In 2021, ITMO University presented its 2030 Development Strategy that includes several strategic projects aimed to accelerate scientific advances, ensure a high technology readiness level, customize the educational process, and promote the integration of business, science, and education. 

Any student and staff member could submit their ideas for the university’s development through the specially organized open call. Applications could be submitted in four categories: the establishment of ITMO’s frontier laboratories, the development of new technologies corresponding to the Development Strategy’s strategic goals, the creation of new research teams headed by principal investigators, and the development of core technologies within the scope of ITMO’s M-platforms. The results of the open call were announced in December 2021 with 36 project teams receiving funding. 

Faculty of Physics: PhD students, postdocs, and engineers 

ITMO's Faculty of Physics. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

ITMO's Faculty of Physics. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

The biggest number of vacancies is offered by the Faculty of Physics – here, the team is looking not only for aspiring PhD students, postdocs, or current PhD holders, but also for engineers who would work with complex experimental installations and develop new devices. 

The project Probing fundamental physics with topological metamaterials headed by Maxim Gorlach has two openings: for a postdoc and a PhD student in the field of axion electrodynamics. They will help the team unravel the mysteries of dark matter using topological materials. Aspiring postdocs should be ready to head their own research groups, while PhD students will work on developing topological isolators in photonics. 

One of the crucial prerequisites for applicants is a thorough knowledge of classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics, ideally – topped with expertise in quantum optics and quantum field theory. Candidates should also have experience with software for modeling physical properties and performing mathematical calculations, such as Matlab and CST Microwave Studio. PhD candidates need to have at least one publication in an international peer-reviewed journal (exclusive of conference reports); aspiring postdocs should have at least three such publications. 

Successful candidates will have the chance to work alongside world-class researchers, in particular, Professor Frank Wilczek, the 2004 Nobel laureate in physics, as well as get all the perks of working at the Faculty of Physics, including participation in conferences, grants and scholarships, access to ITMO’s sports and leisure camp, and more. 

Engineer positions are available at three other projects implemented within the university’s M-platforms and aimed to develop technologies to solve the tasks outlined in the Development Strategy. An expert that will specialize in circuit design for antennas, receivers and transmitters in radiofrequency devices, and high-frequency modules is needed at the project Portable low-field MRI scanner for the human head (headed by Anna Hurshkainen). Candidates should have a PhD in physics, mathematics, or engineering or a diploma of a radiophysics engineer with work experience in the field, as well as their own patents. Successful candidates will be offered a salary of about 95,000 rubles and opportunities for rapid career growth. 

Light-controlled antenna for 5G data transfer at ITMO's radiophysics laboratory. Photo by Lilia Kichigina, ITMO's Faculty of Physics

Light-controlled antenna for 5G data transfer at ITMO's radiophysics laboratory. Photo by Lilia Kichigina, ITMO's Faculty of Physics

Another engineer position is opened at the project headed by Pavel Belov that aims to develop a technology for indoor wireless charging. Applicants are required to have proven experience in developing radiofrequency devices, a deep understanding of the foundations of digital and analog circuit design, as well as knowledge of circuit and electromagnetic modeling software and lab equipment, such as multimeters, oscillographs, and signal generators. 

Finally, the project Smart antennas for 6G headed by Stanislav Glybovski is also hiring an engineer who will study innovative devices – electronically controlled traveling-wave antennas and reflect-array antennas based on liquid crystals. 

Importantly, all of these positions are not short-term contracts only for the duration of the project, but long-term positions at ITMO’s Faculty of Physics:

“Even though right now we are looking for specialists to work on specific projects, it doesn’t mean that once the projects are complete, these people will lose their jobs,” comments Anastasia Mikhailova, the head of HR at the School of Physics and Engineering. “We try to employ candidates with a certain set of competencies that can be useful not only for a specific project, but for our department at large. There is always a need for qualified specialists. That means that once the Development Strategy projects are complete, we will have new ones – equally interesting and ambitious. Talented people will always find what to do here.”

International PhD students 

The project Functionalized carbon nanoparticles headed by Elena Ushakova is looking for an international PhD student in spectroscopy and nanotechnology who will join the team and focus on developing synthesis methods for functionalized biocompatible nanoparticles. Candidates should have previous research experience in physics or chemistry, at least one publication in a Scopus- or Web of Science-indexed journal, and knowledge of Origin and LaTeX software packages. Good presentation skills, as well as experience of working with image processing software and biological systems will be an additional advantage. Salary will be discussed based on the applicant’s portfolio and ambitions. Preferred start date: September 1, 2022. 

SCAMT Institute: molecular biology and working with pathogens

ITMO's SCAMT Institute. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev, ITMO.NEWS

ITMO's SCAMT Institute. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev, ITMO.NEWS

One of the projects developed at the SCAMT Institute that was supported at the open call is a platform for point-of-care diagnostics based on DNA nanosensors. The team of the project, headed by Elena Koshel, has already reached the first results in identifying pathogens in the central nervous system – now, the platform has 16 most widespread ones in its database. In order to move further into new fields, such as identifying pathogens of within-laboratory infections, the team is hiring a molecular biologist, who will head the development team. 

Interested candidates should have experience in molecular diagnostics or PCR testing; professional training in biology, medical biology, veterinary, or chemistry; as well as in writing scientific publications and presenting their work in English. Notably, candidates don’t have to hold a PhD degree (even though it is an advantage): they will have the chance to get their degree at the program offered by ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster

“The M-platform we are working within is solving a complex and wide-scale task. That’s why we are looking for a specialist who will be able to successfully coordinate all the associated processes. They should be ready to fully immerse themselves into our research topic and take on a major workload. At the same time, the number of tasks taken by the candidate will determine their salary. Ideally, we are looking for a full-time employee but we are ready to consider part-time options, too,” says Maria Rubel, an engineer at the ChemBio Cluster. 

On the official website of ITMO’s 2030 Development Strategy, you will not only find more detailed information about all of the available positions, but also will be able to reach out to each project’s coordinator to apply for a position or ask for more information. The list of job openings will keep growing, so you will have every chance to find your dream job there!