Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistants and Researchers join a University of Colorado Denver Physics Department faculty member's research team. While a member of the research team you will help advance the research by learning new skills or using experience and skills you already have. You can get paid for being a student researcher, but we also have an options through PHYS 2880, 3880, 4880, 5880 Directed Research to earn credit for being part of the team, and directed research can help you become more qualified to be selected for a paid position. 

During the academic year you will set a schedule for accomplishing research goals with a maximum of 25 hours per week allowed. During the summer students can engage in research up to 40 hours per week. Different research positions will have different time commitments to you will workout with your research professor. You can learn more about being a student employee on the Career Center website.

Funding for these positions come from a variety of sources:

  1. An externally funded grant obtained by your research professor.
  2. CU Denver's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP).
  3. CU Denver's EURēCA! Summer Fellowship Program
  4. Anschutz BIO - Summer Research Training Programs.

There are also opportunities to conduct research at other institutions throught the NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.


Preferred Qualifications to join a CU Denver Physics Department research team.

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate student at CU Denver. 
  • Some research teams prefer students to have taken certain physics coursework to be prepared to engage in research whereas other research teams can accommodate students new to CU Denver. 


Current openings for student research assistants in the physics department: 


Job Title: Conduct research on making scientific data available to analyzers working to detect dark matter in Professor Amy Roberts's Laboratory (amy.roberts@ucdenver.edu)




Job Class: Student Assistant III Pay range:  $17.29 to $18.00 Starting: Oct 1, 2022 (an later start may be considered)




Job description: A part-time position for a research assistant is available in the physics department at CU Denver with Dr. Amy Roberts.  The Detector Lab works to detect dark matter and to build systems that allow everyone to easily access this exciting science; this position will focus on making scientific data available to analyzers.  The primary responsibilities include testing and improving a SQL-based data catalog and its python client, working with scientists to register data in the data catalog, and working to make collaboration data available on the Open Storage Network.  Common tasks will involve reporting on issues through a JIRA ticketing system and performing directed tests to debug issues.  Additional projects may include coordinating with scientists to make data from experiments beyond the dark matter field easily available. 




Minimum requirements:

  • Commitment to creating a welcoming and equitable lab environment.

  • Dedication to creating, testing, and improving technical documentation.

  • Prior experience or willingness to learn and become fluent in version control.

  • Prior experience or willingness to learn and become fluent in the linux shell.

  • Willingness to learn new skills 

  • Comfort taking the lead role in small but critical projects





Preferred requirements:

  • Some experience with programming languages (such as python) 

  • Some experience with data transfer (such as scp, rclone, http, or s3)

  • Interest or experience in software testing

  • Interest in Open Science and/or FAIR data access




Job Title: Conduct research on gravitational evidence for dark matter in Professor Anthony Villano's Laboratory (anthony.villano@ucdenver.edu)

Job Class: Student Assistant I Pay range:  $15.87 to $16.87 Starting: May 23, 2022--August 20, 2022 for maximum of 10 hours / week

Job description: Professor in the physics department seeks motivated student(s) to join self-directed research group in firmware development for CAEN electronics. Required experience with nuclear and particle physics electronics or CAEN electronics specifically.

Minimum requirements: Expertise in Jupyter notebooks, familiarity with nuclear and particle physics detector hardware and specifically CAEN electronics.


Job Title: Design software for Professor Anthony Villano's Courses (anthony.villano@ucdenver.edu)

Job Class: Student Assistant III Pay range:  $15.87 to $18.87 Starting: May 23, 2022--August 20, 2022 for maximum of 10 hours / week

Job description: Professor in physics department seeking a student to design software that interacts with a NoSQL database (CouchDB) and a web interface that can display records from the database. The application will be to build a database of physics problems and solutions and have them be easily accessible to students as examples. The database records will have various metadata (like the problem subject/textbook chapter) and also have several .pdf files attached. Experience designing public software APIs (especially in Python) and web programming experience are necessary. NoSQL (especially CouchDB) experience is desirable. It is expected that code is developed to back up a Trello board into a NoSQL cloud-hosted database. Furthermore a web interface to the database is to be constructed so that each database record can be displayed on a standard browser.

Minimum requirements: NoSQL database experience. Experience with hosting options for said databases.

Job Title: Create example problems for Professor Anthony Villano's Courses (anthony.villano@ucdenver.edu)

Job Class: Student Assistant I Pay range:  $15.87 to $16.87 Starting: May 23, 2022--August 20, 2022 for maximum of 10 hours / week

Job description: Professor in the physics department seeks motivated student(s) to create example problems for PHYS-2311 (Gen Phys I); PHYS-3411 (Thermal Physics); and PHYS-3211 (Analytical Mechanics). The problems will be worked out by the employee and evaluated by the professor before being uploaded to a database. The purpose is to populate a database with example problems for students that include questions and answers but are not necessarily "perfect." The person hired will produce 30-60 problems over the course of a semester.

Minimum requirements: Worked problem experience as you would get in class. Having taken and passed one of the following courses PHYS-2311, PHYS-3411, PHYS-3211.

Preferred requirements: Preference will be given for individuals having taken all courses or equivalents.

The Society of Physics Students Career Toolbox has guidance and examples of science resumes.
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