Skip to content

PhD positions

PhD positions in electronic structure in physics and chemistry at University of California, Merced

The University of California, Merced is a dynamic new university campus in Merced, California, which opened in September 2005 as the tenth campus of the University of California and the first American research university in the 21st century. In a period of rapid expansion, UC Merced is located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, within driving distance of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada, the Bay Area, and the Monterey peninsula (while having a much smaller cost of living than our big city neighbors). Our students have access to major facilities on campus, such as computing clusters, state-of-the-art laser systems, an electron microscopy facility, a nanofabrication facility, and NMR. We collaborate with nearby institutions such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz. The University of California, Merced is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. We strive to create a welcoming, family-friendly community, while building a culture of research excellence.

We currently have five faculty members (Hratchian, Isborn, Pribram-Jones, Shi, and Strubbe) in the physics and chemistry departments working on electronic structure theory, who have recently established a new Center for Chemical Computation and Theory (ccCAT) funded by the Department of Energy. Strubbe and Pribram-Jones are additionally part of a new Consortium for High Energy Density Science in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other partners. We also work with centers on campus including the NASA-funded Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) and the state-funded University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar).

We invite applications from students interested in performing their PhD research with us. All doctoral students in good standing are guaranteed five years of financial support, including payment of fees and tuition. Teaching assistantships normally provide initial funding, which will be supplemented by research funding, fellowships, or other forms of financial assistance.

Application deadlines are Jan. 15 though earlier applications are encouraged and will receive priority review. A limited number of application fee waivers are available to qualified applicants. Applications are to the PhD program rather than an individual professor, but prospective students are highly encouraged to contact faculty of interest. For more information on the specific programs, see:

- Physics PhD program:
- Chemistry and Chemical Biology PhD program: