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Job Posting
The Research Scientist will take a leading role in participating in and supporting one or more of the scientific experiments being performed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF).

Position Summary

The Research Scientist will take a leading role in participating in and supporting one or more of the scientific experiments being performed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). The Research Scientist will support experiments at SURF by serving as a liaison between the science experiments and SURF operations to ensure the SURF research program is of the highest quality. The Research Scientist’s responsibilities will include work on the surface as well as underground at one of the main laboratory campuses. The Research Scientist may also supervise other Laboratory support staff or students as required. The position reports to the Science Director and will be based in Lead, SD.

Functional Responsibilities (include but are not limited to) 


  • Serve as a formal collaborator in at least one of the SURF experiments with significant responsibilities.
  • Gain and apply expert knowledge of detector systems.
  • Provide guidance and take leadership role in matters of safety, including operating and emergency procedures.  Initiate system modifications.
  • Direct work of others.

Experiment Reviews

  • Participate in scientific, technical and safety reviews of experiments.

Experiment Support

  • Provide technical expertise in major areas.
  • Develop and review detailed procedures including during installation and commissioning, operations and decommissioning.
  • Diagnose complex operational problems and implement resolutions.
  • Assist with the installation and commissioning of scientific equipment as needed.
  • Perform analyses of scientific data.

Desired Qualifications


  • Advanced degree (e.g., PhD or equivalent) in experimental particle or nuclear physics.


  • A minimum of 3 years experience in underground experiments required.
  • Experimental physics, including complex instrumentation and systems.
  • Demonstrated ability through publications and experience to design, build and operate apparatus for underground experiments.


  • Customer Service – Ability to interact courteously and demonstrate sensitivity to and respect for a diverse population.
  • Attention to Detail – Ability to pay careful attention to details and complete tasks in an accurate, complete, and timely manner.
  • Organization – Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, keep order, and coordinate a variety of activities.
  • Adaptability – Ability to effectively adjust to changing priorities and demands.
  • Communications—Communicates effectively and clearly with a wide range of audiences in both written and oral form. Communicates complex and highly technical topics for all to understand.
  • Decision Making – Ability to assess situations, evaluate options, and choose most appropriate course of action.
  • Initiative – Ability to assess situations and conditions and make suggestions for improvements.
  • Safety – Ability to learn and comply with the Sanford Laboratory's safety programs.

Work Requirements

Successful incumbent will be required to: 

  • Occasionally manipulate heavy items.
  • Work in all types of conditions (heat, humidity, wet, cold).
  • Occasionally work from ladders, scaffolding, and in confined places.
  • Operate heavy equipment (e.g., material handling and transportation devices).
  • Operate hand and power tools.
  • Work underground.
  • Work shifts, weekends, holidays and callouts as scheduled.
  • Provide proof of a valid driver’s license.

The South Dakota Science & Technology Authority (SDSTA) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to the development of a diverse workforce. Applicants are invited to self-identify as an individual with a disability or as a protected veteran. Forms are available on the website or upon request from Human Resources.