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Post Doctoral Scholar, Physics and Astronomy & Cell Biology and Anatomy

Job ID: 26863

Updated: March 9, 2023

Location: Main Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Description

Nature of the Work:

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science in conjunction with the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy in the Cumming School of Medicine is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar. 

The Faculty of Science has been catalyzing change and inspiring discovery, creativity, and innovation for over 50 years. Our strategic direction integrates current and emerging strengths with areas targeted for future growth and investment. Our strategic priorities, goals, and values guide our mission to advance research, scholarship, and innovation, create authentic learning experiences, and inspire careers of the future. We fuel transformational change, and build a strong community through teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and collaborative partnerships. We do this work to generate curiosity-drive discovery and contribute solutions to society's grand challenges. For more information, visit

We thrive in the dynamic context of the University of Calgary, one of Canada’s most youthful and innovative universities. We are a bold and ambitious research university, grounded in innovative learning and teaching, fully engaged in Calgary’s entrepreneurial spirit.

This is a full-time fixed term appointment, part of the AUPE Bargaining Unit.

Primary Purpose of the Position:

The postdoctoral researcher is responsible for performing experimental research on detecting ultra-weak photon emission from biological samples. The candidate will plan, perform and analyze experiments on biological samples using single-photon detection systems. The candidate’s tasks will be based at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa with occasional research visits to UCalgary.  These two sites are home to teams with expertise in biophoton detection/theory and neuroscience applications, who will jointly mentor and supervise the candidate. The candidate is expected to support the development of funding and attracting graduate students to ensure continued growth in the area of quantum biology. The incumbent will be expected to also present research accomplishments and findings in internal and external meetings, conferences, reports and publications.

Qualifications/Expertise Required:

  • A PhD in neuroscience, biology or related fields is required.
  • Experience in operating optical imaging equipment and image analysis tools and software.
  • Experience in preparing and maintaining in vitro biological cell preparations (ideally dissociated cultures and brain slices).
  • An asset would be experience in assessing effect of pharmacological agents on cells and tissues, preferably neuronal in origin.
  • An asset would be experience in theoretical and experimental aspects of light emission from biological systems.
  • An asset would be knowledge of quantum mechanics.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Capable of assisting expansion and development of research projects in biophoton research. 
  • A high level of effective time and project management, personal initiative, communications skills and teamwork.
  • Majority of job tasks will be performed on-site at National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa.
  • Position requires flexibility to occasionally visit U Calgary for research collaboration.
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally.
  • Knowledge of university policies and procedures is an asset.

Accountabilities/Tasks and Duties: 


  • The candidate will primarily be responsible for operation of an experimental setup designed to detect single photons (biophotons) from biological samples. Biological samples to be investigated will include living tadpoles and various neuron culture assemblies. Biophoton emission will be investigated using pharmacological and possibly electrophysiological approaches. The incumbent will also be responsible for the analysis and interpretation of the data, working with the teams at uCalgary and National Research Council. The incumbent will design, implement, and consult with the Principal Investigator on projects and programs. The candidate will be expected to identify and pursue new research opportunities aligned with the overall vision of the project.


  • The candidate will provide training of undergraduate and graduate students in experimental and theoretical research techniques, as well as presentation skills (written and oral).

Publishing/Presenting Research:

  • Publish/present research accomplishments at both the national and international level, including in high impact/selective academic journals.
  • Prepare manuscripts describing findings for submission for publication, and lead process of responding to referees/editors during the peer review process.

Occupational Health & Safety:

  • Understands and complies with the requirements of the University's Occupational Health and  Safety Policy.
  • Has knowledge of and understands the expectations of the University's Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) and applicable Faculty/Departmental/Unit specific health  and safety policies and procedures.
  • Ensures that all work conducted is in accordance with the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation and Code and other health and safety legislation as applicable.

Application Deadline:  March 31, 2023. Candidates should send a cover letter and CV to Prof. Daniel Oblak [email protected] 

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone. For more information visit

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).


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