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Post Doctoral Scholar - Computational Chemistry

Recruitment Period

Open August 7th, 2018 through June 30th, 2019


The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff. Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design, and supports the economic development of Merced and the region. In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus by 2020, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. UC Merced is also building the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building in the heart of Merced.

Three postdoctoral positions are available in the Center for Chemical Computation and Theory (ccCAT) at UC Merced. The center includes the computational chemistry research groups of Professors Mike Colvin, Hrant Hratchian, Christine Isborn, Aurora Pribram-Jones, Liang Shi, and David Strubbe. We are looking for post-docs with strong expertise in electronic structure and excited states, condensed-phase dynamics, and/or spectroscopy. The postdoc may be jointly mentored by multiple PIs based on mutual interests. Some specific projects of interest are listed below.

  • Improving the accuracy and efficiency of methods to model two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) based on the cumulant expansion for spectral lineshapes derived from the energy gap correlation function. This project will focus on developing techniques to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the dynamic approach to computing the spectral density, understanding the nature of the condensed phase environment during electronic excitation and subsequent relaxation, as well as extending the approach to multi-level systems.

  • Development and implementation of ground and excited state electronic structure methods motivated by the chemistry and physics of transition metal compounds. Part of this project will involve advancements involving GW and Bethe–Salpeter equation (BSE) formalisms, time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT), and constrained DFT. Additional efforts will advance symmetry-breaking and projection based theories for ground and excited state models, as well as incorporating key concepts from spin-projection models into ensemble density function theory and related models.

  • Formal development and analysis of ensemble and thermal density functional theory. Focus of this postdoctoral assignment will be on understanding and interrogating the strictly correlated limit of thermal ensembles of electrons, the direct ensemble correction to Kohn-Sham energies, and the relationships between interaction strength and other system parameters (temperature, ensemble weighting, and time, among others). This project will have opportunities for interaction with national laboratory scientists and programs. Other projects possible based on candidate expertise in semiclassical methods, response properties, and complex alloys.

The applicant should indicate the research areas of interest.

The University of California, Merced is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. The University is supportive of dual career couples.

Required qualifications: A recent Ph.D. (must be conferred by the start date of the position) in theoretical chemistry or a closely related field (e.g. condensed matter physics), good written and spoken communication skills.

Preferred qualifications: excellent publication record; experience with developing, implementing, and validating models in electronic structure theory or dynamics programs; experience in theoretical chemical physics, computational transition metal chemistry, condensed-phase dynamics, or spectroscopic methods; experience with Fortran, python, and numerical methods.

Interested applicants are required to submit 1) a cover letter 2) a curriculum vitae 3) a list of two references with contact information including mailing address, phone number and e- mail address submitted through AP Recruit during the application process. 4) a statement of research interests no longer than 2 pages.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled with a final closing date of June 30, 2019.

Salary is based on the University of California Academic Salary Scales. This is a full-time, one-year appointment with the possibility of renewal based on availability of funding, ongoing operational needs and satisfactory performance.

For more information, please contact Hrant Hratchian: or Christine Isborn:

Job location

Merced, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research - A statement of research interests no longer than 2 pages.

Reference requirements
  • 2 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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