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Research Associate, Photonics

City: Ottawa 

Organizational Unit: Advanced Electronics and Photonics 

Classification: RO 

Tenure: Term

Duration: 2 years

Language Requirements: English  

The NRC Advantage



The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system. 


NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

Your Challenge


Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada's largest research and technology organization.

We are looking for a Research Associate to support our Advanced Electronics and Photonics (AEP) Research Centre. The Research Associate would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

The primary responsibility of the successful candidate will be to support the goals of the NRC and the Advanced Electronics and Photonics (AEP) Research Centre through research and development and application of advanced integrated photonic technologies. The candidate will work in a team environment with researchers and technical experts in world-class facilities. The candidate is expected to be abreast of leading-edge research directions in integrated photonics, execute on agreed internal and clients projects aligned with the AEP Research Centre strategic plan and the High Throughput and Secure Networks (HTSN) Program, and contribute to the development of proposals for new research initiatives.


The key activities of the successful candidate, in close collaboration with AEP staff and external partners, will be:

  • Conceptualize, design and model advanced photonic components including optical waveguide elements such as grating and edge couplers, demultiplexers based on wavelength, mode and space demultiplexing, and ring resonators, and apply them to the specific needs and requirements of AEP’s clients and partnersby developing new approaches for both forward and inverse design leveraging machine-learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Create next-generation complex silicon photonic devices and new subwavelength (metamaterial) structures. The objective of the work is to develop the next generation of photonic integrated circuits that address current challenges in high capacity optical communication networks, optical Satellite communications and other applications, with particular emphasis on the development of Optical Phased Arrays for optical satellite communications.
  • Implement new design and simulation ideas using commercial and in-house design software and expand NRC’s photonics design and simulation capabilities. The successful candidate will be expected to interface with state-of-the-art silicon photonic fabrication technologies and be able to provide feedback to the fabrication staff to optimize fabrication for specific device applications. The candidate may also be responsible for measurement, analysis and interpretation of data on key photonic device properties.
  • Meet with NRC clients to establish project objectives, develop work plans, deliver on project objectives and report on project progress. In particular, this will include participation in projects with the Optical Satellite Consortium.
Screening Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


As part of the RA Program you must have received your Ph.D. in Physical Science or Engineering related to photonics within the last 5 years or you expect to receive the degree within the next 6 months.


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency

  • Experience in photonic component design and modeling with emphasison the physics, material properties and fabrication of passive integrated optical devices;
  • Experience in modeling techniques such as eigenmode expansion methods (EME), finite difference time domain methods (FDTD), finite element method (FEM), the ability to adapt these techniques to new device concepts including two-dimensional integrated optical phased arrays, related optical circuitry and new design approaches such as inverse design;
  • Significant experience in scientific programming for the design and simulation of photonic devices and data analysis such as:MATLAB, Python and C;
  • Experience in waveguide integrated optical device characterization and testing in a research environment, particularly in the area of silicon-photonics;
  • Experience in working in teams with research activities including setting project objectives, scheduling, experiment design, data analysis, interpretation and reporting results in technical reports, oral presentations and journal papers.

  • Experience in device optimization methods and machine learning algorithms would be considered an asset.
  • Experience with device mask layout design and fabrication would be considered an asset.
Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

Assessment Criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies
  • Ability to successfully carry out applied research on semiconductor photonics devices and integrated optics as evidenced by a record of peer reviewed publications in the field or successful photonic device development in an industrial setting.
  • Ability to design integrated optic devices, model their optical, optoelectronic, thermal-optical properties using commercial and in-house design, simulation software tools including eigenmode expansion methods (EME), finite difference time domain methods (FDTD) and finite-element methods (FEM).
  • Ability to use and adapt advanced design methods and software (including machine-learning aided methods) to design and optimize photonic devices and metamaterial structures.
  • Ability to measure, analyze and interpret key passive and active waveguide device performance parameters.
  • Knowledge of the current state-of-the-art integrated optics device technology for optical communications, including inter-satellite and satellite-to-ground optical communications.
  • Ability to plan, schedule and carry out tasks on client-oriented projects with milestones and delivery dates.
  • Knowledge of microfabrication techniques and process flows used in fabricating integrated photonic devices.
Behavioural Competencies
  • Research - Communication (Level 2)
  • Research - Creative thinking (Level 2)
  • Research - Initiative (Level 2)
  • Research - Results orientation (Level 2)
  • Research - Teamwork (Level 2)
Competency Profile(s)

For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profile(s): Research


View all competency profiles


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.

Salary Range

From $56,374 to $159,364 per annum. 


The Research Associate (RA) Program is unique to the NRC. It falls under the RO/RCO classification system which uses a person-based classification system instead of the more common duties-based classification system. Candidates are remunerated based on their expertise, skill, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience.


Application Requirements:

In order to be considered for the Research Associate program please include the following in your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.

  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation will be requested only to those selected for further consideration.

When submitting your application you can include the required documents in any attachment field such as «Second language evaluation results» or «Other attachments».

  • NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
  • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
  • We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (10283) to:


Telephone: 613-298-8025

Closing Date: 6 August 2020 - 23:59 Eastern Time



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*If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.


Date Modified: 2020-07-09

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