Open positions for graduate students and post-docs at Nano-Optics and Optoelectronics Laboratory

Open Positions at NOOR Lab

The Nano-Photonic and Optics Research Lab is growing, and we have multiple open positions at Masters and Post-Doctoral levels for students interested in pursuing research in the following areas of photonics:

  • Silicon photonics and integrated optics;
  • Electronic-photonic integrated circuits; on-chip optical interconnects;
  • Optical sensors;
  • Chalcogenide glass-based infrared light emitting devices;
  • Thin film SiGe solar cells;
  • Chalcogenide glass-based infrared light emitting devices.
Below is our current list of vacancies.

Master Students

The NOOR Lab is growing and we need multiple students to work on our ongoing and future research projects. To become a student at NOOR Lab, one needs to apply directly to the Institute through the Institute's admissions website. While all admission decisions are made by the Institute, it is in our best interest to see qualified students interested in NOOR Lab research admitted to the program.

If the research areas mentioned above do not sound familiar to you, please do not feel discouraged. Some background in photonics is a plus, it is by no means a requirement. We accept students with different backgrounds, and in fact many faculty think that prior experience in photonics is relatively unimportant compared to the overall abilities and the level of motivation of the applicant.

The Institute is accepting students to Master program. During the two-year program, students are taking classes and pursuing research in their selected field. A thesis is submitted at the end of the program. While peers and faculty represent over 30 different nationalities, all instruction is conducted in English.

Applicants from all parts of the world are welcome. There is no application fee.

All admitted students will have the following benefits:

  • Scholarships/research assistantships providing full financial support is available to all admitted students. It includes all tuition fees, medical insurance, housing, travel expenses, laptop, and a cost of living allowance;

  • Access to the cleanrooms and the electron microscopy lab;

  • Opportunity to work in laboratories with state-of-the art equipment.
The students can work on design, fabrication, and/or characterization, regarding on their preferences.

How to apply

We are a part of the Microsystems Engineering program, so to become a student at NOOR Lab, one needs to apply for MSc in Microsystems Engineering at Masdar Institute. The latest official information about application requirements and application instructions can be found on Masdar Institute Admissions pages. All applications should be submitted directly to the Institute, and all questions regarding the application process should be directed to the Institute's Admissions Office.

Masdar Institute has a one-year admission cycle for the Masters program; the applications are accepted from November 1 until May 31 of each year, and admitted students start their studies in September.

Here is a brief summary of admission requirements with some advice:

  • TOEFL (or academic IELTS) - The minimum TOEFL score required is 91 (Internet based) on the international TOEFL. Equivalent paper/computer based TOEFL is also accepted. The TOEFL can only be waived for native English speakers. The minimum academic IELTS score required is 6.5.

  • GRE General Examination is recommended. The most important part of the exam is Quantitative, where the minimum score of 700 (old scoring system) or 155 (new scoring system) is required, and higher score is recommended. GRE Subject test is not required.

    Applications without GRE scores will also be accepted. Succesful applicants without GRE will be offered conditional admission. The conditionally admitted student can move to "normally admitted" status by taking GRE before the beginning of the first term and scoring at least 700 in the Quantitative part. If the conditionally admitted student does not pass the GRE by the beginning of the studies, he/she will be required to take placement exams on the basics of math and electrical engineering. If he passes the placement exams, the admission will be changed to "normal". If he doesn't pass the placement exams, the student will be required to take several 400-level math and technical courses in addition to normal courseload of Masters students to compensate for the apparent lack of background.

    If you are not familiar with TOEFL / GRE exams - these are standardized multi-choice tests which are widely used in the US to evaluate applicant to graduate schools. Masdar Institute is built with MIT standards in mind, so similar admission requirements have been adopted. These tests are administered in many countries around the world. In some countries the testing is available only few times a year (and it takes some time for the test scores to reach us), so please plan in advance. If you passed the tests, but you don't think the test scores will arrive on time, please contact the admissions office, it might still be possible to consider your application.

  • Statement of Objective, which is a 1-2 page long document explaining your motivation for pursuing graduate studies at Masdar. Statement of Objectives is an important part of the applications. You can view it as your letter to the admission committee, where you have a chance to explain why you think you will become a successful student. If there is some specific positive aspect about your application you think we should know about, please mention it. For example, if you have a GPA (average grade) of 3.2 out of 4.0, which might look low to us, but if you mention that your school is notorious for strict grading and your GPA of 3.2 is actually in the top 5% of your class, and also point out that your low grades were mostly in humanities, then your GPA of 3.2 becomes a completely different story. It helps to be specific - facts are always better than general statements (i.e. if you argue that you should be admitted because "you want to save the Earth", this is not very specific). It is important to mention your the area of research you are interested in. It helps to mention specific topics you are interested in and the names of the faculty you might consider working with, but this is not really necessary, we understand that students usually do not come with the specific research program in mind, and they need help formulating it.

