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Physics and Astronomy Open Positions

Open Positions at WSU (Pullman)

Assistant / Associate Professor – Theoretical Physics

Administrative Assistant

Open Positions Other than WSU Department of Physics and Astronomy

Assistant / Associate Professor
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington
Department of Physics and Astronomy


The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University invites applications for a permanent, full-time tenure-track, 9-month academic faculty position in theoretical physics at the assistant or associate professor level beginning August 16, 2019, with particular emphasis on fields intersecting with quantum science and technologies, broadly defined.  Exceptional candidates will be considered in all areas of theoretical physics, but preference will be given to those able to help advance the university’s vision of developing a world class institute for quantum technologies.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to research excellence through rigorous classroom preparation and mentorship by world-renowned faculty to produce fundamental scientific knowledge and understanding that impacts society.  The Department performs research in the following broadly defined areas: Acoustical Physics; Astronomy and Astrophysics; Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (AMO); Biophysics; Condensed Matter and Materials; Nonlinear Dynamics and Quantum Chaos; Nuclear Physics; and Shock and High Pressure.  Research areas include a strong presence in Computational Physics, complementing WSU’s Center for Institutional Research Computing (CIRC). The Department’s research activities have important applications in energy, advanced technologies, national security, and other areas of national need.


The successful applicant will be expected to establish a vigorous externally funded research program, interact with other departmental faculty, and to teach effectively at the undergraduate and graduate levels phyics and astronomy.


The applicant must have a demonstrated record of excellence in one or more fields complementing the expertise of the department.  Applicants must have a PhD in physics or related fields, must have demonstrated the ability to initiate and lead research as evidenced by an established record of quality publications in scientific journals, must be able to work collegially and collaboratively with diverse internal and external constituencies, and possess excellent teaching skills. To be considered for an associate level position will require a minimum of 3 years experience in a tenure-track position.

About the Department

The Department of Physics and Astronomy strives for excellence in all of its four highly-interrelated activities in support of its teaching and research mission:

  • Strategically focused research at the forefront of the physical sciences
  • Graduate education that combines formal in-class instruction with outstanding research experience
  • Undergraduate education and research experiences
  • Educational, professional, and community service

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the premiere academic units at WSU:

Department Composition Research and Collaborations
Tenured / Tenure-Track Faculty: 17
Other Instructional Faculty: 3
Affiliate Faculty: 4Technical Staff: 2
Administrative Staff: 4Department faculty are recipients of numerous honors and awards:
•Over 2/3 are Fellows in one or more scientific societies (e.g. APS, AAAS, OSA…)
•Three WSU Eminent Faculty Awards
•Three Regents ProfessorsSome faculty are members of the interdisciplinary Materials Science and Engineering ProgramGraduate Students: 55 – 70Students enrolled in courses taught by the Department (Fall 2018): 1635
Physics and Astronomy faculty have currently been awarded $11M / year in extramural research funding.

Strong ties with major national facilities:
•Advanced Light Source (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
•Advanced Photon Source (Argonne National Laboratory)
•DOE/NNSA National Laboratories
•Hubble Space Telescope
•Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)
•Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Close proximity to LIGO Hanford, PNNL, the University of Idaho (10 min drive), and strong ties to the University of Washington.


About the University

Founded as the people’s university in 1890, Washington State University fulfills that commitment by transforming lives through education, research, and community outreach. In 2015, the University celebrated 125 years of delivering life-changing knowledge and discoveries to citizens across the state, region, nation, and around the world. The state’s only land-grant institution and one of two public research universities, WSU provides a world-class education to nearly 30,000 students through its multi-campus, statewide locations and online. The University strives to ensure that higher education is accessible at an affordable cost – a decades-long WSU commitment to the state’s citizens. The University offers more than 200 undergraduate fields of study and 127 graduate and professional degree programs. Many academic programs win recognition nationally for excellence. WSU is one of just 108 public and private universities in the United States – out of more than 4,500 – singled out for its “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. WSU is a major driver of Washington’s economy, partnering with many of the state’s leading industries, including agribusiness, aerospace, healthcare, software, and construction. The University is responsible for nearly 20,600 jobs statewide and generates an overall economic impact of more than $3.3 billion annually. The institution’s operating budget expenditures total nearly $2 billion annually.

Pullman Area

Pullman is a dynamic center of higher education, research, and culture located in a region called the Palouse. The region is home to two land grant universities, Washington State University and the University of Idaho located just eight miles to the east in Moscow, Idaho. Washington’s second-largest city, Spokane, is located 75 miles north of Pullman.   Livability ranked Pullman 25 on its list of “Top 100 Places to Live” in 2018.  The city also boasts one of the highest percentages of graduate degrees among U.S. micropolitan areas, and its public school system has been ranked among the top 100 in the country. World-class outdoor recreation opportunities—including golfing, skiing, hiking, and boating—are just a short drive away.

To learn more about the Pullman community, visit

Application Process

The Department of Physics and Astronomy seeks qualified candidates who can make contributions to the diversity and excellence of the university community through their teaching, research and / or service.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the WSU Human Resources recruitment website:  Applications must include a detailed letter of application, a curriculum vitae including a publication list, a research plan, and a statement of teaching philosophy. Three references required: recommendation letters will be automatically requested and obtained from the reference provider through our online application system. Consideration of applications will begin on December 15, 2018.  Complete applications received by this date are guaranteed full consideration, but review of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

Inquiries for the Theory Search Committee may be directed to Ms. Robin Stratton by email at or by telephone 509-335-9532.

Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator and employer. WSU is committed to excellence through diversity, has faculty friendly policies including a partner accommodation program, and a NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant (see Members of ethnic minorities, women, Vietnam-era or disabled veterans, persons of disability, and/or persons age 40 or over are encouraged to apply.

Notice of Vacancy – PD

Administrative Assistant


The Administrative Assistant 2 provides complex administrative support to the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The incumbent serves as the office’s first point of contact for visitors, faculty, staff and students. The incumbent performs complex clerical duties requiring strong computer skills including, developing/maintaining databases and creating reports from these databases; monitoring and updating website content; and creating newsletters and correspondence. The incumbent is also responsible for administrative support to the academic program including, but not limited to: organizing academic courses (schedule courses, rooms, manage the textbook process, coordinate assessment processes); coordinate the graduate programs (admissions, implement preliminary and comprehensive exams, schedule master’s exams and PhD defenses, etc.); and overseeing the student recruitment/retention and alumni program for the department.

Apply online at