Post Doctoral Scholar – experimental detection of ultra-weak photon emission from biological systems

Nature of the Work: 

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 U. Calgary.  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 U. Calgary and the NRC. 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 lab.


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

Position posting at UCalgary