Jobs at Western

Assistant Professor - Experimental Physics

Apply now Work type: TT Faculty
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Assistant Professor - Experimental Physics
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is comprised of 16 full-time faculty and 110 undergraduate physics majors.  Physics B.S. and Math/Physics B.A.Ed. degrees are offered in addition to minor degrees in both physics and astronomy.  In recent years, the department has placed increased emphasis on providing meaningful research opportunities for its majors, including hiring new tenure-track faculty committed to undergraduate research. Members of the department are also active in the development of new educational materials and innovative teaching methods.  The common vision shared within the department is to make the WWU Department of Physics and Astronomy the most outstanding undergraduate program of its kind in the nation.

The department and college are committed to creating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for their students, faculty and staff.  A number of faculty-led initiatives and committees focus on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and beyond. The college’s STEM Inclusion & Outreach Specialist, who also teaches in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, maintains partnerships with faculty and inclusion programs locally and nationally that are devoted to recruitment and advancement of underrepresented students in STEM.  New faculty are supported by mentoring both within the department and through university-wide initiatives, and individual faculty involvement in the Faculty Success Program has recently been supported by our department. Student clubs such as SACNAS, Physicists for Inclusion in STEM (PhIS), and Out in Science are also vital to advancing inclusion within the college.

Detailed information is available for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at

The Department and the College of Science and Engineering support WWU’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western Washington University (WWU) invites applications from candidates with research specialties in experimental physics, broadly defined. The position is a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor of physics, beginning September 2020. Teach upper and lower division undergraduate courses in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and possibly courses in support of other programs in the college, such as the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC) or the Institute for Energy Studies (IES). Develop and maintain a research program involving undergraduate students, and seek extramural funding in support of research. Participate in student advising, committees, and departmental activities. Assist in closing existing gaps in student retention and success by fulfilling teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students.

Required Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in physics or closely related field at time of application OR ABD at time of application. If ABD, all degree requirements must be completed by June 15th of the first year of employment
  • Active research in experimental physics, broadly defined
  • Research specialization that strengthens existing areas of expertise in the department or college
  • Record of significant scholarly accomplishment and the potential for establishing an active independent research program involving undergraduate students
  • Record of, or potential for, effective teaching of the physics undergraduate curriculum at both the upper- and lower-division
  • Demonstrated ability and commitment to cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse identities and backgrounds.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Preferred Qualifications
  • Post-doctoral research (or equivalent) experience
  • Demonstrated experience with, or interest in the use of student-centered teaching approaches
  • Demonstrated interest in, and potential for teaching upper-division laboratory courses


 Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Applications must include (1) a detailed cover letter describing the ways in which the applicant's background addresses the required and preferred qualifications, (2) a statement of teaching philosophy, (3) a statement outlining proposed research plans, specifically addressing plans for undergraduate involvement, (4) a statement that addresses how your cultural, experiential, and/or academic background has prepared you to support the success of students with backgrounds or identities that are underrepresented in STEM fields as well as your commitment to these issues, and (5) a full curriculum vitae including the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references.  Do not send letters of recommendation; they will be requested only for semi-finalists. All application materials must be uploaded at

Inquiries may be addressed to the search committee chair, Dr. Takele Seda, at or (360) 650-3838.

Closing Date Notes Review of applications will begin on November 29, 2019 and the position will remain open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497333
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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