Prospective PhD Students and Postdocs

Frequently asked questions from prospective PhD students and postdoctoral researchers


Below we answer some of the most common questions from students interested in joining our group. Please don't hesitate to contact us for other questions!

How is the work and research environment in our Nanophotonics group?

Students work very hard during the course of their stay with our group, which can vary from 4 to 5 or more years. The schedule can involve long hours, including weekends and sometimes throughout the night. But this cannot be avoided for several reasons! You get so involved in your work that you want to go on, you want to get that measurement that you're striving to obtain. And the rewards can be high!

How often does Prof. Lipson meet with the students? How will I know if I am on the right path?

Prof. Lipson meets with each and every student individually at least once every 2 weeks. This is in addition to the weekly group meetings. If needed, a student can always request additional meetings.

If I have a new idea, will I be able to pursue it?

Generally, after discussing it with Prof. Lipson, yes! This is possible because our group receives quite a lot of funding that allows some flexibility in the research.

How is the work environment?

All of the students and Postdocs sit together in a nice shared area. This setup encourages beneficial interactions between all of the members of the group.

What type of students is Prof. Lipson interested in working with?

We look to work with VERY reliable, motivated, creative and hard working students that also enjoy working collaboratively with other members of the group (and sometimes with other groups as well). Students with a high GPA and/or that have already published journal papers (as first author) are strongly encouraged to apply to work with the group.

If I am accepted in the Nanophotonics group, what research subject will I be working on?

Our group currently works on more than 15 different projects, and Prof. Lipson is quite flexible regarding which specific project a new student takes on. During the first few months a new student has joined the group, he or she is assigned a relatively small (publishable) project to get started, which will invlove (like all projects) design, computer simulations, cleanroom fabrication and testing phases. After the successful completion of such a project, the student then works much more independently.

What is the impact of the work of the Nanophotonics group on science and technology?

Our group has more than 150 publications in peer reviewed journals (Nature, Optica, Optics Express, Optics Letters, Physical Review Letters, etc.) which are highly read by scientists in related fields of research. We also have well over 20,000 journal citations, which is an indicator that our work receives a lot of attention in the scientific community. Our group essentially established the field of silicon photonics from our work on the modulator and other related devices (nanotaper, slot waveguide, etc.).

Where do the students that graduate with a Ph.D. from our group go?

Several of them go on to pursue Postdoctoral research in many fields (electrical engineering, chemistry, etc.), while others find jobs in academia (as professors) and for companies (Intel, Lucent, Kotura, Oracle, technology startups, etc.).