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Research Officer, Frequency and Time

City: Ottawa 

Organizational Unit: Metrology Research Centre 

Classification: RO 

Tenure: Term positiion with the possibility of extension.

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 Officer in Frequency and Time to support the research and calibration services in the Frequency and Time group of the Metrology Research Centre. The Research Officer (RO) would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

We at NRC Frequency and Time (F&T) group are responsible for realising the unit of SI second and maintaining and disseminating the Official Time for Canada. In support of this work, F&T team conducts research and development of primary and secondary frequency standards, and frequency comparison and dissemination methods. We operate a caesium fountain primary frequency standard (NRC-FCs2), single trapped Strontium ion clocks (NRC-Sr+), optical frequency combs, and an ensemble of commercial atomic clocks along with multiple time dissemination systems.

The RO’s primary role will be to contribute to the enhancement of NRC’s optical frequency comparisons and transfer capabilities with femto-second laser frequency combs. At NRC the combs are an integral part of key research projects. They are needed as the link between optical and microwave frequencies of Sr+ and FCs2 clocks, as the part of the portable Sr+ system for comparisons with different optical standards at laboratories around the world, for client laser calibrations, and other applications. Additional research projects such as using IR combs as pump lasers for VUV combs are also ongoing. 

The RO challenge will be to upgrade existing and build new comb systems, design and construct frequency transfer links and contribute to frequency measurement capabilities development at one of the leading metrology institutes in the world.   

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:


PhD in Physics, Applied Physics, Optical Sciences or a related field.

Master’s Degree in Engineering combined with work experience in time and frequency metrology may be considered.


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



  • Experience in laboratory work, including the planning, design, setup, data collection and analysis of complex scientific experiments.
  • Experience working independently and within a team on joint projects and achieving recognized and quantifiable results.
  • Experience in developing analytical and numerical models of physical processes.
  • Experience in nonlinear optics and atomic physics.
  • Experience in electronics design and the development of servo systems for laser frequency stabilization and high resolution spectroscopy would be considered an asset.
  • Experience in ultra-short pulsed laser and comb characterization, design and construction would be considered an asset.
  • Experience in developing comb based frequency comparison and transfer systems for optical, microwave and radio frequency ranges or experience in precision metrology 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


  • Proven ability, as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, to conduct research in experimental physics in which clear goals were achieved, to design and analyze scientific experiments, and to design scientific instruments and equipment.
  • Ability to write quality scientific articles in the research area as well as an ability to communicate clearly in discussions and through presentations to industrial and research partners, and at scientific conferences, workshops and seminars, and to answer questions from the general public.
  • Proven, hands-on laboratory skills and knowledge in electronics, optics, lasers, spectroscopy, measurement tools and automated measurement systems.
Behavioural Competencies
  • Research - Creative thinking (Level 2)
  • Research - Communication (Level 2)
  • Research - Results orientation (Level 2)
  • Research - Initiative (Level 2)
  • Research - Teamwork (Level 2)
  • Research - Networking (Level 2)
Competency Profile(s)

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


View all competency profiles



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

Salary Range

This position is classified as a Research Officer (RO), a group that is unique to the NRC. The RO group 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. The salary scale for this group is vast, from $56,374 to $159,364 per annum, which permits for employees of all levels from new graduates to world renowned experts to be fairly compensated for their contributions. 


  • Occasional national and international travel may be required.
  • A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
  • 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 (10161) to:


Telephone: 613-993-9173 

Closing Date: 21 August 2020 - 23:59 Eastern Time



For more information on career tools and other resources, check out Career tools and resources


Date Modified: 2020-07-13

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