Physics Postdoctoral Research Associate


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Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267


Company Description:
Established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams, the college is private, residential, and liberal arts, with graduate programs in the history of art and in development economics. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 2,000 students.

Physics Postdoctoral Research Associate
Full Time

Physics Postdoctoral Research Associate

Location: Williams Campus,Williamstown
Job ID: 302475
Full/Part Time: Full Time

Opening Details

The laboratory of Professor Katharine Jensen in the Department of Physics at Williams College seeks a postdoctoral research associate for an NSF-funded position focused on investigating the effects of deformation on surface mechanical properties of polymer gels, especially in highly dynamic contexts. The position is primarily for experimental research but will also include complementary theory and simulation work. This project is part of an NSF collaborative research grant with Professor Chelsea Davis's laboratory at the Purdue University School of Materials Engineering. While this position is based at Williams College under the guidance of Prof. Jensen, the postdoctoral research associate will work directly with the research groups at both institutions.


The postdoctoral research associate will be responsible for conducting experimental and computational research on the deformation-dependent adhesion of stretched compliant networked polymer systems. This will involve the design and construction of novel apparatus, collecting and analyzing data, and carefully documenting results and assaying relevant literature, and preparing manuscripts, reports, and research presentations. Additionally, the postdoctoral research associate will be expected to take an active role as a senior member of Prof. Jensen's research group, as well as an affiliated member of Prof. Davis's research group at Purdue. This includes participating in group meetings, assisting in mentoring and advising research students, training new group members in experimental and analytical methods, and coordinating lab maintenance activities. If desired, opportunities to gain experience in undergraduate teaching may be possible.

Williams College is a primarily undergraduate institution located in western Massachusetts with a highly research-active faculty. Williams is committed to building an inclusive community where members of all backgrounds can thrive. We strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups or who have experience working with a broadly diverse student population to apply.


Qualified applicants should have a Ph.D. in Physics, Polymer Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related discipline; have expertise and/or demonstrated research interest in soft matter physics and interface mechanics; and be highly motivated and able to work independently as well as part of a team. Prior experience in constructing experimental setups, mechanical testing, optical microscopy, high-speed imaging, quantitative analysis software (e.g. MATLAB, Python), working with polymers and gels, and/or performing numerical simulations is preferred. This position requires technical proficiency, scientific creativity, strong organizational skills, excellent communication and collaboration, and a strong command of spoken and written English. This is a one-year term staff position with the possibility of renewal for a second year based upon performance.

Application review will begin on April 25, and will continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Pay range is from $55,000 to $55,000. We also offer generous benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurances, life insurance, our retirement plan, 22 days paid vacation time, unlimited paid sick time, holidays, rental housing, our mortgage program, tuition assistance, and more. Details can be found in our staff handbook:

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, CV, writing sample (e.g dissertation chapter or manuscript where you are the primary author), and two letters of recommendation. Please visit to apply. If you have trouble with the link, please right click and open in a new tab.

Conditions of Employment

Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification of background information submitted by the applicant, including the completion of a criminal record check, and education when applicable.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations for non-discrimination, Williams College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn and thrive. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process please feel free to contact us via phone at (413) 597-2681 or email at

To apply, visit

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