Spectrum Lab is an interdisciplinary MSU research center established in 1999 and reports to the Vice-President of Research and Economic Development and Graduate Education ( VPREDGE ). It is dedicated to innovation in applied optics and photonics with a three-fold mission to:

  • Develop and help commercialize Montana grown opto-electronic technologies

  • Transfer and develop technologies to Montana companies

  • Provide enhanced educational, research, and employment opportunities for Montana undergraduate and graduate students

Spectrum Lab’s location close to the MSU -Bozeman campus and in close proximity to spin-off companies and other local industry facilitates collaboration with MSU faculty and researchers and our local industry partners. The lab has several research grants and contracts in the areas of remote sensing, coherent imaging, and optical signal processing with average annual expenditures of roughly $1M.

This position includes working in a facility with controlled research restrictions; therefore, applicants who are not U.S. citizens are not eligible for the position. The position involves working with, handling, and controlling sensitive information.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct, report, and publish (when applicable) scientific/engineering research projects in applied optics and photonics, including conducting independent research, conducting research as a team member, and leading a team of researchers.

  • Supervise teams of undergraduate and graduate student researchers on research projects, including assigning tasks, providing technical assistance and advice, and following up on task completion and reporting.

  • Collaborate with research teams to develop new areas of applied optics, quantum optics and photonics research and actively contribute to obtaining funding through successful research proposals as a key contributor on the proposed work.

  • Interact productively with research team, with MSU faculty, or with local companies with the goal of developing and/or helping to commercialize new technologies.

  • Execute assignments and tasks that are specialized and advanced in nature with minimum supervision.

    Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

    Minimum Qualifications depend on title

For the Research scientist or Research Engineer at hire

  • Ph.D. degree in Optics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related field with documentation of original work in experimental or applied optics and the demonstrated potential for leadership in the acquisition and conduct of externally (e.g. government) funded research program in optics OR Master’s degree in Optics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related field with documentation of 2 or more years of experience (academic or industrial) in experimental or applied optics and original work in experimental or applied optics and a record of leadership in the acquisition and conduct of externally (e.g. government) funded research program in optics.

  • Successful record of research or professional experience in the areas of Experimental Quantum Optics, Quantum Communications, Quantum networks, Non-linear optics or Fiber Optics.

    Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Record of scientific publication in peer-reviewed journals, patents, or presentations at technical conferences.

  • Have demonstrated the ability to actively and significantly contributed to the development of an innovative and externally funded research or development program.

  • Record of successfully completing and documenting research or development projects.

  • Demonstrated business development skills in research and development.

  • Good theoretical skills as demonstrated in academic work, technical writing, or work products.

  • Demonstrated experience in the use of technical and experimental computer software (such as MATLAB , Python, Mathematica, LabView)

  • Demonstrated experience in conducting hands-on experimental research, including skills in electronics and optics.

  • Demonstrated ability in successful technical project management

    The Successful Candidate Will

  • Possess the ability to work productively in a professional manner, both autonomously and as a member of a team, prioritizing work in a challenging environment with many demands.

  • Possess the interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate with colleagues in academia and private companies.

  • Possess effective written and oral communication skills, publishing results of research in conference proceedings or Possess the ability to handle and control material of a sensitive nature.

  • Possess the ability to actively propose and significantly contribute to the development of innovative and externally funded research projects.

  • Possess leadership potential and capabilities.

  • Possess the ability and desire to significantly contribute to the research missions of Spectrum Lab and the objectives of the grants and contracts.

  • Have demonstrated ability to maintain effective attention to detail, to meet deadlines, and to well document and maintain thorough records of their work.

  • Have the ability and desire to work with and engage a diverse community of individuals on campus and in the larger research community, including faculty, research staff, students, and colleagues in academia and private companies.

    Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

The position is by letter of appointment contracts, which are renewed annually. Continuation of employment beyond the first year, is contingent upon availability of funding.

This position includes working in a facility with controlled research restrictions; therefore, applicants who are not U.S. citizens are not eligible for the position. The position involves working with, handling, and controlling sensitive 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.

This position has supervisory duties? Yes

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date Upon Completion of a Successful Search

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on September 24, 2021; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples ( .

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; .

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU ’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: ( .