  • While prior experience in photonics is a plus, it is not a requirement for joining the NOOR Lab. We feel that the experience in a given field is something which can be gained relatively quickly by a person who is smart and motivated, and we welcome applicants who demonstrated strong performance in areas other than photonics.

  • The minimum required GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. As mentioned above, it really helps if you explain how your GPA should be interpreted - different schools and countries often have completely different grading standards.

  • 3 recommendation letters are required. At the time of the application, you will need to provide contact information of your referees, and Masdar Institute will contact them directly.

  • The resume/CV is required, and it is an important part of your application, because it provides a good format for a concise summary of your strengths.

  • The application deadline is May 31 of each year, but applications are reviewed throughout the year. Applicants are encouraged not to delay their applications until end of spring, because sometimes paperwork and visa process might take longer than usual and might not be completed by the start of the Fall term.

  • Some frequently asked questions about admission process are answered in our F.A.Q. page.

  • If you have a specific question about our program or admission requirements which is not answered on our website, please email us. Kindly note that all admission decisions are made by the Admission Committee, not by the NOOR faculty or the Microsystems Program faculty. This means that contacting us to introduce yourself will not help to increase your chances of admission. Even if NOOR faculty loves your application, you cannot bypass the Institute's admission process. You will still need to submit the formal application to the Institute, which will be evaluated as fairly as possible, without taking into account whether you introduced yourself or not. We also cannot pre-evaluate applications and comment about chances of admission, or help applicants to improve their application.

Please note once again that what the above information is not not official, and our comments represent our opinion, but not necessarily the position of the Institute. For the official information, please refer to Masdar Institute Admissions page, which is the only official source of up-to-date information.

PhD (Doctoral) Students

NOOR Lab has multiple open positions for PhD students interested in photonic and optics research. Here is some information about the PhD program and our application requirements:
  • For the PhD program, students can start their studies in FALL on SPRING term. Other options might be possible on a case-by-case basis.

  • APPLICATIONS FOR THE PHD PROGRAM ARE ACCEPTED NOW. You can submit your application online at Masdar Institute Admissions page from November 1 to May 31 of each ear. If you are applying for Spring PhD admissions, our advice is to submit the application by email to the admissions office as early as possible, without waiting until the online application system is reopened in November.

  • To enter our PhD program, you must have Masters degree. You can apply if you don't have your MSc degree yet, but you are in the process of receiving it, in which case please indicate your expected graduation date (and be sure to graduate by that date).

  • If your ultimate goal is the PhD degree but you do not have a Masters degree yet, you should you should first apply to our Masters program. Then, in the last year of your Masters program, you will submit another application the PhD program. Admission into the PhD program for current Masters students is not guaranteed. However, if a student did a good job in his/her Masters studies, and is capable of making progress in his research projects, it makes very little sense for his advisor not to support his application but to start from zero with a new student.

  • Application requirements for the PhD program are the same as for the Masters program; please make sure to check the Masters program section above. The additional requirement for PhD applicants is to submit a research proposal, as explained below. The rules for applicants without GRE scores are different: unlike MSc admissions, conditional admission is not an option, and applicants without GRE can only be admitted in special cases when they have at least two journal or conference publications.

  • As mentioned above, PhD applicants must submit a research proposal as a part of their application. Please do not be intimidated by this requirement. The proposal is about the general areas which interests you, the topics which you find exciting, how do you think you can contribute given your background, and whether you are more inclined to working on theory, experiment, or fabrication. We do not expect you to present a specific research project you will undertake at Masdar - we understand that most (if not all) students need help from their advisor and familiarity with the available facilities and the currently ongoing activities to formulate such a project. If you can formulate a specific research project, which is both interesting and technically feasible, this will definitely strengthen your application. However, this is not something which is expected from all applicants. (Please also note that if you really want to work on some specific project/topic and nothing else, there must be a faculty who is willing to work on this project, and there must have funding available for conducting this research, which is something you should confirm prior to coming to Masdar). As mentioned above, we welcome applicants from backgrounds other than photonics, and we will take into account that for such students composing a feasible research proposal is especially challenging.