The Energetic Cosmos Laboratory (ECL) has positions open for scientists and engineers at all levels for our growing program of exciting, cutting-edge research. We welcome applications from astrophysics academics (theory, data analysis, observation, instrumentation), instrumentation scientists (not necessarily with experience in astrophysics) engineers, or anyone with exceptional skills in electronics and instrumentation, and undergraduates interested in learning about astrophysics research.   

Our lab is  headed by Nobel Laureate George Smoot here at Nazarbayev University (NU) in Nur-Sultan, the vibrant, modern capital of Kazakhstan. Our laboratory has first-class office, lab, observatory, and fabrication facilities  (see our pages under the “research” and “publications” tabs of this site), and generous resources for professional travel. ECL conducts research in cosmology (e.g. dark energy, inflation, gravitational lensing) and the transient sky (gamma ray bursts, fast radio bursts, ultrafast astronomy) through developing theoretical models and probes, advanced statistical and computational techniques of data analysis, and new instrumentation. The current hardware efforts focus on a rapid response telescope with a multichannel camera for gamma-ray burst science, instrumentation and observations for optical flux variations down to ~ nanoseconds, and new cryogenic detectors including MKIDs for both CMB and optical surveys; data analysis efforts focus on preparation for analyzing and interpreting CMB, GRB (gamma ray bursts), FRB (fast radio bursts), DESI, and LSST data.

Are you interested in astrophysics or cosmology?

Are you skilled in engineering, computers or machining ?
We want you to join ECL.
Please contact us: ecl @

NU is a modern research university, located a few minutes drive from downtown, next to the site of World Expo 2017. The working language of ECL and NU is English. ECL has many international connections, including a regular program of international academic visitors, and collaborations with UC Berkeley, Paris-APC and other universities and labs outside of Kazakhstan. Scientists and engineers at ECL have the opportunity for working visits to partner labs at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, APC Paris, or other labs in Asia.

We have postdoctoral positions open in all our major research areas. Exceptionally qualified candidates can be appointed at the research scientist, or project scientist levels. Housing is provided free. Undergraduate assistant and graduate student positions are also available and applications encouraged.

Scientists seeking postdoctoral positions in the following fields will be given highest priority:

  • Cosmology theory or data science connected to surveys or other data available in the near-term.
  •  Scientists with experience relating to optical observations/data analysis, or gamma-ray burst, fast radio-burst, or other transient, distant-universe, or high-energy astrophysics.
  • Scientists with instrumentation experience including all astrophysics instrumentation, instrumentation (not necessarily for astrophysics) including high-speed electronics, FPGA, cryogenic sensors including MKIDs or TES.

Engineers with experience in FPGA programming, vhdl or related coding, high-speed electronics, and/or low-noise electronics design, or anyone with linux or unix experience, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scientists and engineers with observation or instrumentation experience will work with Bruce Grossan (UC Berkeley, ECL) or George Smoot (ECL, UC Berkeley).
Scientists interested in cosmology will be working with Eric Linder (UC Berkeley, ECL); note that we are particularly interested in candidates who can bridge theoretical and experimental efforts. Theorists with interests in fast radio bursts and related topics may have an opportunity to work with Prof. Ernazar Abdikamolov (NU).

We recommend that candidates who do not work on the topics above (e.g. in String Theory) contact the Physics Department. We welcome all other qualified applicants.

Send required materials (see below) to: ecl @
Applications will reviewed as they come in until all positions are filled.
We can accommodate a range of start dates but preference will be given to candidates starting work first.


Applicants should email a single PDF file to ecl @ containing all of the following:

1. Curriculum vitae including a list of publications and contact information.
2. For scientists, in less than two pages, a plan of your proposed research for the next two years; for engineers, a list of your three most recent projects and the skills applied; For undergraduates: one paragraph on your research interests, a second paragraph on your research skills.
3. Personal References: At least three names and contact information for references. (Undergraduates: The names of 1-2 professors familiar with your work.)

Regarding positions for professional engineers, We anticipate vacancies for late 2020 but depending on your skills and talents, start dates are negotiable.

Applicants should email a single PDF file containing curriculum vitae, list of publications, short statement of research interests and plans related to the ECL program, and at least three names and contact information for references to: ecl @ Applications will reviewed as they come in.